Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE
Marquess Wilson's status with the WSU football team is in question after he reportedly left a workout on Sunday.
Edit: Wilson has been suspended.
The Washington State Cougars canceled practice on Sunday night -- as has happened a few times this year -- but that doesn't mean there were no workouts to be had. According to the Moscow-Pullman Daily News, some players -- perhaps all? -- were involved in conditioning drills sometime on Sunday. Among them was Marquess Wilson, who walked out of practice after reportedly refusing to participate in a pushup drill early in the workout.
Wilson has been ridden hard by the coaches since Mike Leach's arrival, as they've worked to break him of a tendency to coast during practice. And during the spring, it seemed to work -- with the star wide receiver stepping up in practice, putting forth full effort quite a bit and seemingly turning it around. But as the 2012 season began, Wilson appeared to regress at times, earning the scorn of Leach.
At more than one practice, I saw Wilson singled out, forced to do up-downs after giving an effort Leach wasn't satisfied with. A simple image of this: Wilson was jammed and slammed into the ground by a corner who probably had little business knocking him off his feet, leading Leach to express his disgust and demand the star wide receiver do up-downs.
So Wilson broke, in all likely hood -- if the reports are true (and we've heard a few of the same rumblings since last night). What comes next, well ... that's a little more tricky. Wilson could have, conceivably, quit the team and walked away. But if I were to guess, it wouldn't last long: He has no leverage, nowhere to go without risking his future and the price is too high for him to just walk.
Or Wilson could be talked back -- by teammates, his position coach, or otherwise. He'll face some kind of punishment for walking off the field and get back to work again. This is my guess.
Finally, this is what happens in a losing season in the midst of a coaching change. The culture shift from Paul Wulff to Leach is pretty massive. For example, Wilson was able to just kind of get by last year and before. Now he's being pushed, ridden and singled out at times by a coach who won't make excuses. It's a complete 180 and, perhaps, a shock for many of the players who have grown accustomed to being babied.
So now we wait and see what happens with Wilson next. There's a regularly scheduled press conference later today and a depth chart will be released. Both of these things will say a lot.