If the allegations of abuse against Wichita State men’s basketball coach Gregg Marshall show how powerful college sports coaches can be insulated from consequences, his resignation from the program Tuesday shows how it can still be lucrative when the investigation sticks.
Marshall resigned from Wichita State less than a month after the school opened an investigation into his conduct, which reportedly included punching a player in the back of the head, screaming at a staffer and putting his hands around his neck, and trying to fight an unnamed WSU track athlete over a parking spot. Stadium also reported that Marshall told Isaiah Poor Bear-Chandler, a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe, to “get back on his horse” while making “Indian howling noises,” and that the coach told a Colombian player he’d be “a great coffee bean picker.” The Athletic reported that Marshall was even more abusive in his previous post at Winthrop, and the stories about him also show that WSU higher-ups were well aware of Marshall’s reputation as a petty, abusive tyrant.
Naturally, he is still getting paid. Marshall was under contract until 2022, and in exchange for resigning, the school will pay him a settlement of $7.75 million over six years. His lawyers reportedly quadrupled the fee Wichita State initially wanted to pay. Marshall’s exit also comes 11 days after several prominent WSU boosters (though, interestingly, not Charles Koch) released a letter of support for him and his “sterling character.”
Per Jeff Goodman, current coaches and Marshall’s former players are baffled that he got millions after over a decade of abuse claims. This settlement looks even more absurd when you consider that UConn stiffed Kevin Ollie, who won an NCAA men’s title, out of millions over a phone call with Ray Allen. It’s absurd for Marshall to get a large golden parachute after he was accused of trying to fight his unpaid, college-aged labor, but it’s the easiest way to not implicate other university officials who knew and didn’t act until players started to transfer.