From the Dallas Morning News:
Texas Tech University suspended Mike Leach on Monday as the school investigated complaints over how the football coach dealt with a player who he believed was faking an injury.
The player, sophomore wide receiver and Celina High School product Adam James, is the son of former SMU and NFL running back Craig James, now a TV football analyst.
The family complained that Adam James was "subjected to actions and treatment not consistent with common sense rules for safety and health" after he suffered a concussion, according to a statement from the family that identified Adam as the player involved.
I'm all for players being tough, fighting through pain and never giving up. I'm all for coaches having high expectations for their players. But this is way over the line, and Mike Leach should face severe consequences if these allegations are true. Not only should he be fired from Texas Tech, he should be expelled from the NCAA permanently. And that's not even the worst. He should be brought up on criminal charges.
Taping up a bad ankle and sending a player back to the field is one thing. But when you, as the Morning News puts it, "confine James in a dark room for three hours with nothing to sit or lean on. The confinement was repeated two days later," that's downright wrong. The guy had a concussion and he was placed in a closet twice. How the heck is that going to improve anything?
I remember last month watching the controversy with Mark Mangino at Kansas. ESPN says, "Mangino is alleged to have grabbed, yelled at and put his finger in the chest of a player who had been laughing during a walkthrough or practice prior to the Colorado game on Oct. 17." That puzzled me as to why everyone thought this was so bad. But the press coverage and uproar from people, not to mention his 1-7 record in 2009, forced Mangino to resign from his position as head football coach.
If yelling at and verbally disciplining a player is enough to get a coach in hot water, then secluding a concussed player in a dark closet should at the very least cause Mike Leach to lose his job.
If he does lose his job, we always remember him for this: