Good morning Cougs, and a happy Thursday to you and yours.
So the WSU investigation wrapped up on Marquess Wilson, and the news flew around pretty much everywhere last night on the school's internal findings. You can read through the entire review here if you wish, and it's got some pretty interesting findings as to what has been going on since Mike Leach arrived in Pullman. Some of it harsh, some of it tough love and I guess people are going to have different reactions to the whole thing based on what they believe.
But one word of caution here - is this really the end of the story? Or are things just getting started? I mean yeah, the WSU internal investigation is done, but there is another shoe to drop here and that's the Pac-12 investigation, stress on the word Pac-12. I'm not insinuating that the report will be all that different, and I do think Bill Moos and the rest have done what looks like a thorough job here. But as much as we are all ready to move on from all this, I don't think this thing is quite over, at least not yet anyway.
But there's already a lot of reaction out there, so let's take a quick glance around at what people are saying.....
Christian Caple had the breaking news yesterday, along with the official WSU statement. But he also had a follow-up later in regards to the text message that MQW sent to Bill Moos the same evening of the infamous press release before the UCLA game. In that message, MQW claims he meant no harm to the university and that he was simply trying to clear his name. Here is the text, see for yourself:
“Mr. Moos this is marquess … With that letter I wasn't trying to accuse the coaches of hitting players or anything. I was just trying to put it in different terms and now everything is getting misinterpreted and I didn't mean it like that at all … I simply was trying to get my story across and get my name cleared instead of having it say I'm suspended for breaking team violations … That could mean like I did drugs or something … I was never trying to harm the university or the program with it.”
So there you have it. I guess it makes sense now when you recall Moos and Mike Leach saying that the player had backed off his statements? You can judge for yourself but it seems pretty clear from here what his intentions were with that text message.
Moving on, Cougcenter weighed in and made some excellent points about the whole thing. Brian Floyd is absolutely right, in that NOBODY WINS with all this stuff, period! It's just crappy for everyone involved and as Floyd says, this kind of thing is going to stick with MQW, fair or unfair. I mean quitting the team by walking out is one thing, but to follow it up with the press release and such harsh allegations, only to completely back off said allegations a few hours later? NOT. GOOD.
It's just sad, all the way around. Now you have a player who will be labeled a quitter and a whiner, even if that isn't 100% accurate or fair. And who knows how much input he actually had on that press release? Maybe he just got some horrible advice, and his step father took it way too far and MQW was in Cover-Your-Ass mode from the moment it went out?
And now you have Leach and his staff having to once again defend the way they treat players out on the recruiting trail (although lately it seems like they haven't exactly taken a huge hit in recruiting over all this??). And that press release was not just harsh with claims of player abuse, but looking back at it now it sure looked like it was a calculated move bent on clearing the player's name and nothing else mattered. It looks pretty clear that they were trying to hit Mike Leach where he appears to be the absolute most vulnerable based on the controversy surrounding his exit from Texas Tech, and that is on how he and his staff treats their players.
So I wish this was the end of it, but it seems that isn't the case. Now Deadspin has their top story today with a huge picture of Leach, with the title "It is totally out of control". GREAT. But it isn't just reaction to MQW, but it seems that Deadspin got their hands on an email from someone not named, dated November 1st. In this email, they list out a bunch of concerns with what is going on with the team, from coaches treating players "like crap" and even stories of coaches telling players they better not say anything about all this abuse!?! Deadspin claims to have more emails that will be coming soon.
What a mess.
All for now. GO COUGS.
From the 4 players I've spoken to recently who were present during "the walk-out", they said that there was absolutely NO ABUSE, either physically or emotionally to the walk-out player or any other of the other players that were present. (The real abuse happens on the field when players are not well prepared and don;t follow instructions to block for each other;`` but I digress.) However, it was also mentioned by others that there was definitely a "power struggle" going on, in which a coach and a player were at odds about what is "acceptable effort". "The walkout" was interpreted by coaches and the remaining players there as an act of defiance, which forced that hand of the coach (not Leach) to request that the player be suspending for what amounted to insubordination.
The whole matter could have easily have blown over within about 1 week to 10 days, but it sounds like a 3rd party got involved, and orchestrated a letter that had no connection to the actual events that transpired. It was an attempt at saving face for the player, until the player and author realized that such an accusation would necessitate a full-fledged investigation. ooopppsss... ~~~ " Now what to we do?" " Well, you better retract the content of our letter, but not publicly, as I do not want my name dragged into this whole matter." ~~~~~~
What a sad commentary that some of the media, and even many within Coug nation could be so easily manipulated. That is very troublesome indeed, and it would be nice if the PAC-12 report came out soon, to put the whole matter to rest.
Here's what gets to me about this whole thing. I can get past the fact that MQW made a huge error in judgement in his letter, the timing of its release, etc. He's a young kid who made a big mistake, and it sounds like he regrets it.
But if you made such a big deal about the letter (i.e. making a very public statement that you were abused), and if you really didn't mean it, then why say you didn't mean it in a private text to Moos? Write a second letter! Send it to the Spokesman, or ESPN, or call a press conference, or something! Say, very publicly, "That's not what I meant, I wasn't abused, I didn't mean to hurt the University".
The guy made a big mistake with his letter. Fine. So make up for it. Come out publicly and say that you screwed up.
That's much easier said than done, especially for a young man really just finding his way in the world. Through the eyes of experience we can see the wisdom of public apology. MQW doesn't have that perspective yet.
You are right, but think of the firestorm all this has created, and the embarrassment he has over it.
While it will never happen, I'd like to see his step-father come forward and explain his own role in this whole thing and what he was thinking while completly ruining a career and possibly a person. It's only my speculation, but I think the guy has some real control freak issues. Given that there were any number of reactions to MQW's to leaving that workout session, based on a scale of 1-10, one being no reaction, and 10 being lashing out, the reaction they made is a 15+.
@Ambush184 Yeah, I also get the feeling that MQW got sort of pushed into writing that letter. Which could also be why he hasn't publicly recanted: it would be embarrassing to his stepfather.
I don’t know who is the bigger moron – the idiot who wrote the e-mail or Brown for giving it any credence at all. My guess is that the writer is not a football player and likely has little contact with the any sports program.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I assume requiring attendance at voluntary practices would be a violation of NCAA rules, which would be a bigger issue than those raised in the e-mail. If there are penalties for lateness, etc. during the voluntary workout periods they are likely determined by the participants (although I am not silly enough to believe there is no staff input). If the penalties are not violations, then WTF is the problem.
It is also clear that the writer has a strange idea of what Army boot-camp is like. Boot camp is not Special Forces school. The idea at boot-camp is to give some sort of discipline to the future clerk-typists that make up the majority of the troops, not to produce 250 pound missiles of sinew and muscle that need to operate at top level in the freezing rain and snow.
I guess I have vented enough, but it is hard to see this pea brain get any media exposure.
That deadspin article was stupid. Players were punished for poor performance, being late to practice, and not showing up for practice...OH NO. Ridiculous.
@gpty99 The point that is being missed about those allegations is that they are "voluntary" practices. Coaches are not even allowed to be present, so who was doling out these "punishments"?
The fact is there were some questionable or even harmful things that were going on and people affiliated with the Cougs (not players or family) squawked about it. Does it rise to the level of abuse? I don't know as I am not in the medical profession.
Nice write up Sean. Unfortunately, as you say, this isn't over yet, not by a longshot. There will be those (deadspin) who will do or say anything to try to put a negative spin on anything and everything.
I'm still not sure what MQW was trying to accomplish. Why was he trying to clear his name? Otherdin't seem to be putting out his best effort on the field, what had he done? None of this makes any sense at all. He had NOTHING to gain by the press release, and he damn sure knew he'd messed things up as the text to Moos clearly points out.
Floyd is bang on, and I said it as well, nobody wins here, there are only losers from this whole thing.
The internal investigation appears to be well done, now we just wait for the PAC-12 to finalize their portion. Let's hope they come to the same conclusions we did.
@Ambush184 I think its pretty clear that Marques was upset that his departure was labeled as a suspension for violating team rules. That was just not true. He had quit because he was mad at how he was being treated. I think his step dad had a lot to do with twisting that message into an allegation of physical abuse.