The Washington State University Athletic Department has confirmed that junior All-American wide receiver Marquess Wilson has been suspended from the football team for a violation of team rules.
Multiple reports out of Pullman say Wilson walked out of practice on Sunday, following the Cougars blowout loss at Utah the day before.
Cougars head football coach Mike Leach said during his press-conference Monday, he thought Wilson was still with the team, and that he was suspended for the week. As for reports that Wilson had quit the team for good, Leach said, "I do know he's suspended, but if he left the team, that's his decision. But I do know he's suspended." When asked if he has had players walk out of practice like this before, Leach said "Yeah, and I cut 'em."
Despite having been taken out of the starting line-up at times during the season, Wilson is still the Cougs leading wide receiver with 52 receptions for 813 yards and five touchdowns. Entering the 2012 campaign, it was widely believed he could possibly work his way into the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft with a huge year in Mike Leach's offensive system. But the head coach has been critical of his star wide receiver, citing his lack of effort and toughness. Wilson's teammates say they've noticed friction at times between he and the coaching staff, but didn't think it was anything the All-American couldn't handle.
"From the outside looking in, it's been fine. I'm not in his meeting and don't meet with him and Coach Leach, you know just the three of us," Cougars senior quarterback Jeff Tuel said. "But outside, looking in, it's been tough at times. The coaches have pushed Marquess and pushed him hard, but Marquess is a tough kid and has handled it."
Washington State plays No. 17 UCLA in Pullman on Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.