Gregg Marshall Allegedly Made Racist Remark, Verbally Abused Players at Winthrop

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistOctober 20, 2020

Wichita State head coach Gregg Marshall walks the sidelines late in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Houston, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, in Houston. Houston won the game 73-59. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

Gregg Marshall has been accused of making racist remarks and using verbally-abusive language toward his players during his time as head coach at Winthrop. 

Per The Athletic's CJ Moore and Dana O'Neil, multiple players made allegations against Marshall. 

"He taunted one player who took prescription medication for his mental health," Moore and O'Neil wrote. "'Did you take your medication today? Are you stupid or just retarded?' he allegedly screamed at the player after he failed to grasp a drill."

One player alleged Marshall said he would "send him back to Africa" for underperforming: "You’re a white guy, in South Carolina where the Confederate flag is still flying on the statehouse, and you’re telling a proud African man you’re going to send him back to Africa?”

Eric Fisher, who played two seasons at Winthrop from 1998-2000, recalled an alleged incident when Marshall ran over to Derrick Knox after Knox yelled at his head coach before being tossed from a practice. 

“Coach sprints from one bench to the other, where (Knox) was and jumps over the exercise bike that’s sitting there for players on the sidelines,’’ Fisher said. “Basically shoves (Knox) and turns him around and is cussing at him. ‘What’d you say, motherf--ker?’ They pulled (them) apart.’’

Marshall issued a statement to Moore and O'Neil in response to the allegations:

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"As I have stated previously, I am deeply committed to my players and the teams we have built together. I believe unequivocally in their value as athletes, as students, and as people. Any portrayal of me to the contrary is wrong.

"Throughout my career as a coach, I have devoted myself to empowering my players to achieve their greatest potential. That’s the legacy I have built throughout my career – both at Wichita State and at Winthrop University.

"My nine years at Winthrop (1998-2007) saw the Eagles achieve greater success than ever before. Not only did our players win on the court, but our team graduated all but one senior student-athlete during my tenure. I am extremely proud of what we built together at Winthrop and will always reflect fondly on my years there.

"I acknowledge that my coaching style isn’t for everyone. I am passionate and energetic, and countless players have thrived on my programs and excelled in our team culture. 

"I am not demeaning or abusive. I have always pledged my full-hearted commitment to my team. I hope that no player or coach in my program ever doubts my respect for them or my investment in their success."

These allegations come in the wake of Moore and O'Neil reporting last week that Wichita State has opened an internal investigation into Marshall amid accusations of misconduct from current and former Shockers players. 

A former Wichita State player told Moore and O'Neil that Marshall "wasn't just" combative with student-athletes: “I lost respect for him because I saw the way he treated my teammates and other people.”

Marshall has been head basketball coach at Wichita State since 2007. He spent the previous nine years in the same role at Winthrop.