Judging by the posts on the message board yesterday, the majority of posters seemed to believe that Leach got a raw deal, that he wasn't "punishing" James for having a concussion (or for refusing to practice with a concussion), and that he was simply placing him in a comfortable, cool place to make sure that James' concussion symptoms weren't aggravated. Many of these posters relied on emails sent by Leach's fellow coaches and selected former players, which denigrated James personally.
Some new quotes coming out from current players, who presumably witnessed what happened, undermine this story. It seems pretty clear that, whatever attitude problems James might have had in the past, some players believed that, yes, he was being punished, not treated, and that he was being punished for having a concussion.
Senior Center Shawn Byrnes: "There is no question [Leach] understood offense and understood football. But he didn't understand how to deal with people. Everyone is excited about this, to be honest. Adam [James] took a stand. We have no idea why he was in a shed. How could you punish a kid for having a concussion? What could that possibly accomplish?"
Defensive lineman Chris Perry [Go blue!]: "I have no complaints about this decision. [Leach] put Adam [James] in a shed like an animal. Like an animal in a cage. That was bull . . . . You call other players. I think it was a good decision. We have our pep back now. We practice hard this week. We had less stress this week. You know why? Because he's gone."
Cornerback Taylor Charbonnet: "The players make this team, not one coach. As Adam's friend, I didn't like it at all what [Leach] did. He was my brother and I didn't agree with it. I don't know why [Leach] did that. But I know we are fully behind [interim] coach Ruffin [McNeill]. We love him and support him."
In this day and age, a college coach sending a message to his football players that they will be punished if they whine about a concussion is inexcusable. Add to that Leach's refusal to apologize or work with Tech officials on the issue, and then suing the university when he was suspended, and his firing seems justifiable to me.