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Mike Leach

Postby steelerfan513 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:04 am

Surprised nobody has made a thread on this yet. Frankly, I don't know exactly what to think, but I've lost all respect for ESPN because of their coverage of this whole ordeal. They are so obviously siding with Craig James and his son on this and are actually trying to make people think Leach is guilty beyond any doubt. Last I checked, journalists weren't supposed to take sides. Normally I would be a bit more understanding, but they're tarnishing the reputation of a successful football coach who may or may not have done anything wrong.

Don't get me wrong, I don't necessarily think Leach is a good guy or definitely is innocent. But ESPN has presented almost no evidence that could imply that he is innocent apart from his live interview, which they can't exactly control.
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Re: Mike Leach

Postby A Fleshner Fantasy » Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:20 am

Since when has ESPN ever been objective? I mean, watch any baseball coverage from ESPN and you'll see that all they care about is the Red Sox and Yankees. ESPN is a nice channel to watch if you're interested in seeing highlights, but seriously, it's a major stretch to suggest that they're at all objective.
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Re: Mike Leach

Postby knapplc » Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:26 am

The more I hear about this situation the more I believe his termination had more to do with a power struggle than an actual "harm to athlete" situation. There is a LOT of blame to go around, though, and Leach made it way too easy for Tech to fire him.

The player was never in physical danger from standing in the shed/closet/whatever. That whole tangent is being blown way out of proportion. Also, this wasn't a medical issue like it's being spun into. It was always a discipline issue.

Leach seems at fault for being such a tyrant. He seems like he took this way too far in his quest to be in complete and total charge of everything. Yes he's the coach, but he needed to work with the administration in their investigation. It sounds like he went out of his way to be obstinate and unhelpful. Even if he thought he was right, he needed to work with them.

The player seems at fault for being a prissy primadonna. It seems like he was being a jerk with those sunglasses, which there was no medical justification for. I've seen a lot of accounts of this guy and it sounds like he's pretty sure of his own importance.

ESPN should have washed their hands of this thing from the start due to Craig James' involvement. I had to turn off the Alamo Bowl because they were being so ridiculously pro-James in their discussion. They were pushing this agenda that the whole thing was Leach's fault and the player was this completely innocent victim, and continuing the fallacy that it was medical only and not disciplinary. They mentioned the fact that the player's coach sent a letter to the school's administration, then never followed up on what it said, which is critical to the story. This kind of agenda-pushing is unacceptable. Here is the letter written by Lincoln Riley, James' position coach:

During the last two years of being the inside receivers coach, I have had the chance to learn alot about Adam James. He came to Tech because of one person: Coach Leach. Although we adamently doubted his talent, we as coaches came to see that Adam actually had enough talent to help us out. The problem, though, is that Adam is unusually lazy and entitled. Many other players on this team, specifically receivers, have a much larger role on this team with less talent. I have always been worried about Adam’s effect on my other players because of his weak and conceited attitude. I recently found out that Adam deliberately undermined my authority on many occasions. This is particularly disturbing because Coach Leach hired me to make our receivers the best group in the country, and Adam has damaged this group far more than I even realized. He should be grateful for the opportunity that was given to him here that was not offered at any other Division 1 football program. He has an unvelievable sense of entitlement because of who his father is; one that hurts himself and people around him. Adam is the kind of person that makes excuses or blames people for things that go wrong in his life. Furthermore, I don’t have children yet, but when I do I hope they are coached by someone like Coach Leach. I have learned so many great things from him and am incredibly lucky to have him in my life.


But it gets even better. Here's an email written by Dana Holgorsen, the WR coach at Tech when James was "recruited" and signed:

I am writing this letter on behalf of Mike Leach in regards to the Adam James situation,” Holgorsen writes in his e-mail. “I was the inside receiver coach at Texas Tech when we made the decision (to) sign Adam James in January of 2007. Adam had no offers to play NCAA D1 football during and after his senior year. After a conversation between Coach Leach and Adam’s father Craig, Coach Leach acquired a brief highlight tape of Adam and made the decision to take him as a scholarship student athlete.

“I was opposed to doing so in (the) belief he was not a D1 football player,” Holgorsen writes in his e-mail. “Coach Leach overrode my opinion and Adam became a Red Raider. During the rest of my time at Texas Tech I was Adam’s position coach where I always remained critical of Adam’s ability to play at this level due to being lazy in not only the classroom but also in the offseason and during practice.

“Coach Leach was the one who kept saying he believed Adam would eventually contribute. Adam’s teammates believed he was selfish and were constantly getting on him for lack of effort as they sensed entitlement on his part due to his father being a very good football player. Adam eventually ended up playing a little after I left due to his body type being able to do some TE (tight end) sets which consists of around 5-10 plays a game.

“Adam should be thankful for the opportunity to play at Texas Tech and for Mike Leach, who gave him the opportunity,” Holgorsen writes. “In my opinion playing 5-10 plays a game in an outstanding offense is more than he would get at any other school in NCAA D1 football.


As quirky and weird as Leach is, this kid sounds like a train wreck of a player.

What's clear to me is that the administration wanted Leach gone and this was simply their excuse. Leach's treatment of this player is far less "dangerous" than 5am puke drills, or running steps in the hot afternoon sun for an hour, or any number of other punishment-type things coaches do across the country. Making a kid stand in a dark room for three hours over the course of two days isn't dangerous to his health in the least.

Leach said it during his interview, and I firmly believe that the administration didn't want to renew his contract last year but felt pressured into it. They just waited until Leach had some turmoil and they canned him. This was their best opportunity and they took it. Bing, Bang, Boom. End of story.
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Re: Mike Leach

Postby steelerfan513 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 4:14 pm

A Fleshner Fantasy wrote:Since when has ESPN ever been objective? I mean, watch any baseball coverage from ESPN and you'll see that all they care about is the Red Sox and Yankees. ESPN is a nice channel to watch if you're interested in seeing highlights, but seriously, it's a major stretch to suggest that they're at all objective.


I agree with you, but I assumed that they still had the ability to follow the most basic ethical journalism guidelines, such as balanced reporting, guidelines that any journalist should know. Their failure to do so in this case is particularly disturbing because they're publicly and deliberately trying to ruin a person's reputation. Normally I don't care if ESPN stays objective because, even though I hate it, it doesn't cause anyone any undue harm. In this case, it is. I don't care if they're reporting on sports, that doesn't give them the right to ignore journalism ethics and go out on a campaign to ruin another person's reputation just because they want to defend one of their employees. It's their responsibility as the so-called "worldwide leader in sports" to avoid biased reporting because a lot of people watch, listen to and read their content.
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Re: Mike Leach

Postby WaCougMBS » Mon Jan 04, 2010 4:35 pm

steelerfan513 wrote:
A Fleshner Fantasy wrote:Since when has ESPN ever been objective? I mean, watch any baseball coverage from ESPN and you'll see that all they care about is the Red Sox and Yankees. ESPN is a nice channel to watch if you're interested in seeing highlights, but seriously, it's a major stretch to suggest that they're at all objective.


I agree with you, but I assumed that they still had the ability to follow the most basic ethical journalism guidelines, such as balanced reporting, guidelines that any journalist should know. Their failure to do so in this case is particularly disturbing because they're publicly and deliberately trying to ruin a person's reputation. Normally I don't care if ESPN stays objective because, even though I hate it, it doesn't cause anyone any undue harm. In this case, it is. I don't care if they're reporting on sports, that doesn't give them the right to ignore journalism ethics and go out on a campaign to ruin another person's reputation just because they want to defend one of their employees. It's their responsibility as the so-called "worldwide leader in sports" to avoid biased reporting because a lot of people watch, listen to and read their content.


Agreed 100%, and as a disgruntled journalist myself, this kind of situation is more sickening than ESPN's usual stance on reporting issues, etc. :-t
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Re: Mike Leach

Postby moochman » Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:41 pm

WaCougMBS wrote:
steelerfan513 wrote:
A Fleshner Fantasy wrote:Since when has ESPN ever been objective? I mean, watch any baseball coverage from ESPN and you'll see that all they care about is the Red Sox and Yankees. ESPN is a nice channel to watch if you're interested in seeing highlights, but seriously, it's a major stretch to suggest that they're at all objective.


I agree with you, but I assumed that they still had the ability to follow the most basic ethical journalism guidelines, such as balanced reporting, guidelines that any journalist should know. Their failure to do so in this case is particularly disturbing because they're publicly and deliberately trying to ruin a person's reputation. Normally I don't care if ESPN stays objective because, even though I hate it, it doesn't cause anyone any undue harm. In this case, it is. I don't care if they're reporting on sports, that doesn't give them the right to ignore journalism ethics and go out on a campaign to ruin another person's reputation just because they want to defend one of their employees. It's their responsibility as the so-called "worldwide leader in sports" to avoid biased reporting because a lot of people watch, listen to and read their content.


Agreed 100%, and as a disgruntled journalist myself, this kind of situation is more sickening than ESPN's usual stance on reporting issues, etc. :-t


Sadly espn's sucking the teat mentality has me wondering if part of the problem is that they don't want to anger the NCAA. Don't bite the hand that feeds you should be mealy-mouthed espn's motto. Didn't say boo about NFL golden boy QB when accused of far worse, and now appears to side totally with NCAA establishment in the Leach case. Could also be they just took their fingers out of their noses, held it up to the ATM to see where the money stream was blowing. Make a bigger story burying an unlikable head coach than some ex-football player's son.

Is it just me, or does espn seem to have a lot of crooks in their NCAA coverage? Holtz, who left every school he coached at under NCAA scrutiny, James who was a SMU player just prior to their death penalty for paying players (I think the timeline fits) Maybe its just that there is too much cheating going on in the NCAA and they can't hire without someone being dirty.
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Re: Mike Leach

Postby knapplc » Thu Jan 28, 2010 10:09 am

Craig James is not looking so good in this situation. Texas Tech just released a memo that says James was threatening to sue if they didn't investigate Leach. From what I've read about James the Younger from other Tech coaches, it sounds like he wasn't exactly interested in working to earn a starting spot - more like he felt he should have just been given one - and dad used this situation as leverage against a coach who spurned his son.

Article about the Memo

Leach is not guiltless, and I still think the administration was just looking for any situation to fire Leach, but even still, this is B.S.

Leach is going to hook up with some other school soon, and he'll be back in the national spotlight soon.
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Re: Mike Leach

Postby WaCougMBS » Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:02 pm

knapplc wrote:Craig James is not looking so good in this situation. Texas Tech just released a memo that says James was threatening to sue if they didn't investigate Leach. From what I've read about James the Younger from other Tech coaches, it sounds like he wasn't exactly interested in working to earn a starting spot - more like he felt he should have just been given one - and dad used this situation as leverage against a coach who spurned his son.

Article about the Memo

Leach is not guiltless, and I still think the administration was just looking for any situation to fire Leach, but even still, this is B.S.

Leach is going to hook up with some other school soon, and he'll be back in the national spotlight soon.


Good ol' ESPN :-t
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Re: Mike Leach

Postby steelerfan513 » Mon Feb 01, 2010 1:19 pm

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/columns/story?columnist=ohlmeyer_don&id=4844048

Three sides to every story
ESPN's Alamo Bowl treatment of Mike Leach controversy more biased than balanced
By Don Ohlmeyer
ESPN Ombudsman

Heard the old adage that there are two sides to every story? It turns out that there are often three -- your side, the other side and the truth. That is the nature of controversy, as recently exhibited in ESPN's coverage of the suspension and eventual firing of Mike Leach as football coach at Texas Tech.

One viewpoint: A talented, quirky coach "punished, humiliated and demeaned a player" for sustaining a concussion by confining him in a dark room near the practice field -- and the coach was, in turn, fired for insubordination.

Another perspective: A player with attitude problems and a meddling parent was disciplined by his coach, who subsequently was fired because a university with buyer's remorse saw an opportunity to extricate itself from an expensive contract.

The first scenario was amply covered during ESPN's broadcast of the Jan. 3 meeting between Texas Tech and Michigan State in the Valero Alamo Bowl. Elements of the second were glossed over. And complicating the entire dust-up for the network was the fact the player happened to be the son of an ESPN analyst.

(See link for rest of story)


Well, at least ESPN's ombudsman is truly independent, if not capable of effecting change.
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