Jones: Leach will land on his feet

Sports In Paradise By Dale Jones

Where do I begin?

I guess by saying that I have never been a huge Mike Leach fan. As a football coach, I think he is talented and somewhat innovative, but as a person, well, I never really felt like he had it all together.
Leach, who won three different coach of the year awards in 2008 and was given a 5-year contract extension, always seemed to be a guy who’s “elevator didn’t go all the way to the top.”

So my initial reaction upon hearing the Adam James incident in which Leach supposedly locked him in a closet while he was nursing a mild concussion was, “go figure.”

I wasn’t surprised in the least. It sounded like something you would expect from a guy like Leach.

,,,But then I watched the interview with ESPN’s Reese Davis.

Before I go any further, let me say how disappointed I am with Davis. There he was, doing the very first public interview with a coach accused of locking a player in a “closet,” and at no point during the interview does Davis ask Leach if he HAD, in fact, “locked a player in the closet.” How can you NOT ask that question?

But as I listened to Leach, who was first suspended and later fired for improper treatment of a player, I began to believe him.

I thought it was ironic that just minutes before Leach’s legal team was to meet with Texas Tech officials in court to straighten out what really happened, he was fired. I also found it interesting that Leach was prepared to receive an $800,000 bonus once he finished the season.

Ted Liggett, Leaches attorney, said “Texas Tech finally knew that (Leach) was going to have his day in court and that all of the facts were going to come out. We had evidence to present to show what was really going on, but they pulled the trigger. They don’t want that coming out.”

In his interview with Davis, Leach made it clear that former NFL player and ESPN analyst Craig James, the father of Adam James, was hounding the coaching staff about playing time for his boy.
This is the kind of thing that happens in park and rec league, not Division I college football.

Also, the fact that Craig James works for ESPN could explain the limp-wristed questions coming from a normally likeable Reese Davis. They didn’t want him to ask the point-blank questions because they knew there was nothing to this.

Initial reports sounded as if Leach himself grabbed James by the collar, tossed him in a utility closet, locked the door and threw away the key.

Now we hear the WHOLE truth.

Adam James had indeed been diagnosed by team doctor Michael Phy with a mild concussion. Still, according to Texas Tech football trainer Steve Pincock, injured players were to report to practice and were placed in an area where they could participate in activities that are consistent with their respective injuries.

Adam James, however, showed up for practice in street clothes, sunglasses and wearing his cap on backwards.

Leach went off! What coach wouldn’t?

Can you imagine what would happen if a second team receiver showed up for a practice in Tuscaloosa in street clothes and a hat on backwards? He would STILL be running.

Okay, so James was placed in a portable building that is used to store coolers and blocking dummies. So he wasn’t allowed to sit down during the duration of practice. I assure you, there have been much more severe forms of punishment done to college athletes over the years that we will never know about.

Bottom line is Adam James is an average player and a spoiled brat with a well-known father who was trying to use his weight to control his sons playing time. Reese Davis gave a softball interview, probably at the orders of the higher-ups at ESPN because they knew that Leach would give an answer they didn’t want to hear.

Mike Leach, while using a lack of judgment by ordering James to be placed in dark room during practice should never have been fired.

After all of is said and done, someone is going to land on their feet in a much better position, but it won’t be Adam, Craig or Reese.

-Hit ‘em straight
—Dale Jones covers sports and news in Baldwin County.

26 Comments

Add Yours
  1. 1
    Pluto

    The thing that irritated the hell out of me was the incessant lobbying by Mike Patrick and Bob Davie for Ruffin to get the damn job. It went over the line. Whatever happened to “just calling the damn game ” !
    The only thing I could figure is that it made the Announcers Politically Correct to pimp a Black Candidate – whether he is qualified or not to be Head Coach.

  2. 2
    Pluto

    As far as Leach – he is going to be out for a year or more. He will not get any Media Job to pimp himself. ESPN has blackballed him and all their minions that they control – will ensure he “does professional prison time” for making them angry.
    ESPN has the Power. Anybody denies this ?

  3. 3
    Bamafan

    Great article, thanks for linking it Cap. The only thing I’d disagree with is his criticism of Rece Davis. I thought Rece did a fine job interviewing Mike Leach. And I hope Leach takes Texas Tech to the cleaners.

  4. 5
    Raider2Core

    Great article. The Raider Nation is in mourning not just for a head coach that we knew was terminated out of spite, but for a program that needs his leadership. Agreeing that Coach Leach was “not all there” is an understatement, but that is what got the program noticed (that and winning games). The TTU administration has proved that they cannot handle a winning football program. A&M, Texas, OU, and Nebraska are accustomed to winning so they pay their head coaches for the output. TTU admin thinks that Leach was an incidental. Well, unless McNeil and Lincoln take the helm, they will be sadly mistaken.
    Lastly, I just wanted to watch the game, but had to suffer through the constant discussion of controversy instead of as Pluto put it “just calling the damn game”.
    WRECK ‘EM TECH!!! Oh, wait, the administration already did that.

  5. 6
    LeRoux

    Thanks for writing this. This is exactly what Team Leach has been wanting to hear and see, someone that can read between the lines and hasn’t drank the BSPN poison kool-aid.

  6. 7
    DAMAGE INC.

    There’s no way that Mike Leach would take the graveyard job at Oakland. He will probably sit out a year and return. He doesn’t have a reputation like Tommy Tubbs of being a lazy tit-fed overpaid bastard — he’s a go getter and will return.

  7. 8
    Ian S.

    I am a former player under Leach and am very happy I came across this article from someone who sees the situation for what it is.

    Keep up the good work.

  8. 9
    Crimsonite

    On some Texas boards it is now being reported that Leach actually had nothing to do with where James was sent or how he was treated. It was handled by assistant coaches while Leach was occupied with coaching on the field. Whatever. This whole thing is a classless crock of shit by the Texas Tech administration to not only get rid of Leach at the first opportunity, but to do it in the cheapest manner possible. Everybody knew this was coming after he openly interviewed last year for other jobs against their wishes and then held a gun to their heads during the contract renegotiations. It´s typical bureaucratic battery. I like excentricity. Would have been fun if he had come to Auburn. RTR!

  9. 10
    Pluto

    What we are watching is the rise of the new “Roman Empire” in the Media. They (ESPN) can now dictate to all the Cable Outfits what they ‘want” ( you will pay damn you !) and will dictate to all the Have-Been – Has-Been Media “Journalists” what the Agenda is. You see – this is how a Print “Journalist” gets to possibly jumps off the Titanic. We will not even address how Sports Talk and Local Television Suck Asses are dependent on the precious “access ” that the New Roman Empire bequeaths.
    One of “our own” is mad at Leach and his fucking ass is going to pay.
    GUILTY! GUILTY! LEACH TO THE GALLEY !

  10. 11
    julio

    OK, my opinion on this is different from most readers, but I think most of you are missing the point which is 100% about insubordination. Who knows exactly what happened with James and the closet, although I think we can assume that Leach specifically ordered him to the closet because he was mad that James showed up in street clothes. But that’s not what the firing was about.

    Leach was subsequently told by the university chancellor and AD to sign 2 different statements. One acknowledged that no injured player would be required to practice until cleared by the doctor, and the other was a letter of apology. Leach refused to sign either one. See, here’s the problem…the chancellor and the AD are his freakin’ BOSSES. We seem to forget that these arrogant coaches are below Univ. presidents and AD’s on the totem pole because they are so highly paid, but they are. Leach refused a direct order from his boss, but even then he wasn’t fired but only suspended. Then what does he do?? The arrogant jerk files a lawsuit against his boss to have the suspension overturned so he can coach in the bowl game. Now ask yourself this…if your boss told you to do something (assuming it is legal) and you refused to do it simply because you disagree with it, would you be fired?? If by the grace of God you were only suspended as a result, would you then sue your boss to have the suspension overturned??

    I have no doubt there was bad blood between Leach and the Admin due to the previous contract negotiations. I also don’t doubt that there’s plenty of blame on both sides for that. But Leach was fired for insubordination. He seems to have some difficulty understanding what he did that was insubordinate. I don’t think it’s hard to understand at all.

  11. 12
    capstonereport

    When you are put in a position like Leach where you are forced to sign an “apology” you are completely emasculated, and cannot expect to function as the leader of your organization. If the leadership had lost faith in Leach, they should fire him and man-up about doing it. This letter of apology was essentially a tactic to force Leach out. You don’t need a tactic to fire someone…just do it. I’ve done it.

    And let’s be realistic here. The chancellor and AD are second to the football coach in popularity–and in some ways power. The people of Texas Tech should rouse themselves and run the administration out. Seize power and force a return of Leach.

    As for me, I’d have signed the letter, and then signed another letter exposing every NCAA violation committed by the Texas Tech athletic dept. But I’m vindictive that way.

  12. 13
    Pluto

    Damn Julio. I would have had to have you working on the Plantation.
    The way you wrote about “Bosses” just made me wipe a Tear.
    Shit.

  13. 14
    Crimsonite

    Julia you don´t know what you´re talking about. It´s not as simple as insubordination. If leach had signed that letter of apology, he would have been legally admiting guilt. At that point the administration would have been within their rights to fire him with cause and withold all bonuses. He was going to be fired either way. But now he has a damn good chance of collecting not only his bonuses but a hell of a lot more. I hope he rakes their asses over the coals and so does nearly every one of the Raider Nation.

  14. 15
    FINEBAMMER

    as distasteful as the james incident was, fact is, leach did nothing wrong. you may disagree with it, but that doesn’t make it wrong.

    the admin was asking leach to sign an apology for something he didn’t believe. that’s not insubordination.

    tech didn’t want to pay. they found a way out.

    espn helped. pluto is dead on about espn. they do wield WAY too much power.

  15. 16
    julio

    No EG, if they wanted to fire him for cause they could have gone ahead and done it without going through the motions of signing letters and suspensions. Tech probably just wanted Leach to do this to pacify Craig James b/c they were scared of ESPN. You’ve been listening to Leach’s BS too much.

    We also seem to think that Leach is afforded the same rights as a freakin’ defendant in a criminal trial in court when being fired just because he’s got a contract. He’s not. I haven’t seen his contract, but I’ll betcha that “for cause’ has got a very broad definition that can mean a lot of different things. I’ll also bet you that punishing a player for having an injury would fit within the definition. Oh, I know you don’t think he did that, and I don’t know if he did that either. But any lawyer worth his salt could make a solid argument that he did when he put the kid in a closet and told trainers to make sure he’s not allowed to sit at any time. But the big thing is that insubordination is definitely “for cause”. And you’re wrong finebammer…refusing to apologize for something when your boss tells you to simply because you don’t agree that you did anything wrong is insubordination. Subordinates are not allowed to disobey orders simply because they disagree with the orders. If you don’t think so, you’ve obviously never managed anyone.

  16. 17
    Crimsonite

    Julia you’re not just a fucking idiot, you ought to be euthanized. Your fucking opinions about employer-employee relations come right out of the early 1800´s. Were you a slave plantation BOSS in another life, asshole? This is the 21st. century you pea brained fascist. Hell, that´s it, I´m not even gonna argue this with you anymore. The keys on my computer would melt by the time I got through with you. I do believe you just named yourself SHIT with 98% of the people in this country? Nuff Said!

  17. 19
    julio

    Ok EG, you’re right. If EG has an employee, and EG tells the employee to do something, and the employee refuses simply because he “disagrees” with EG, then that’s perfectly acceptable to EG. Gee EG, can I come work for the company that you own?? I can’t wait!! I can come in to work wheneever I feel like it simply by saying that I disagree with the hours set by my supervisor; I can refuse to perform any assigned tasks simply because I disagree that the tasks should be done; Heck, I can even set my own pay simply by disagreeing with the pay set by my employer. I mean, to work at any place that would not find such behavior acceptable would be so “18th century”, right EG? In the 21st century we let the inmates run the asylum, right??

    PS– I know this is a very tall order for you EG, but rather than simply tossing out empty insults with no explanation, would you care to actually offer what your definition of “insubordination” is??

  18. 20
    Crimsonite from the planet Crimson in a galaxy far far away. FormerlyE.G. White

    This thread is about Mike Leach vs Texas Tech. It is not about your personal opinions about how many days a week some button bagger decides to come to work relative to his bosses requirements. It is not about $6 an hour or even $900 a week. It is about millions of dollars and an administration conspiring to defraud a corporate executive, (and yes that’s what a multimillion dollar a year head coach is) of that money! There are legalities, and fine lines of technicalities involved here. They have a contract that was beat out in a grueling process filled with animosities on both sides. You don’t just go and sign any fucking thing that is shoved in front your face like a damn brainless lap dog. Especially when it will modify your contract against you. Not when we’re talking about millons of dollars for christs sake! Yeah I guess maybe you think he should just say “Yasuh Boss Man, anything yous wants missuh Boss Man. Me an thuh missus, we’s don’t needs much missuh Boss Man. Yous keeps it Suh.”

  19. 21
    Pluto

    I am just amazed Julio. You are trying to “analyze ” this from the perspective of some small business owner.
    This servitude and obedience that you show toward “Boss Man” just makes me want to puke.
    It’s great to be free Julio. Now – get your ASS BACK TO WORK.

  20. 22
    julio

    So what are you saying EG, that Leach’s contract contained a provision that said he is not required to follow the instructions of the university chancellor?? You seriously believe that TT would have agreed to such a provision?? Because otherwise, it doesn’t really matter what his contract says, or how many millions Leach is paid. All the money does is make him arrogantly think the rules don’t apply to him, which is exactly my point. And of course you don’t sign anything shoved in your face without reading it. You don’t sign something illegal, and you don’t sign something that violates the terms of your contract. Leach does not claim the documents did either as everyone could see in his interview (which the idiot is now stuck with.) Leach just claims that he didn’t agree with the documents.

    Pluto, your moniker apparently depicts the planet that you live on. You think that only employees of “small business” are required to follow the instructions of their supervisors???

    PS – I’m still waiting on a definition of “insubordination” from both of you geniuses. Apparently you both think the term ceased to exist when Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

  21. 24
    julio

    Snappy comeback, Uranus. Maybe next you can pull out “sticks and stones may break my bones”. That’ll mask the fact that you just said that only employees of small businesses are required to follow the instructions of their supervisors.

  22. 25
    GK7

    Great article! Thanks for getting it out there. Some folks like to say that he deserved it because he failed to get along with his boss. While there is truth to that, those “bosses” are supposed to honor the contract they signed and according to Leach the due process therein was not followed initially, so he was acting reasonably. Regardless, after all he has done for the school he simply deserved better treatment in the end, and I believe that is what has so many people fired up right now….

  23. 26
    Bonhopper

    Great article. But to correct some misconceptions…there was NO apology letter. Leach was asked to sign a document that spelled out how injured players were to be treated (which Leach agreed), stipulated that the AD was to be present at all team meetings and some other crap. The last portion of the document however, got into altering his contract. The guy has a law degree. Of course he didn’t sign it.

Comments are closed.