The world of sports is such a finicky place. Do well and you’re viewed as ‘something of a hero’ ? Do bad and hell, pack your bags and get the ‘hell outta’ Dodge’ and by the way don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out’ ! Such are the vagaries, whether you’re a player , a coach or for that matter the GM of a professional sports franchise. This same ‘mantra’ also applies within the collegiate field of sports.
Curiosity may well have killed the cat but it was struck down for a good reason. Greed perhaps ? Or just sheer plain deceit ? The reason why I say this goes in line with what has happened at Texas Tech and that of their head football coach, Mike Leach. As you all no doubt may have been aware , Leach and the faculty have been embroiled an in argument as to the treatment of a player who’d suffered a mild to middling concussion . The player in question was David James, son of the ESPN broadcaster and former NFL running back, Craig James. That in of itself isn’t where this situation gets disturbing. It is however, in the actual handling of the situation by Leach and his coaching staff. When the player was alleged to have made the staff aware as to his ailment , we’re told Jones was taken to a darkened room by an assistant coach and told to remain in the room and …..’stay calm’. What the fu_k ? If I have a serious ailment and am in some intense or excruciating pain, I don’t want to be told to ‘take a time out’. You’d better get a medical professional to look into what’s said to be ailing me. Pardon me for saying this but if that’s how things are done at Texas Tech concerning the well being of the student athletes there. Then I for one, am surprised that there haven’t been more such unreported incidents . Well , low and behold, it would appear that all that glitters isn’t as such gold as to the environment created there within Texas Tech’s (‘Red Raiders) football program.
Courtesy of Associated Press and rivals.com
By Betsy Blaney , Associated Press Sports Writer
Lubbock , Texas (AP)—Mike Leach’s firing by Texas Tech stemmed from more than just a lone complaint by the father of a player who alleged the coach mistreated his son.
Jerry Turner, vice chairman of the university system’s board of regents, said Wednesday that “other things” became known during an inquiry into the complaint. Turner added that Leach’s failure to agree to guidelines set forth by the school’s president led to his suspension, and “we are where we are” because Leach sued the university to try to coach in the Alamo Bowl.
Leach was fired Wednesday, two days after he was suspended by the school as it investigated his treatment of receiver Adam Jones, who said the coach twice confined him to a small, dark place after the sophomore was diagnosed with a concussion.
“Over the past several months, there have been individuals in the Texas Tech administration, Board of Regents and booster groups who have dealt in lies, and continue to do so,” Leach said in a statement provided to The Associated Press late Wednesday. “These lies have led to my firing this morning. I steadfastly refuse to deal in any lies, and am disappointed that I have not been afforded the opportunity for the truth to be known.”
Leach’s attorney, Ted Liggett, said earlier Wednesday that a lawsuit will be forthcoming.
The school handed a termination letter to Liggett minutes before the two sides were to appear in court for a hearing on the coach’s suspension. Liggett said Texas Tech general counsel Pat Campbell approached him outside the courtroom and told him that Leach would be fired regardless of the outcome.
Liggett told the judge there was no need for the hearing on Leach’s request that he be reinstated to coach the Alamo Bowl against Michigan State on Saturday.
As for Leach’s reaction, Liggett said, “Well, he’s not thrilled.”
“We can guarantee that the fight has just begun,” Liggett said.
Leach was suspended Monday after he refused to agree to guidelines for dealing with players set forth by school officials in a Dec. 23 letter. Turner declined to elaborate on what other issues surfaced during the investigation
Click on the above link to read this article in its entirety
Leach as a coach and as a parent , has a responsibility to conduct himself as well as that of the conduct of his coaches in the appropriate manner , when it comes to the health and well being of a student athlete in their care. And in such a situation it is becoming abundantly clear that not only was poor judgment used all round. But there may well a complete lack of concern by Leach and his coaching staff as to that player’s well being. And we hail individuals such as this because they’re succesful in their chosen endeavors ? OK, so the Red Raiders under Leach’s guidance has been a prominent force on the collegiate football landscape over the past few years . And that is of course commendable but that shouldn’t get in the way as to the real reason why the athletes are at an academic establishment. They are there after all to get an education and to learn how to become a much better and productive citizen in the world, once their collegiate and athletic career is over with at that particular university. We know of course there at times unforeseen tragedies that can take place on a practice field or on the actual field of play. But for all sense and purpose , actions that are inexcusable shouldn’t be allowed to take place on a college campus when the coaches are aware as to what is taking place. Furthermore , if after this initial incident why is it that neither Leach or any member of his staff saw fit to escort this player to a medical professional on campus ?
Associated Press’ release announcing Mike Leach’s suspension .
Leach initially, used legalese to explain his situation in obtaining a restraining order , in order to allow him coach in the upcoming Alamo Bowl (game) against Michigan State. He (Leach) had been suspended by the university, pending their own further investigation into the incident and certain other allegations that have now come, in to light of that initial incident. It seems to countermand everything that Leach’s lawyer, Tom Liggett has put forth in repeated statements over the past fews days , wherein, he states … this is nothing more than isolated incident for which my client will be found innocent of all charges. Leach, himself, a law graduate certainly knows how to blow smoke up people’s ass . If ever a statement gives semblance to the fact that something awry has gone on. Then it points to the initial claim being made and then the defendant using the term ‘isolated incident’ to then cover up other more revealing and thought provoking situations where now even more allegations are coming to light over Leach’s conduct. But not only that Leach has gone on to say that he wasn’t made aware to what that James had been sent to a room and told to remain there. Even if this had been done as a simple form of punishment had the player been unresponsive to an instruction from his coach. How can Leach have the actual audacity to make such a claim while he’s there coaching these kids ? ‘Hey Mike, you can no longer have your cake and eat it’. It’s either one or the other concerning this whole idiotic episode..
Things are now going to take a turn for the worst as Leach and his lawyer seek a lawsuit against the university for wrongful dismissal and defamation of character. Can we say ‘tort reform’ in light of these type of frivolous lawsuits ? We know the real reason behind this all , and that’s the fact Leach recently signed a contract extension with the university and stands to lose several million dollars from his termination. Whether or not there are grounds for him to challenge his firing will be decided by the judicial system. One thing is sure however there are no real winners here at all in this situation , except that is for the highly paid legal professionals being paid here to represent the two opposing parties. Who says crime doesn’t pay ? The only instances where it does , is when you’re the highly paid defense attorney for a high profiled defendant . Need I say anymore on the matter ?
This won’t be the first or last time that we will hear of such incidents as this but it does seem to highlight the lengths that a coach will go to , in order to try what they deem to a sterling reputation in tact. We’ve seen allegations this season being made against coaches such as Rich Rodiguez of Michigan, Jim Leavitt of USF and his altercation with a player. But it does come to mind that many of these college coaches either don’t know right from wrong or they’re just plainly amoral and couldn’t give a damn. I know that they’re under pressure to succeed , garner success and acclaim for their respective programs. But at what cost must this be done ? Should it to their reputation and that of the program they represent ? Or is the real pressure that’s brought to bear because of the undoubted financial rewards that goes along with being a collegiate coach at a noted school and that the acclaim it all brings ?
Courtesy of ESPN.com
By Mark Schlabach
Texas Tech head football athletic trainer Steve Pincock said Red Raiders receiver Adam James was placed in a “sports medicine garage” and media room as “big as a two-car garage” while recovering from a concussion, and was monitored by two trainers at all times.
Pincock’s account of the incident, given in a statement to representatives of former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach, contradicts James’ version of events that led to Leach being fired Wednesday.
James, who is the son of ESPN college football analyst Craig James, sustained a concussion on Dec. 16. He was examined the following day and told not to practice because of the injury and an elevated heart rate.
Pincock’s statement was obtained by ESPN.com on Thursday night from Leach’s representatives. Pincock refused further comment when reached on his cell phone in San Antonio, Texas, where the Red Raiders are preparing to play Michigan State in Saturday’s Alamo Bowl.
A source told ESPN’s Joe Schad that Leach called a trainer and directed him to move James “to the darkest place, to clean out the equipment and to make sure that he could not sit or lean. He was confined for three hours.”
To read Mark Schlabach’s column in its entirety click on the link
NB This column only adds to the stupidity of the actions of the coaches involved in this incident and the excuses made by Leach, himself , whose only concern was his appearance as the coach of the team for the upcoming Bowl game.
Isn’t the collegiate athletics bad enough as it is already with reports of cheating scandals and the fact that in some cases the coaches were in fact duplicitous and compliant with the actions involved ? Without now knowing that, they’re either assaulting a player or indeed for that matter showing how stupid and intolerant they are of the athletes that they’re meant to be not only coaching but also guiding along life’s path in order to make them better individuals. And just in case you were under the notion that nothing at all seriously happened. Then consider this, what would the consequences have been , had Adam Jones died there and then ? Purely just my thoughts here on the incident , as you can make up your own mind as to whether Texas Tech’s decision to fire Leach was justified or not.
In the end Leach will land on his feet, by landing a job with another college program altogether or he’ll find his way into the professional ranks amongst the NFL. Coaches of his offensive mindset are few and far between. And at this point there are bound to be a number of franchises around the league looking for a very good offensive coordinator. What do you think ?
NB Blaney’s note states the player as Adam Jones but it should read Adam James.