Wichita State is conducting an internal investigation of men's basketball coach Gregg Marshall amid claims of alleged misconduct toward players and other members of the athletic department.
Marshall confirmed the investigation's existence to The Athletic late Thursday, writing to the outlet in a text message "I'm aware the university conducted interviews and I fully participated in the process.
"I look forward to having it wrapped up as I continue to focus my energy on our team."
Less than a week after the Shockers' season ended in 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.
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)
“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 the players.
“He’s a maniac, a bully,” a former unnamed assistant told Stadium. “He disrespects people, brings up personal stuff, family, girlfriends.”
Stadium also reported several instances of racism by Marshall, who made "howling noises" and told Isaiah Poor Bear-Chandler, a Native American, "to get back on his horse" while telling Colombian center Jaime Echenique he would be "a great coffee bean picker."
A different former player told The Athletic Marshall's conduct has been known for a while, and that he wished somebody told him during his recruitment.
"For me, it’s about helping the next kid," he told The Athletic. "I wouldn’t be telling this if I didn’t think it was going to help somebody."
The Shockers have made the NCAA Tournament in seven of Marshall's 13 seasons at the helm, including the 2013 Final Four. Marshall, 57, has been at Wichita State since 2007 followed a successful run at Winthrop, where he is the winningest coach in school history.
According to the USA TODAY Sports database, Marshall's annual salary is $3.5 million, which makes him the second-highest-paid non-Power Five coach in the country behind Villanova Wildcats coach Jay Wright.
Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.
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