After saying in his initial statement that he'd prefer to engage in a question-and-answer session to discuss his firing, Mike Leach has done just that. In his first interview since being fired from Texas Tech, Mike Leach spoke for almost 40 minutes to the New York Times. From Pete Thamel and Thayer Evans at the Times:
It has been widely reported that Leach locked Adam James in a closet or a shed after James sustained a concussion at a practice last month. Leach said he only ordered James to be taken “out of the light” and did not know specifically where he had been taken.
“I was busy coaching practice,” Leach said.
He added: “There have been several things that have been brought to my attention on the ticker that’s just false,” Leach said, referring to ESPN’s bottom line ticker. “He was never locked anywhere. At no point was he locked anywhere. At no point was there an electrical closet.”
Leach described a divisive and tense relationship with Craig James, whom he said he had to deal with more than every other parent on the team combined. He said that James frequently attended practices and called assistant coaches.
“I think he used his position at ESPN to try to coerce me into allowing Adam to play more,” said Leach, who said he expected to coach again.
And then, later last night, Mike Leach spoke to ESPN: