Miike Leach-The next Coach on the hot seat
Written by Curt Popejoy on 12/28/2009
Oh, the drama. So many storylines in this one, I don't know where to begin. I'll start with the funny stuff and then I'll rail on what grinds my gears at the end.
First, the funniest part of all this is who is making the allegations. Adam James is a sophomore at Texas Tech. His dad is Craig James, ESPN bigshot and annoucer dude. Not funny enough? Up until a couple of hours ago, he was set to be part of the booth at the Alamo Bowl. That's funny like Dane Cook isn't. Because that dude just isn't funny at all.
The facts; or at least what we are getting is that James(the younger one) suffered a mild concussion, and on the advice of his doctor(so he claims) came to practice wearing sunglasses. Leach wasn't going to have a player practicing in their Ray Bans(Do the kids still wear the Ray Bans?), and according to some reports, thought the player was lying and didn't need the glasses. When James insisted, it was reported that Leach had James sit in a dimly lit equipment room, for somewhere between 1 and 99 hours depending on who you talk to.
One report also claims that James said later on in that same week, Leach instructed him to sit in an electrical closet for somewhere between 1 minute and 7 and a half hours. I hope you all get the sarcasm here, because this whole situation reaks to me. Leach has been suspended by Texas Tech while an investigation(aka witch hunt) takes place, and regardless of the outcome, Leach will be gone. I suspect Leach has been texting Mark Mangino all evening. The investigation I have no problem with on it's own. This isn't out of character for Tech. They have been known to overrat and knee jerk at things before, so this fits.
Here is the problem with this situation for me. Leach is screwed no matter what. If it comes out in 6 months that this kid was "confined" to a huge equipment room next to other players hurt then he was a lying dbag. But it won't matter by then, because Leach will be out, and he'll be labeled. Wherever he coaches next, opposing coaches in the recruiting race will play that card to ever top recruit.
I don't think anyone would confuse Leach for a normal guy. He's an oddball no doubt about it. And he seems to have a very strange sense of humor. And if this kid was clowning about wearing the shades, I could see where Leach didn't find the humor in it, and punked him. Get over it, Adam.
But there's a bigger precedent being set here and it started with Mangino. Don't like your coach? Talk some shit on him to the university, find a couple other unhappy players to go with you, and make sure to bring mommy and daddy. Then the students run the football program. I was going to say the insane run the asylum, but it's not that. It's the 20 year old keg standing egomaniacs running the multi-million dollar football program. This makes no sense to me. The next coach you get will go in gun shy, and you'd better get a patsy that will do whatever he's asked to do, because any resistance especially to the players, could cost him his job.
Now, don't misunderstand me. I'm not some heartless prick who thinks coaches should be able to abuse and humiliate players. Or am I? No, I'm really not. But I do think that if schools start jumping every time a player cries wolf, it'll spread and you are going to see this coming up more and more and it's not only going to cost good coaches their jobs, it's going to really hurt universities. If Leach screwed up, and can make it right and he choses not to, than he's a dope and deserves to go, but if this is a situation of a disgruntled player and his bigshot dad wanting to stick it to a coach who's not playing his boy enough, than that's just wrong. I think they should let things play out, but in the court of public opinion, most(not me) have already convicted Leach and that's too bad.
Last Edited: 12/28/2009