Washington State finds no abuses

Updated: December 13, 2012, 7:08 PM ET
By Kevin Gemmell | ESPN.com

Washington State has completed its internal investigation into abuse allegations by former wide receiver Marquess Wilson, and athletic director Bill Moos concluded that no such abuses occurred.

In a statement released Wednesday -- along with the full report (PDF) in a memo to school president Elson Floyd -- Moos said he believes the program is heading in the right direction.

"Once I received the findings from members of my staff, I found that the program is moving in the desired direction, that it is on-par with, or exceeds, other BCS-level programs in terms of expectations and commitment," Moos said. "Transition in coaching changes is rarely smooth, however, after reviewing the comments from the players that were interviewed, I am encouraged the program is moving in a positive direction."

Last month, Wilson "resigned" from the team after alleging physical, verbal and emotional abuse by new coach Mike Leach and members of his staff. Wilson complained that coaches would "belittle, intimidate and humiliate us." He did not provide details.

Moos revealed in his memo that he received a text message from Wilson after the UCLA game "where he recanted the allegations of abuse made in a letter written by he and a relative and sent to the media earlier that evening."

Wilson's text to Moos was included in emails released by the school Wednesday in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from a number of media organizations including the AP.

"Mr. Moos this is marquess ... With that letter I wasn't trying to accuse the coaches of hitting players or anything. I was just trying to put it in different terms and now everything is getting misinterpreted and I didn't mean it like that at all ... I simply was trying to get my story across and get my name cleared instead of having it say I'm suspended for breaking team violations ... That could mean like I did drugs or something ... I was never trying to harm the university or the program with it."

Leach denied there was any abuse.

The Pac-12 Conference is also conducting its own investigation. That investigation has not been completed. Wilson was not mentioned by name in the WSU report.

Moos and his staff interviewed 12 players and all said they have had "a positive experience."

"Another central theme is that the head coach is firm, fair and most of all, consistent," the report said. "If the team or any player(s) are not meeting the expectations put in place, there are consequences that range from extended study halls to additional conditioning sessions. The approach used in these situations are designed to strengthen mental toughness and to bond the team. ...

"From this review, I believe that the football student-athletes respect the head coach and his staff and feel they will move the program to a greater level of respect and competitiveness. Throughout this review, there was no report or detection of abuse or inappropriate behavior."

The report notes that Moos discontinued one specific conditioning drill in midseason.

"Isolated concerns were raised regarding some conditioning drills in the sand box early in the 2012 season which led to my asking staff to formally observe these activities," Moos said in the memo. "In the first half of the season, water was used on occasion to harden the sand in the box and at times players were sprayed. This practice was discontinued upon my directive around mid-season as I felt it was not necessary to produce the desired results."

Washington State struggled in its first year under Leach, going 3-9 and winning just one Pac-12 game. Wilson, Washington State's career leading receiver, was suspended before the Nov. 10 game against UCLA and did not return for the final two games. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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