Washington State athletic director Bill Moos issued a statement Saturday night regarding Cougars wide receiver Marquess Wilson after the junior released a letter earlier in the evening saying that he had left the football team.
“It is unfortunate that Marquess has chosen not to go through the weekend and have the subsequent visit with me as we had discussed last Tuesday,” Moos said in the release. “I was hopeful to provide additional guidance if he was willing to meet the standards that have been set by Mike Leach and his staff in their effort to establish a competitive football program at Washington State. Unfortunately, during times of coaching transitions, departures are not uncommon.
“We have procedures in place that were developed to monitor student-athlete welfare in all of our sports programs. We will continue to follow those procedures and modify them if needed. I believe I join many Cougars in wishing Marquess well in his future endeavors. WSU athletics plans no future statement at this time.”
After being suspended on Monday for an unspecified violation of team rules, Wilson’s future with the team appeared to be in jeopardy but the door was left open by coaches if the talented All-American were to meet certain criteria for a return. However, his mother and stepfather delivered a statement to the Visalia Times-Delta, Wilson’s hometown newspaper, declaring that he had permanently left the program several hours before Washington State’s home game against UCLA on Saturday night.
Wilson’s letter also heavily criticized the Cougars’ coaching staff.
“It is with a heavy heart that I announce my decision to forgo playing football for Washington State University,” Wilson said in the statement. “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.”
“It is been a privilege to be a Cougar, to perform on your field and wear the Crimson and Gray. I would like to thank Washington State University for giving me the opportunity to do what I love most, to play football and receive a quality education for the past three years. I’m grateful to the athletic department for the coaching, care and encouragement I have received prior to this season.”
A three-year year starter for the Cougars before being suspended, Wilson led the team in catches following the team’s Week 10 loss to Utah and was the school’s all-time leader in receiving yardage. He was recruited by former head coach Paul Wulff and has struggled to adapt to the new coaching staff, with the Moscow-Pullman Daily News reporting that the receiver stormed out of a conditioning session on Sunday to prompt the suspension.
“My teammates and I have endured this treatment all season long,” Wilson continued in the statement. “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 dreams, 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.”
Washington State President Elson Floyd released an additional statement Sunday morning concerning the matter and has promised a full investigation into the allegations by both the school and the Pac-12.
“After consultation with WSU Athletic Director Bill Moos, I have asked our athletic department to fully review recent allegations raised concerning the football program and report their findings and conclusions as soon as possible,” Floyd said in his statement. “Simultaneously, I have asked the Pac-12 to independently do the same. Together, both reports should get to the bottom of the matter.”