Texas Tech head football coach Mike Leach has been suspended from coaching at the Alamo Bowl after allegations that he locked one of his players in a closet after he suffered a concussion. A report released by the family of Tech wide receiver Adam James indicates that he was the player that suffered a head injury in a December 16th practice. Leach’s alleged treatment of James, son of ESPN analyst Craig James, seems a bit suspect.
• On Dec. 17, James said Leach told trainers to put him in “the darkest place you can find.” James was sent to an equipment shed near the practice field, where a member of the athletic staff checked on James to make sure he did not lean against anything or sit on the floor. James said Leach told him that if he came out he would be kicked off the team.
• When the team returned to practice two days later, on Dec. 19, James said Leach told trainers to “find the tightest, darkest place” for the player. James, in his street clothes, was put in an electrical closet inside the football stadium for hours, again monitored by a member of the athletic staff.
I’m a bit hesitant to bury Leach because (a) his side of the story on FOX Sports isn’t nearly as damning, (b) Leach says that James might have been faking the injury, which I wouldn’t put past the silver-spooned seed of a college football analyst, and (c) because all of this “new learning” talk about concussions seems to be a half-cocked effort into trying to make football “safe.” It won’t be long before other Division I coaches lock up their players in closets. Leach is an innovator like that.