Texas Tech fires Leach
Texas Tech coach Mike Leach has been “terminated with cause effective immediately.” Leach was recently suspended after allegations surfaced that he twice locked receiver Adam James in a cold electrical closet because James had a concussion and wasn’t going to practice. People tend to look down on that type of stuff, so the firing should not come as a surprise, right? Well, it may not be so straight forward.
Photo Caption: “Sorry, coach. I would love to run the stairs, but my dad’s Craig James.”
There has been tension between Mike Leach and the school ever since the coach’s last contract battle. If Leach were still employed tomorrow, he would have been owed an $800,000 bonus. If he was fired without cause, he would receive $1.6 million from the school. Funny timing.
There have also been reports that Adam James was a pain in the butt. CBSsports.com recently received emails from current and former Texas Tech players and coaches trashing the sophomore.
Inside receivers coach Lincoln Riley was particularly critical of James in his e-mails. Riley said that James was one of three receivers sent to run stairs as discipline for unsatisfactory work.
“He [James] complained to me that we were not doing our jobs as coaches and that his effort was just fine … It’s just another example of Adam thinking that he knows more about coaching than people who have been coaching their entire lives. I have no doubt that anger from this led to where we are today … and is his way of trying to “get back” at us coaches.”
Former player Eric Morris wrote that the team felt “negative energy” from James who expected the team “to baby him” because he was the son of a famous player. Portraying James as a malingerer doesn’t necessarily address the allegation that the player was mistreated. However, the school has not been forthcoming with any hard evidence against Leach. The coach said in a statement that he was not being offered “[due] process” in the investigation. Leach also stated that he would never intentionally harm any player.
Concussions are being taken more seriously than ever, and rightfully so. Obviously no player should be punished for not being able to practice – or punished in that manner at all. But the timing and politics seem very suspicious.