On Monday, November 5th, Washington State announced that it was suspending its star wide receiver, and the school’s all-time leader in receiving yards, Maquess Wilson for violating team rules. According to the school this decision came after Wilson walked out of a conditioning workout Sunday night. A week prior head coach Mike Leach moved the receiver to the 2nd string citing the star player’s poor practice habits as the reason.
Marquess Wilson paints an entirely different picture. He accuses the school of making up the suspension to cover up a much bigger story. Wilson, in a letter addressed to “Cougar Nation” says that he was not suspended, but he had quit the team due to constantly having to endure “physical, emotional, and verbal abuse.”
Dear Cougar Nation:
“It is with a heavy heart that I announce my decision to forgo playing football for Washington State University. I realize the school is saying that I am suspended for violating team policies and may return next week, but this is a lie. This is an attempt by the athletic department to cover up what is really happening in that locker room.
“My teammates and I have endured this treatment all season long. It is not “tough love”. It is abuse. This abuse cannot be allowed to continue. I feel it is my duty to stand up and shed light on this situation by sacrificing my drams, my education and my pride. I resign from this team. I am deeply sorry to those I am letting down. I am not a quitter. I was raised by my family, and many previous coaches to exhibit dedication and embrace sacrifice, but there comes a time when one has to draw a line in the sand.
“Lastly, I thank my fellow teammates, those who also have left the program this year, and those we are leaving behind. I hope our departure will bring awareness to the physical, emotional and verbal abuse being allowed in the locker room and on the field. I pray for healing and recovery for all those who have been hurt by this treatment
This is not Mike Leach’s first accusation of abuse toward a player. In 2009, despite being the school’s winningest coach, Leach was fired from Texas Tech after he was accused of punishing a player for refusing to play through a concussion by locking him in an equipment room for hours.
There are still a lot of questions that remain in this case, like the timing of the announcement, Wilson decided to release this letter two hours before Wazzu was scheduled to play?
Wilson was suspended according to Leach for breaking various teams rules, is it possible that Wilson wrote this letter knowing Leach’s history as revenge?
If the allegations are false, Wilson will have destroyed his reputation and NFL hopes. If what Wilson is saying is true Leach needs to be fired and never coach again, because obviously he has a problem with how he treats players.
Until both Wilson and Leach provide specifics of their accusations judgment should be reserved for both parties.