Neil Hester

All poems © Neil Hester unless otherwritten

Location: North Carolina, United States

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Leach is Gone

Texas Tech fired Mike Leach, the best head football coach Tech has ever had. I know that the subject matter at hand is completely unrelated to the focus of this blog, but being a Tech student and a Tech football fan, I'm extremely aggravated at the short-sightedness of Tech administration.

Disclaimer: I had a positive experience at Tech my first semester, and found my teachers, advisors, and peers, for the most part, to be wonderful people. I think Tech is a fine school academically and musically; however, the athletic department just made an enormous error, and I consider it my right to speak out.

For anyone who doesn't understand the situation:


Mike Leach Fired

Mike Leach Fired II

Mike Leach Fired III


Watch the videos in the first link. Also, a few notes:

The kid with the mild concussion, Adam James, claimed to have been confined to a "shed" and an "electrical closet" after complaining about the sun (and showing up to football practice in sunglasses). This "shed" is a facility with good ventilation, water, etc. The "electrical closet" is also well-ventilated and certainly not a "sadistic" place to put someone. Oh, and supposedly there were trainers standing by, and the doctor signed a note saying that Leach's confinement of James did not affect him physically in any way, and was probably better for him than being outside (dark and quiet places happen to be good for people with concussions). Fact is, coaches all over the place subject players to worse punishments than a little time-out session (even in junior highs) and receive no punishment for it (and rightly so, unless the kid receives significant physical or mental abuse).

The kid's father, Craig James, is an ESPN football analyst and former NFL star. He has a history of complaining to Leach about his treatment/utilization of Adam James (read: James doesn't get much playing time). Do you honestly think this story would have ever made it to the surface if, say, a black single mother of one of these kids working a low-end job had complained? Of course not.

Gerald Myers, the head athletic director at Texas Tech, has made it publicly known that he dislikes Leach. He withheld his contract and made negotiations incredibly difficult last February. It's no surprise that he took the opportunity to get Leach fired, even at the cost of the Tech athletic department's reputation and success (things which obviously do not concern the head athletic director's job in the least).

Speaking of Leach getting fired: they fired him before the scheduled court hearing. If they had any faith in their argument, they could have at least let due process take place, instead of firing him immediately with no substantial proof (yet, they fired him "with cause", or at least are trying to). However, the cause they may try to cite is Leach's "insubordination", which basically boils down to Leach not willing to be a PC sycophant to his superiors. For example, they wanted Leach to write an apology to James' family. Leach felt no need to apologize, having done nothing wrong. That was the appropriate and self-respecting response; apologizing for something that wasn't wrong is equivalent to admitting you did something wrong.

A quick point about the reception of Lubbockites and Red Raiders: they are up in arms. I wouldn't be surprised if Myers is forced to resign because of the influence of outraged alumni in high positions. Also, despite the fact that Leach himself is not the football team, expect for fans to opt for their TV sets instead of the stands next year. Tech is going to lose recruiting power and revenue from this decision.

Last point: Leach graduated in the top third of his class at Pepperdine Law School. I expect him to sue Tech for millions.

I enjoyed having an eccentric, intelligent coach at the head of my school's football team. Since he's gone for good (barring some miracle that gets Myers fired and Leach reinstated), I hope he gets his chance to clear his name and find a job elsewhere. I'm still a Tech football fan (since this isn't the team's fault), but my respect for Tech's administration is severely damaged. Yes, I still appreciate the opportunities that they have given to students such as myself (I owe them for an exceptionally good scholarship); however, that does nothing to curb my frustration at an utterly senseless decision made without proper consideration of the long-term effects Leach's firing will have on the well-being of the university.

Tech: You messed up. Leach: I'll be rooting for whatever team you end up coaching at in the future.



Blogger CWMartin said...

I agree. I loved Leach's take on Craig James on ESPN.

10:39 AM  
Blogger Neil said...

Yeah, he pretty much nailed it. "Craig James takes more time than all of the other parents combined."

Let the coach do his job.

2:34 PM  

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