Mike Leach Rides Lubbock Railroad All the Way To NFL's Oakland Raiders?

Henry BallSenior Analyst IJanuary 5, 2010

Fired Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach—who was terminated for allegedly punishing backup wide receiver Adam James for having a concussion—has been relatively quiet since giving his side of the story to ESPN's Rece Davis. 

Things might be about to heat up as rumors are surfacing that Al Davis is considering Leach to replace head coach Tom Cable, who will apparently be fired as expected.

There is no confirmation yet for the other rumor that "sheds" have been ordered in small, medium, and Jamarcus sizes, perhaps Leach can borrow some from Lubbock.

Since Leach has said that he will always be a Raider, it does seem fitting that Leach would trade Texas Tech Red for Oakland Silver.  The new boss will likely not shy away from controversy if his history means anything. 

He also loves to innovate and the NFL hasn't seen anything like Leach since June Jones took off for the Big Island.  With a strong-armed quarterback and the type of athletes Okland has on offense the Air Raid just might be able to drop some bombs in the Big League.  

This might get interesting, stay tuned. 

Update to a related story: In what might forever be known as the "Lubbock Railroad", Leach and his attorney, Ted Liggett, have made it clear he intends to litigate the breach of contract dispute and possible wrongful termination.

As details emerge, the initial story—which sounded like the Blair Witch meets Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq—is beginning to look more like a minor disciplinary action taken by a coach against a young man with questionable motives, who was being used as an excuse for an administrative department at a university looking to carry out a year-long plan to rid itself of an outsider they no longer found useful. 

For starters, the "shed" Adam James—son of ESPN Analyst Craig James—was supposedly "locked" in, is factually an equipment garage that is large enough to hold two vehicles and other equipment—none of which were in the structure—and actually does not even have a lock—at the time.

Moreover, in affidavits released by the university—partly intended to offer evidence of the coaches' "harsh" punishment—head athletic trainer Steve Pinnock makes it clear Leach did not actually choose the "shed", only that James be secluded somewhere so that his "sensitive" eyes—at issue because James, whom Pinnock says was loafing and in violation of several team rules, wore inappropriate attire, including sunglasses to team practice—would not be bothered by sunlight.

Pinnock also says he did not agree with the use of the facility but players are sometimes placed in "training rooms" with dimmed lights.  On the second occasion, instead of the "shed" he was placed in a dark media room.

I'm not sure what architectural differences there are between a "dimmed" training room verses a "darkened" media room but when Mack Brown, Bob Stoops, Mike Gundy, and virtually any other coach that has visited Lubbock, along with the 50 or so press members that cover them use that very media room they do not complain of being tortured.

Well, they probably consider answering some of the questions torture but that's another story.

Then there is the Blair Witch-type video released by the James family showing the young man in his street clothes supposedly "locked" in the electrical closet, which happens to be connected to the Media Room.

Again, someone is lying.  James is clearly in street clothes, yet Pinnock's affidavit says he showed up for that practice in appropriate attire.  Moreover, Pinnock specifically told James NOT to go into the electrical closet.

So either James climbed through the ceiling tiles—if that's even possible—and into the locker room, changed his clothes and climbed back into the Media Room and then disobeyed medical orders to take the "damaging" video or he is lying and took the video at another time in an attempt to corroborate his claims. 

Leach claims that James’ father, Craig James, is retaliating against Leach due to his displeasure with his son’s—who is so far down the depth chart that he will likely never start—lack of playing time.

His position coach Lincoln Riley, who has been very critical of James' efforts and attitude alluded to his entitlement due to his father's position.

Speaking of his father's position—how is a college football analyst assigned by the "leader in sports", ESPN, to cover his own son's college team?

The NCAA got all up in arms about former Ole Miss tackle, Michael Oher's adoptive father, Sean Touey—an Ole Miss alum—having any contact with the program and this is OK?

What really seems to be at work—as shown by recently released emails—is that Texas Tech negotiated a long-term, heavily incentive laden contract with Mike Leach having no intent to actually fulfill the contract.

In fact, one of the emails said "when we fire him," and "we will not have to pay his bonus". Indeed, under the terms of the contract, had Leach been employed just one more day by Texas Tech he would be due $800,000.

Leach is still owed more than $12 million for the complete value of the contract.

It may take some time yet for all the facts to emerge but it is clear that the initial reports were far from the whole story.

Nonetheless, Texas Tech fans, such as the majority of the posters at Double T Nation , are not happy that their beloved "Captain" as the affectionately call him, has been railroaded by a corrupt administration in their view.

Jim Sowell—a former regent at Tech who was instrumental behind the scenes in the negotiation last year—said "I promise you our prospects of finding a better coach are far better than Mike's prospects of finding a better job".

Apparently Al Davis and the 51,000 Team Leach Pirates—A Facebook group that has been growing by thousands every day since it was established—disagree.

Photo by: Lary Dilts


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