JUNIOR WIDE RECEIVER Marquess Wilson could be the 18th scholarship player by Cougfan.com’s count to leave Washington State since Mike Leach took over, but the coach could not confirm that during his Monday teleconference. Leach declined to speculate on whether the Cougars’ top wide receiver will return, although Leach’s precedent does not look promising for Wilson.
Leach said this is not the first time he has had a player walk out of practice.
“Yeah, and I cut them,” he said.
The Moscow-Pullman Daily News reported that Wilson left Sunday’s workout session, which was described by a CF.C source as “hellish,” after 20 minutes. Leach did not say whether Wilson, who has a team-leading 813 yards on 52 receptions, will return.
“It would depend on the circumstances,” he said. “That’s between he and I.”
Leach said Wilson is suspended, but was not aware whether reports that Wilson quit the team are accurate.
“I don’t know,”Leach said on if Wilson had quit the program. “If he left the team that’s his decision, but he is suspended.”
He said he does not view the attrition as starting over, saying he “expected it.”
CF.C followed up by asking when WSU fans look forward to a winning season, which the Cougars have not experienced since 2003. Leach said he thought the Cougars (2-7 overall, 0-6 Pac-12) would accomplish that this season.
“I expected it this year,” he said. “Our results certainly aren’t where we would like. We just keep plugging away.”
After Saturday’s 49-6 loss at Utah, Leach trashed the effort of his linemen, and instead of bringing out the players requested for interviews he sent out only offensive and defensive linemen. CF.C columnist Jim Moore, who was chronicled the subject in Monday’s Kitsap Sun and others criticized sending those athletes out to the media after “basically calling them cowards.”
Leach responded by calling out the media for only requesting skill position players.
“People who don’t like linemen really aren’t my type of people,” he said, noting that he coached that position for a decade. “Everyone wants to talk with skill guys.”
Leach also expressed frustration with the media and others for taking what he says out of context.
“People kind of select a phrase they like or are most motivated by,” he said, adding that he criticized himself and his coaches before anyone else. “In this era of ridiculous political correctness … evidently there’s some disruption [with what I say].”
In response, Leach said he might simply answer questions with “yes” or “no” responses moving forward.
“I certainly wouldn’t rule that out,” said Leach, who was more than 45 minutes late for his 1 p.m. scheduled teleconference.
Moving forward, he said practices will continue to be handled his way and players and others will have to adjust. He reiterated that he has played more freshmen and changed the starting lineup more than he desires, but it will be done his way.
“This is not a democracy,” Leach said. “We don’t say, ‘Hey 125 guys, how do you want practice to be?
“It’s a frustrating process because this team has lost for a number of years. We’ve got to get that turned around.
Leach said a lack of depth on the offensive line has limited his options for changing the starting lineup, but that will change next year as four linemen are redshirting and he expects to sign a large group of them in February.