Blog Entry

E-mails in support of Mike Leach

Posted on: December 30, 2009 12:50 am
Edited on: December 30, 2009 12:52 am
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These e-mails were forwarded to CBSSports.com on Tuesday. They include messages from strength coach Bennie Wylie, inside receivers coach Lincoln Riley, former assistant coach Dana Holgorsen (now at Houston) and former players Eric Morris, Graham Harrell and Rylan Reed ...


Two days prior to the incident in question, I disciplined Adam James along with several other recievers.  His attitude was poor the entire time; even with constant plees for improvement.  By the end of the practice, a few of the other recievers accepted their lack of performance in the previous practice and worked harder.  Adam was not one of these individuals.  He was last on all the excercises asked to do and talked and "danced" during the discipline.  When told that this was unacceptable, he simply shrugged his shoulders.  I continued to encourge him with no success. 
 
Bennie Wylie
Head Strength and Conditioning Coach
Texas Tech University
 

To whom it may concern:

You can find out a lot about a person after playing three years of college football with them.  Adam James was a teammate of mine from 2006-2009.  Ever since the day he arrived on the Texas Tech campus you couldn’t help but to feel a negative energy from him.  He expected people to baby him and that he was going make it solely on the fact that his father was a very successful player.  Coach Leach has never been a coach to just give something to someone because of who they are.  He believes that everyone is equal and you have to earn respect from your coaches and teammates.  Adam was never known as a hard worker.  I can honestly agree with this because we played the same position and I witnessed his laziness on a daily bases.  Adam seemed to have a negative attitude towards the football program the majority of the time.  That negative energy is never good for a team and can cause some major problems on and off the field.  During practices, Adam always tried to get by with doing the least he possibly could.  Never do I once remember Adam to be excited or enthusiastic to be out there.  It was almost like he was playing the game of football to please someone other than himself.

Sincerely,

Eric Morris
 

To Whom It May Concern:

          Texas Tech University and the athletic department is filled with great people from the top down, starting with the chancellor all the way down to the student athletes involved in the programs.  In the football program, Gerald Myers and the rest of the administration have put together an unbelievable staff that believe success only comes from hard work and doing things right.  The staff expects the players and everyone involved to buy into their beliefs, but like anywhere not every player agrees with or buys into what the coaches and program stand for. At Texas Tech the majority of the players do everything the coaches ask of them and anything possible to improve the team.  Adam James is one of the few players who has never bought into what Texas Tech football was built on and in my years there with him had a negative impact on the team because of his attitude and work ethic on and off the field.  Coach Leach demands a lot out of every player in the program and pushed his players and coaches as hard as any coach I have ever been around, but he is fair to every player and would never make and decision or action that is not best for the Texas Tech football program.

           Before Adam James ever entered the football locker room at Texas Tech I heard how spoiled and selfish he acted in a team atmosphere from many of my baseball friends.  Adam was on the baseball team his true freshman year at Tech, before he ever joined the football team, and did not make it through the baseball season because of his selfish attitude.  After a baseball game in which he felt like he did not get enough playing time, but the team still won twenty to one, he came into the locker room after the game and “pouted and threw a big fit” according another player on the baseball team.  A few weeks later in the middle of the season, he just stopped showing up to practices or game and quit because he was not happy about how he was being treated.  One of my roommates was a baseball player on the team and many of my friends were a part of the team that witnessed all of this.  These baseball players told me he was “spoiled and selfish” before he ever came to the football team.  After quitting baseball he came out for football and his selfish attitude was very evident, as was his laziness.  During off-season workouts he often would be caught skipping lifts in the weight room or finding ways to cut corners/get out of conditioning exercises.  When we had player organized seven on seven throwing in the summer, when he would show up he was much more interested in playing his own games on the side of the field or telling people that he wasn’t going to run any routes because the coaches do not get him a “fair opportunity” anyway.  During the season he was often “injured” (it usually seemed like a very minor injury that could keep him out of practice but never out of any other activity, including games) so he would not participate in some drills in practice.  None of these acts were productive for our team, but the most detrimental part of Adam was his off field attitude and actions.  In the locker room and away from the facility, Adam used any opportunity he had to tell other players how he was being treated unfairly, how the coaches did not give him a fair chance and how we did not have to do everything the coaches told us because they had no option but to play some of us.  When I heard these kinds of things I usually tried to put an end to them but Adam pretty consistently talked bad about the coaches or down played the importance of working hard, when he was off the field.  When he talked to young players or players that were usually on the scout he would explain how the coaches were not fair to certain players and only played favorites.  When he talked to players that did get some playing time he would talk about how we didn’t really have to do what the coaches asked of us because the coaches had to play us anyway.  And it almost always tied back to how he was not getting a fair chance to play just because the coaches were unfair.  The coaches were always more than fair to Adam I felt, because he came in the game during certain formations and situations last football season, but because of his work ethic and attitude, many of the players on last years team had a hard time trusting him or relying on him because he was not always practicing and we had seen his laziness during the off-season.  Adam was a kid that seemed like he had been given everything he wanted his whole life and acted like if things did not go exactly how he wanted someone was treating him unfairly or someone needed to be blamed for his failures.  He was a selfish player on and off the field that was counter-productive for our team and would be for any other team.
          
         Mike Leach was not only my head coach, but he was my position coach all five of my years at Texas Tech.  I spent more time with him than any other player during my five years and had meetings with him every day.  He was very hard on me and every other player in program and he held very high expectations for every player.  He would push us all every day during the season and during the off-season.  He felt that hard work, dedication and doing things right was the only way we could be successful and compete in the Big XII conference.  He worked harder and longer than anyone else in program and was committed to winning at all cost.  He would never have been unfair to a player or not played the best players he had because he wanted to win more than anything else. Coach Leach also expected us to be tough but smart at the same time.  He would not pressure a kid to play with a serious injury or play when he did not feel ready to play.  Coach Leach is a man that cares about his player and puts his players, coaches and the well being of the Texas Tech football program above all else.
           
          Coach Leach is a great coach at Texas Tech that emphasizes the importance of hard work and doing things the right way so that the football program has the best opportunity possible to be successful.  He, along with the administration and the rest of his staff, have built a great football program at Texas Tech that is built on the virtues and principles that give any program an opportunity to be successful.  Every single player may not buy into the program’s beliefs, but Mike Leach has almost everyone on board with him and the Texas Tech football program on a successful track.

Graham Harrell


To whom it may concern:

As a player under coach Leach, I have experienced some of the most memorable moments of my life in which I am very grateful for.  As I stated I am a former Red Raider that played for Mike Leach and got to know him well over my four years as a Red Raider.  I admire the professionalism and dedication Mike had for the game, the university and his players.  He always demanded the best from each of us and we became better players and people for it.   Although he pushed his players and coaches to be the best, his decisions and actions were always consistent with maintaining the program’s integrity and were in the best interest of his players.  As a player, my commitment to the team was based on the trust I had developed in Coach Leach as a leader who would always put his players and his team in the best possible position for success.  As a result of his guidance and coaching, in combination with my own hard work, I was able to overcome great adversity to become an All-American tackle.

A couple of bowl games ago in the Gator Bowl, I suffered a severe injury to my lower left leg in which took a lot of support from family, friends, fans, coach’s, teammates and most importantly coach Leach to get me back.  It was a long road to recovery that took careful attention from trainers during practices, and Leach was always checking to make sure that I was ok.  During camp, oftentimes I had to practice one day and then take a day off because of soreness.  Coach Leach was very understanding, always had my best interest in mind at all times, and I will always be appreciative of that.

Another incident that occurred was after my pro day in which I hurt my knee and my dream of playing in the NFL quickly came to a halt so I went home to rehab with two semesters left from graduating.   I was able to get a job and start working, but quickly realized that to get the dream job in the real world that I always wanted, it would take getting my degree from Texas Tech.  When I got home from work one day, I got a phone call from coach Leach asking, if they were able to get some paper work filled out, would I be willing to come back to school to finish my degree, and of course I said yes.  I am proud to say that, as a result of coach Leach’s influence, I will finish my degree from Texas Tech in May 2010.  If that does not show how coach Leach cares for his players, then I do not know what does.
The allegations against coach Leach are not consistent with the standards and beliefs that he has for himself and the University of Texas Tech.  He has always been fair and respectful to my teammates and I.  I was very saddened to hear that someone could try to take away all that he has done for this university, players and fans.  I hope that you take this into consideration, and I also would be willing to further discuss anything in detail in person or by phone.

Sincerely,

Rylan Reed
 
 

To Who it May Concern:

During the last two years of being the inside receivers coach, I have 
had the chance to learn alot about Adam James.  He came to Tech 
because of one person: Coach Leach.   Although we adamently doubted 
his talent, we as coaches came to see that Adam actually had enough 
talent to help us out.   The problem, though, is that Adam is 
unusually lazy and entitled.  Many other players on this team, 
specifically receivers, have a much larger role on this team with less 
talent.  I have always been worried about Adam's effect on my other 
players because of his weak and conceited attitude.  I recently found 
out that Adam deliberately undermined my authority on many occasions.  
This is particularly disturbing because Coach Leach hired me to make 
our receivers the best group in the country, and Adam has damaged this 
group far more than I even realized.  He should be grateful forthe 
opportunity that was given to him here that was not offered at any 
other Division 1 football program.  He has an unvelievable sense of 
entitlement because of who his father is; one that hurts himself and 
people around him.  Adam is the kind of person thatakes excuses or 
blames people for things that go wrong in his life.
Furthermore, I don't have children yet, but when I do I hope they are 
coached by someone like Coach Leach.  I have learned so many great 
things from him and am incredibly lucky to have him in my life.

Lincoln Riley

 
 I am writing this letter on behalf of Mike Leach in regards to the Adam James situation. I was the inside receiver coach at Texas Tech when we made the decision the sign Adam James in January of 2007. Adam had no offers to play NCAA D1 football during and after his Senior year. After a conversation between Coach Leach and Adams father Craig, Coach Leach acquired a brief highlight tape of Adam and made the decision to take him as a scholarship student athlete.  I was opposed to doing so in belief he was not a D1 football player. Coach Leach overrode my opinion and Adam became a Red Raider. During the rest of my time at Texas Tech I was Adams position coach where I always remained critical of Adams ability to play at this level due to being lazy in not only the classroom but also in the off season and during practice. Coach Leach was the one who kept saying he believed Adam would eventually contribute. Adams teammates believed he was selfish and were constantly getting onto him for lack of effort as they sensed entitlement on his part due to his father being a very good football player. Adam eventually ended up playing a little after I left due to his body type being able to do some TE sets which consists of around 5-10 plays a game.  Adam should be thankful for the opportunity to play at Texas Tech and for Mike Leach, who gave him the opportunity. In my opinion playing 5-10 plays a game in an outstanding offense is more than he would get at any other school in NCAA D1 football.

Dana Holgorsen
OC & QB's
University of Houston 
 
 
Two practices before Adam James claimed he had a concussion, Coach Leach and I were forced to discipline him for poor effort from the previous practice and poor effort during the early drills of that day.  This has been a common theme about Adam's work ethic and attitude during his entire career.  Adam, along with two other receivers that were also unsatisfactory, was sent to run stadium steps with Bennie Wylie.  After the practice, Bennie made it very clear to Coach Leach and I that Adam was a complete "jerk" while he was being punished.  After talking with Adam after the practice, it was very clear to me that Adam did not agree with the punishment and believed that we were just mis-asessing his effort.  He complained to me that we were not doing our jobs as coaches and that his effort was just fine, all of which is very typical of him to say.  By comparison, the other receiver that we punished agreed that his effort wasn't his best and had a good attitude with Bennie and also in meeting with me after practice.  It's just another example of Adam thinking that he knows more about coaching than people who have been coaching for their entire lives.  I have no doubt that anger from this led to where we are today with this situation and is his way of trying to "get back" at us coaches
 
Lincoln Riley 

 

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Category: NCAAF
Comments

Since: Dec 30, 2009
Posted on: December 30, 2009 6:16 pm
 

E-mails in support of Mike Leach

Adam  James is a 20 yr old ADULT and he needs mommy and daddy to go solve his problems?
So will Craig James go on job interviews with his son to make sure they treat him ok?  When do you stop
having mommy & daddy and take care of you? 21? 23? 25? 30? 40? 50?

Tex Tech dropped the ball on this one and in the end James and his lazy loser son are going to look like the morons.

I am sure ESPN will not alow anyone to post any thing in favor of Mike Leach since they have already made up their mind.

I hope this opens up a whole can of worms for Craig James and all the illegal crap him and Erik Dickerson did while at SMU.




Since: Dec 30, 2009
Posted on: December 30, 2009 6:09 pm
 

E-mails in support of Mike Leach

(My comment above written in response to calijhawks comment on Page 4:

"Whether the James kid is an entitled jerk, and he very well may be, is not the real question. Whether Leach is the person who put the kid in a "closet" is the REAL question that nobody is asking.

In my experience as a former college football player, with a MS in Sportsmedicine, I can tell you that in ANY major college athletic program, the Sportsmedicine department (Physicians, Training Staff, etc.) and the coaching staff operate completely independent of each other.

Team physicians and the training staff do not work for any coach, no matter how powerful the coach may be. They work for the University. If the kid was put in a cool, dark place for medical reasons, then it was the medical staff who put him there, or at least signed off on the merasure. Leach couldn't make that decision. From what I am hearing, a graduate assistant athletic trainer was always with the kid, which leads me to believe that it was a medically-related deal.


This is a witch-hunt, and anyone who has been a round a major college athletic program can see it. If anyone "mistrreated" this prima donna, it was the medical staff, and they didn't."



Since: Dec 30, 2009
Posted on: December 30, 2009 6:05 pm
 

E-mails in support of Mike Leach

This is a very good point, and bears further examination.  Let's accept as a given (even if inaccurate) that concussions of this nature are treated appropriately by placing the victim in a cool, dark location as a primary recuperative therapy.

1)  If the sports medicine department was directly responsible for placing James in an electrical room where he could not sit down, this looks like punishment to the untrained eye rather than a appropriate treatment plan for his injury, regardless of whether anyone else other than the team MD felt it was an injury at all.  Those responsible in the sports medicine department should be held accountable, and similarly terminated.

2)  Why didn't the team MD speak up as both the patient and the coach's advocate in this situation? (As in: "Leach, I know the kid's a jerkoff, but don't put yourself under scrutiny by making it seem like you're following doctor's orders when what you're really trying to do is teach the kid a lesson.  It--and he--is not worth the trouble that's going to create.  Send him home and tell him to recuperate in his own cool, dark place.")

The team MD is obligated to take care of the player whether he thinks the player is an entitled lazy jerk or not.  If he didn't clear the kid medically, his diagnosis stands--and the treatment plan can't be twisted into what appears to be punishment, either.  That's just common sense and good medicine. 

The team MD's position on this is important and should be heard, one way or another.

My gut sense of this is that Coach Leach was pissed at James for any number of reasons, but then overstepped his bounds by appearing to have punished (or could have potentially aggravated an injury to) a player who was injured, regardless of any other circumstances involved.  If he had used the same judgment that he would have with any other injured player, this whole situation would have never happened.

He let his emotions get the best of him, and the University couldn't sweep his actions under the rug. That's why he is out of a job today--put he'll probably find another Div 1 coaching job somewhere else that may suit him better anyway.

Probably no one was really hurt in this whole dust-up, but it sure makes good copy.

(I'm an MD, FWIW.)



Since: Dec 30, 2009
Posted on: December 30, 2009 5:59 pm
 

E-mails in support of Mike Leach

Are you my mom? As the child of a lower income family who recieved a D1 scholarship, going home and telling mom or dad about being in trouble with the coach would have led to the same thing that I received after complaining the nun at school hit me with the pointer.



Since: Dec 30, 2009
Posted on: December 30, 2009 5:51 pm
 

E-mails in support of Mike Leach

Thank you TexasMom13 for you excellent take on this incident.  We need to leave this behind until it's time to hear how much TT has to pay Mr. Leach for wrongful termination.  I hope their alums have deep pockets.



Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: December 30, 2009 5:22 pm
 

Who is Craig James?

I honestly can say that I have never heard of Craig James before all of this ballyhoo, and I watch a lot of ESPN.  I know a Craig Jones, but that is besides the point.  Sounds to me like this Craig James has too many mirrors in his house and his little boy Adam has been crafted into fitting a bill he wasn't cut out for.  Stop watching yourself on TV Craig.  Bring yourself and your boy back down to Earth.




Since: Dec 30, 2009
Posted on: December 30, 2009 5:09 pm
 

E-mails in support of Mike Leach

You must be confusing Tech with another school.  Any by the way, your college is probably calling to talk to Leach right now.  He wins football games.




Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: December 30, 2009 4:27 pm
 

E-mails in support of Mike Leach

No one's come out to disagree with the allegations!?!?!?  I want some of your consumables....

Try replacing your Div II / III comment w/ the NFL, you might be more accurate




Since: Dec 30, 2009
Posted on: December 30, 2009 4:27 pm
 

E-mails in support of Mike Leach

Oh my, such ado about nothing! as the Mom of two NCAA Division I scholarship athletes I am very disappointed in this young man's father's reaction to this issue. Both of my children were highly recruited and attended major universities on "full-ride" scholarships. They both WORKED VERY HARD for those scholarships. We are NOT a well-to-do family and are certainly NOT famous. If either of of my kids would have come to me with this issue I would have told them to suck it up and discuss their concerns with their coach. At one point one of them had an issue that caused them to want to pack their bag and come home - my response - "Get over it! You will not be coming home on my dime! You are and adult and you will face MANY diversities in life. You can either run away or face the problem and work to solve it." Running away was not an option and I was certainly not going to solve the issue for him. Part of being a man is working through these things. This young man is NEVER going to learn to stand on his own two feet and will ALWAYS feel a sense of entitlement. If he can't take the heat he should get out - there is a long line of young athletes who are actually worthy of being a scholarship athlete and who would be more than thankful for the opportunity.

I have never been a big TT fan and am not necessarily a great fan of Mike Leach - but he did nothing wrong in this situation. As a matter of fact -if this kid was complaining of not being able to practice (AGAIN) then Mike Leach probably did him a favor by offering him a quiet place out of the way to rest and contemplate so as not to put him in further danger of damaging his delicate self.

If this were were a poor kid who came from a single parent family with a Mom or Dad who works hard at two jobs this would not be an issue and we would not be spending any time on this - oh what news a state of "privilage" makes!

Our young people are dying in Afghanistan - A kid getting sent to "the shed" because he can't practice football - for whatever reason just is not important!!!!!!!!!



Since: Dec 30, 2009
Posted on: December 30, 2009 4:26 pm
 

E-mails in support of Mike Leach

Moksha17, you need to get a real life.  The only amateurs in this soap opera happens to be in the Tech Administration.  They are showing why Tech will never be a tier 1 school in NCAA football.  I have been following Tech football since 1960 (a 1970 graduate from the school of Business Administration), and Mike Leach is the first coach to bring the Tech program to the brink of legitimacy.  The ridiculous egos of Gerald Meyers and the Tech Administration may have set the Tech football program back 10 years.  The program may never recover fully from this stupidity.  The action they have taken is tantamount to placing themselves on a "death" penalty.  A "legitimate" tier 1 head coach is not going to submit himself to the stupidity and soap opera antics of Gerald Meyers and the Texas Tech Administration.  The second question you and those like you need to answer is where do you think Tech will find a coach with the same commitment to graduating players (one of the best records in the nation for graduating players) who is anywhere near the coach that Mike Leach is?  Respond back to us Moksha17 if you ever wake up and smell the coffee


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com