Wichita State state announced Tuesday that men's basketball coach Gregg Marshall has resigned amid multiple allegations of verbal and physical abuse against the 57-year-old coach. Assistant coach Isaac Brown will serve as Wichita State's interim coach. CBS Sports first learned of the Shockers program parting ways with Marshall one week ago.
"This was a difficult decision, but one I feel was necessary for my family, the university and, most importantly, the student-athletes," Marshall said in a statement. "I remain grateful for my years spent at Wichita State. I wish to thank the coaches, student-athletes, the university, the community, and all of Shocker Nation for their unending dedication, support and loyalty. I am incredibly proud of this men's basketball program and all it has achieved over the past 14 years and am confident of its continued success."
The university announcement revealed that Marshall will receive a contract settlement of $7.75 million to be paid over a period of six years. One source told CBS Sports that Wichita initially sought to pay Marshall $2 million to depart the program, but the former Shockers coach and his legal team negotiated the buyout to its final number.
"Our student-athletes are our primary concern," Wichita State athletic director Darron Boatright said. "While the university acknowledges the success of the basketball program under Coach Marshall, this decision is in the best interest of the university, its student athletes and the WSU community. WSU will continue its pursuit of excellence with the help of its student-athletes, staff and loyal supporters of the basketball program."
Marshall, who took Wichita State to the 2013 Final Four and is the winningest coach in school history (331-121), had been subject to a months-long investigation after allegations surfaced earlier this year regarding multiple verbal and physical incidents against former players and staff members.
The allegations bubbled up privately months ago, and, in advance of reports from Stadium and The Athletic that published Oct. 9. Both stories, citing multiple witnesses, claim Marshall physically assaulted former Shocker Shaq Morris during the 2015-16 season. Morris spoke on the record to Stadium and described the altercation as a punch delivered by Marshall during a team practice, an account further backed by multiple unnamed players to the Wichita Eagle.
Stadium also earlier reported that former Wichita State assistant Kyle Lindsted was choked by Marshall during the 2016-17 season; Lindsted has not commented on the allegations. The Eagle also confirmed that allegation through unnamed sources. A long list of other alleged misdeeds were depicted in reports from Stadium and The Athletic, including Marshall telling a player of Native American descent to "get back on his horse" in addition to making "Indian howling noises" during the 2018-19 season. In another encounter, Marshall threatened physical violence against a Wichita State student-athlete after the two had a verbal spat following the student-athlete using Marshall's parking space.
many of the allegations levied against him, writing to the Wichita Eagle on Oct. 13: "In response to the allegations put forward in the media, I simply state unequivocally that I have never physically struck a player or colleague. Allegations claiming otherwise are false."
The Shockers rose to national prominence under Marshall thanks to a 2013 Final Four appearance and then an undefeated regular season push the following year that led to the school's first and only No. 1 seed. Marshall leaves Wichita State with a 331-121 record and a .732 win percentage in 13 seasons.
Wichita State's investigation took nearly three months and was led by St. Louis-based firm Tueth Keeney Cooper Mohan & Jackstadt P.C. Many players, current and former, were interviewed. The Athletic reported on Oct. 30 that the investigation hit a deeper stage of probing once many former players became willing to be interviewed after the allegations became public via media reports.
Marshall's resignation comes just weeks before the start of the 2020-21 season. Wichita State was 23-8 last season and on pace to make the NCAA Tournament. This year's team is expected to take a step back, but under Marshall the Shockers had comfortably evolved into a top-40 program nationally.
The Shockers were ranked 86th in CBS Sports' preseason ranking of all 357 teams in men's college basketball.