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Former Shocker All-American Ron Baker breaks silence on Gregg Marshall

Published: Nov. 25, 2020 at 4:09 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Kansas native Ron Baker, considered a Shocker legend after ascending from walk-on to All American at Wichita State University, has broken his public silence on the allegations of abuse against former Shocker men’s basketball coach Gregg Marshall. The allegations led to an investigation and ultimately to Marshall’s resignation from Wichita State after 14 years guiding the Shockers.

Baker, who played for the Shockers from 2012-2016, was on the team when Marshall allegedly hit former player Shaquille Morris after kicking Morris out of a practice. During an interview on Doug Gotlieb’s podcast, Baker expressed gratitude to Marshall for making his career in basketball possible after college but also voiced support for Morris.

Baker said he didn’t actually see Marshal hit Morris at the practice in the fall of 2015, but he believed Morris and other teammates who said they saw it happen. When Marshall denied ever striking a player, Baker said he felt motivated then to talk to the St. Louis-based law firm that Wichita State hired to investigate allegations of physical and verbal abuse.

The former Shocker, whose professional resume includes time in the NBA and overseas, said he felt Marshall could’ve saved his job at Wichita State had he been upfront about allegations and apologized. Baker is the first Shocker from the 2015-2016 season to publicly go into detail about the incident involving Marshall and Morris since last month when Morris went on record with Stadium’s Jeff Goodman, saying that Marshall hit him twice during the early-season practice in 2015. The Shockers were fresh off a three-season run that featured a Final Four appearance, an undefeated regular season, and beating KU on the way to the Sweet 16.

The success surrounding the program kept the situation from spilling over into the public, Baker indicated.

“...We’re a good basketball team. We don’t want the spotlight of prestigious Wichita State, Final Four, undefeated season, Sweet 16 resume to turn into, ‘Man, Coach Marshall hit a player,’” Baker said. “That’s why I think Shaq waited all these years to now circle back on the situation.”

Loyalty was also a factor, Baker said.

“It’s obvious why none of those players in the gym that day went public. Because we don’t want that feeling of, ‘Man, those guys are not loyal to their coach,” Baker said.

While understanding of fans in Wichita who are supporting Marshall, Baker said not every player can handle Marshall’s approach, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t tough.

“If you can’t buy into what (Marshall) wants you to do, he’s going to hang a cloud over you each day. He’s trying to hammer this into you,” Baker said. “So players are going to struggle, they’re going to transfer out. It might not bother me or you, but my point is, it might bother someone else. We’re not in their heads.”

While he said those supporting Marshall “have every right” to do so, Baker said he wants them to understand why Morris came forward with his story.

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