Mike Leach has wanted out of Lubbock for quite a few years and he got his wish today when the school fired the winningest coach Texas Tech history today.
Leach who has a penchant for pirates and quirkiness was the toast of the country after he was named Big 12 coach of the year and led Tech to the best season in the history of the program. The Red Raiders went 11-2 last season.
Leach was apparently fired after criticism errupted about the way he treated some of his players. One incident in particular came to light this week after Adam James had been ordered to stand for hours at a time under guard in a small darkened room for punishment for not being able to practice after a concussion.
He probably picked the wrong kid to pick on this time. Adam James, the son of broadcaster Craig James, went to his parents who contacted Tech officials about the incident demanding changes in the program.
Leach was suspended pending investigation then was asked to sign a list of guidelines on how players would be treated going forward. Leach refused to sign off on the list of guidelines and also decided to go to court to overturn the suspension so he could coach in the Alamo Bowl. That was the last straw for Texas Tech officials who had no choice but to fire him at that point for insubordination.
The partial list below at face value seems pretty reasonable so it is quite strange that Leach refused to sign it. Insiders say that the whole problem could have gone away if he had simply apologized and tried to cooperate with the Tech administration.
"Decisions regarding whether an injury warrants suspension from practice and/or play will be determined by a physician without pressure from you or your staff."
-"There will be no retaliation against any student who as suffered an injury."
Leach issued this statement after the decision was handed down:
"Texas Tech's decision to deal in lies and fabricate a story which led to my firing includes, but is not limited by, the animosity remaining from last year's contract negotiations. I will not tolerate such retaliatory action. Additionally, we will pursue all available legal remedies," Leach said he "would never intentionally harm or endanger a player" and that he has been "forced into this situation without being afforded any process." He also said "absolutely" no evidence had been given to him that showed he had violated any university rules or standards.
Tech's termination letter said Leach was fired with cause, meaning the university believes it does not owe Leach any of the remaining money left on a five-year, $12.7 million contract he agreed to in February. According to terms of the deal, Leach was due a $800,000 bonus on Dec. 31 if he were still the head coach at Texas Tech.
"I'm very sad to say there's only one person to blame for this and it's Mike Leach," Texas Tech chancellor Kent Hance told the AP.
This one is headed for the courts and if you are a Husky fan you can count your blessings that Washington didn't hire this guy last season after two interviews which reportedly didn't go well. Word on the street is that Leach wanted the job and out of Lubbock and Washington wanted to hire a big name coach. Leach was that big name but he turned off Emmert and Woodward during interviews so they went with their gut and picked USC assistant Steve Sarkisian.
That hire had Husky fans scratching their heads a bit till the first press conference when it became very apparent what Woodward and Emmert had seen in Sarkisian. A year later leach is out of a job and may never coach again while the hiring of Sarkisian looks like a genius move. Like I said in an earlier article it is interesting how much difference single year can make.
From what we are hearing Adam James isn't an Angel and isn't that popular with the majority of his teammates. He has a reputation of being lazy, selfish, and self entitled. That may be true but there are better and smarter ways to handle situations like this. Not every kid is going to make it in division one football for various reasons but there are much better ways to handle these type of situations and Leach should know better.