Former Texas Tech and current Washington State football head coach Mike Leach has always played by his own set of rules. It's a list of believed-to-be-acceptable behavior that apparently includes calling the conference commissioner to complain, with expletives, about the referees during halftime of a game.
Graham Harrell, one of Leach's former quarterbacks, sat down for an interview with Aaron Dickens of Red Raider Sports last week, and relayed the ridiculous story from the sidelines of Texas Tech's 2007 showdown against Texas.
According to Football Scoop:
"I can remember in the third quarter, he's pulling his cell phone out," Harrell says of Texas Tech's 2007 loss at Texas. "He always talked to me between series, so he's talking to me and he pulls his cell phone out and he called the Big 12 commissioner. He's like cussing out the Big 12 commissioner, telling him like, 'These refs are screwing us. You better watch my post-game press conference because I've got some stuff to say.'"
Texas Tech lost the game in question 59-43, dropping them to 7-4 on the year.
Interestingly enough, the Red Raiders were only flagged six times for 68 yards in that game, while Texas was flagged seven times for 89. Still, Texas Tech did have one touchdown called back on replay and one called back on a holding penalty, both of which Leach ostensibly took issue with.
In his postgame press conference, Leach went on a rant about the officiating, calling it a "complete travesty." According to Betsy Blaney of USA Today, he was fined $10,000 for those comments, doubling the previous highest amount a Big 12 coach had ever been forced to pay.
Per Blaney's report, he was also told by the conference that "any future such behavior will result in a more serious penalty, including a possible suspension."
In his ten years at Texas Tech, Leach went 2-8 against his in-state rival from Austin, which might help explain his frustration. When you get a chance to beat the Longhorns on their home field, but the refs step in and—in your mind—intervene, it's hard to stand by idly with your mouth shut.