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Pac-12 Review Clears WSU Football Program Of Abuse Allegations


An investigation by the Pac-12 athletic conference released Tuesday finds no evidence that Washington State University football coaches physically or mentally abused players. WSU's president requested the outside probe. He did so after an athlete who quit and the parent of another former player alleged the coaching staff was "out of control."

Washington State athletic director Bill Moos says he's pleased with the two-month long Pac-12 investigation. He says its findings are "consistent" with WSU's own internal review. During a conference call, Moos said the reviews exonerate first year football coach Mike Leach and his staff.

"My support for Mike Leach and his methods and his plan have never wavered and are not wavering now by any means. If anything, I am even more enthused about the path we're on."

The Pac-12 investigators interviewed about 20 people, including coaches, players, parents and university athletic staff. The report includes direct quotes from former star receiver Marquess Wilson retracting the most damaging allegations of player mistreatment. Wilson says he regrets using the term "abuse" to describe what sound like crude, derogatory pep talks.

The Pac-12 investigators did think the WSU coaching staff went too far when a coach sprayed players with a water hose while having them run in a sand pit. Moos ordered the water spraying stopped.

On the Web:

Pac-12 investigation report (Washington State University)
Marquess Wilson's departure statement from Nov. 2012: (SB Nation)

Now semi-retired, Tom Banse covered national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from across the Northwest. He reported from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events unfolded. Tom's stories can be found online and were heard on-air during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.