You’ve Been Struck By A Smooth Criminal

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.

Mike Leach, right, talks with a reporter as he leaves a hotel in downtown San Antonio, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009. Texas Tech fired Leach as football coach on Wednesday after the coach took the school to court to try to overturn his suspension for alleged mistreatment of an injured player. Texas Tech  will face Michigan State in the Alamo Bowl on Saturday.  picture  appears  courtesy  of  ap/photos/  ............
Mike Leach, right, talks with a reporter as he leaves a hotel in downtown San Antonio, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009. Texas Tech fired Leach as football coach on Wednesday after the coach took the school to court to try to overturn his suspension for alleged mistreatment of an injured player. Texas Tech will face Michigan State in the Alamo Bowl on Saturday. picture appears courtesy of ap/photos/ ............

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

Texas Tech fires football coach Leach

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

Trainer says James was monitored

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 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 ?

Homage is being paid here to late Michael Jackson with his rendition of his hit ‘Smooth Criminal’ . You snooze ,you lose !

NB Blaney’s note states the player as Adam Jones but it should read Adam James.

Author: tophatal ...........

An avid sports' fans that's all !!!!!

14 thoughts on “You’ve Been Struck By A Smooth Criminal”

  1. The moment I heard this guy speak I thought to myself that he sounds like a flake. I don’t doubt the allegations are true or that he’ll land on his feet somewhere.
    I hope you have a very happy and safe New Year my friend.


    1. aero

      Leach speaking is one thing but to ,make the assertion that you and your coaches have done nothing wrong is completely asinine ! If that kid had died then Texas Tech would’ve a civil suit to deal and the possibility of having to pay out millions in damages. Never mind the attorney’s fees.

      And less we forget Jim Leavitt of USF ,isn’t out of the woods as of yet.

      Alan Parkins


  2. This whole situation is a mess.

    Like I said, not only should Leach be dismissed, assuming all this is true, then the trainer on staff who didn’t have the sack to suggest to Leach that James’ treatment was detrimental should also be given his walking papers.

    Like Coach Yost told Coach Boone in “Remember the Titans,” there’s a fine line between discipline and insanity and you’re walking it.”


  3. Chris Humpherys

    For a guy of Leach’s intelligence and his educational background , he’s coming off sounding like some guy from the backwoods of Mississippi or from the Appalachia’s or some ‘po-dunk’ town. The guy has a damn law degree from Pepperdine (J.D). WTF ?

    Not only did he walk it but he damn well nearly threw some kid off it. Like I said what if Adam James had died ? What then ?

    His demeanor makes Cooter seem like a MIT graduate ! But then Cooter did have ‘the Dukes’ to help him out. And Daisy Duke could always make you feel at ease with yourself now , couldn’t she ? 🙂

    In her ‘prime’ Catherine Bach could make a grown man want to do things that aren’t mentioned in the ‘good book’ . She’s grown old gracefully. Unlike Dyan Cannon !

    Alan Parkins


  4. I have never heard of putting some one wih a concussion in a dark room for therapy to be a scientific cure. To ignore that medical condition is pure stupidity. Leach got what he deserved.


    1. Larry

      This just goes to show the ‘fine line’ that some coaches are willing to cross and at the same time think that their actions won’t have grave consequences .

      Had Adam James died , one wonders what Leach would now be saying ?

      A belated Happy New Year you and the family !

      Alan Parkins


    1. chappy 81

      What’s even more strange is given all of the facts I’ve read on blog sites where guys are legitimizing and defending what Leach’s coaches did ? It just goes to show how dumb and unintelligent some people are !

      Leach will either get another coaching job with a college program somewhere or he’ll be hired by a team in the NFL looking for a really creative offensive coordinator.

      Alan Parkins


  5. Chris Humpherys

    Leach is a sack of _hit whose only concern was himself and not the players at all. As for the interim coach , I hopes he gets the job but knowing the collegiate landscape and how things go down it could end up being some else’s job when it’s all said and done.

    Alan Parkins


  6. Damn Alan, for a former soldier, you are coming off sounding soft…even though I don’t believe it.

    1) Adam James is a spoiled brat. Why don’t you read Graham Harrell’s letter, which documents that he threw a tantrum and quit on the baseball team when he felt he wasn’t getting enough playing time and he daddy had to beg Leach to be on the team?

    2) Dude is 22 years old. That is not a kid. As someone who played college football in the late 80’s, if I was concussed and someone tried to put me in a room and I thought that I was being harmed, I wouldn’t stand for it.

    3) The room wasn’t pitch black dark, it wasn’t well lit, but even when you look at his camera phone video, you see that there are chairs in the room.

    4) Dude is a little soft. He suffered the concussion, BUT CAME TO PRACTICE TWO DAYS LATER! And came back after being put in the equipment room (which is the size of a garage) I coach now and if you come to practice, then I expect you on the field. I don’t mess with our training staff, but on the field that is my domain. Dude came to watch everyone else work and complain about who his skills were being underutilized. Leach put him in his place. What Leach should have done is just cut him, or kicked him off the team, and we wouldn’t be here discussing this. Notice how the people who came out against Leach were Adam James roommate and one of his friends on the team. The letters from the players and the former coaches are a damning testimony on the caliber of the person.

    Finally, this dude was not in danger of dying. The confinements were days after the concussion, and he was monitored by several trainers. What more could he want? This isn’t the case of someone being asked to do something inherently dangerous, he was secluded away from the team. So, all the comments about “what if he died?” can take a rest, since his life was not in jeopardy, unless bitchassness is a fatal disease


  7. Steve

    You fail to take into account that Leach had been spoken to by Myers about his actions concerning this and several incidents previously, of which Leach , himself won’t even address publicly . So who’s kidding whom here ?

    And oh by the way I served in the military with the British Royal Marines. Saw action in Ireland against the IRA and then served as part of a UN peacekeeping force in Eritrea and Cyprus. So it ain’t all about hot cakes and crumpets with us Brits. Especially the ones dark in color , if you know what I mean ?

    And oh by the way how the hell does Leach’s staff know that Jones was or wasn’t faking it ? Like I said he wasn’t taken by any of them to see a medical professional at all at the immediacy of the incident.

    You’re so into this horse’s ass ’bout ‘being tough’ that you seem to forget that Leach and his staff are also entrusted with a kid’s safety . So what if one of the kids in his tenure had died under those circumstances ?

    You’ve cherry picked one item and fallen into the ol’ macho crap of it all. Look at the broader picture as in i.e concussions being suffered on the field of play and then during practice drills. You think the likes of Westbrooke and Roethlisberger aren’t worried each time they now step unto an NFL field after their multiple traumas ?

    Alan Parkins


  8. Steve

    Any sort of head trauma no matter how mild can have irreparable consequences. Even you know that but I think as usual you’re just hyped up by all of this crap. See the AMA report on blunt force trauma and the so called piss poor job that the NFL and NCAA has done monitoring it all .

    And then we can debate the issue.

    Alan Parkins


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