Mike Leach offered extensive insight Monday on nearly every facet of his Washington State (2-7, 0-6 Pac-12) football team.
The loquacious coach, however, suddenly became tight-lipped when asked about Marquess Wilson. Leach suspended the team’s leading wide receiver early in the day for a violation of team rules.
“I do know that he’s suspended,” Leach said during his weekly press conference. “If he left the team that’s his decision.”
Leach added that Wilson has not told him he plans to quit the team. Reports surfaced late Sunday night that Wilson cleared out his locker after leaving 20 minutes into a two-hour conditioning session Sunday night. Leach wouldn’t comment on whether Wilson will participate in team activities during what he currently labeled a one-week suspension.
“I’m not going to share that with the media,” he said. “He’s suspended for violating team rules. That’s as far as I’m going to go.”
Leach said he has no timetable for deciding Wilson’s future.
Quarterback Jeff Tuel said he spoke to Wilson after he bailed on Sunday’s workout but is unsure if the junior will rejoin the team.
“I couldn’t tell ya,” Tuel said when asked if he envisions Wilson returning to action in 2012.
Leach said he opts to cut most players when they walk out of practice. WSU’s sports information department said Sunday night that Leach cancelled practice in the wake of WSU’s 49-6 loss to Utah Saturday. Tuel wouldn’t talk much about the two-hour workout session that took its place.
“It was really just trying to get more work ethic,” he said. “I can’t really go into details about it but it was trying to get people to put forth a lot of effort.”
“We got to come together,” Tuel added. “We can’t fall apart. It’s just the worst thing that could happen. A lot of guys can be pushed to their breaking points but we got to just lean into the wind and finish these last three strong and try to do whatever we can to get any momentum going into the off-season.”
Leach Explains Saturday’s O-line/D-line Press Conference.
The head coach drew criticism from fans and media outlets for forcing every starting member of his offensive and defensive lines to speak with reporters after losing Saturday.
Leach claimed Monday he simply wanted to give players not usually provided a chance to speak publicly their opportunity to share the limelight.
“I don’t think it hurts to have them take ownership for the team,” he said. “It’s interesting to me — which I don’t care — there are media all the time that say, ‘Can I talk to so-and-so?’ Conservatively speaking, I gave them 20 people to talk to but they didn’t like the ones I selected to talk to, so then, of course, they complain.”
“If O-linemen and D-linemen aren’t (reporters’) cup of tea, then that’s too bad,” he said. “I think they’re valuable members of our team and I think there are guys who certainly take ownership on our team . . . Anybody who doesn’t like offensive and defensive linemen aren’t my type of people.”