Washington State and head football coach Mike Leach find themselves at the center of a lawsuit after former defensive back Zaire Webb has decided to take legal action following his dismissal from the team last year.
Webb and wide receiver Anthony White Jr. were kicked off the squad following a shoplifting incident last fall. The charges against Webb were later dismissed, but he was not allowed to come back to the Cougars.
Leach issued a statement on the dismissal, per Nick Bromberg of Dr. Saturday:
"In the months leading up to his dismissal, Zaire was involved in a series of events that called to question his commitment to the football program, as well as came into direct conflict with our team rules. Zaire played as a true freshman on our football team in the first few games of this season and it was not our desire to remove him from our team. He was performing on special teams and we can only assume with time in our program he would have continued to improve on the field."
Webb filed the lawsuit last Friday in Whitman County Superior Court.
According to Deadspin's Samer Kalaf, the lawsuit says the coach did not follow Washington State's student-athlete handbook by kicking Webb off the squad and denying him financial aid.
The team's discipline policy is one issue it raised. According to Webb, Leach doesn't consistently enforce his zero-tolerance policy when it comes to violence against women, illegal drugs and theft. Webb cited specific examples, such as the case of linebacker Logan Tago, to prove his point. Tago was arrested and charged with felony assault and robbery but was only suspended.
It took only one day for Leach to take action in Webb's situation, and when charges were dropped, there was no going back.
Webb is seeking unspecified damages.