On the heels of allegations of mistreatment by Red Raiders wide receiver Adam James, Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach has been fired.
The firing comes one day before Leach was due an $800,000 bonus and only 10 months since he signed a 5-year, $12.7 million contract extension.
Leach's firing comes just a few weeks after the resignation of fellow Big 12 coach Mark Mangino at Kansas, who was under fire for mistreating players. Like Mangino, who won the Big 12 Coach of the Year award in 2007, Leach won the award in 2008.
The firing of Leach raises many questions. Are many big-time college coaches going too far in their treatment of players in an effort to win?
Are athletic directors using player allegations as an easy way to justify cause in getting rid of high-priced coaches?
Are parents and school administrators making too big a deal out of these incidents?
In the case of Leach, who threatened to leave Texas Tech after last season for greener pastures, it appears that his firing had more to do with a strained relationship with the administration than James' allegations.
His firing most certainly can't be justified by looking at his record. After a Tech best-ever 11-2 finish last season, Leach followed that up this year with an 8-4 mark and a trip to Saturday's Alamo Bowl against Michigan State. He ends up 84-43 in 10 seasons at Texas Tech, reaching a bowl game in each season.
Where Kansas getting rid of Mangino appears justified based upon the severity and number of allegations against him, the firing of Leach appears ridiculous.
At the end of the day, there is a very happy athletic director at Texas Tech and a jovial James family. However, it is a sad day in Lubbock for every fan of Red Raider football.
It is also yet another wake up call to coaches everywhere. Every coach will be taking a look in the mirror and thinking about whether or not they are doing anything that will make them the next Mike Leach or Mark Mangino.
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