Hello Cougar Nation?
Did you miss me last week? I missed you…
After a cataclysmic (is that even a word?) incident while I was putting a Maker’s Mark fueled rant together on how much I dislike the direction of our basketball program under Ken Bone, I have returned to my usual Tuesday time slot. Actually, my fat, drunk fingers accidentally “x’d out” of our blogging software before I had the chance to save the post. At 10:30 on a Monday night, that is the point of no return, so I just hit the sack.
Anyways, it appears to be for the better, as our Hoops team is now on a four game roll, after an ugly slide in Anaheim over Thanksgiving weekend.
Anyways, today I wanted to weigh in on some of the alleged baggage that comes with our new football coach. Click the jump for more.
Right after Leach was hired, I ordered a copy of his book, Swing Your Sword. I got it last week and devoured it in about four sittings; I’m not the fastest reader, but this was a quick, great read. If you haven’t had the chance to get it yet, I’ve heard it can be ordered on Nook for like $8. I got a hard copy of it on Amazon myself.
As I began reading it, more than my curiosity about the man and his rise through the college ranks, I was looking forward to hear his side of the Adam James debacle.
To call it a debacle is nice, I will be shocked if he does not win both of his suits, against Texas Tech and ESPN.
Here is my take on the situation, nothing groundbreaking, but I thought it would spark some good conversation over here.
Here is what we do know:
-Adam James was a lightly recruited football prospect coming out of high school
-His dad, Craig James, who helped land SMU the death penalty in the 80s, used his ESPN status to push coaches to recruit his son. Specifically, he reached out to Nevada and Texas Tech. This, after stating on live television during the 2000-something Houston Bowl, that he would never let his son be a Red Raider. Apparently he thought a TTU touchdown celebration was uncalled for.
-After nobody else offered Adam, even though his staff had little interest in him, Mike Leach thought he would be a good gray-shirt candidate. Adam’s first year on campus, he was on the baseball team, only to quit after feeling slighted over playing time.
-TTU QB, Graham Harrell, lived with a baseball player who frequently mentioned James’ poor work ethic and sense of entitlement.
-James joins the football team, and never earns the respect of his teammate.
-Leach claims that Craig made more calls to his staff about Adam’s playing time, than all of the other player’s parents combined. Adam has done nothing to earn significant playing time, and Leach threatens Adam to play some of “daddy’s” voice mails to the entire team if James is unable to control his father’s complaints.
-Leach signs a contract extension in December of 2008 after compiling an 11-2 record that season. Even before the contract was signed, through public record’s requests obtained via email, it was clear TTU Chancellor and a few boosters already are looking for outs to terminate Leach. There was a $800K completion bonus that was to mature 12/31/2009 after completing six years of the current contract. That being said, only the President and Athletic Director had authority to fire him, the Board of Regents and Chancellor did not.
-After going 8-4 in the 2009 season and being invited to play Michigan State in the Valero Alamo Bowl, James shows up to practice late, in street clothes, wearing a baseball hat backwards, and wearing sunglasses. He complained about sensitivity to the light and Leach requested the team trainer to take care of the situation.
-James was moved to a shed/room to avoid being bothered by the light and was instructed to stay out of the electrical closet. At this time, James went into the electrical closet to goof around, where he shot this video and sent it to his father saying “you will like this”
-Craig James then retains Spaeth Communications, a PR Firm, who you will see posted the above video to You Tube. Numerous emails obtained by the Leach Party shows Spaeth worked as hard as they could to get clicks to this video on You Tube. Strange, considering it was a video Adam shot, that he thought was funny.
-An internal investigation is launched by TTU, and their own committee determined after interviewing all parties that there was no wrong-doing. It was recommended that Leach apologize with a letter and there would be no suspension or termination, but being a man of conviction, he refused.
-Just prior to the Alamo Bowl, Leach was suspended and then fired as head coach at Texas Tech, on the grounds of Insubordination, for failing to sign the apology letter.
-The university hid behind the state law of Soverign Immunity, which in my opinion is about as outdated as Prohibition. Essentially, Sovereign Immunity, would mean that no contracts signed in the state are enforceable. This is still being challenged, and will be interesting to watch over the coming year(s).
-During deposition, Adam James made it clear that he was never under physical duress and found the entire situation funny. Leach noted, and backed it up with the deposition, that Craig James lied through his teeth about his claims, during deposition.
The entire book is backed up with glowing compliments of Coach Leach from former players, coaches who Leach worked for and who worked under him, as well as former TTU employees. Leach also pointed out that he would never put his player’s in harm’s way. He noted that earlier in 2009, he sat Graham Harrell for a month because of a concussion. “Why would I force a a guy, who plays roughly five snaps a game, to practice with a concussion, but sit my starting QB for a month, for the same reason?”
Leach point out one last Texas Tech hypocrisy that is rather interesting. After Tommy Tuberville was hired as his replacement, he brought a strength and conditioning coach from Auburn University, along with him. The coach, Kevin Yoxall, is apparently the only strength and conditioning coach in the history of college football to be sued for negligence.
Thank you Texas Tech, as they say, one man’s junk, is another man’s treasure!