Report: Abuse allegations against Gregg Marshall go back farther than Wichita State

Published: Oct. 20, 2020 at 4:01 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - As an investigation into allegations of verbal and physical abuse continue into Wichita State University Head Men’s Basketball Coach Gregg Marshall, a new, national report sources former players from Winthrop University, with stories about abuse from Marshall well before he arrived in Wichita. Those players are named in the article in The Athletic. Marshall coached at Winthrop from 1998 to 2007. In that time, he led the Eagles to new heights, including seven consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.

Tuesday, the latest report in The Athletic cites former Winthrop players with a list of prior incidents. This included an accusation that he taunted a player on medication for his mental health and screamed at a player that he’d “send him back to Africa.” The verbal-abuse claims also include allegations that Marshall would regularly use a derogatory term for a woman’s vagina when calling out a player’s toughness and using the term with a hand gesture when trying to drive home a point.

While there aren’t reports of Marshall physically striking a player as he’s accused of doing to a player and assistant coach at Wichita State, the former Winthrop players cited in The Athletic cite incidents in which Marshall had to be separated from a player. Former players said Winthrop’s athletic director was eventually made aware of what was happening, but nothing was done.

Marshall was hired at Wichita State from Winthrop in 2007, starting the year after he led the Eagles to the school’s first NCAA Tournament win.

Marshall on Tuesday issued the following statement in response to the report from his time at Winthrop.

As I have stated previously, I am deeply committed to my players and the teams we have built together. I believe unequivocally in their value as athletes, as students, and as people. Any portrayal of me to the contrary is wrong.

Throughout my career as a coach, I have devoted myself to empowering my players to achieve their greatest potential. That’s the legacy I have built throughout my career – both at Wichita State and at Winthrop University.

My nine years at Winthrop (1998-2007) saw the Eagles achieve greater success than ever before. Not only did our players win on the court, but our team graduated all but one senior student-athlete during my tenure. I am extremely proud of what we built together at Winthrop and will always reflect fondly on my years there.

I acknowledge that my coaching style isn’t for everyone. I am passionate and energetic, and countless players have thrived on my programs and excelled in our team culture.

I am not demeaning or abusive. I have always pledged my full-hearted commitment to my team. I hope that no player or coach in my program ever doubts my respect for them or my investment in their success.

Tuesday, Eyewitness News reached out to Wichita State following the new claims from Winthrop. As of late Tuesday night, Wichita State has not responded to questions concerning the status of the investigation into allegations of misconduct during the 2015-2016 season at the university or why Marshall hasn’t been suspended while that investigation happens.

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