The Locker Room

December 31, 2009

RE: Leach

Posted by Rick Henderson at 4:54 PM

Daren,

I can't say if ESPN has handled the Mike Leach story as fairly as it could because I've spent far too much time in my car listening to the network over the past few days. And I have heard several of the hosts include statements and sound bites from players who defended the coach and suggesting that Adam James was a prima donna with a father who was a "helicopter dad," hovering around the football program more than was warranted.

That said, here are the guidelines Leach was expected to abide by and reportedly refused to accept.

Among them,

Any player claiming an injury will be examined by a physician and cleared in writing prior to practicing or playing. 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


and

There will be no retaliation against any student who has suffered an injury


don't sound very onerous to me. In fact, they would appear to be the sort of commonsense guidelines that would not only protect the welfare of the players but also insulate the university from potentially serious legal consequences.

Then there's this, from USA Today's Christine Brennan:

On Dec. 17, the day James was diagnosed with a concussion, he said Leach told trainers to put him in an equipment shed near the practice field, where a member of the athletic staff checked on him to make sure he did not lean against anything or sit on the floor. James said Leach told him if he came out, he'd be kicked off the team.

Then, on Dec. 19, James said Leach put him in an electrical closet inside the football stadium, but the buzz was so loud, he was moved to a press room where the furniture was removed and he was told not to sit, the AP reported.

[SNIP]

There's another side to the story, one that includes Leach's lawyer saying that his client was putting James "in a safer environment by being inside," and that Craig James, who originally called the school to complain about Leach's actions, was retaliating against the coach because he wanted more playing time for his son. Others were quoted as saying Adam James was a bad influence on his teammates.


In all this coverage, from many sources, both the Leach and the James camps have agreed on several facts -- not allegations, facts:

Adam James was diagnosed with a mild concussion.

When team doctors would not allow James to practice Dec. 17, Leach ordered him into the equipment shed, rather than keeping him in the training room.

On Dec. 19, Leach repeated the process, only this time assigning James to the electrical closet.


If Adam James was a problem, Leach could have benched him or kicked him off the team. Not lock him up. (Could Leach be charged with false imprisonment?) Texas Tech may have made a monumental error by firing Leach when he sued the university. But I'd hate to be Mike Leach's defense attorney.


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Texas Tech: Don't Exercise Legal Rights

Posted by Daren Bakst at 3:00 PM

It is bowl season so I feel like posting about a college football-related story.  As most people know, Texas Tech fired their head coach Mike Leach.

Allegedly, Leach mistreated one of his players (the player was Adam James who happens to be the son of ESPN's color commentator Craig James).

In response to this accusation and because Leach would not agree to some guidelines, Texas Tech suspended Leach for the team's upcoming bowl game.  Leach then had the audacity to sue the institution so he could coach in the game.

You can learn more about this story here.  From the article:

Turner [vice chairman of the university system's Board of Regents] added that Leach’s failure to agree to guidelines set forth by the school’s president led to his suspension, and “we are where we are” because Leach sued the university to try to coach in the Alamo Bowl.

Turner is admitting that Leach was fired because he sued the institution.  Some unsolicited advice to Texas Tech and the university system: Stay quiet (or else get a better message) because now it  appears that you didn't fire Leach for cause but instead fired him because he was exercising his legal rights.  If he was fired for cause, Leach probably would be entitled to little to no money.

An interesting "subplot" is how ESPN has reported on the story.  From what I have watched, ESPN has been biased, not once mentioning that most players have defended Leach and criticized James. 

ESPN also had Craig James on Sportscenter last night to tell his side of the story.  It seems to me that when one of your staff people is part of a story, a media outlet needs to go overboard to ensure its objectivity and treat the person just like you would any other person in such a story.  Instead, ESPN has taken the opposite route and given James a soap box to get his message out. 

There's a lot to this story and Leach has yet to present his side of things.  It will be very interesting to follow, including what the impact will be on the school, the James, and Leach.

Linkable Entry

Happy new year! "Obama is greater than Jesus"

Posted by Jon Sanders at 12:59 AM

We told you Barack Obama deserves his own chapter in the Bible.

We told you he is the Anointed One.

We told you he is above the Pope.

We have rewritten Christmas carols about the birth of Jesus to be about Obama instead.

We have rewritten children's songs about Jesus to be about Obama instead.

We told you that Obama is sort of God.

We told you opposing him is like opposing Jesus Christ.

So why haven't you gotten the message?

We will keep evangelizing, because you awful thug Nazi KKK mobsters of an ungrateful populace just don't get it.

Hear, O hear:

Obama greater than Jesus

... And no we are not thinking of Jesus Christ, whose birthday has just been celebrated - - but rather the President of the United States Barack Hussein Obama.

For some time now, comparisons between the two have been a tool of cynical opinion that quickly became fatigued of the rapture that Obama instilled prior to and after the presidential election last year.

From the start, Obama’s critics have claimed that his supporters have idolised him as a saviour, thus attempting to dismantle the concrete hope that Obama has represented for most Americans.

The idea was naturally that the comparison between Jesus and Obama – which is something that the critics developed themselves – would be comical, blasphemous, or both.

If such a comparison were to be made, it would, of course, inevitably be to Obama’s advantage. ...

Linkable Entry

Injecting Left-Wing Activism into Higher Ed

Posted by David J. Koon at 11:53 AM

In this article from the American Thinker, Jay Schalin of the Pope Center exposes how Obama & Co. are radicalizing the accreditation process in higher ed. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has appointed "diversity advocates" and "left-wing activists" to a committee whose job it is to determine whether accreditors are doing their job--ensuring that colleges are maintaining "acceptable levels of quality."

Don't be surprised, Schalin writes "if the new members attempt to introduce diversity mandates and social engineering" into the process. If that's the case, some colleges could lose their accreditation if they don't comply--a massive blow to any school's viability.

It's ironic that the same board was disbanded in 2008 for becoming "too politicized," Schalin notes. That group's mortal sin: "to press for establishing universal, easily understood, quantifiable academic standards."

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The Obamacrats' version of "trickle-down" economics

Posted by George Leef at 08:06 AM

In this excellent column Michael Barone exposes the fact that while the private sector has been hit hard by the recession, the public sector is doing fine. Employment in the public sector has hardly fallen at all and pay remains higher on average than in the private sector.

John Kenneth Galbraith used to whine about how America's public sector was being "starved." That was baloney back when he first said it nearly 50 years ago but it's now apparent that the public sector is now fat and happy.

This reminds me of the silly phrase the left uses against free-market prescriptions for increasing prosperity -- that it's based on the idea that if wealthy people get wealthier, some of that wealth will "trickle down" to the poor. Allowing capitalism to function without government interference yields much more than a trickle of wealth (higher wages, lower prices, better goods, innovation) for the poor. But let's look at what the left seems to think works -- hire lots of government workers and pay them well. Their spending will then "trickle down" to help the poor.

You might be a progressive if you can't spot the difference: Under capitalism, people are paid based on productivity whereas under big government, people are paid based on political pull. Lots of those government workers actually do things to impede productivity.

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