I continue to be amazed to find that nobody involved in the Leach fiasco seems to be willing to shut the hell up, other than Adam James.
Yesterday on the WWL, we were treated to the solemn intonation of Rece Davis relaying the information that TTU released in the form of affidavits from the team’s trainer and physician and then the almost non-stop prattling of Bob Davie and Mike Patrick in the booth last night during the Alamo Bowl (some of which was certainly understandable in light of Texas Tech’s participation in the game, of course).
So what do we know, as opposed to what we think we know, at this point? And questions… there are still lots of questions. Here’s a summary:
- Mike Leach made an example out of Adam James. Davie, of all people, made a coherent point when he asked if James was treated differently than other Red Raider players who suffered a concussion. Davie didn’t ask the follow up question that was on my mind, though: did James behave differently in following team rules than other players who suffered concussions? How much of this debate is over discipline and how much over following medical procedures?
- Bad blood between Leach and James. Notice I didn’t say which James. We’ve already heard from Leach that he replayed messages from Craig James about his son. What if this is something that escalated not because of the actions of the son but because of those of the dad?
- Mike Leach isn’t nearly as smart as he thinks he is. Don’t tell me it didn’t hurt watching your former team play last night, Coach. It had to. Picking a fight with ESPN is a risky strategy, as we’re all seeing right now. And there probably aren’t very many $2 million per year jobs falling out of the trees right now – just ask Tommy Tuberville, who’s publicly asking to be considered for your replacement.
- Mike Leach never jeopardized the health of Adam James. Reading those affidavits as strongly against Leach as you can, there’s still nothing that says the player was physically mistreated or that his health was put at risk. I don’t doubt that the trainer and doctor disapproved, but notice that neither one instructed Leach not to carry it out.
- There’s no pattern of abuse. If Leach really was an uncaring SOB, you’d have heard about that from someone other than Adam James and his dad by now. Believe me, TTU’s administrators have been scouring the face of the earth for those players for days. Nobody else has come forward to complain about physical abuse, or even being embarrassed by Leach’s discipline. This isn’t a Mangino situation where complaints started coming in from every direction once the word got out.
- ESPN has circled the wagons. I don’t know why the WWL has made this bet, but it clearly has taken sides. Ex-coaches doing TV commentary are like policemen and the blue line: they never criticize their own. Yet listen to the likes of Holtz and Davie go on about the subject.
- The affidavits don’t help the school. At least the timing of the affidavits doesn’t. The immediate response was to treat those as new information. To us, it was. But the school had that information on December 21. If that was enough to justify the termination of Leach’s contract, why didn’t TTU act immediately then?
What a mess. Leach is out of a job. The school has fractured the program and the fan base. ESPN’s credibility has taken a hit (h/t Jim from Duluth @ Dawg Run Message Board). Whoever winds up claiming a win when the dust settles, it’s going to be Pyrrhic as hell.
22 responses to “Bob Davie isn’t a lawyer; he just plays one on TV.”
You have to figure that the school has been lawyered up and regularly consulting since last year’s contract negotiations. I don’t know what that says, except I know that when lawyers get involved things change.
There are eerie parallells with the Duke Lacrosse case in the school administration’s conduct. Same rush to judgment, same public moral preening, same absence of deliberation, same ? ? ? College administrators aren’t the thoughful minds they’re supposed to be, and discretion is a lost art.
The affidavits were obviously contrived. The team trainer and physician are school employees. They were leaned on to say what the administration wanted them to say–a common tactic employers use against employees in termination cases (and in other kinds of cases, as well). If the doctor and the trainer thought putting young James in the “shed” was so bad why did they participate themselves? Aren’t they culpable, too? How come they haven’t been fired, too? This is completely transparent and won’t stand up for 5 minutes on cross-examination at trial or at a deposition.
TT is in active cover-up mode now.
You know what else is really hurting TX Tech? Listening to the interview of the TX Tech Chancellor. That yokel sounds like he shouldn’t be allowed to teach kindergarten let alone be the Chancellor of a university. A strong accent is one thing, but the grammer and ‘what you know good’ word choice… please!
Yes but, don’t miss the inportant point. Even though he didn’t mean to – Leach was sending a message to the rest of his players: Don’t fully report concussions. I know that wasn’t the message he was trying to send but…… See point #3 above. For that reason alone Leach HAD to be fired.
Contrast that to the way UGA handeled Rambo’s concussion. Glory, Glory to ol Georgia!
C’mon..It is a stretch to suggest that Leach was trying to send a message about reporting concussions. There hasn’t been anything to suggest that this was a pattern of behavior in treating concussions for Leach or his staff..
Some think that maybe this was the message he was trying to send…
Just a continuation of the close player-coach relationship that they’ve always had…
I agree with the above comments. What I am the most amazed by is not that they fired Leach, or their reasons but the lack of foresight on TT’s part in how they have handled the media. It seems like by coming out and having the chancellor speak as well as releasing the affadavits, that they are being overly sensitive to any criticism that would come from firing Leach. If it is as clear cut as they want to make it seem then they should not have to go to such great lengths to make their case.
Everyone keeps accusing ESPN of taking the James family’s side and that may be true, but most of the blogs and people that are saying that (the senator not necessarily included) are doing the opposite and seem to be blindly jumping on the Leach side. I haven’t made up my mind yet, but I’m not gonna throw away the affidavits just because their from uni employees. Most of the current players seemed to have turned on Leach. You can call it the pussification of America if you want but there are a lot of coaches on the high school, college, and pro level who can coach and hand out discipline without being sadistic a-holes. I grew up in Alabama, so I know what the bear would’ve done. And the truth is, he should’ve been fired for Junction. I’ll probably end up with the opinion that Leach didn’t do anything to endanger Adam Jones but his handling of the situation in regards to his concussion, the suing of the university, and his overall smarty pants attitude about the whole thing makes me glad he got fired. Yes I said smarty pants.
A complicated mess with partial discovery happening in public.
My only comment is in regard to what Bob Davie had to say on the telecast and also what Leach said in his ESPN interview.
Davie said that in today’s world, coaches can’t afford to play a part in the treatment of injured players. They have to leave that up to the medical staff. That made sense.
Leach in his interview admitted to saying something to the effect of “go put him in a dark place” or something like that. Leach came across as somebody that was dismissive of the situation.
I agree w/MayorofDawgtown. The latest affadavits released by TT from the trainer and the doctor seem to be in direct contradiction w/what they had both previously said. That, to me, brings into question their credibility and really questions TT’s credibility. Those guys were firmly behind Leach and now have basically done a 180 to get behind the school. Sounds to me like someone got to them and “reminded” them they are employees of the school and changed their story. I’ve also read in other places that Craig James basically pleaded w/Leach to give Adam a shot on the football and that he originally there for baseball. Both the former and current receivers coach have both said they didn’t think he was good enough to be a D1 receiver and didn’t want him on the team, but Leach overruled as a favor to James. Craig James is also reported to have several business dealings in partnership w/the chancellor.
No good deed ever goes unpunished.
I liked the article about Comcast taking on the WWL. No organization should have a monopoly on broadcasting anything and the WWL is fast approaching that status. Believe me I’m not a Comcast fan I live in their service area (I use the word service loosely) area and they are as greedy as they come but it should keep the WWL honest.
Leach will get a quit and quite settlement TT can’t stand the fan heat for long. The fans will be on the jury so no lawyer in his right mind is going to let it go that far. Leach will be signed by some desperate AD that needs to turn his FB program around (see Jones at SMU) and make more money than he did at TT.
Leaches job prospects, at least for the next 2 years after this story dies down are low. Leach is toxic to school Admins….no employer wants an employee that is well known to be litigious. Even if the employee was completely in the right.
I agree. It’s another thing that puzzles me about the way the school went about this. It’s almost guaranteed that Leach has nothing to lose by going to court.
Some random observations based on excessive reading of Texas Tech fan sites:
1) It’s increasingly clear that if Adam James’ injury had been anything other than a concussion, we’d never have heard anything about this whole incident;
2) It appears Leach’s treatment of James had nothing to do with the specific nature of his injury;
3) The smart thing for Leach to have done, then, while he was in negotiations with the administration, was a unilateral statement apologizing solely for giving the impression that he was punishing James for following medical advice about his concussion, and stating clearly his strong support for treating concussions as very serious; this would have made the issue a general disciplinary relationship with a troublesome, spoiled player;
4) I gather that the “apology” the administration asked Leach to make included language straight out of his contract, which meant that signing it would have been admission of a breach of contract and grounds for both losing his bonus and getting fired; no wonder he wouldn’t sign it;
5) Leach fans across the country don’t seem to have quite grasped that to football “traditionalists,” the man is a pariah; this is why he didn’t get any consideration for the many coaching openings last year, and why he may not get a new job anytime soon;
6) The senator and commenters are absolutely right about the absurdity of the WWL’s efforts last night to treat the training/doctor affadavits as “new evidence” with a major bearing on the case; they also acted as though Leach’s refusal to “respond” to the affadavits was some sort of fatal admission of dishonesty;
7) Of many dumb things said by Bob Davie last night, the dumbest was praising the James family for their “courage” in dropping a dime on Leach, because “they have to live in Texas the rest of their lives.” They don’t live in Lubbock, and elsewhere in Texas, people are either indifferent to or pleased with Leach’s firing, and Craig James is reinforcing the conservative establishment’s view of Leach as an unsavory crazy person who doesn’t fit their view of football coaches as button-down conservatives like themselves;
8) Kent Hance may sound like a yokel, but as viewers of the movie “W” may recall, he’s the only politician who ever defeated George W. Bush at the polls; he was a Democratic congressman who switched parties when it was convenient to his political career. Hance has some arguably contemptible characteristics, but “stupid” ain’t one of them.
“stupid” ain’t one of them…
To me the punishment doesn’t fit the crime. Leach did not hit the kid or lay hands on him in any way. If a higher up did not like what Leach did he should have been reprimanded. But suspended from the bowl game and then fired? Excessive. TT clearly was looking for a way to get rid of leach because of monetary reasons (see the e-mails). The one thing about all this that gives me pause (from Leach’s side) is that he did file a lawsuit against his employer asking for a restraining order to allow him to coach the bowl game. Remember the issue in this is did his conduct rise to a level that allows TT to fire him for “cause” and thereby avoid payment of his termination money under the contract. Suing TT may rise to that level in the minds of jurors–the other stuff probably not, particularly in light of the surrounding circumstances with the kid being a malcontent, etc.
you’re such a drama queen…
enough of this leach fiasco
can we talk about the fiesta bowl and boise st. beating TCU and the orange bowl and georgia tech beating iowa.
Best summary and points I’ve seen from anyone on this, Senator.
There is one story reported about Leach and another unusual punishment. A player missed study hall so Aaaarrgggh had a sofa (undoubtedly one that fled Morganton before the pyros could get to it) placed on the practice field. The player did book work while practice went on around him. Sounds much more dangerous than standing in an equipment/media room in low light with trainers watching over you.
If Leach wouldn’t mind doing a little OC training in Athens while he waits for that HCing phone call to come in, I could overlook what a bad boy he has been. He could live at Bobo’s house and play pirate games with the brood.