Shocker fans, former players react to Gregg Marshall departure
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The Wichita State University Men’s Basketball program will be under new leadership when the Shockers take the court next week to kick off the 2020-2021 season. Tuesday, Eyewitness News caught up with now-former WSU Head Men’s Basketball Coach Gregg Marshall at a local restaurant. Marshal l said he didn’t want to comment on the investigation into alleged abuse or his resignation, but he did appear to be in good spirits. He said he planned to be on the beach next week, visiting friends in his native South Carolina.
Eyewitness News also spoke with former Shocker players and fans about Marshall and the new era at Wichita State. Tuesday morning, the university announced it’s agreed to a contract settlement in which Marshall will receive $7.75 million over the next six years.
One former Shocker from the 2015-2016 season when the alleged abuse took place didn’t want to be named but did say the money Marshall will receive from the university is too much for the things that went on. He said everything Shaquille Morris -- the former player at the forefront of the abuse allegations -- said was true and he was there to see it happen.
Eyewitness News spoke with much of the 2015-2016 team Thursday. Many players said they didn’t want to comment and want to put what happened behind them. A couple of them said they hope Marshall’s resignation won’t negatively affect the players this week as they gear up to take on Utah State in just seven days to open the season.
Former fan favorite Ron Baker, who completed his Shocker career in 2016, tweeted a message urging fans to continue to support the team.
What’s done is done. Put differences aside on the situation, and come together!— Ron Baker (@RonBaker31) November 17, 2020
Starting today and moving forward, PRIORITY and our SUPPORT needs to be on the players/coaches we have on campus!
Another former Shocker star from well before Marshall’s time in Wichita, Cheese Johnson, said the coach’s resignation is a blow to the program.
“I was getting calls this morning, in terms of Coach Marshall resigning, and I was really shocked to hear that because he’s a great coach and he does a lot in the community, for the Wichita community,” Johnson said.
Shocker fans who spoke with Eyewitness News Tuesday are hopeful the program can maintain the momentum built during the Marshall era. Some said they’re surprised Marshall and the university have parted ways, others said they saw this coming since allegations against Marshall were first reported.
“I kind of saw it coming, but at the same time, from what it seemed like, he was receiving some support from the city, so I was just really unsure. So, I was a bit shocked to see him resign,” Wichita State senior Aviel Tekie said.
Junior Jake Gould said he wasn’t surprised after hearing the allegations.
“It kind of seemed like it was going to happen, just throughout the whole investigation and everything,” he said. “Figured it was on the horizon.”
Students we spoke with said one thing is not going to change: Shocker men’s basketball will remain a big deal in Wichita. Wichita State’s home opener is set for Dec. 2.
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