What if this James kid is full of #%[email protected][email protected]?

Submitted by Michiganguy19 on December 30th, 2009 at 8:20 AM

Obviously I don't know the kid personally and as an outsider to the TT program there is something a bit odd about Coach Leach. But... Remember the trumped up story against RR by a loser sports journalist trying to make a name for himself in a dying business?

I know that there is a lot to be said for protecting kids from abuse and the severity of concussions. But it is also possible that this is football, its tough, and people who play it and coach it are tough. Maybe this James kid has had a silver spoon in his mouth, got his feathers ruffled when he was given the "pussy" treatment by Leach and was unhappy about his playing time...

I think we should all withold some judgment on Leach, maybe this kid is trumping up these charges or has his big time ESPN dad all worked up. Until Leach gets to defend himself, this is just a literally isolated charge.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/316254-mike-leach-to-courtespns-crai…

Comments

Fuzzy Dunlop

December 30th, 2009 at 8:39 AM ^

What are you suggesting? That he was faking having a concussion? Even Leach's attorney has acknowledged that the kid was diagnosed with a "mild concussion."

Or are you suggesting that, even if the kid had a mild concussion, he should have been "tough" and that the punishment he suffered wasn't particularly harsh? If that's your claim, you're missing the point. It's not that the punishment was so harsh, it's that a player shouldn't be subjected to ANY punishment, or given the "pussy" treatment, as you call it, for having a concussion. That's the kind of conduct that has motivated players to conceal their injuries and play despite concussions, which, surprise, can lead to long-term brain injuries.

You don't mistreat someone with a concussion, just as you don't mistreat someone with a broken leg. Leach didn't take a concussion as seriously as a "real" injury. That's the problem.

Fuzzy Dunlop

December 30th, 2009 at 9:09 AM ^

Direct quote from Leach's attorney:

http://www.doubletnation.com/2009/12/29/1223515/the-saga-of-mike-leach-…

Ted Liggett, Leach's attorney, said James "was placed in an equipment room as it was much cooler and darker" than the practice field "after a doctor had examined him and returned him to the field."

Liggett said that on that day, a trainer was posted outside the room and that James was provided ice. Liggett said that James was secluded for one to two hours.

Obviously, this is the most Leach-friendly version of events you will see. Even in this version of events, a kid suffering from a concussion is punished by being secluded in the equipment room for one to two hours. The point isn't that this is Abu Ghraib level-torture. But it is obviously "punishment," the kind of thing that will dissuade a kid from complaining about concussion-like symptoms in the future. It's a "suck it up, pussy, and stop whining" message.

Fuzzy Dunlop

December 30th, 2009 at 10:23 AM ^

"Returned to the field" doesn't = "returned to play."

I'm a lawyer (I hate sounding like Star Jones - it's not bragging when you're ashamed about it). Trust me, that parsing of words has meaning. If the kid was cleared to play, Liggett would have said that he was cleared to play.

In any case, even if a team doctor clears a kid to play, if a kid continues to complain about concussion-related symptoms (such as sensitivity to lightness), it should be hands-off. You don't take any risks, knowing what we know now about concussions, even if you suspect the kid is faking because of his history of douchebaggery.

Clarence Beeks

December 30th, 2009 at 10:25 AM ^

If you're a lawyer, you would also then know that it's not good practice to proffer a conclusion without all of the facts. We all know too well the number of cases that have been tried in the court of public opinion and the media with an adverse verdict only to have the case then tried in a court of law with a favorable verdict. In other words, you should know better than to jump to a conclusion based on only partially released facts. Just like the OP was suggesting.

Fuzzy Dunlop

December 30th, 2009 at 10:34 AM ^

I didn't realize I was on a jury, I thought we were talking about an event in the news on an internet message board. I also thought that, on such internet message boards, it is acceptable to make reasoned evaluations based on the information presented to you.

Should we also all stop talking about Tiger Woods, because not all of the facts are out there? Maybe we should also stop talking about the Nigerian man who tried to bomb the airplane, because there are still facts to be uncovered. Hell, forget about internet message boards, maybe newspapers shouldn't report on these stories as they unfold, instead waiting a year until each and every fact is uncovered. That would surely be preferable.

I think I've been pretty reasoned in my analysis. Even accepting Leach's version of events, I'm still critical of how he handled things. I'm entitled to state my opinion, and I don't think that any of my comments have caused irreparable damage to Mr. Leach's reputation.

Clarence Beeks

December 30th, 2009 at 12:18 PM ^

Dude, you're the one that claimed to be a lawyer. I was just pointing out the obvious that, as a lawyer, you wouldn't do what you are doing. You were trying to enhance the credibility of your evaluation by saying that you were lawyer, and in so doing were doing something that a lawyer would never do. Obviously, as a message board poster you would do what you're doing, but don't pull the lawyer card and then then just proceed to be message board guy.

Fuzzy Dunlop

December 30th, 2009 at 12:31 PM ^

Why in god's name would a lawyer not do what I'm doing? Lawyers don't talk about shit in the news on internet message boards? On a slow day, that's all we do.

You really think I'm lying about being a lawyer? Why in god's name would I lie about that? I might as well lie about being a pedophile.

By the way, I only said that I was a lawyer in noting that I recognize weasel words when I see them, and that Leach's attorney's claim that the player was "returned to the field" is NOT the same as saying that he was "cleared to practice." And according to the post directly below this one, I was exactly right -- when pressed, Leach's attorney admitted that James was NOT cleared to practice.

Clarence Beeks

December 30th, 2009 at 12:35 PM ^

"Why in god's name would a lawyer not do what I'm doing? Lawyers don't talk about shit in the news on internet message boards? On a slow day, that's all we do."

No, lawyers (at least good ones) don't come to conclusions without all of the relevant facts.

Obviously lawyers post on message boards, particularly on slow days. If they didn't, the traffic at this site would be at a minimum on most days.

anon0

December 30th, 2009 at 11:01 AM ^

heh. Leach's attorney was on ESPN yesterday and said that James was cleared to return to practice. The talking head followed up asking if that meant he was cleared to practice, asked if he was cleared to take contact and the attorney did a No, no, no, of course not! What the attorney meant by cleared to return to practice was 'cleared to stand on the sideline and watch practice'

anon0

December 30th, 2009 at 11:38 AM ^

Yeah I don't really understand what all we're supposed to be waiting for, Leach has admitted that James' story is substantially true. The facts aren't in dispute. Leach thinks his behavior according to those facts was just fine, James does not think it was okay, we can judge for ourselves given the facts stipulated to by both parties.

Tater

December 30th, 2009 at 11:12 AM ^

There are no facts that indicate that Leach did anything wrong yet. There is a "he said, she said" accuastion by an apparently disgruntled student-athlete with a high-profile dad, but really no proof as of yet. I agree with the OP that until facts are available, judgement should probably be tabled.

If Leach's actions were as serious as the "James Gang" makes it sound, then he should at least be made to take a "concussions 101" course and probably suspended for awhile. If, however, James is just a disgruntled player taking the Justin Boren bridge-burning technique to a higher level, then Leach should face no punishment. To me, the likelihood of the latter is higher than that of the former.

Leach has no record in ten years at Tech of any behavior remotely resembling this. I am guessing that the "fat little girlfriends" quote, combined with less victories than last year, has caused embarassment to some in the Tech administration, and that they are looking for an excuse to get rid of him, not pay what they owe him, and make him sue to get it back.

At any rate, we'll see how it turns out as more information becomes avaliable. So far, though, we've only heard one side of the story.

Michiganguy19

December 30th, 2009 at 8:48 AM ^

that we should hold off assuming guilt. Anyone who has played sports knows how annoying overly involved parents are and how they end up having issues with coaches. To me it is just as plausible that this is true then anything else that has come out.

As to his concussion. That would be up to the doctors to determine.

Fuzzy Dunlop

December 30th, 2009 at 9:18 AM ^

The doctors determined that he had a concussion. This isn't in dispute. Leach's attorney concedes this.

Update -- I could care less about getting neg votes, but when you get negged for stating a simple and undisputed fact, it's clear that people are not engaging the issue in good faith.

Here's the quote from Leach's attorney: "Adam James 'claimed to have been hurt,' was examined and diagnosed with a 'mild concussion,' Liggett told the AP.

http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2009/12/29/sports-fbc-t25-texas-tech-lea…

Fuzzy Dunlop

December 30th, 2009 at 9:53 AM ^

I could. I could care much less. Meaning I care a great deal. I'm actually crushed by the negs. Damn you, you've seen through my facade of strength!

(I know "I could care less" is a dumb expression and says the opposite of what it means. But it's an expression nonetheless. I could care less).

WolvinLA2

December 30th, 2009 at 10:51 AM ^

The expression, Fuzzy Esq., is "I couldn't care less." As in, I care so little, it couldn't be less.

Also, I think people are negging you not because of the facts, but because the probably played football (like many of us I assume) and know that it's not this simple. I played the last 3 games of one season with a broken thumb because my coach told me to get it wrapped and take some advil.

I think, too, that we are all a little sympathetic to a coach getting slammed when a player ran to the press with a story.

Fuzzy Dunlop

December 30th, 2009 at 11:16 AM ^

"I could care less" is also a frequently used idiom, one which, admittedly, makes little sense on its face. http://www.wisegeek.com/what-does-i-could-care-less-mean.htm

I also played football, and played with a broken collarbone after the coach told me to rub some ice on it and get my ass back out there. So I know that coaches often don't give a shit about injuries. What concerns me is that they give even less of a shit about concussions, which aren't as visible or obvious, which has led to football players suffering major head trauma that affect them for the rest of their lives. This has been in the news just a bit recently, and people are pushing back against the "put some ice on it", macho attitude that has, in the past, led to players playing with concussions or ignoring concussion like symptoms. That's why the Leach matter is such a hot news topic.

So when you say "it's not that simple," suggesting that coaches often are hard on injured players, you're missing the point. It SHOULD be that simple -- when a player has a concussion, it is hands-off.

Clarence Beeks

December 30th, 2009 at 10:28 AM ^

"Update -- I could care less about getting neg votes, but when you get negged for stating a simple and undisputed fact, it's clear that people are not engaging the issue in good faith."

People aren't negging you because you "stat[ed] a simple and undisputed fact", they are negging you because the OP was not debating the fact that the kid had a concussion, and yet here you are, stuck on the concussion subject.

Fuzzy Dunlop

December 30th, 2009 at 10:39 AM ^

"As to his concussion. That would be up to the doctors to determine."

That was the statement was I responding to.

As far as being "stuck on the concussion subject" . . . The concussion subject IS the subject. That's what this whole issue is about -- whether or not Leach mistreated a player who had suffered a concussion. How can stating a fact about the concussion diagnosis be off-topic?

Kvothe

December 30th, 2009 at 11:24 AM ^

just saying to wait and hold off judgement until all the facts come out about the abuse incident, not the concussion. James was saying that he was locked in a closet or shed for hours. Like the story says Leach was given a letter that said a player/parent has filed a complaint and you are suspended immidiately. That on its own is kind of silly and that is what the OP is getting at. NOT JUST THE CONCUSSION, like he said thats the doctors department. It doesn't say that Leach tried to force him to play or practice in any way, the complaint is that he secluded him in an abuseful manner. Like the OP said we should wait for all the dust to settle as this seems a bit like a witch hunt for Leach with very little substance. Much like the RR crap that went on this year, again, like the OP said.

michiganfanforlife

December 30th, 2009 at 8:52 AM ^

that this kid is trying to get back at the staff for punishing him because he doesn't work hard. Most of the accounts I have read from players and coaches say that the punishment happened before the kid was ever injured. The injury and the punishment were seperated by weeks. The concussion has nothing to do with why he's mad, and it's really just a way for him to stir the pot. The kid was not working hard and taking plays off, so the staff tried to kick him in the butt. He's mad about how they treated him and he's using his daddy to get the coach fired. What a dick.

Fuzzy Dunlop

December 30th, 2009 at 9:08 AM ^

Please show me one article stating that the punishment happened before the kid was ever injured, much less "weeks" before the kid was injured. That's simply not true.

The Texas Tech physician diagnosed James with a concussion on December 17.

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/bowls09/news/story?id=4779341

Leach's own attorney claims that James "claimed to have been hurt," was examined and diagnosed with a "mild concussion," and was subsequently "was placed in an equipment room as it was much cooler and darker".

http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2009/12/29/sports-fbc-t25-texas-tech-lea…

Kvothe

December 30th, 2009 at 11:29 AM ^

You really seem to be missing the point on this one or just ignoring it. The claim against Leach has nothing to do with his concussion. Yes, the doctors said he had one that is settled. Now to the point, James says he was abused and locked in a closet for hours by himself forced to sit there. This part is what everyone is questioning because there have been multiple reports but ESPN is slow to acknowledge any except that of their james gang. On this part we shall wait and see what happens.

Fuzzy Dunlop

December 30th, 2009 at 11:44 AM ^

I'm not missing the point at all. I think you are, if you say that the claim against Leach has nothing to do with the concussion. The issue is his treatment of a player WITH A CONCUSSION -- if there was no concussion, no one would care about James having to sit in a freaking shed, press room, or whatever it was.

Nowhere have I argued that James was subjected to inhumane treatment. However, Leach's own attorney has acknowledged that James was placed in an equipment room and "secluded" for one to two hours, with a trainer posted outside the room. (See my post above) It's not Abu Ghraib, but obviously such "seclusion" is intended as punishment of some sort. I don't think the kid was voluntarily placed in seclusion for an hour or two.

The real issue is whether someone should be subject to punishment, be it minor or major, for having a concussion.

Kvothe

December 30th, 2009 at 12:00 PM ^

from reading multiple reports from both sides he was placed in the shed or whatever because he was being bothered by the sun. Leachs attorney, whether true or not, said that this has happend with other players before. Which if that is the case I have no problem with it. They had brought James an excersice bike and other equipment on the sideline so he could stay lose but he said "the sun was bothering his eyes" so they moved him indoors with trainers. I know you weren't saying it was inhumane treatment it just seemed that you were focusing on the concussion and not the seculsion, which is what the complaint is about. Both sides have slightly different stories; if they moved James indoors after trying to let him stand, excersice, or whatever on the sideline because he was still in pain then I'm fine with that. Coaches have to play tough every now and then I don't have an issue with Leach not letting James wear sun glasses as it is against team policy. I just feel that a good coach is going to go down because this spoiled kid can't take growing up. Though it is not all bad on James it just seems like his orginal exaggerated reports keep getting more and more washed down.

Fuzzy Dunlop

December 30th, 2009 at 12:13 PM ^

I took it as a given that the seclusion was intended as punishment of some form. I see what you're saying -- if the seclusion wasn't meant as punishment at all, that would change things. I do find that pretty hard to believe, though, especially in light of the mealy-mouthed denials given by Leach's lawyer.

Hopefully his preliminary injunction motion will be publicly filed, and we'll see what his arguments really are.

Section 1

December 30th, 2009 at 12:35 PM ^

It is my understanding that Adam James was disciplined before the concussion incident, entirely apart from what we have been talking about as the basis for the Leach suspension.

It is my understanding that James and two other recievers had been disciplined, and that James may have been disciplined in one form or another on at least a couple of occasions this year. By "discipline" (I think that) I am referrring to stairs, laps, extra work, extra criticism, etc.

You want a link; I'd like to give you one but I can't spare the time to look for it now. Like you, I am a lawyer, and one of my opponents is tryig to settle a case with me today, before the end of the year. I'd like to see the Texas court documents in Leach's suit for injunctive relief, as you would. Hopefully, we will.

I have to say, as I defend Leach in the spirit of our own wrongly maligned head coach, that I cannot imagine that he will long remain at Texas Tech. I cannot imagine that an injunction will keep him there for next year. But it may help to clear his name for another job in the future, and for posterity. And, it may be massively helpful in a resolution of any competing contract claims after the season is done. But it is not the way that a Head Coach stays in the good graces of an institution where much of his job is to help with fundraising, schmoozing alumni and donors, and being the public face of a multi-million dollar program.

Fuzzy Dunlop

December 30th, 2009 at 1:08 PM ^

It is my understanding that Adam James was disciplined before the concussion incident, entirely apart from what we have been talking about as the basis for the Leach suspension. . . . You want a link; I'd like to give you one but I can't spare the time to look for it now.

No need for a link, I've seen much the same stated in articles. Based on what I've read, it certainly seems that Adam James was an entitled prick who didn't get along with his coaches in the past. (ALLEGEDLY!)

I don't really see the relevance though. If he deserved to get disciplined for assholish behavior in the past, it doesn't mean he deserved to get disciplined for having a concussion. In fact, I wonder if his past misbehavior led Leach to have a short fuse with him, and to think he was "milking" the concussion somehow.

MWW6T7

December 30th, 2009 at 9:01 AM ^

I do not know much about either o the parties involved, just what I have read, but it is sad that the University would jump to conclusions of what happened and immediately suspend Leach before ever even hearing his side of the story or trying to get facts. They are just taking the word of a kid who could possibly have an axe to grind against the coach or program. I do believe accusations should be taken seriously but some investigating should be required before dragging a man through the mud over something that may or may not have happened. If what James said is true then he should Leach should be fired but if it is false his scholarship should be revoked.

Rasmus

December 30th, 2009 at 9:52 AM ^

I doubt James' kid needs a scholarship.

If you listen to the interview with James' father, he's not saying anything specific, only suggesting that he was punished for having a concussion.

Let's connect some of the dots while we wait for the facts (yes, I know this is speculation, but that's what this thread is for, right?):

James was sent into the garage-size storage area (not by himself, according to Leach's attorney) because he showed up wearing the sun shades after being diagnosed with a mild concussion. He complained of being sensitive to light, so Leach put him somewhere he wouldn't be exposed to light. Maybe impulsive and humiliating, but it allowed Leach to not make an exception for James by allowing him to wear the sun shades when no other player is allowed to.

On not being allowed to sit down, I'll guess that is another rule for those standing on the sidelines during practice.

Section 1

December 30th, 2009 at 12:49 PM ^

in the equipment gargage were Countable Athletically-Related Activities.

Rosenberg says he has six "current and former" Michigan players, all of whom were recruited at one time by Texas Tech, and who are therefore "familiar with the situation." They gave exclusive, off-the-record interviews to Rosenberg, and they all think that Rich Rodriguez was behind this whole episode. Their stories were remarkably similar, under questioning by Free Press investigative reporters. They all described John Deere maintenance equipment as being "Green, with some yellow trim, I think. Right?"

Shocking stuff. The Free Press will be running a front-page story on Sunday.

(Rich Rodriguez, Mike Barwis and Bill Martin were all contacted for their responses to the shocking Texas Tech story, five or ten minutes ago. They have not reponded as of the Free Press' posting the story on its Freep.com website. Martin indicated, "Can I call you back in an hour? I'm in a meeting." Rich Rodriguez was on an airplane on a recruiting trip. Mike Barwis was in the bathroom; through an intermediary, he said, "I've never even been to Lubbock!" The Free Press could not confirm the truth of Barwis' statement.)

Bosch

December 30th, 2009 at 9:18 AM ^

Adam James has a famous father and has a pampered life style. I wouldn't be surprised if he has issues with authority. One of the assistant coaches (Lincoln Riley) wrote in a statement to the AD that James had an attitude problem. It sounded like that this "punishment" was the result of a couple of days of slacking off and not because of having a concussion.

However, locking him in a shed is akin to hazing. There is no justification. Leach is toast.

jblaze

December 30th, 2009 at 9:18 AM ^

but the exact type and severity of "punishment" (read: how bad was that closet) is under debate. We can't assume that Leach is wrong here, especially when it is 1 kid who is complaining about the program. We as Michigan fans, have a ton of experience here, as in family values anyone?

In addition, Lou Holtz made a great comment about this yesterday. He said that this is the only complaint ever against Leach by a player in 10+ years of being a head coach. If Leach were a tyrant, wouldn't this have come out earlier? Wouldn't we be hearing, at least now, from all of the former players that he has wronged?

Obviously, nobody is in favor of punishing a college football player and concussions are extremely serious matters, but this seems like 1 kid who is trying to hurt his program. The difference, is that his father is an ESPN analyst, so everyone believes him.

More importantly, a coach likely will be fired and blacklisted from being a head coach.

Wendyk5

December 30th, 2009 at 9:40 AM ^

After reading the above link, it seems that either Leach or James will be gone. It will be interesting to see how this one plays out. I sincerely hope for James' sake that he isn't trying to get back at Leach by hurling false allegations. His college career will be over. No one will want him.

Wendyk5

December 30th, 2009 at 9:34 AM ^

If James was made to stand in a room as punishment, that's definitely unacceptable, whether he had a concussion or not. If that happened to my kid, I would be pig biting mad. If my kid wasn't working hard, the coach has the prerogative to do a number of things: not play him, put him on the practice squad, or kick him off the team. But subjecting him to humiliation and isolation borders on the criminal.

If, in fact, he was being "punished" for having an injury, that's a whole other level of doucheness. It's hard for me to even fathom a college football game being important enough to warrant that kind of treatment. I don't think Michigan fans would want our players being treated that way in any situation.

BlockM

December 30th, 2009 at 10:45 AM ^

Kids are "humiliated" and "isolated" all the time by coaches. If you make a stupid mistake, you'll probably get chewed out in front of the team. The aim shouldn't be to humiliate, but it happens, and it's not anywhere close to criminal.

The problem in this case would be locking him in the room. From the recent information, it doesn't sound like a horrible torture chamber the kid was sent to. Sure, if he was being punished for having an injury, that's ridiculous. To be told to take a time out in seclusion for not trying is exactly what I'd want a coach to do.

My point is, we have no idea what happened, but this isn't necessarily something criminal.