Cougar Nation got some very surprising and devastating news tonight
when star wide receiver Marquess
Wilson announced, in a letter to his peers, that he has
officially left the Washington State football program.
attained by the Visalia Time-Delta/Tulare Advance-Register, Wilson,
a Tulare native, had some very strong words for the current coaching
staff and his reasons for leaving the program.
"It is with a heavy heart that I announce my decision to forgo playing
football for Washington State University," Wilson said in the letter
obtained by the Tulare (Calif.) news outlet. "I realize the
school is saying that I 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 the locker room."
Those strong words raise more concerns over the ways that head coach
Mike Leach is going about handling this football team during his first
season in Pullman.
It was reported that last Sunday, after a demoralizing 49-6 loss at
Utah, the football team was put through an intense conditioning workout
in an attempt to get through to the players that their effort on the
field wasn't acceptable.
The Daily Moscow-Pullman Daily News reported that Wilson, who has had a
out of the 'practice' 20-minutes in and according to other reports, Wilson supposedly emptied out his
In the days following, Leach announced that Wilson was suspended for
the UCLA game and avoided, in true Mike Leach fashion, questions
regarding Wilson's situation.
"He's suspended," Leach said in his weekly press conference. "If
he has left the program, that's his decision."
The remarks by Wilson tonight may shed some light on the feel around
the locker room and the rumors that have surfaced as the season has
"My teammates and I have endured this treatment all season long,"
Wilson said. "It is not 'tough love.' It is abuse."
"This abuse cannot be allowed to continue," Wilson continued. "I
feel it is my duty to stand up and shed light on this situation by
sacrificing my drams [dreams], my education, and my pride. I
resign from this team."
The downward spiral that is the Washington State football program just
got a little more interesting with this news.
Wilson, a junior, had 52 receptions for 813 yards and five touchdowns
this season. Prior to the recent debacle, Wilson was benched in
favor of Dominique Williams
for, what would be, his final two games donning the Crimson and Gray.
Wilson thanked his teammates, those whom have already left the program,
and the ones whom are still members of the team before he signed off.
"Lastly, I thank my fellow teammates, those who also have left the
program this year, and those we are leaving behind," Wilson
concluded. "I hope our departure will bring awareness to the
physical, emotional and verbal abuse being allowed in the locker room
and on the field. I pray for healing and recovery for all those
who have been hurt by this treatment."
The Cougars take on No. 17 UCLA at 7:30 p.m. tonight on ESPN2. As
more information is provided, this story will be updated.