Patterico's Pontifications

12/30/2009

Texas Tech Fires Mike Leach

Filed under: Sports — DRJ @ 12:24 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

Texas Tech University has fired head football coach Mike Leach. The announcement was made by Leach’s attorney, who read a letter he received this morning at a scheduled hearing on Leach’s TRO motion:

“Before the hearing this morning, Mike Leach’s personal attorney, Ted Liggett, received a letter from Texas Tech signed by President Guy Bailey terminating Leach’s employment effective immediately.

Liggett shocked the courtroom full of spectators with the news. No hearing took place as scheduled.

According to the letter, Leach is in violation of Article Four of his contract. The article reads in part, “Coach shall assure the fair and responsible treatment of student athletes in relation to their health, welfare and discipline.” The contract goes on to say the breach of those guidelines can result in penalties ranging from fines to termination.

Leach’s suspension and subsequent firing comes after a complaint filed by wide receiver Adam James and his family.”

Leach’s attorney promised a lawsuit would be filed “soon.”

— DRJ

128 Responses to “Texas Tech Fires Mike Leach”

  1. no great loss…..

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  2. The comments at Texas football websites are pretty heated on this, with most of the ones I’ve seen supporting Leach. The best one said the James family is continuing its family tradition of trying to ruin Texas state college football.

    DRJ (84a0c3)

  3. Here’s another comment from a Texas Tech supporter:

    Look for a 800K wager against the Red Raiders and the 8 and a half point spread by “our” A.D.

    DRJ (84a0c3)

  4. I can understand filing a lawsuit, but really, if he wants revenge he should just apply for a job opening at a Big 12 school (in the South division, preferably) and kick the tar out of Tech every year. He’s going to get paid no matter where he goes, so why not take the money and the vindication?

    Another Chris (2d8013)

  5. For an outsider’s view, I’d say Coach Leach was leading the conference for trying to ruin TCU football, and might make the playoffs for trying to ruin college football in Texas.

    ropelight (58ef71)

  6. Well, I did identify myself as an outsider.

    ropelight (58ef71)

  7. This is not a good thing for Texas Tech. Not at all. I think Ron Zuk should be immediately fired and Leach should be the next Fighting Illini coach. Things coaches did to discipline or punish players when I was growing up would get them jailed today. I do not understand. Pony Express James and his progeny should be scorned by anyone that likes football.

    JD (b7daf6)

  8. I have a solution to the university/coach soap opera.

    1. Cut out half of the bowl games, reduce the basketball tourney to 32 teams, eliminate the NIT tourney.

    2. Put in place price controls so the bowls can only charge a certain fee to get their games aired and the tourney can only charge a certain fee, as well.

    3. Put in place price controls so the NCAA-member schools can only charge a certain fee to get their extra-curriculars aired.

    4. Make all college extra-curriculars free of charge for spectatoring.

    5. Eliminate all collegiate ties to all products for sale.

    It’s a fix, innit?

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  9. I don’t mean to minimize the allegations against Coach Leach, but certainly his lawyer’s public statements were sufficient to suggest that there was another side to the story told by the James family. Given that there isn’t any agreement on the basic facts, Tech’s administrators were necessarily premature in reaching their conclusions — even if those conclusions, and their judgments based thereupon, turn out to be correct (or at least defensible).

    Beldar (680a4e)

  10. Texas Tech is going to regret their myopic decision.

    h2u (147639)

  11. Beldar,

    Have you seen this claim by Leach’s attorney?

    To begin with, Liggett takes great exception to how the entire suspension was handled. Liggett says the school flew Leach and his immediate family from Lubbock to San Antonio on Monday and allowed them to check into their hotel suite before informing the coach he would be suspended while an investigation into the allegations of the James family are investigated.

    The school had also made provisions for several of Leach’s extended family members as the bowl game has become an annual holiday retreat for the coach’s family. Liggett denies reports that Leach had previously been asked by the school to offer an apology for this actions.

    “This isn’t something they decided in the air from Lubbock to San Antonio,” Liggett said. “They knew exactly what they were going to do. That’s what I’m flabbergasted about. If they knew they were going to suspend him, why did they take him. He’s got five kids and tons of brothers and sisters, aunts, nieces and nephews. This is their holiday, they do this every year – 11 in a row. Why would they let them plan their holiday and their New Years around it knowing they weren’t going to let him coach? That seems a little cruel and unusual to me.”

    I’m curious why this all came to a head just days before the Bowl, since everyone agrees it happened 2-3 or more weeks ago. They had all Spring and Summer to sort this out, didn’t they?

    Of course, if it’s true Tech had to pay $800K tomorrow to Leach if he had still been the coach, maybe that’s the fact that really mattered.

    DRJ (84a0c3)

  12. #8, a wonderfully conservative solution, getting government involved to restrict private parties freedom to contract.

    steve sturm (7629b0)

  13. Innit, though, mr sturm?

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  14. And it’s the type of solution taught at these colleges, to boot.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  15. Beldar is correct – there is most definitely another side. The emails in the linked post tell a vastly different story.

    Leach emails

    Ed from SFV (1333b1)

  16. Lets see here, Graig James, worn out footballer from years past who has a bully pulpit to work from decides he does not like the manner his little baby boy was handled by a coach, whined directly to the coach, (probably the only parent in the entire program that has spoken to him since signing day), did not get the ass licking he expected.

    Has himself probably participated in activities that cost TT a bundle of both money and ability to stage a football team.

    Months pass;

    Bowl Games and coach bonuses days away, files a suit against the school and coach. School, in typical zero backbone mode, caves in and fires coach. Thinking they will save $400K and prevent the gang of 88 from Duke staging protests at the Bowl game.

    And following Dukes tragic example will end up costing the school several million and by gawd good for both the Coach and the attorneys!!!

    If ESPN had any balls they would fire this asshole James sometime yesterday!

    Please convince me of the logic of this move? Who stands to benefit? Who stands to lose? How many losers does it take to make a winner?

    Guy Bailey is also a gutless worm and should also be fired! Is there a single university president left in this nation with some balls?

    I’m not one to support suing your x employer, but in this case, his firing is designed to inflict maximum damage to Leach and his ability to continue being a coach. Sickum Coach!

    TC (0b9ca4)

  17. I wouldn’t want to be that kid.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  18. 8, a wonderfully conservative solution, getting government involved to restrict private parties freedom to contract.

    I didn’t see where you made this connection. The proposals John put forth could all be implemented and enforced by the NCAA, which is a private organization and thus can make its own rules on merchandising, conduct, etc. They put restrictions on college programs all the time, and the ones that don’t comply and get caught recieve penalties.

    If you really want to start up a social tornado, propose that the government intervention program known as Title IX be eliminated. If colleges went strictly off of sports that brought in revenue to the schools, most women’s programs (and a good number of men’s) would be axed posthaste, or their operation severely limited.

    Another Chris (2d8013)

  19. I agree with JD and DRJ. Firing Mike Leach – for no other reason than one of his players couldn’t handle the rigors of Division I football – is something that will set back football at Texas Tech for years. An absolutely idiotic move, no question about it.

    Mike LaRoche (7ddd36)

  20. Follow the money — under the terms of Leach’s contract, he’s owed an $800,000 payment if he is the coach of the team on Friday.

    Bad blood has existed since he publicly sought the open coaching positions at UCLA and Washington, then turned around and used that as leverage in negotiations to extend his contract. The Admin simply got buyer’s remorse and took this as their “out”.

    On the other hand, the James kid is a complete fraud as a Div. I football player, and was pushed on scouting services and Div. I programs by his father who wasn’t afraid to use his ESPN position to bully others. His father’s efforts are the only reason he was named to the Army All-American high school all star game — televised by ESPN.

    WLS Shipwrecked (3d3fb8)

  21. Mike LaRoche,

    I agree this will hurt Tech. A smart Big XII coach would consider Leach for OC. I sure hope Stoops isn’t that smart.

    DRJ (84a0c3)

  22. #16 and #19 are right on. Poor wittle Adam Jamie James didn’t wike his punishment for being a lazy ass spoiwled wittle brwat. Screw him and I hope the Coach screws TT for being spineless worms trying to save themselves $400K.

    I live in Illinois, any chance we can get this coach to come to Illinois? God knows our football program sucks donkey *&*^$%s.

    J. Raymond Wright (e8d0ca)

  23. Was TT an “anybody” before Leach? Maybe he could go to Rice or SMU and turn those teams into “somebodies”.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  24. I don’t want Leach anywhere near the Illini program. No way, not happening. I’m quite happy with Tressel ball and the Illini program right where it is.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  25. Tech had a very good coach named Spike Dykes in the 1980s and 1990s.

    DRJ (84a0c3)

  26. John,

    I doubt many other Texas football programs can pay what Tech paid. The big programs like Texas and A&M can afford to pay top salaries, SMU has June Jones, and TCU just increased Patterson’s salary significantly. But not many smaller programs have the money and backers to pay a football coach $2M a year.

    DRJ (84a0c3)

  27. I’d call Adam James a girly man, except he isn’t a man. He’s a big pussy, just like his daddy who was crying on ESPN last night.

    If you are a good coach, would you go to TT, knowing every time an influential parent or booster bitched you could be subject to getting “Leached”?

    I feel for Red Raider fans, but I hope those gutless pricks don’t see another bowl game in my lifetime.

    Matador (176445)

  28. TT was gonna get sued one way or the other. Apparently they fear a Leach settlement amount less than a James settlement amount. The kid sounds like a brat and a disruption. That said, after he was apparently (legitimately) diagnosed with a concussion, the punishment of having him standing upright alone for hours in closed quarters does seem a bit risky. Concussions are not to be messed with. I would not want my son treated that way.

    elissa (eee79f)

  29. #18, if he was talking about the NCAA, fine, you’re right, they can do their own thing. A hunch he wasn’t.

    steve sturm (7629b0)

  30. I have a hunch I wasn’t, either, steve sturm. I also have a hunch there’s something missing in your reading of my comment that I tried to partially show in follow-ups. (apparently something missing in more than one person’s reading)

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  31. I can just see it know

    time out chairs with cushions – shade, cable will be required \

    EricPWJohnson (9b7688)

  32. elissa – James was attended by not one, not two, but THREE trainers. He was not alone. Also, James’ personal physician has publicly stated that the placement of James in a cool and dark place was, at worst, not harmful, and was likely somewhat beneficial.

    The care and attention of young James physical self is not at issue.

    Ed from SFV (1333b1)

  33. Too many factual disputes for me to weigh in, such as:
    – What was the kid’s true medical condition?
    – What was the kid’s history with the team in terms of reputation for malingering, general attitude, etc.
    – To what exact situation was the kid assigned on that fateful day? A spacious media room? Or a tiny hut? And was he “attended” supportively by a trainer, or “guarded” as in detention?

    Mitch (890cbf)

  34. The care and attention of young James physical self is not at issue

    I’ll take you at your word, Ed, since you most likely know much more about this whole situation than I. I would bet, though, that this concussion thing WOULD be an issue in a James family lawsuit. Just enough young footballers die each year from head injuries to make this potentailly problematic and expensive for TT.

    elissa (eee79f)

  35. I live about 80 miles from Lubbock.

    Mike Leach has been banned from just about every bar in the city of Lubbock. He is a nutcase!

    My question is; Can Leach still be charged with false imprisonment or kidnapping?

    I am saying yes.

    All it takes is a certain Federal Prosecutor…

    Everyone tearing down James and his father are nuts. They didn’t start this crap, Leach did.

    Teetop (1f1551)

  36. I dunno. I like a message that says this University is here for the students. Not for coaches who make millions off of them. Or for fans for that matter.

    nk (df76d4)

  37. for the lawyers…what is the possibility of the coming lawsuit on behalf of Coach Leach against Texas Tech ensnaring ESPN as well?

    jack (368256)

  38. Teetop, did you read these letters in support of Leach?

    It seems to me that the James family started this as a result of the son’s unhappiness over not getting the playing time he thought he deserved. Read the letters.

    h2u (147639)

  39. #38 Did the James’ also choose to be “detained”?

    Supporting one does not equal not being at fault.

    Take it or leave it, Leach is a nutcase, end of story.

    Being a football coach doesn’t mean you’re above the law or school standards. Period.

    Teetop (1f1551)

  40. rofl yeah poor James was being kidnapped and held against his will in that dark room.

    It’s called being on a football team, he could have quit the team and walked out of that shed at any time. No one would have stopped him.

    Whiny spoiled brat kid with a whiny spoiled brat father = good coach gets screwed. I hope TT loses millions on a lawsuit.

    chaos (9c54c6)

  41. Will Leach’s former assistant, TT alum, and current Baylor head coach Art Briles step in to pick over the bones of Leach’s carcas? TT might have a new head coach before the end of the Alamo Bowl.

    Shipwreckedcrew (6178ee)

  42. He CHOSE to be a member of the TT football team. He could have quit. Instead he decided to sue after being subjected to treatment that didn’t appeal to his delicate sensibilities. The James family should be ashamed of themselves for the effect their actions will have on TT’s bowl game.

    Assclowns.

    Teetop, I’d also be quite interested to know which laws were broken by Leach. As far as we’re all aware, James was kept out of practice in a dark building and was required to remain standing. In High School marching band I was subjected to this supposedly “harsh” treatment. What a crybaby.

    h2u (147639)

  43. The only assclown in this instance, is Mike Leach.

    End. Of. Story.

    Teetop (1f1551)

  44. Instead he decided to sue…

    Just wanted to correct myself here: I don’t think the James family actually brought suit. I think they just complained to the TT Athletic Director (who has bad-blood with Leach). Either way, shady behavior from a shady family.

    h2u (147639)

  45. End. Of. Story.

    LOL! This guy is too much.

    h2u (147639)

  46. Either way, shady behavior from a shady family.

    Comment by h2u

    Shady ’cause their dumbass coach locked him a closet?

    Leach is the one with the lawyers. If the kid wanted to talk to the athletic director about his coach, and his school decided that the coach broke his word (that’s what his contract was, a promise from Leach to the school that he wouldn’t do this dumb stuff), that’s not the kid’s fault.

    It’s ridiculous and trashy that people are blaming the player. This simply is not the player’s fault. Classic trashy reaction, though. Good for weeding out the people with a moral compass.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  47. Dustin, are you kidding me? You’re parroting the propaganda expelled from the mouth of the FATHER of the kid, Craig James! A closet? Really???

    The letters in support of Coach Leach tell a story that is much more believable than the posturing of a Little League Dad and his arrogant and lazy son. This is the player’s fault. He could have quit the team if he was so damn unhappy.

    h2u (147639)

  48. Maybe he could go to Rice or SMU and turn those teams into “somebodies”.

    June Jones just got SMU their first bowl win since the Reagan administration (and he did pretty well at Hawaii before then) so they are probably set.

    Leach has done a great job at Tech considering they have to compete with the other Texas schools every year for recruits and generally get UT’s backwash, but Jones does more with less better than any coach in the nation, IMO, and it’s amazing a BCS school hasn’t snatched him up.

    Another Chris (56d79a)

  49. H2u

    Leech was responsible period – listen to dustin and three emails – two of which didnt witness the incident was not the strongest rebuttal

    EricPWJohnson (9b7688)

  50. Eric, responsible for WHAT? Again, I fail to see exactly how James was endangered or injured by what was prescribed by the coaching staff of TT. He was confined in a dark building and forced to remain standing? Cry me a river!

    The reputation of Adam James is less than stellar — such information should have been taken into account before firing Leach. Instead it appears that TT was trying to avoid paying out Leach’s bonus.

    Lame.

    h2u (147639)

  51. Whatever you think the facts are (and as Beldar has pointed out, there are obviously at least two versions), it’s hard to dispute that the timing is pretty damn suspicious. The elapsed time from alleged incident to firing is so short, the time from “suspended pending investigation” to fired is even shorter, and there’s big money to be paid to Leach if he’s around even 24 more hours.

    Under those facts, it sure looks like Tech acted precipitously. Of course, they can show that they didn’t by setting forth, right now, the “facts” that their investigation uncovered, and the support they have for those facts. I realize that they don’t have a legal obligation (yet) to produce this, but if it were me and I had rock solid reasons for such a quick and drastic action, I’d sure let people know, to try to kill the bad press. The longer they stay quiet, the more it’ll look like they didn’t really know what was really going on, but acted anyway.

    And in that vacuum, the suckage that is Craig James and his boy wonder will fill the public’s mind (along with one other i$$ue) as the REAL reason for the firing. Not good for Tech.

    On a related topic, does anyone really believe that Leach will be considered “tainted” goods by ANY other school with an opening? Hell, by any school withOUT an opening?

    linus (19ef5f)

  52. Linus, I think that Leach will be snatched up in the off-season by a big-time school. He’s too talented a coach to be left without a job.

    h2u (147639)

  53. Don’t mean to get off-topic, but is there a problem with the RSS feeds on this site? It has been giving me articles no more recent than Sept 6 for the past week or more.

    waelse1 (e89fd1)

  54. waelse1, the feed seems to be populating just fine for me. Are you using patterico.com/feed/ as the feed URL?

    h2u (147639)

  55. “Tech had a very good coach named Spike Dykes….”

    Oh dear that name could alone bring a lawsuit!! :):)

    I forgot to ask/point out, how much challenge expense would have been for all parties involved to hold off till AFTER the gawd daaumed upcoming game?

    Almost redundant to even bring it up as the answer is so obvious it’s like having carrion in your trunk in a July 4th parade.

    TC (0b9ca4)

  56. TC, I think that’s exactly why so many people — myself included — think so poorly of the James family for their part in this. They could have waited until the end of the season to bring this issue up. Instead it was done now, risking the Bowl success of the TEAM.

    Weak sauce.

    h2u (147639)

  57. Rice?

    Maybe take Sul Ross to the big dance… but Rice…

    SteveG (909b57)

  58. I can understand why people who cannot do anything else play spectator sports for money. For people who want to pay to watch them. Instead of drinking at a bar or jogging or mowing their lawns. And they should get paid all the market will bear.

    I don’t understand why a coach should make a million dollars a year to get kids to play for people who should be drinking at a bar or jogging or mowing their lawns when those kids should be working on getting themselves an education. Unless it’s a good thing for the kids worth a million dollars.

    nk (df76d4)

  59. H2U thanks for checking. I’ve tried two computers with Firefox and IE8 and it’s stopped working for me. I’ve tried both that and the atom feed. Puzzling.

    waelse1 (e89fd1)

  60. Considering downloading an RSS Reader application. Using a web browser for RSS feeds is like using an abacus for trigonometry.

    h2u (147639)

  61. I use google reader to track Patterico’s posts, hoping to see his annual spanking of the LATimes, but it stopped seeing new articles 1-2 weeks ago.

    waelse1 (e89fd1)

  62. I don’t understand why a coach should make a million dollars a year to get kids to play for people who should be drinking at a bar or jogging or mowing their lawns when those kids should be working on getting themselves an education. Unless it’s a good thing for the kids worth a million dollars.

    This incoherent garbage pile ignores the fact that most of the people in question here, members of college football teams, would be working on getting themselves some kind of felony if they weren’t playing college football, not working on their education.

    chaos (9c54c6)

  63. um.

    That’s very cynical.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  64. Hell, I would have danced a jig in a tutu if my coaches had disciplined us by forcing us to stand in a quiet dark room. Instead, we ran wind sprints, down and backs, and line drills until the point of exhaustion, and then we ran stairs in the arena until we puked. Standing in the shade just sounds f*cking horrific. Prima donna player and pappy, if you ask me.

    JD (725457)

  65. This incoherent garbage pile ignores the fact that most of the people in question here, members of college football teams, would be working on getting themselves some kind of felony if they weren’t playing college football, not working on their education.

    Not everybody is like your family, shitheel.

    nk (df76d4)

  66. College football like almost everything on the tv requires a willing suspension of disbelief. No problem. Plus also it sells lots of beer and pick ups and corn chips and lends itself particularly well to branding campaigns cause of the audience is very brand-attuned.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  67. I think they should start by working on misdemeanors.
    Jumping directly into a felony dumbs down the value.

    I know I can’t wait for the stats that show the crime wave that occurs after senior year is over

    SteveG (909b57)

  68. It also gives chaos its chance to look at the players in spandex and indulge its own fantasies about “tight ends”.

    nk (df76d4)

  69. Spandex and corn chips are not a natural mix.

    Plus, gazing into ones navel and finding a chunk of Dorito creeps out the girls in yoga class… not that I know or anything

    SteveG (909b57)

  70. JD, I was thinking the same thing. My coach use to give us bear-crawls — on all fours and sprint that way for 100 yds. The last place person gets to do it again!

    Still dream about that occasionally.

    Pons Asinorum (ea2afc)

  71. Pons – At the end of a 3 hour hoops practice, the entire team had to run down and backs, which was 2 full lengths of the court. We had to run 5 in under a minute. If anyone did not make it, we got a 30 second break, and everyone had to do it again. We kept doing this until everyone completed it. I once threw a behind-the-back pass, which coach frowned on. I got to run stair laps (up and down clockwise around the entire gym) for the remainder of practice. A coach watched to make sure we did not quit moving, the exact opposite of the horror young James endured.

    JD (08ac3e)

  72. Leach is an unusual coach for two reasons. One, he is one of just a handful of Div. I coaches (five, or so?) who didn’t himself play college ball. Two, he is just one of a handful (I am guessing, I actually don’t know any others) who has a law degree. Pepperdine, a decent law school.

    Those facts are apropos of nothing, I suppose, but it’s kind of interesting.

    Also, I still think the “fat little girlfriends” excuse was both the stupidest and most hilarious excuse for a defeat I have ever heard.

    Aplomb (6e45ba)

  73. and now a word from the man whose leadership our little country so recklessly spurned spurned

    But in a note to employees Wednesday, News Corp. Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey said temporarily extending the current terms past Thursday would “simply extend the period of time that Time Warner profits from our marquee programming without fairly compensating Fox for it.”

    He also rejected arbitration as a possibility in a letter to Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., who had pleaded for both sides to agree to uninterrupted television for football fans “through the college bowl season.”

    Late Wednesday, Kerry threatened to ask the Federal Communications Commission to intervene if the sides can’t agree in time.*

    Prioritahs.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  74. spurned

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  75. If anyone did not make it, we got a 30 second break, and everyone had to do it again.

    Ohh, that sucks! We had similar drills (loved the “you are only as strong as the weakest link…” speeches) there always was one who just misses it by a second or two…

    Looking back on it, I almost always laugh at the things the coaches used to say or make us do, they had some of the best one-liners I have ever heard 😉

    Pons Asinorum (ea2afc)

  76. oops — @74 forgot to quote your sentence JD:

    “If anyone did not make it, we got a 30 second break, and everyone had to do it again. “

    Pons Asinorum (ea2afc)

  77. DRJ (#11 — 12/30/2009 @ 1:26 pm), I hadn’t seen that report before you linked it. It certainly reflects even more poorly on the Tech administration.

    This situation is rife with cognitive dissonance. It’s simultaneously possible, and even likely, that all of the following statements are true:Leach is a superb coach who has dramatically improved Texas Tech’s national profile, winning record, and recruiting.
    Leach is a clown whose behavior is frequently and deliberately outrageous, politically incorrect, and provocative — and not just on the football field. (My guess is that Leach’s attorney, for example, had no success talking his client out of this: “Standing next to her husband, who was draped in a pirate flag, Kirsten White said [at Wednesday morning’s court hearing that] the timing of the suspension and subsequent firing days before the bowl game is curious.”)
    The James family is legitimately concerned with their son’s physical and mental well-being, which they genuinely believe Leach has threatened.
    The James family’s arguable overreaction may be colored by their frustration that Adam James hasn’t gotten more playing time and achieved more success.
    Leach wanted to assert his prerogatives as coach to maintain discipline and leadership in a way calculated to embarrass James without inflicting any physical harm on him.
    The Tech administration was already thoroughly familiar with Leach’s pluses and minuses, and his suing the school for an emergency court order to place him back in business coaching for the team’s bowl appearance was simply the last straw on an overburdened camel’s back.
    The Tech administration, some members of which are still smarting from a bare-knuckled contract re-negotiation in which they felt that Leach robbed the school blind last year, has been motivated not only by concerns for either Leach, James, or the football program, but for the University’s short-term bottom line by seizing an opportunity to refuse to pay a large bonus that appears, apart from the James situation, to have been well and fully earned.
    The losers from this situation include not only Leach, the Tech administration, the James family, and the Tech football team, but their Alamo Bowl opponents from Michigan State — who, if they win, will be inevitably deprived of due credit by those who will contend that the kerfuffle hamstrung Tech’s chances.There may be fewer pairs of “clean hands” in this than would appear at first glance, and this story may not be subject to easy pigeonholing.

    Beldar (680a4e)

  78. BAH. Patterico, your software ought not show html ordered lists in the previews if they can’t actually be used in comments.

    Beldar (680a4e)

  79. I played D-1AA college football back in the mid-90’s. I’ve witnessed coaches do things that were good, from a motivation standpoint. I’ve also seen coaches take it too far… not from a physical abuse standpoint (which I’ve also seen), but from an “abuse of power towards a teenage kid” standpoint.

    I see no reason to make a kid with a concussion, stand up for three hours in any location, other than to show him (and the other players) who is boss. Once the interaction gets that petty, the coach will likely do something stupid.. like Leach did. If the kid has a concussion, make him get his treatment, then sit on the sidelines during practice. If he couldn’t be in the sunlight, send him to watch film. But getting into petty beefs with the players encourages mutiny, not discourages it.

    My DC and position coach (d-Line) got the D-lineman and linebackers up at 6am one morning, and made us roll up and down the basketball court for an hour. (Someone trashed a hotel room during an away game). I was on the verge of puking for three days. I did not think that was a big deal.

    I’ve also seen during the season, the head coach make a guy who had ACL surgery in the spring, PRACTICE although his knee was the size of a softball. And told people on the scout team to cut him (the guy played linebacker) although we were in shorts and shoulder pads. I’ve also seen coaches manipulate other players into turning against a player, because the kid caught bronchitis and could not play well because he lost like 30 lbs over the course of the season.

    Wielding that much power requires a delicate balance of discernment and thick skin.

    Maybe Adam James is a spoiled brat. Maybe he wanted to transfer to his father’s alma mater. Those are separate issues. If he was such a wuss/slacker/waste, I would gladly take back his scholarship and let him leave… unless I was on a power trip… At which point I am being more of a megalomaniac, and less of a coach for the remaining players.

    Chris G (464d0f)

  80. If Adam James was so unhappy with his treatment at the hands of the TT coaching staff, why didn’t he just quit?

    Seeing as the “horrendous treatment” Adam James suffered was in the past, why would the James family seek to spoil the Bowl experience of the rest of the TT team by bringing the issue up now instead of waiting until after the final game of the season?

    I can’t really find any good answer to those two questions.

    h2u (147639)

  81. here is Mr. Beldar’s thoughtful comment to where you can read it more better:

    This situation is rife with cognitive dissonance. It’s simultaneously possible, and even likely, that all of the following statements are true:Leach is a superb coach who has dramatically improved Texas Tech’s national profile, winning record, and recruiting.

    * Leach is a clown whose behavior is frequently and deliberately outrageous, politically incorrect, and provocative — and not just on the football field. (My guess is that Leach’s attorney, for example, had no success talking his client out of this: “Standing next to her husband, who was draped in a pirate flag, Kirsten White said [at Wednesday morning’s court hearing that] the timing of the suspension and subsequent firing days before the bowl game is curious.”)

    * The James family is legitimately concerned with their son’s physical and mental well-being, which they genuinely believe Leach has threatened.

    * The James family’s arguable overreaction may be colored by their frustration that Adam James hasn’t gotten more playing time and achieved more success.

    * Leach wanted to assert his prerogatives as coach to maintain discipline and leadership in a way calculated to embarrass James without inflicting any physical harm on him.

    * The Tech administration was already thoroughly familiar with Leach’s pluses and minuses, and his suing the school for an emergency court order to place him back in business coaching for the team’s bowl appearance was simply the last straw on an overburdened camel’s back.

    * The Tech administration, some members of which are still smarting from a bare-knuckled contract re-negotiation in which they felt that Leach robbed the school blind last year, has been motivated not only by concerns for either Leach, James, or the football program, but for the University’s short-term bottom line by seizing an opportunity to refuse to pay a large bonus that appears, apart from the James situation, to have been well and fully earned.

    * The losers from this situation include not only Leach, the Tech administration, the James family, and the Tech football team, but their Alamo Bowl opponents from Michigan State — who, if they win, will be inevitably deprived of due credit by those who will contend that the kerfuffle hamstrung Tech’s chances.

    There may be fewer pairs of “clean hands” in this than would appear at first glance, and this story may not be subject to easy pigeonholing.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  82. oh. I missed the first bullet point.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  83. and the italics. Jeez. Fail.

    last try.

    Beldar’s thoughtful comment. Formatted.

    Here we go.

    This situation is rife with cognitive dissonance. It’s simultaneously possible, and even likely, that all of the following statements are true:

    * Leach is a superb coach who has dramatically improved Texas Tech’s national profile, winning record, and recruiting.

    * Leach is a clown whose behavior is frequently and deliberately outrageous, politically incorrect, and provocative — and not just on the football field. (My guess is that Leach’s attorney, for example, had no success talking his client out of this: “Standing next to her husband, who was draped in a pirate flag, Kirsten White said [at Wednesday morning’s court hearing that] the timing of the suspension and subsequent firing days before the bowl game is curious.”)

    * The James family is legitimately concerned with their son’s physical and mental well-being, which they genuinely believe Leach has threatened.

    * The James family’s arguable overreaction may be colored by their frustration that Adam James hasn’t gotten more playing time and achieved more success.

    * Leach wanted to assert his prerogatives as coach to maintain discipline and leadership in a way calculated to embarrass James without inflicting any physical harm on him.

    * The Tech administration was already thoroughly familiar with Leach’s pluses and minuses, and his suing the school for an emergency court order to place him back in business coaching for the team’s bowl appearance was simply the last straw on an overburdened camel’s back.

    * The Tech administration, some members of which are still smarting from a bare-knuckled contract re-negotiation in which they felt that Leach robbed the school blind last year, has been motivated not only by concerns for either Leach, James, or the football program, but for the University’s short-term bottom line by seizing an opportunity to refuse to pay a large bonus that appears, apart from the James situation, to have been well and fully earned.

    * The losers from this situation include not only Leach, the Tech administration, the James family, and the Tech football team, but their Alamo Bowl opponents from Michigan State — who, if they win, will be inevitably deprived of due credit by those who will contend that the kerfuffle hamstrung Tech’s chances.

    There may be fewer pairs of “clean hands” in this than would appear at first glance, and this story may not be subject to easy pigeonholing.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  84. If I were Attorney General, I would initiate a RICO investigation of college football. I would start with a reading test. How many players could read at fourth grade level. Duke would probably pass. Florida probably not.

    What they’re doing to these kids is wasting four years of their lives to make millions for the coaches and tens of millions for the schools and TV networks. One percent of the kids will go on to the NFL. The other 99% will be pumping gas.

    nk (df76d4)

  85. You’re one of those ones what aren’t big on the willing suspension of disbelief I take it.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  86. You’re one of those ones what aren’t big on the willing suspension of disbelief I take it.

    Comment by happyfeet — 12/30/2009 @ 7:26 pm

    Depends, happyfeet. Are we talking about winged horses and unicorns, or college team sports?

    nk (df76d4)

  87. hah! … have you seen this yet? I’m not gonna see the movie probably but the trailer is awesome.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  88. My daughter and I have watched the original http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clash_of_the_Titans_(1981_film) several times on Netflix on Demand. I hope the new one is as good.

    The trouble with these remakes is that Hollywood is so talentless these days that it tries to make up for lack of creativity with gratuitous violence and special effects.

    nk (df76d4)

  89. the old one is one of those hard not to watch movies when you flip past it… I hope they bring back the little owl and I couldn’t even say why I just hope they do.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  90. I love Clash Of The Titans! Despite the comparatively-awful graphics involved with the Kraken, Medusa and the scorpions it still holds up due to the excellent cinematic storytelling. The new version looks pretty slick but I’ll reserve judgement until I see it.

    As nk points out, Hollywood has a knack these days for substituting CG for quality filmmaking.

    h2u (147639)

  91. #45

    Yeah! Leach is a fucking GOD!

    Dumbasses like you are protesting on TT campus and you know where your dumb-ass would end up? Where they did, in the Lubbock fucking County JAIL.

    End of story.

    Are you close to Lubbock? Or just spouting your opinion?!??????????

    I was born in Littlefield and raised in Spade. Where are you, dipfuck?

    STFU. Ignorant ass.

    I was born and raised here, do not tell me how to think, or act.

    Come on over, and us West Texans will let ya know..otherwise, STFU.

    [This comment was caught in the spam filter, probably because of its language. I’ve released it with the request that Teetop tone it down from now on. — DRJ]

    Teetop (1f1551)

  92. #49; Exactly!

    #50 You’re still a clueless.

    Teetop (1f1551)

  93. #80

    If your son was hurt, would you want him standing for who knows how long, with a concusion?

    Or “B”, let his Doctor chose his path of recovery?

    You chose “A”, let the coach decide.

    What. A. Moron.

    #46; Thanks Dustin. You said it better than I could.

    Teetop (1f1551)

  94. I was born in Littlefield and raised in Spade. Where are you, *******?

    ROFL! Last I checked one didn’t need to be from Texas to know something about Texas football. Leach had an 84-43 record over 10 years and secured a trip to the postseason every single season. This is the first time in my knowledge that any allegations of misconduct have been directed at him, yet Texas Tech decides to fire him under suspicious circumstances.

    But don’t let facts get in your way, Teetop. Keep on bein’ such a classy Texan. It suits you jus’ fine.

    h2u (147639)

  95. I was born in Littlefield and raised in Spade. Where are you, *******?

    ROFL! Last I checked one didn’t need to be from Texas to know something about Texas football. Leach had an 84-43 record over 10 years and secured a trip to the postseason every single season. This is the first time in my knowledge that any allegations of misconduct have been directed at him, yet Texas Tech decides to fire him under suspicious circumstances.

    But don’t let facts get in your way, Teetop. Keep on bein’ such a classy Texan. It suits you jus’ fine.

    h2u (147639)

  96. Pardon the double-post…

    If your son was hurt, would you want him standing for who knows how long, with a concusion [sic]?

    Nothing happened to him! He had to stand in a darkened room! It’s not like he was subjected to a beating…

    h2u (147639)

  97. Here’s an interesting piece from HuffPo on this issue.

    h2u (147639)

  98. #97 enough said. Huffpost?!

    Go to Lubbock and protest on the TT campus, tough-guy.

    Moron.

    You have no nads.

    End. Of. Story.

    Teetop (1f1551)

  99. #95; it helps if you know whats going on…on the ground, Like, …. in Lubbock?

    *rolls eyes*

    God, you are ignorant….

    Teetop (1f1551)

  100. Teetop,

    Do you want to talk about this subject or did you just come here to insult people?

    DRJ (84a0c3)

  101. #96; Against his will?

    If so, false imprisonment or better yet, kidnapping.

    Doesn’t matter if it’s a college coach or whoever, it’s the same.

    Law. Is. Law.

    Teetop (1f1551)

  102. Clean-up on aisle 98…

    While the HuffPo may be a liberal blog, that doesn’t change the information being relayed by the author. Rebut the content; don’t dismiss the source.

    As for needing to be in Texas to understand this brouhaha, one need not be in Washington, D.C. to criticize the performance of our Commander-In-Chief or opine on the legislation being debated in the Senate.

    h2u (147639)

  103. #100; I am tired of everyone online bashing the James’ family.

    Does coach Leach bear any responsibility in this?

    If so, where are those comments?

    I have seen very few.

    Otherwise, it’s just a bash the James family reunion.

    Teetop (1f1551)

  104. If so, false imprisonment or better yet, kidnapping.

    Wait. What?

    False imprisonment? Kidnapping? It’s not like he was at gunpoint, Teetop! He was a member of the football team! He could have quit at any time — instead he decided to go a different route…

    Unbelievable. Law is law? What does that even mean?

    h2u (147639)

  105. #102; Rebut what I have heard on Lubbock news, then let’s talk.

    Teetop (1f1551)

  106. I liked how Mr. Beldar said there were no winners in this.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  107. #104; doesn’t matter, once you’re held against your will. It’s illegal.

    Do you not understand that?

    Oh, I see. A division one coach is a god…..

    Teetop (1f1551)

  108. #106; agreed.

    No one wins in this…

    Teetop (1f1551)

  109. #95; Have you seen Leach’s ambulance chasing attorney?

    Good luck, Mike.

    Leach and Liggett are both losers.

    Teetop (1f1551)

  110. #104; doesn’t matter, once you’re held against your will. It’s illegal.

    He was free to leave at any time — as long as he was willing to part ways with Texas Tech football. That’s what you seem to be missing.

    h2u (147639)

  111. Leach and Liggett are both losers.

    And you’re really addressing the meat of this story. Oy vey.

    h2u (147639)

  112. Teetop,

    Feel free to defend the James family. For instance, earlier you asked:

    My question is; Can Leach still be charged with false imprisonment or kidnapping?

    I am saying yes.

    Why don’t you give us your legal reasoning why you think that?

    DRJ (84a0c3)

  113. DRJ and H2U, I have to go to work in the morning.

    I hope all is well and I meant no harm, just debate.

    I have been a long time reader of this blog and had to comment.

    Good-night and best wishes to all.

    (It just pisses me off when people try to comment on things that they don’t know the whole story on. Leach isn’t “lily-white”.)

    Teetop (1f1551)

  114. #112; If someone is held against their will, what is that called?

    I am not an attorney, you answer it.

    I live in this area, kidnapping is not a laughing matter here, nor is false imprisonment.

    I will see your reply in the morning. Good night.

    Teetop (1f1551)

  115. Texas Tech will explain its decision. The university that overlooked Bob Knight’s methods of handling players in order to have him revive its basketball program suddenly has become the Amnesty International of the NCAA.

    The lawyers will do battle. Leach’s attorney already has announced plans to contest the university’s stance that it has terminated Leach “with cause,” which means Texas Tech would not owe him a $1.6 million settlement.

    The above come from here.
    No winners in Leach firing

    I’ve probably posted way too much on this thread already, (ok I know I have), but timing is everything and the timing of these actions by the James family and TT Uni can’t be construed as anything honorable, I care not whose yard stick you choose to measure with.

    Now Teetop, nothing at all against you, but when you invite a shit storm, as TT uni and the James family did, do not scream and cry foul when it begins to fall indiscriminately from the sky! Something to always to remember when living in the desert, when it rains it pours, when it pours it floods. Every time!

    *******

    As a side, I’m sure that many here would be more than happy to accept your invitation and join you in TX as long as you are offering to cover our expenses for said gathering. Since none of us use airlines any longer and will use a variety of travel modes, I suggest you just set up a large fund and DRJ can can manage the claims and insure the event is as advertised. I’m sure it will go smoothly as by gawd it’s gotta be warmer in TX right now than it is here.

    TC (0b9ca4)

  116. Teetop: As I understand it, the James family has never contended that Leach threatened violence or other illegal means to force Adam James’ compliance with his instructions. As an attorney — and, for what it’s worth, as a Lamesa boy who rooted for Tech and regularly attended their games as a kid, and whose mother got both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Tech (way back when it was Texas Technological College) — I can assure you that the facts the James family has alleged are plenty serious, but they fall far short of supporting legal labels like “kidnapping” or “false imprisonment,” so it really isn’t helpful to inject those into the discussion. (Next someone will be accusing Coach Leach of belonging to al Qaeda.)

    Nevertheless, even if the only compulsion involved was that of a head coach who could determine playing time and scholarship eligibility, Coach Leach (like all college head football coaches) had ample practical authority and power to make it a very legitimate matter of concern to the James family and the Tech administration if he was indeed abusing that authority and power. Put another way, there’s a lot that a football coach can do well short of literally kidnapping or imprisoning his players which still ought to get him fired. So the issue here — one which has sparked lots of emotion for those involved, but which can be discussed politely here — is whether Leach’s conduct (or misconduct) justified the Tech administration’s conclusion that he had breached his contract and given them legal grounds to fire him “for cause.”

    I’m genuinely undecided because I’m sure none of us yet know the “whole story,” but enough of the story is out in the press for me to conclude that at a minimum, both Coach Leach and the Tech officials have made some missteps which put them in an unflattering light. (And personally, I’m reserving even that sort of preliminary judgment about the James family at this point.)

    By all means, continue to argue the position you believe is the correct one. But insulting other commenters who may disagree with you really hurts your own credibility.

    When you re-read this over a cup of coffee in the morning, perhaps you’ll summon up the same sort of good sportsmanship which prompts you to applaud when an opposing team’s player regains his feet and trots off the field after an injury time-out. Cut some slack for those who have a different take than yours, perhaps, and see if you can persuade them rather than insult them.

    Beldar (680a4e)

  117. I am going to refrain from noting that Teetop is a mental midget.

    JD (e18e2f)

  118. I am going to refrain from noting that Teetop is a mental midget.

    Shorter JD: I’m going to refrain from noting that Teetop is from Texas.

    [h2u runs away]

    h2u (147639)

  119. Teetop,

    In general, the elements of false imprisonment are:

    * a purpose to detain another individual against their will.

    * the act of carrying out this purpose.

    * the resulting detainment of the individual against their will.

    * no means of escape, which does not include a means that endangers personal safety.

    * the person confined must also be aware of the confinement.

    * the person committing the act must not have legal authority to do so.

    Do you think Mike Leach, as coach, had the authority to confine or direct the activities of the student-athletes on his team while they were at practice?

    DRJ (84a0c3)

  120. I still do not understand all the wailing and gnashing of teeth over this. I know Leach is an odd duck, but the outrage by the likes of Teetop is not commensurate with the allegations. Maybe zuk will set aside his pride, hire Leach as an offensive coordinator. Please.

    JD (e18e2f)

  121. I don’t understand the TT admin. They hired Knight who grabbed a d-bag by the throat, threw chairs, “sit back and enjoy it”, et al, and then fire Leach for making a player stand in a dark room?

    JD (e18e2f)

  122. JD, it doesn’t make any sense until you follow the money.

    h2u (147639)

  123. h2 – I get the money part. I just do not get the lunacy from the Teetops of the world. It is so far out of proportion. End. Of. Story 😉

    JD (e5521e)

  124. More about the money:

    [Bobby Gleason, Tech’s deputy athletic director and chief financial officer] said Tech’s most recent operating budget of $48 million was about the middle of the road compared to the rest of the Big 12, and it’s grown substantially during the last decade. Gleason said the Red Raiders had an athletic budget of about $12 million in 1996, the conference’s first year, and last year they generated about $10.5 million in revenue from football alone.
    **
    Gleason said the new facilities generate about $12 million a year in revenue, but the annual debt they incur is about $2 million more than that. That’s partly why Tech has finished three of the last four fiscal years in the red, according to Gleason, but [Athletic Director Gerald] Myers said it’s a price the department must pay to remain competitive.
    ***
    Gleason said Tech’s athletic budget will increase to about $53 million in the fiscal year 2010, which began Sept. 1, and he and Myers expect continued growth in the years to come. But Gleason said such growth depends greatly on the success of the football and basketball programs, which generate the most revenue, and that the athletic budget certainly won’t quadruple like it did between 1996 and 2009.

    Either way, the Red Raiders are doing all they can to keep up with the Joneses of the Big 12.

    Mike Leach was the Texas Tech football coach from 2000-2009.

    DRJ (84a0c3)

  125. Comment by nk — 12/30/2009 @ 7:22 pm

    Be careful. The test results would likely indicate a higher level of comprehension among college athletes than among the general student population.

    Having said this, though, this Mike Leach/Adam James brouhaha is just another warning sign that American football is heading for harder times then their current almighty status shows.

    Brad S (9f6740)

  126. I haven’t read all the comments, so if somebody already brought this up I apologize. I suspect that the main reason Tech went ahead and fired Leach is that all of these big programs have skeletons in the closet in the form of recruiting violations. The AD knows about them but maintains a level of plausible deniability. So, when somebody shines a spotlight on your program, you know that some of these problems may very well come to light, and your primary objective is to just turn off the light. Ergo, the thinking is ‘fire the coach and make this go away’. Probably won’t happen that way, but that’s the thinking.

    Phil Smith (1cf25d)

  127. Teetop, sounds like you have a personal vendetta against the Coach. What’s wrong, hun, did you fail to make the cut?

    As a former long time resident of Lubbock and former Techie, who has worked for many of the “big money” people of West Texas, this decision is going to hit Tech in the wallet from yet another angle.

    Most of the big money people like Leach personally and support Tech financially due to his record.

    No doubt that they will quietly begin withdrawing financial support of the “White Tower”, aka Tech admin, to make a statement.

    Along with the many free “perks” that were offered to the athletic department…

    CR (411f24)

  128. It’s a shame, but I think the TT program and the kids in the program will be the big losers. The next coach they get will be significantly lower quality than Leach. Recruiting will be very difficult. Boosters will be disenchanted. Football revenues will decline. TT athletics will slide back into the ooze of failure. It’s too bad that the feckless administration won’t be affected by their boneheaded handling of Leach, but college administrators are never penalized for their actions.

    jkstewart2 (06c448)


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