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Washington State Coach Mike Leach Cleared of Abuse Allegations by Pac-12

PULLMAN, WA - NOVEMBER 10:  Head coach Mike Leach of the Washington State Cougars on the sidelines early in the fourth quarter as the Cougars trail the UCLA Bruins 21- 44 at Martin Stadium on November 10, 2012 in Pullman, Washington.  (Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images)
William Mancebo/Getty Images
Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 8, 2013

After a thorough investigation, the Pac-12 decided to clear Washington State head coach Mike Leach of any wrongdoing regarding abuse allegations.

Chris Daniels of King TV reported the news via Twitter:

BREAKING: Pac-12 Investigation clears #WSU, Head Coach Mike Leach and staff of Abuse Allegations.

— Chris Daniels (@ChrisDaniels5) January 8, 2013


The allegations started when wide receiver Marquess Wilson decided to leave the football program after being suspended from the team indefinitely. He then issued a statement explaining why he left, citing abuse by the coaching staff.

This is an excerpt of Wilson's notice (via Andrew Bettencourt of USA Today):

The new regime of coaches has preferred to belittle, intimidate and humiliate us. This approach has obviously not been successful, and has put a dark shadow on this program. My teammates and I have endured this treatment all season long. It is not "tough love". It is abuse. This abuse cannot be allowed to continue...

Lastly, I thank my fellow teammates, those who also have left the program this year, and those we are leaving behind. 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

After this letter was made public, Washington State conducted an internal investigation into the claims. The end result was Leach being cleared of wrongdoing in a four-page report written by Athletic Director Bill Moos, according to Matt Hinton of CBS Sports.

The Pac-12 also looked into the matter and ended up coming to the same result.

Leach has a history of misunderstandings with players going back to his days at Texas Tech. His tenure with the Red Raiders ended with a controversy when he supposedly put a concussed player in a dark locker room.

That player, Adam James, also happened to be the son of ESPN analyst Craig James, which brought the incident into the national spotlight.

The Cougars coach now has to move past a reputation—warranted or not—of someone that mistreats players in order to have a successful career with his new team. 

Washington State finished the season only 3-9 with a 1-8 record in the Pac-12 in Leach's first season.


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