Mike Leach. Seriously? Are you that dumb?[UPDATED]

Say what you will about Mike Leach as a football coach.  Dude is good, and has a high ceiling that could lead to a high profile job.  Check that.  Dude is good, and had a high ceiling.  Now dude may have swept in and stole the dumbass of the year award.

(Note from me about how I’m fascinated by this Leach story so I’m going to update it as things develop or until we get sick of it.)

Seriously, this story is just insane.  Apparently dude took a redshirt sophomore named Adam James and did some interesting things with him.  James suffered a concussion on December 16th during practice.  On the 17th, Leach told a trainer to take James and take him “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.”  That is according to a source close to the family.

Had the part about James not being able to sit or lean not been in there, I could make a case for Leach doing something to make sure that James was comfortable during the time he should have been at practice, and that maybe his heart was in the right place.

But wait, it gets better.  Leach allegedly told James not to come out or he would be kicked off the team.  Then, a mere two days later, Leach did it all again, this time having James confined to an electrical closet with a guard outside the door.  Not sure what the guard was for, but once again James was secluded and basically held against his will.

Some pretty stupid moves by the coach here.  It gets even more dumb when you take into account that James is the son of Craig James.  Yeah, that Craig James.  The one who is a college football analyst for ESPN.  How dumb do you have to be to pull something like this to begin with?  Now how dumb do you have to be to pull this on the son of a national analyst for the sport you are in?


Doc referenced comments made in this article here by the Avalanche-Journal Staff.  This is my favorite part:

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.

Ah, but the lawyer says:

“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.

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.

The lawyer’s comments are in the ESPN article as well, for what it is worth.

Update 2

Raj mentioned the “fat girls” incident.  Skip to the 28 second mark and enjoy:

22 thoughts on “Mike Leach. Seriously? Are you that dumb?[UPDATED]”

  1. I loved that Leach apparently blistered Craig James as a “little-league dad” who was always calling and meddling.

    Apparently, Leach was ordered to write a letter of apology to the James family, and when he did not, he was suspended. Maybe Leach can join Jim Leavitt and Mark Mangino at the same sensitivity training session.

    Meanwhile, defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill, a Lumberton, NC native, will coach the Red Raiders in the Alamo Bowl in Leach’s absence.

    This reminds me a little of the line in Good Morning Vietnam where the general tells the sergeant major that he had always covered for him because he thought he was a little bit crazy, but he realized he wasn’t crazy, just mean. Leach’s peculiarities seem to be teetering on the edge.

  2. The kid is stupid for going in to the closet in the first place. We’re not talking about a child here, the guy is at least 19 years old. Allowing himself to be treated that way is ludicrous.

  3. He may not have really known what was going on for the first one, Pat, but the second time around I don’t see it happening to me that is for sure. But, he does have a concussion and he is 19 years old. Just saying. Can’t put the blame on the kid on this one, in my opinion, but I see what you are saying.

  4. I know Leach should never have done this and I don’t blame the kid. I’m just saying nobody, and I mean absolutely nobody, would have stuck a 19-year-old smallandpetty in a closet for any period of time for any reason. Just wouldn’t happen. I could have been in a coma and I would have still woken up and commenced to whipping his ass if he’d have tried that nonsense with me.

  5. I agree w/ you Pat. A lot of people have that whole blindly following authority figures thing going on though… so I can’t say I blame him. But the SECOND time (and beyond) that it happened when he knew what was coming seems sort of weak to me.

  6. Wow…Leach is a sick man. There is always more to the story than what the public knows though, but man…hard to defend any of that. It’s almost like he wants everyone to know he’s nuts by doing this to a kid with a dad who millions of people watch on their TV every week.

  7. I get that he told the kid he’d be kicked off the team if he didn’t comply, but if I’m the kid I’m telling him to take his team and cram it. Is that really the kind of coach you want to play for? How does that inspire loyalty in this kid or anyone else on the team? I can’t believe none of his teammates stood up for this dude. I can’t believe none of the assistants said “hey boss, are you REALLY sure you want to do this? Doesn’t this seem like a bad idea?”. The NCAA needs to step in and investigate the whole program if this kind of stuff is going on.

  8. Did you guys hear Leach’s rants about his players “fat little girlfriends”? The dude appears to have a pattern of having zero respect for the fact that his players are human beings. That doesn’t – or at least shouldn’t – cut it in the modern world of college athletics (although I have no idea how modern Lubbock is compared to the rest of the world…). He should lose his job for this.

  9. Yeah Raj, I remember that too. Sad thing is, I thought it was funny when he said it and laughed thinking he probably had his reasons. Now your right, it seems he had no respect for his players as people with lives outside of football.

  10. Hold up hold up. Concussions? Well that kind of thing happens, but there is NO excuse for a player having a fat girlfriend! 19 years old or not, you should know better.

    If an NCSU bball player had a fat girlfriend, then they’d be on NCAA suspension (no parades).

  11. ^Nice. So can we assume from the title of that article that somewhere there are 4,079 other examples of him physically abusing his players?

  12. Now Leach is seeking a restraining order to allow him to coach the bowl game. Dude, seriously?

    Then again, the speculation on ESPN this morning was that Leach is expecting to be fired over this but is due a payment of $800K if he is the coach at Texas Tech on December 31. It then makes sense that he is seeking the court order to make sure he is employed on December 31 so brother can get paid.

  13. There are some coaches who are just drunk with power and they think just b/c they’re a successful head coach they can do whatever they want to do with no repercussions.

    There is more to this than meets the eye. I think a lot of Leach’s actions are rooted from the fact he never played collegiate football and he’s looking at this James kid, son of ESPN analyst Craig James who did play at the college and pro level and decided he was going to test punish the James’ just b/c he could.

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