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story.lead_photo.caption In this Jan. 12 file photo, Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall reacts in the second half of a game against Connecticut, in Hartford, Conn. Photo by Associated Press / News Tribune.

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita State is conducting an internal investigation into allegations men's basketball coach Gregg Marshall mistreated players, the school and Marshall have confirmed.

Stadium, a multiplatform sports network, said the inquiry began after the university learned it was conducting an investigation in which it interviewed 36 players and former coaches.

Former Wichita State forward Shaq Morris told Stadium he was punched twice by Marshall, the school's all-time winningest coach, during an October 2015 practice, and former guard Ty Taylor said he saw it happen.

They were the only players who agreed to be identified; the others said they feared retribution and community backlash because Marshall's winning record has made him popular, Stadium reported.

"I love my teammates, the city and Wichita State," said Morris, who played at Wichita State from 2014-18. "But if I could go back to that day when he punched me, I would have left."

Taylor transferred to UNC-Wilmington after the 2015-16 season.

Last spring, six scholarship Shockers players plus a walk-on also transferred. In addition, 2020 commit Ja'Dun Michael asked out of his letter of intent.

Wichita State said in a statement Friday it "acknowledges the allegations within its Men's Basketball program brought forth by media" and that the investigation was being handled in an "expeditious and deliberate manner."

"We have received full cooperation from university staff, coaches, and current student-athletes, and Coach Gregg Marshall and support any individual who chooses to participate in order to conduct a fair, impartial and thorough investigation," the statement said, adding that team activities will continue as scheduled while the probe is underway.

Marshall on Thursday wrote in a text message to The Athletic.

"I look forward to having it wrapped up as I continue to focus my energy on our team," said Marshall. He did not immediately respond to an email from the AP to his assistant or a phone message seeking comment.

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