WSU football coach Leach cleared of wrongdoing by internal review

December 12, 2012 

The Washington State University athletic department completed its internal review Wednesday of practices and procedures of the WSU football program in response to allegations of abuse by former WSU football player Marquess Wilson.

The review was sparked after Wilson quit the football team, alleging physical, emotional and verbal abuse by new head football coach Mike Leach.

Leach, who was fired from Texas Tech amid questions over his handling of a health situation with a player, denied any abuse issues with Wilson or the rest of the team.

According to the review, Wilson recanted his charges against Leach by text message to Moos the same day the receiver sent a letter to the media.

“Last month President (Elson S.) Floyd asked me to fully review allegations raised concerning the football program and report those findings and conclusions as soon as possible,” athletic director Bill Moos said in a news release. “I have fulfilled this charge over the past few weeks, which included interviews with multiple student-athletes and support staff involved with the program.

“Once I received the findings from members of my staff, I found that the program is moving in the desired direction, that it is on par with, or exceeds, other (BCS)-level programs in terms of expectations and commitment. Transition in coaching changes is rarely smooth, however, after reviewing the comments from the players that were interviewed, I am encouraged the program is moving in a positive direction.”

Twelve players were interviewed by two members of the AD’s staff, resulting in discussions that found that all 12 of the players felt they are having a positive experience at Washington State and feel supported academically and socially, as well as from a football perspective.

The players described the football practices as up-tempo and demanding great focus and effort. The players said the offseason conditioning sessions are intense and challenging, but appropriate for what they are designed to achieve.

Moos said in the report that he believes the football student-athletes respect the head coach and his staff, and feel they will move the program to a greater level of respect and competitiveness.

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