March 23, 2006
PULLMAN, Wash. -- - Washington State University officials from the Cougar athletic department responded today with the following comments following a story published in the Seattle Times about Cougar baseball coach Donnie Marbut.
JIM STERK, Washington State University Director of Athletics
"When this story first came to our attention last fall we contacted officials at both Edmonds Community College and St. Martin's College to make sure we had correct information about Donnie's academic credentials, transcripts and other official documents and about his conduct. Both schools assured us his academic credentials were in order and that there was no evidence of wrongdoing on his part."
"We have also researched other allegations made against Donnie Marbut and no hard evidence has surfaced from other institutions that would lead us to believe corrective action needs to be taken."
MARCIA SANEHOLTZ, WSU Senior Associate Director of Athletics
"Donnie Marbut has never claimed to me he had received a teaching certificate from St. Martin's College. In addition we have never seen any document indicating he had a master's degree, although that did appear on a web site administered by staff at WSU. Since we have never seen any other reference indicating he had a master's degree, our assumption is that information was the result of a clerical error.
"I believe Donnie, like many others, has been careless in providing complete information regarding his credentials and he now understands the importance of being very accurate with this information. I hope this also serves as a wakeup call to others that they can't provide too much detail to avoid confusion.
"In no way did Donnie attempt to deceive me or WSU. In our discussions during the hiring process and in subsequent conversations he has been honest about his credentials and background. We certainly understand, however, that because he was not specific about his participation in the St. Martin's College program, you could conclude he had the certificate. I want to emphasize the fact he had or did not have a teaching certificate was not part of the criteria for the head coaching position.
"From our research into these accusations and from what we have been told by Donnie and officials at Edmonds Community College, no evidence of wrongdoing has been directed at coach Marbut. Should Edmonds school officials provide us with evidence of errors, we will certainly address the issue."
Donnie Marbut, WSU Head Baseball Coach
"It never has been my intent to deceive others and I take responsibility for not providing more specific information and not being clearer on my academic credentials. I have never ever even mentioned a master's degree on any forms or resumes and I have always been honest and said I didn't have a teaching certificate when asked by potential employers. The way I stated it on some resumes made it appear I had a certificate instead of specifying I was involved in the certification program. I was in their program, but did not complete all of the coursework since a teaching certificate was not going to be pertinent to my employment goals. It never was my intention to mislead others into believing I had a teaching certificate."
"The Seattle Times investigation, which has been going on since last fall, has certainly taught me to be much more diligent in providing specific information on resumes and to those who compile summaries, such as those used in our press guides.
"This has been a very humbling experience and I regret any embarrassment I have caused Washington State University, Edmonds Community College, St. Martin's College and those who have stood by me the past several months.'
ROD COMMONS, WSU Assistant Director of Athletics/Sports Information Director
"Some of the discrepancies in Donnie Marbut's biographical summaries are the result of our failure to seek more specific information. We made some incorrect assumptions and didn't explore further. While coaches and administrators should be diligent in reading information written on their behalf, it is not uncommon for them to gloss over these reports. We constantly update and clarify information on our athletes, coaches and administrators. We perpetuated wrong information about Donnie Marbut pulled from other sources and regret this has caused Donnie and WSU undue scrutiny and embarrassment."