'Tech Chancellor Responds To Allegations Against Mike Leach

Patrick FerliseCorrespondent IDecember 31, 2009

HOUSTON - SEPTEMBER 26: Head coach Mike Leach of the Texas Tech Red Raiders talks with his defense while playing against the University of Houston at Robertson Stadium on September 26, 2009 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)
Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

Texas Tech chancellor Kent Hance had a mouthfull of words to say about Red Raiders coach Mike Leach yesterday in a phone interview with ESPN. As I listened, it only solidified my knowledge that this case it clearly not over yet. This is the actual phone conversation between Kent Hance and ESPN.

Kent Hance to ESPN

Question: What would Mike Leach have had to do to keep his job at Texas Tech?

"Well... I don't want to go into all those details but (Mike Leach) was given a letter to sign, he was encouraged to try to work on an apology (to Adam James), and was told not to put someone in a dark room, standing up, with a concussion. Someone said "well it didn't hurt the kid." Well ya know, that's not the question. Do we have to wait to take action when someone is hurt? Do we have to wait until someone is dead or something like that to take action?

No, the most precious thing in anyone's life is their children, and at Texas Tech University their children come first. We work on problems all the time and we work with their administrators and their staff. And usually when we tell somebody there's problems they work with us. And sometimes we have to tell the parents that the student was wrong. But any time someone's physical activity is limited because of an injury, you need to be very careful what you do with them.

And that's what I wanted Mike to do but he chose not to, and I took up for him last year when he was having problems with his contract negotiations. I've been a big Mike Leach supporter, he's a great coach but he is very unusual... Very unusual."

Question: Looking at the report how would you characterize Leach in how he handled other players who have been injured? 

"Well we had never gotten any information that he had ever handled anyone this severe to that concussion. Ya know, some people think it's not that severe of a punishment but I would tell the people listening to this to go in their bathroom, close the door, turn off the light, and stand there for 15 minutes... And think about how it would be for 3 hours or 2 hours... It's very difficult. When someone's injured you should not subject them to that."

Question: How much pressure did you find that Mike Leach put on trainers and players to return to the practice field and to games after they've been injured?

"Well I'm not at liberty to go over that at this time and that will be an issue that will come out later."

Question: How would you characterize the athletic director's role to dismiss Mike Leach?

"Gerald Myers was like me, we were trying to save him (Mike Leach). If you're trying to pull a guy out of water that drownin' and he keeps hittin' and slipping away from you it's almost impossible. Gerald did not want to fire him when we all got started on this. But once we looked into it and he (Leach) was not willing to work with us, I think he got to a point where he didn't think he was accountable to anyone. And in an educational system that's just not true.

Mike important, everybody's important, but let me tell you... Texas Tech's going to do just fine with or without Mike Leach. And Just because somebody's a successful football coach that doesn't mean they can do anything they want. We (Texas Tech) still have educational standards, and our standards and how we treat our students come first and they always will."

In closing...

This has been a 3:45 minute clipping of the interview between ESPN and Texas Tech Chancellor Kent Hance. All that has been written as answers to the questions asked by ESPN are actual quotes from Chancellor Hance on behalf of Texas Tech.