Washington State wide receiver Marquess Wilson has reportedly left the football program because of abuse by head coach Mike Leach and his staff.
Wilson was suspended this past week “for an unspecified violation of team rules,” according to the Associated Press (via ESPN). Saturday, he announced he is leaving the program and Andrew Bettencourt of the Visalia Times-Delta reported the full text Wilson's statement for leaving. It included the following:
The new regime of coaches has preferred to belittle, intimidate and humiliate us. This approach has obviously not been successful, and has put a dark shadow on this program.
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.
The junior wideout recorded over 1,000 receiving yards in both of his first two seasons with the Cougars, and has 813 yards and five touchdowns on 52 receptions this season.
This is not the first time Leach has come under fire for improper treatment of his players. After helping the Texas Tech football program's rise to national prominence, Leach was abruptly fired at the end of the 2009 season after an investigation of abuse toward then-Red Raiders wide receiver Adam James.
As ESPN noted at the time, James was “twice confined him to small, dark spaces while the team practiced” as punishment.
Leach’s character and reputation will once again be called into question by this development, and Washington State is now without one of its best offensive players.