Texas Tech coach Mike Leach has been accused of directing a trainer to confine Adam James, son of ESPN analyst Craig James, to an equipment room for three hours and, days later, told a trainer to place James in an electrical closet. While the legal back-and-forth begins and each side digs in, Nebraska blog Corn Nation ponders whether this is a case of Leach being an abusive coach or if this is all part of the “wussification of America.”
I think the devil is in the details. Leach’s attorney confirms much of the details of the situation, but says the circumstances will exonerate Leach in the end. How dark was the room he was placed in, how confined was James, and what was the message Leach was trying to send? Leach has a history of unorthodox handling of players; in March, Leach sent wide receiver Edward Britton out to study hall at midfield on a 30 degree day snowy day.
No matter what actually happens, I think it’s unlikely that Mike Leach will ever coach at Texas Tech again. The relationship between Leach and Tech’s administration were strained last winter during contract negotiations. How do these two sides reconcile after all this? I just don’t see it; if that was going to happen, this would have been resolved before it all exploded nationally.
Meanwhile, Texas Tech blog Double T Nation doesn’t know where to begin on the issue but has a feeling that the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.
I’m imagining something like the following. Adam suffers a mild concussion and is held out of practice. Adam returned to practice wearing sun glasses told Leach that he had to wear sunglasses under doctors orders and Leach probably felt that this was a bit much, perhaps Adam didn’t have the requisite respect for Leach that Leach thought he deserved. Leach then directs that Adam go into a closet and sit there and think about his actions. The James family hears about the incident and then demands that Leach apologize for his actions. Leach, being somewhat of a smart-ass, probably responded something to the effect that Leach he was helping the situation as Adam needed the darkness so as to not hurt his concussion. Leach then probably asked that someone make sure that Adam actually stayed in the closet during the team practice. I think it’s been reported that there was a “guard” present, but I seriously doubt there was an armed guard blocking Adam from leaving the confined space.