Patterico's Pontifications


Texas Tech Coach Mike Leach Suspended

Filed under: Sports — DRJ @ 2:10 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach has been suspended from coaching his team in Saturday’s Alamo Bowl because of complaints he mistreated receiver Adam James, son of ESPN analyst and former SMU great Craig James:

“The A-J learned that on Dec. 17, Leach ordered James to stand in a dark shed at the Tech football practice facility because he thought James was faking a concussion he’d suffered during practice the previous day. Leach had him watched, and when James sat down, Leach had things removed from the shed so he could not sit.

Two days later, Leach forced James to stand in a dark room for three hours. “Mr. and Mrs. James took the step with great regret and after consideration and prayer to convey to the Texas Tech Administration that their son had been subjected to actions and treatment not consistent with commonsense rules for safety and health,” the James family said in a statement issued through a publicist.”

Leach reportedly admitted the allegations but claims he did nothing wrong and refused to apologize. Leach’s attorney defended his conduct:

“[Ted] Liggett said it’s “ridiculous” to characterize the building adjacent to the team’s practice fields as a “shed” or an “electrical closet.”

“Because of the fact that he had a concussion and he was extremely limited in the physical activity he could undergo, Mike felt like that was the best place for him and still be close to and part of the team,” Liggett said.

Liggett said while James was secluded on two occasions, he was not treated inappropriately and had a doctor’s statement attesting to that.

“There’s much, much more than meets the eye,” Liggett said. “The diagnosing doctor has signed a note stating that Adam James was in no way injured by the actions coach Leach took. In fact, he was better off in the building than he would have been outside.”

Leach, who is known for his bluntness, also “told officials James was a slacker and his father was always calling and acting like a Little League dad.”


31 Responses to “Texas Tech Coach Mike Leach Suspended”

  1. what a moron: that doesn’t sound like any sort of therapy i’ve ever heard of for treating someone with a concussion….. but it does sound like a good way to precipitate a follow on injury if they get dizzy and/or collapse.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  2. I think this falls under the rule that 98% of college coaches give the other 2% a bad name.

    AD - RtR/OS! (bc0d93)

  3. Yeah, you send the kid home and tell him “Come back with a doctor’s note that says you can play”. What a jerk.

    nk (df76d4)

  4. I’m not ready to throw Mike Leach under the bus just yet. Leach and Gerald Myers (the Texas Tech athletic director) have a history of enmity dating back several years, and Myers may just be using this allegation as an excuse to try to get rid of Leach. Ultimately, we don’t yet know all of the facts regarding this incident.

    Mike LaRoche (34b5b2)

  5. Good point, but if there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past decade, one thing you do not mess with is a concussion. Why he didn’t send him home or have him stay on the sidelines until he was cleared to play is the unanswered question. If it really was a shed, he gone.

    Dmac (a964d5)

  6. I’m not ready to throw Leach under the bus either, unless the kid should have been under medical supervision in a facility, what’s the problem with making him stand in a shed, or anywhere, for a few hours because he’s being a whiny prima donna college football player? Is making kids run 30 laps okay but making them stand in a shed for 3 hours not okay? I mean when you’re a football coach you have to enforce discipline physically, but without using violence. So where do you draw the line?

    chaos (9c54c6)

  7. So where do you draw the line?

    “Go home son, until your doctor tells you it’s ok for me to fuck you around as much as I want because you have a dream of being a football player and I have a dream of making a few millions running your ass off”?

    nk (df76d4)

  8. 1) The coach required injured players to attend practice partly to reinforce the concept of team and partly to avert shirking.

    2) The coach required the player to stand in the shed, because one of the doctor’s recomendation was that he avoid direct sunlight.

    3) The player is a crybaby and the father a putz. Both need to man up.

    gahrie (9d1bb3)

  9. so the coach is now a medical authority? i want to see his credentials….

    standing could be trouble if he gets dizzy. standing in the dark is more likely to make him dizzy, since he’s got no visual reference to orient off of. no direct sunlight? put him under an awning or something.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  10. I am with LaRoche on this. Guaranteed there is much more to this.

    JD (61adfe)

  11. My bet is that the complaints have much to do with the relative lack of playing time for the son of a famous football player.

    JD (61adfe)

  12. Leach just threw himself in front of the NCAA Bus-driven and filled with media. Should this Tech player realize that sacrifing one’s health to secure the TT’s coach’s future is mandatory? There’s a only a small coaching difference between sticking to one’s “convictions” and “sticking one’s neck out”, but it’s a difference well worth knowing.

    ttommo55 (50c6b4)

  13. From comments at


    Maybe just a rant on a blog, but if this proves true, Craig James career should be over.

    Of course, even Fightin’ and Bitin’ Marv Albert still found work, so I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    Matador (176445)

  14. Craig James was a part of the SMU teams that were found to have committed numerous NCAA violations, including receiving large sums of money from school boosters, which led to the enactment of the “death penalty” upon the school by the NCAA, although James himself was never accused of any wrongdoing.

    Leach, who is known for his bluntness, also “told officials James was a slacker and his father was always calling and acting like a Little League dad.”

    Sounds like it’s possible that Craig is just another Archie Manning, sans Archie’s kids actually have something to offer a football team.

    In light of the allegations, ESPN has removed Craig James from announcing the Alamo Bowl with Mike Patrick.

    “There’s much, much more than meets the eye,” Liggett said

    Well it’s in the hands of our esteemed legal system now, all we can do is lead cheers and poke the participants in the eye with a stick!

    (TC is sharpening sticks cuz he looks terrible in a cheerleader uniform)! :)

    TC (0b9ca4)

  15. Mike Leach has issues.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  16. He changed quarterback Taylor Potts’ jersey to say “Nick” because he thought Taylor wasn’t a masculine enough name for the QB.

    that’s gayer than leaving Arnold Schwarzenegger alone in a wig shop I think

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  17. I can’t decide which party is right and so will withhold judgment. Standing in a dark shed is not dangerous and, if the kid really had a concussion, he should have been home in bed. I do detect just a whiff of bullshit from the James side, though.

    MIke K (2cf494)

  18. James caught 17 passes this year, up from 15 last year. For an interior receiver it doesn’t sound like he’s being ignored.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  19. This reminds me a little of Luke Axtell. I wonder if it will do to Leach what it did to Penders?

    DRJ (84a0c3)

  20. “Go home son, until your doctor tells you it’s ok for me to fuck you around as much as I want because you have a dream of being a football player and I have a dream of making a few millions running your ass off”?

    Showing yourself up again I see?

    chaos (9c54c6)

  21. “Taylor” has an interesting gender history (per NamVoyager at

    It was a rare male-only name (50 to 100 uses per Million babies) until the 1970s, when it took off. It peaked as a male name in the 1990s at about 1,300/Mbs, then fell off to about 350-400/Mbs.

    As a female name, Taylor was unknown till the 1970s, then took off in parallel with male usage. The odd thing is that while male usage increased dramatically (see above) female usage increased even more at the same time, peaking in the 1990s at about 4,200/Mbs (6th most common), then falling off to 2,000/Mbs.

    So there’s nothing intrinsically female about “Taylor”, but usage has trended that way since the 1980s, when Potts was born. Male usage was then about 500//Mbs, female usage about 300/Mbs.

    Rich Rostrom (8abb80)

  22. Mark May on ESPN just reported on that Leach is due 800K payment if he is still the coach on Thursday. And there is a hearing tomorrow at 8:30 a.m., Leach seeking an injunction allowing him to coach.

    More and more trickling out.

    Matador (176445)

  23. The fly in the ointment for me is the “Leach wouldn’t let me sit or lay down” charge.

    Why not?

    Then the person guarding the door to make sure the kid didn’t leave or sit or lay down is now “licensed medical supervision”

    I think TT is giving Leach a reason to take whatever job he is already in talks over, but without the hefty bonus.

    SteveG (909b57)

  24. Texas Tech hired Bobby Knight so I’m not sure I believe reports they put a lot of stock in players’ stories of abuse.

    DRJ (84a0c3)

  25. The more I read, the more I’m inclined to think this may be about Leach’s interview last year with the Huskies and maybe his upcoming bonus. If the bonus comes from Leach’s renegotiated contract, it might annoy the Tech folk.

    DRJ (84a0c3)

  26. I play there. Been in that room a hundred times. C Leach can be a jerk and hates injuries. He made a guy stand in a certain spot, so what. Better than running or push ups. A James told us he wanted to transfer anyway so i can see coach bein’ upset.

    FormerRR (0f0563)

  27. It’s about the money. The James family a bunch of whiners.

    Andy (e55206)

  28. Of course, the unanswered question is if James has a “fat little girlfriend?” Because then, you know, he deserved the woodshed treatment.

    Ag80 (525921)

  29. Ok, so I’m an old man, the coaches in our day would have put a boot up our butts if we slacked, we would have had to run laps.

    That said, the players couldn’t hit like they do now and the head injuries weren’t as common.

    But I’ve never had respect for any player who’s daddy runs to the coaches and politics. Why didn’t Craig James speak directly to the coach if he felt his son was abused.

    Coach probably went too far, but this kid is a whiny snot nosed rich boy who’s running to his daddy… he’s a wuss, plain and simple.

    Charles (82af26)

  30. I heard that one time Mile Leach made Adam James practice even after James had told him that he’d gotten shampoo in his eyes in the shower.

    ed (2e284a)

  31. The firing of Leach has all to do with the money. When leach drug out negotiations for his new contract last year, it make eveyone in the administration very unhappy.
    Otherwise, those of us who work for TTU thought that it might be time for Leach to go. He had been there 9 years and had 0 conference champoionshkps, even Colorado had 1. He had a gimmky offense that could win some games against better teams (sometimes) but more often would lead to losses against teams we should have beaten. (last year = Cotton Bowl) (This year = Houston, A+M)
    The contract negotioans last year lasted so long that everyone was wondering if Leach would be back or sign with another team, and after it was finally concluded, must of the ppl who work at TTU figured he had 1 year left and would be gone, probably because he would leave and join another team.
    Leach’s treatment of the player (telling the trainers to find a dark, tight hole in which to place him) was a form of punishment (and NOT an aproved treatment for concusion) for the percieved slight of the student-athlete showing up for practice in stret clothes, sunglasses and a hat on backwards. The player had already been diangnosed by the team doctor as to having a concussion and it was ordered that the student-athlete ought to stay out of direct sunlight and that he ought not participate in drills.
    Any coach who treats concussion as a minor injury and abuses a player for having injury of any kind sends a message to the rest of the team that it is best if you ignore these types of injuries in order to be approved by Coach Leach.
    This system will lead to greater injuries and the player did right to stand up to, what is reported as foul and abusive language and inappropriate treatment for a concussiong.
    The team doctor and the team trainer have spoken on record, in an affidavit that the Leach suggested treatment has never before been used and they both disagree with how the coach handled the situation.
    So what we have here is a Coach, in a fit of pique, attempting a brand new, never before heard of, treatment for concussion that is likely to impress upon other players to play through concussions in order to not wreak the wrath of Cpt. Bligh.

    Michael P (99d28c)

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