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Pac-12 clears Leach of abuse; parents reportedly still upset

The SportsXchange

On the same day the Pac-12 Conference exonerated Washington State head coach Mike Leach of physical or mental abuse of players, another report surfaced in which parents were concerned about how their children were treated in Leach's first season at the school.

Last month, Washington State announced it found no evidence of physical or emotional abuse by Leach as alleged by wide receiver Marquess Wilson when he left the program this season.

The athletic department said an internal review of the football program, which was conducted by four members of the athletic department, found "no report or detection of abuse or inappropriate behavior on the part of Leach or his staff" after interviewing a dozen players.

The Pac-12's investigation interviewed nearly two dozen individuals and came to the same conclusion.

"(Based) on the evidence developed in this investigation, there is no basis to conclude that there were any instances of physical, emotional or verbal abuse by University football coaches," the Pac-12 said in a statement.

However, Deadspin.com reported anonymous parents were concerned about the treatment of players under Leach and his staff. One of them reportedly had written a letter to the school president Elson Floyd over the alleged abuse.

Deadspin reported Bill Drake, the Cougars' head athletic trainer, was relieved of his duties with the football team by athletic director Bill Moos. That was after Drake raised red flags over the "around certain practices of the coaching staff that put the health and safety of the student athlete at risk."

Floyd said Wednesday he was pleased with the conference's findings.

"The well-being of all WSU students is our highest priority, and it was important to take seriously allegations against the program," Floyd said. "Now that the reviews are completed and have rejected those allegations, we will continue to move forward with our goal of establishing a successful program while maintaining the high standards shared by Washington State University, WSU Athletics and Coach Leach."

Wilson left the program after a "vigorous" Sunday conditioning workout the day after a loss.

Wilson had released a letter to the media in which he levied the allegations, but athletic director Bill Moos claimed in the report that Wilson texted him later and recanted the allegations of abuse.

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