Gregg Marshall resigns as head men’s basketball coach at Wichita State University
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Following an investigation into abuse allegations, Wichita State University’s long time Men’s Basketball Coach Gregg Marshall has announced his resignation. The decision comes after two national articles released in October alleged verbal and physical abuse against Marshall. The announcement comes just eight days before the team is set to open the 2020 season.
“This was a difficult decision, but one I feel was necessary for my family, the university and, most importantly, the student-athletes,” Marshall said. “I remain grateful for my years spent at Wichita State. I wish to thank the coaches, student-athletes, the university, the community, and all of Shocker Nation for their unending dedication, support and loyalty. I am incredibly proud of this men’s basketball program and all it has achieved over the past 14 years and am confident of its continued success.”
One of the most damning accusations came from former Shocker Shaq Morris, who says Marshall punched him at practice during the 2015 season. Another accusation of Marshall’s physical abuse came in 2016-2017 when he allegedly choked then assistant coach Kyle Linsted. Other accusations listed include verbal abuse corroborated by 30 former or current players, according to Stadium’s Jeff Goodman.
In a statement, director of athletics Darron Boatright says “Our student-athletes are our primary concern. While the university acknowledges the success of the basketball program under Coach Marshall, this decision is in the best interest of the university, its student athletes and the WSU community. WSU will continue its pursuit of excellence with the help of its student-athletes, staff and loyal supporters of the basketball program.”
Wichita State opened an independent investigation that ultimately led to Marshall’s firing, that inquiry being completed by Tueth-Keeny, a law firm based in St. Louis. During that process, former Wichita State players spoke out in favor and against Marshall. Like the players, the fan base was also divided on Marshall’s future with the program.
During the investigation, more allegations claiming abuse surfaced from Marshall’s time at Winthrop University. Those allegations were rebuked by former Winthrop player, and current Wichita State Assistant, Tyson Waterman.
Marshall himself refuted the allegations as well, saying in a statement last month “In response to the allegations put forward in the media, I simply state unequivocally that I have never physically struck a player or colleague. Allegations claiming otherwise are false.”
Marshall’s tenure in Wichita State began with the 2007-2008 season while the Shockers were still a part of the Missouri Valley Conference. Since then, he has been credited with the turnaround of Shocker basketball returning the program to national prominence with seven NCAA tournament appearances, a Final Four run in 2013, and a NIT Championship in 2011.
He amassed 331 wins at Wichita State over 13 seasons, winning five Missouri Valley Championships before helping to lead the transition into the American Athletic Conference.
The most recent basketball season saw five scholarship players leave following the abrupt end to the season prior to the AAC tournament. Wichita State ended the season 23-8.
After learning of the players who elected to leave, Marshall instantly found replacements on the recruiting trail to fill the vacant roster spots.
As part of Marshall’s resignation, the University has agreed to a contract settlement for $7.75 million to be paid over a period of six years. The university’s Intercollegiate Athletic Association will cover the settlement. No state or tax dollars are involved. The university said it will not be releasing any records related to the investigation, as they are considered confidential personnel records.
Assistant coach Isaac Brown will take over head coaching responsibilities in the interim. The Shockers will open the season on Nov. 25 taking part in the Crossover Classic in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
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