Considering that the western half of the cafeteria staff is looking at BYU’s departure/non-departure from conference play (and analyzing it better than I could, considering their location) (<-Not sarcasm!) I’ll tackle the return of Mike Leach to college football, albeit at a distance.
Perhaps you’re wondering how I drew the rather brash and accusatory conclusion present in the title. Well, here’s a link: these words right here. Let’s analyze, shall we?
For those of you who missed it, Mike Leach lost his job near the end of last season when it was revealed that he might have locked a kid with a concussion in a closet. He’s denied doing anything wrong, but he got fired anyway, probably because basically every piece of evidence seems to point to him doing something wrong. Yeah, the timing was convenient for Texas Tech, but I highly doubt that the school was trying to avoid an $800,000 payout to Leach when you consider that this is the same school that signed Tommy Tuberville to a contract paying $1.5 million a year for 5 years. Plus, these accusations were leveled against Coach Leach during a semi-successful season, which adds to their validity because the people who did so didn’t wait for Texas Tech to have a 2-10 season unlike some fans I could mention.
Yes, I’m aware of the whole “innocent until proven guilty” bit, but in the same regard that you don’t let someone accused of a DUI run a bar, you don’t let a guy accused of player abuse coach a team. Well, you shouldn’t, but if a school gets desperate enough, they’ll do it. Still, assuming that the whole “locking someone in a closet despite having no medical training, nor any authority to do so” stays in the sport’s collective memory for a bit, Leach’s comments are kinda funny.
First off, note that the first line that somehow draws a loose association between Leach and Hemingway. Sure, Leach didn’t write that line, but if he sued Texas Tech for “defamatory statements” then he should sue the AP for comparing him to one of the craziest guys in literary history.
Let me also make it clear that Mike Leach is pretty clearly already insane. The guy’s got a rather unhealthy obsession with pirate memorabilia, a rather unhealthy obsession with passing, and a rather unhealthy disdain for defense. But, rather than force you to read a massive pile of words, let’s just establish the sheer ludicrousness of the CBS College Sports Network manager Steve Herbst saying “We are going to insist that [Leach] be himself. There are no limitations on what Mike can or cannot talk about.” Mr. Herbst, on the off chance that you read this blog: WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH YOU?!?! The guy who once told his players that they were too concerned with their “fat little girlfriends” is not someone to whom you give a license to say whatever he wants. That’s just not a good idea! Perhaps I’m making too much of a deal about this. I mean, in the interest of full disclosure, this article does also make it clear that Leach is going to be doing mostly Conference USA games, meaning that if he does say something egregious (look it up!) then he’ll only be heard by relatively few people until SI, ESPN, or Yahoo gets ahold of the tape, at least.
In conclusion, Mike Leach probably shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a microphone, or even near a stadium. A guy with a history of verbal abuse who has also been accused of physical abuse is not the kind of individual I’d want near college kids, even as an announcer. If that sounds harsh, keep in mind that I’d have sung a very different song had Leach apologized for any of the wrongs mentioned above. Being repentant and wanting a second chance is one thing; being unrepentant and expecting to be handed a second chance is quite another. Everyone deserves a shot to clear their name, but they have to admit that they were wrong first, something that Mike Leach is either incapable or unwilling to do at this juncture.