CBSSports.com has obtained the e-mails of six current and former Texas Tech players and coaches disparaging sophomore Adam James, who has alleged he was mistreated by coach Mike Leach.
|Adam James has been called 'unusually lazy and entitled' and referred to as 'a complete jerk.' (AP)|
Leach has been suspended while the school investigates allegations. James is the son of college football analyst and former SMU star Craig James.
The e-mails are not expected to be used in a Wednesday hearing when Leach's lawyer will seek a temporary restraining order allowing Leach to coach in Saturday's Alamo Bowl against Michigan State. Leach was suspended by the school on Monday.
Leach's lawyer Ted Liggett disputed claims that James was locked in a dark "electrical closet." Two other sources told CBSSports.com that footage will be forthcoming that will show that one of the spaces where James was kept is actually a media interview room for visiting teams. Other players have told the Lubbock Avalanche Journal that they used a room where James was said to have been confined to get out of the heat.
"It's not some dungeon," former lineman Glenn January told the paper.
Players also told the Avalanche Journal that James had a reputation for being "soft" and was "somewhat" of a prima donna. Among those criticizing James in the e-mails obtained on Tuesday was former star quarterback Graham Harrell, who questioned the severity of some of James' injuries.
"During the offseason," Harrell wrote, "he often would be skipping lifts in the weight room or finding ways to cut corners ..."
Inside receivers coach Lincoln Riley was particularly critical of James in his e-mails. Riley said that James was one of three receivers sent to run stairs as discipline for unsatisfactory work.
"He [James] complained to me that we were not doing our jobs as coaches and that his effort was just fine ... It's just another example of Adam thinking that he knows more about coaching than people who have been coaching their entire lives. I have no doubt that anger from this led to where we are today ... and is his way of trying to "get back" at us coaches."
Former player Eric Morris wrote that the team felt "negative energy" from James who expected the team "to baby him" because he was the son of a famous player. Portraying James as a malingerer doesn't necessarily address the allegation that the player was mistreated. However, the school has not been forthcoming with any hard evidence against Leach. The coach said in a statement that he was not being offered "[due] process" in the investigation. Leach also stated that he would never intentionally harm any player.
Over the weekend, Leach would not sign a letter offering an apology to James. One source said that school officials "pulled out different phrases from the employment contract." Leach's team of lawyers and advisors determined it was better to let the contract's language stand on its own, instead of admitting to violations of certain clauses in a letter drawn up by the university.
Sources close to Leach used words like "vendetta" and "railroaded" on Tuesday when talking about Leach's situation. The coach was involved in a bitter contract battle earlier this year. In the end Leach received a five-year, $12.7 million deal. He interviewed with Washington after last season and his name has been attached to several openings in the past. As part of the new contract, Leach does not owe a buyout if he leaves for another school.
Complicating matters is the fact that Leach is owed an $800,000 bonus if he is still employed by Thursday. If he is fired without cause, he is owed $1.6 million from the school according to a source.
The entire text of the e-mails can be seen here.