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Looks Like NC State Dodged A Bullet

Shocking allegations about Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall

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Wichita State v Dayton
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 17: Head coach Gregg Marshall of the Wichita State Shockers reacts against the Dayton Flyers during the first round of the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 17, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Gregg Marshall was at Winthrop from 1998-99 to 2006-07 and while he was there, racked up a 194-83 record and a .700 winning percentage. For comparisons, Mike Krzyzewski’s career winning percentage is .768 and Roy Williams’ is .778.

Pulling 70 percent wins at Winthrop is a big deal. We thought that surely someone - Wake Forest, NC State, Virginia, Clemson or Georgia Tech - would see a talented young coach nearby and hire him when there was an opening.

No one did though. People wondered why though and it was rumored that Marshall came with some unexplained issues. Oddly, though people are usually happy to discuss rumors, no one ever mentioned any specifics. We figured he wasn’t an easy guy to deal with, maybe arrogant.

If the reports that we’re hearing now are true, he’s a lot worse than that.

You may remember that this past spring, Wichita State had a huge number of players transfer out. Seven entered the transfer portal (including one walk-on) but one later changed his mind. One commit bailed as well. Ten have left in the last two years.

That’s a major red flag and it apparently helped spark an investigation into the program by the university which has been ongoing for some time. To make things even more interesting, President Jay Golden was forced out in September after just one year.

The Athletic broke the story but Jeff Goodman has been documenting it for some time and also released his story Friday. Among the allegations against Marshall are hitting players, (including Shaq Morris on the day he told Marshall that his mother had cancer), choking an assistant coach, racial comments, fat shaming and chasing down a student who parked in his parking space, blocking him with his car, asking “do you know who the f**k I am?” then trying to hit the student through the window when the kid said “I don’t care who the f**k you are.”

There’s more but if he assaulted his players - and multiple people say he did - choked an assistant, then racist comments and fat shaming are just the cutting edge of the blade.

Or at least you’d think so.

Marshall has gathered a lot of power in Wichita and technically he doesn’t work for the school but rather a booster group. That group pays him a relatively small salary with the great majority going to an LLC named Marshall hoops.

To make life more difficult for the university, one of Marshall’s biggest backers is Charles Koch, the surviving Koch brother of the massive Koch, Inc. He’s worth about $50 billion and he was born in Wichita and has been there for most of his life.

Not surprisingly, given his prolific history of philanthropy and political donations, Koch has given a great deal of money to organizations in Wichita and to Wichita State.

Take the Charles Koch Arena, for instance, where Marshall’s team plays. He and his late brother have funded tons of things on campus and around town.

No school wants to tick of its biggest donor and at 86, Koch won’t be around all that much longer. Presumably he’s planning to leave something for the university in his will and WSU probably knows about if he does. Even if they’ve never discussed it, it you’d sort of expect Wichita State to expect they would be looked after.

Well that’s really complicated now. They almost have to fire Marshall, but he’s a big favorite of the Koch’s and they are probably the reason why he has said that it would take “a truckload” of money to get him out of Wichita: Koch money can match what anyone else does.

If Koch wants him to stay, without a functioning president, the university may have to choose between keeping an apparently thuggish man who is accused of dreadful things, and a donor who is worth $50 billion dollars.

If the allegations are proven true - and a lot of people claim to be witnesses - then State was incredibly lucky that he turned their offer down.

Small trivia point: Marshall went to the same high school that later produced JJ Redick, Roanoke’s Cave Springs. So did Tiki Barber.

Food for thought: what if they decided to dump Marshall and went after Duke assistant Jon Scheyer?

Final thought: Marshall’s wife, Lynn, has developed a bit of a reputation herself, having been ejected from games and expressing herself, uh, freely at games. These allegations cast her behavior in a different light as well.