Mike Leach Challenges Dan Wolken to Debate After Tweeting Barack Obama Video

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 20, 2018

Washington State head coach Mike Leach, center, looks on during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Oregon State in Pullman, Wash., Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)
Young Kwak/Associated Press

In the category of sentences nobody ever expects to write or read, comes this: Washington State football coach Mike Leach challenged USA Today college football writer Dan Wolken to a debate after Wolken wrote a column criticizing Leach for tweeting, then deleting, a highly doctored video of Barack Obama that took the former president's remarks out of context.

Let's break this down.

Leach posted a highly spliced video of Obama speaking at the 2014 European Union, and the coach continued to defend the post and challenged people to prove it was false when many tweeted at him and suggested the video was doctored. He even defended his post on the grounds that media members have taken his comments out of context in the past.

So Wolken wrote a critical column regarding Leach, which included the following passage: "When people ask why Washington State football coach Mike Leach hasn't been hired by a big-time program despite his undeniable success at two schools where it's difficult to win, well, here it is in plain sight."

He added, "Within the college athletics industry, he is widely regarded as a ticking time bomb of embarrassment whose usefulness as a coach is largely outweighed by the risk that he will say or do something inflammatory and unnecessary with little regard for whose reputations he's dragging down with him."

Leach didn't take kindly to those remarks:

Mike Leach @Coach_Leach

So a guy, who no one knows, Wolken, has an ax to grind. I’m not sure who he is, but at the risk at building his career, I am willing to debate him, anywhere and anytime. He is pathetically biased, but I think that the message of free thought needs to get out

Mike Leach @Coach_Leach

Wolken is clearly a brilliant man, because he can write an article, without any sources, only his brilliance. Amazing. In any case , I can’t wait for him to show me the light. He will set me straight and I can move forward.

But Wolken fired back:

Dan Wolken @DanWolken

Mike Leach, who blocked me on Twitter after my column, and claims he doesn’t know who I am (gave me his cell number last year) now challenging me to a debate. Very genuine, Mike. 🙄

Dan Wolken @DanWolken

I called out Leach for Tweeting a fake conspiracy theory video. Leach, who hasn’t admitted he was wrong, blocked me. I wrote this shows why bigger programs are leery of him. He gets back on Twitter to challenge me (blocked) to a debate. And I’m barking up the wrong tree? https://t.co/mBZak61iCf

So there you have it, the bizarre college football feud that serves as another reminder that we are living through strange times.


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