Men’s basketball coach Gregg Marshall resigned from Wichita State University on Tuesday (Nov. 17) following several players’ allegations of verbal and physical abuse and racist comments. Rather than being fired, the 57-year-old coach was allowed to resign from his position and granted a $7.75 million contract settlement.
“Our student-athletes are our primary concern,” Wichita State Athletic Director Darron Boatright said in a statement on Tuesday. “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.”
Allegations from players led to a months-long investigation into Marshall’s alleged wrongdoing. Over two dozen student athletes accused the coach of both verbal and physical abuse. One former player, Shaquille Morris, said Marshall punched him during practice on the same day he’d told the coach that his mother had been diagnosed with cancer. Another player claimed Marshall’s ridiculing comments about his body caused him to go into a depression.
According to the complaint, Marshall also allegedly made “Indian howling noises” at one Native American player and told him “to get back on his horse.” Other allegations of racist comments included Marshall telling a student-athlete from Colombia that he would be “a great coffee bean picker.” Furthermore, Marshall allegedly mocked a white player by implying he was afraid of Black players, whom he referred to as “brothers; guys raised by their grandparents eating PB&Js.”
Marshall submitted his letter of resignation on Tuesday, which did not mention the allegations. He has previously refuted students’ claims of abuse, but has neither denied nor admitted to the racist comments.
“This was a difficult decision, but one I feel was necessary for my family, the university and, most importantly, the student-athletes,” Marshall wrote in the statement. “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.”