Wichita State men's basketball coach Gregg Marshall resigned from the university he helped elevate to college hoops relevancy on Tuesday, the school announced in a statement. Marshall leaves the program amid allegations of improper conduct levied by several former players last month.
Assistant coach Isaac Brown will serve as the interim for the upcoming 2020-21 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 in a statement released by the school. “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.”
Wichita State Shockers head coach Gregg Marshall reacts against the Marshall Thundering Herd during the second half in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament at Viejas Arena. (Photo: Jake Roth, USA TODAY Sports)
According to Stadium, Wichita State and Marshall agreed to a settlement of $7.75 million to be paid over 6 years.
Wichita State conducted an internal investigation of Marshall following claims of alleged verbal and physical abuse toward players and other members of the athletic department.
“Our student-athletes are our primary concern,” WSU athletics director Darron Boatright said in a statement. “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.”
Less than a week after the Shockers' season ended last March, a walk-on and six scholarship players — Morris Udeze, Jamarius Burton, Erik Stevenson, Grant Sherfield, Noah Fernandes and DeAntoni Gordon — announced their decisions to transfer, marking the largest turnover in Marshall's 13-year tenure at the school. Five of the players were granted immediate eligibility waivers at their new programs.
“It wasn’t just players — the academic people, the marketing, everybody. If you had to associate with Wichita State basketball, you got caught in the crossfire,” one former player told The Athletic. “I lost respect for him because I saw the way he treated my teammates and other people.”
Former Shockers forward Shaq Morris told Stadium that Marshall punched him twice at practice in the 2015-16 season. The Athletic said that incident came after Marshall perceived a block attempt by Morris as "dirty."
The Athletic also reported other allegations, including Marshall attempting to assault an athlete from a different sport who parked in his parking spot — blocking the athlete's car and attempting to swipe at him through the driver's side window — and berating and choking a staff member who was working out with players.
Marshall leaves as the program's winningest head coach after taking over in 2007, having piloted Wichita State to the 2013 Final Four and guided the Shockers to seven consecutive NCAA tournament appearances that helped propel the program from the mid-major Missouri Valley Conference to the power American Athletic Conference. In 2014 WSU finished with an undefeated regular season and earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
Contributing: Chris Bumbaca
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