Mike Leach fired after smear campaign fueled by ESPN’s Craig Jamesby Victor Rodriguez on Aug. 04, 2011, under Sports
If there was ever a person who you needed to be in their corner and hope they landed on their feet it has to be former Texas Tech head football coach Mike Leach. It stems from his time in Lubbock. Not the success he had turning a Red Raider team around with 84 wins in 10 seasons and having the highest graduation rate in the country for a public university. No, it’s about the controversy of his exit.
Currently, Leach is involved in two lawsuits, one against Texas Tech for not paying his salary for his last year of service for the school and the other against ESPN who only told one side of the story. Which side of the story were they telling? The side of Adam James, whose father, Craig, is employed by ESPN as a college football analyst.
It started when Adam told his father that Coach Leach locked him in an electrical closet for three hours because he had a concussion. Without checking with Leach, Craig went straight to the top and demanded Leach be fired. To this point, only James’ side of the story was being told. It wasn’t until later when Adam’s teammates said Adam was a problem who always talked backed to the staff. Then, it was discovered that the training staff told him not to go in, but he choose to go in anyways, because as later stated in his sworn testimony and the video he captured he thought it would be funny.
Leach gave his insight of the situation on the Victor and Matt Podcast on 110SportsPodcast.com saying, “The reason you were misled by ESPN was because 10 days before anything happened Craig James hired a PR firm to smear me nationally. The thing that is so powerful in the book (Swing Your Sword) is it’s in the words of the perpetuators through sworn testimony, memos passed between them and court documents. It’s all in their words. There’s no disputing what they said or what they did. It’s their record. Craig was upset about Adam’s playing time and Adam’s testimony said I never placed him anywhere.”
The funny part is that during his testimony Adam mentioned he never felt threaten and didn’t think Leach should have been fired. When you sit back and absorb all facts there are three people who deserve all the blame and they are Craig and Adam James and Texas Tech for making a decision. Tech either didn’t have all the information or choose to ignore parts of it.
In a day and age when having an elite football team is essential to the success of an entire athletic program Tech made a mistake. Leach took this program to new heights winning at a constant rate, graduating his players and running a clean program which not too many elite programs can claim right now. Leach will land on his feet and take over another program and continue his winning ways. For a guy that seems to do the right things how can you not be in his corner?
– For the full interview with Mike Leach listen to Episode 114 on 110SportsPodcast.com.
110SportsPodcast.com features a weekly sports podcast and daily blogging. Episodes include interviews, entertainment, comedy, insight and analysis.