Wichita State's Gregg Marshall Releases Statement Addressing Abuse Allegations

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 9, 2020

Wichita State head coach Gregg Marshall watches from the sidelines during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game East Carolina in Greenville, N.C., Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)
Karl B DeBlaker/Associated Press

Wichita State men's basketball coach Gregg Marshall released a statement Friday denying allegations of physical and verbal abuse toward players and staff members.

Jeff Goodman of Stadium provided the full statement:

CJ Moore and Dana O'Neil of The Athletic reported Thursday that Marshall's actions were the focus of an internal investigation by the school that's included interviews with current and former Shockers players.

During the 2015-16 preseason, Marshall allegedly berated a staff member after what he considered a poor training session with a group of players and then "put one of his hands around his neck."

Marshall allegedly engaged in a confrontation with Shockers forward Shaquille Morris after he tried to block a shot in practice during the regular season. He allegedly told him to "get the f--k out of practice" and "punched Morris between the shoulders near his neck" from behind as Morris left.

The Athletic report said the coach's "combativeness was well known" within the athletic department and provided a comment from an anonymous former player who said he's speaking out to protect future Wichita State players.

"This thing's been going on before I came around, and no one warned me," he said. "For me, it's about helping the next kid. I wouldn't be telling this if I didn't think it was going to help somebody."

In addition, sources told Goodman that Marshall "routinely physically and verbally abused members of the program and demeaned his players with ethnic and racial slurs."

"He doesn't know how to treat people," a former player told Goodman. "I felt like I wasn't playing for him, but that I was playing against him. He f--ked me up mentally."

Marshall has led the Wichita State basketball team since 2007. He'd previously guided the Winthrop program for a decade beginning in 1998 after 14 years as an assistant at four different schools.

The 57-year-old South Carolina native has posted a 331-121 record (.732 winning percentage) and earned seven NCAA tournament appearances with the Shockers. His $3.6 million in total pay ranked 15th among college basketball coaches for 2020, per USA Today.

Wichita State issued a statement saying the investigation would be completed in an "expeditious and deliberate manner."