The big news in the Leach drama today is the affidavit of Steve Pincock the HFAT (Head Football Athletic Trainer) at Texas Tech. Could you be the Football Trainer and not be the Football Athletic Trainer? Perhaps there's a Football Academic Trainer? I digress.
The morons at ESPN keep saying that Leach was punishing Adam James for having a concussion. As I said previously, Leach appears to be punishing Adam James for being a punk, as we'll see below.
Anyway, I wanted to share a couple of excerpts from this and provide my opinions, full copy of the affidavit is here:
"3.In the morning on Dec 17, 2009, James reported to the training room...he was examined by Dr Michael Phy, who diagnosed him with a minor concussion...James should not practice and should not perform exercise that would increase pressure in his head."
I have no comment on this part, I'm just providing to add context. The emphasis added below is mine.
"4. In the afternoon of Dec 17, 2009, we had practice...Injured players are placed in an area on on the field referred to as "muscle beach" to participate in activities that are consistent with their respective injuries. James arrived for practice wearing street clothes, his cap on backwards and sunglasses and began walking around the field in a very nonchalant way. He was not wearing the standard jersey and cleats or workout gear expected of all players during practice, including injured players.
So, Leach was unhappy with a player who was loafing, and did not show up in the appropriate gear to practice, even for injured players. I ask you, the reader, what would you do in that instance? Is it appropriate for a coach to discipline a player for a nonchalant attitude?
"5. ...Leach was upset and concerned about James appearance and attitude. Leach said he did not want him loafing while the players were working...Leach told me to place James in a dark place "in a place so dark that the only way he knows he has a dick is to reach down and touch it".
I don't care you you are, right there, that's funny. This is not bridge club, it's football. I do believe that college football coaches have been known to swear on occasion, and it seems like Mr. Leach is no different. If you don't want your players sworn at, send them to Vanderbilt.
"6. ...Leach ordered me to place James in the dark, enclosed area where he could not sit or lay down...I told James that he was to stand in the dark for the entire practice....When I went to check on James after approximately 30 minutes...found him on the floor."
So, within 30 minutes, James had a) shown up for practice not prepared; b) walked around nonchalantly; c) disobeyed the coach's and trainer's instructions to remain standing.
"11. I am not aware of any other football player...being placed in a darkened shed or room similar to James...I feel that Leach's treatment of James was inappropriate, and I did not agree with it."
Look, I've had the same boss of the better part of the last 14 years. I've followed him from one job to another. There are times that I do not agree with decisions he's made that I must follow/administer. Every time that happens, I go through the same type of questions: a) does this violate my ethics?; b) am I required to do something as a result that will violate my ethics? c) do I understand the position and just disagree with it? d) do I need to gain further understanding of the decision before I proceed?
Note that Pincock did not agree with it, but did not take a stand and refuse to comply. Nowhere in Pincock's affidavit does he indicate that this treatment impaired James rehabilitation, nor does he indicate James is increase the likelihood of a recurrence of injury.
The treatment Mike Leach is trying to address here is best addressed by a quote from an email by Lincoln Riley, who is James' position coach, "Adam is unusually lazy and entitled...I have always been worried about Adam's effect on my other players because of his weak and conceited attitude."
And another email from Riley, "Two practices before...Coach Leach and I were forced to discipline him for poor effort...this has been a common theme...during his entire career...it was very clear Adam did not agree with the punishment."
An email from Dana Holgorsen, Adam James first position coach at Tech, "I always remained critical of Adams ability to play at this level due to being lazy not only in the classroom but also in the offseason and during practice."
Finally, Leach's firing was a result of insubordination, which I believe comes from refusal to sign a document Texas Tech instructed him to sign. Leach's firing, resulted from a long-standing contentious relationship between Leach and TT AD Gerald Myers, as well as certain people higher up in the TT administration. It's a great example of how regardless of your ability to execute (in Leach's instance, measured by wins and player graduation rates) may not override your penchant to complain about money and have a bad relationship with your boss.
Conversely, if I may comment on Myers and Hance, part of being a leader is learning to manage different personalities and utilize their strengths. If they attempted to appreciate his difference and manage through them, it was clear they were done with that long before this most recent episode.