I listened to Clay Travis’s periscope show on Tuesday, and he mentioned the idea of Mike Leach taking the Ole Miss job.
Clay is not the only person who has mentioned Leach for SEC jobs.
Leach has also been linked by the media to the not-yet-vacant Nebraska head coaching job, thanks to his former athletic director, Bill Moos, moving from Washington St to Lincoln, NE.
Basically, thanks to Leach’s quirky, and down-right funny, press conferences, there are a ton of fanbases that, just from recent success, would love to have Mike Leach grace their sidelines.
But it’s not happening.
Leach isn’t leaving Washington St.
Not because he doesn’t want to leave, but because no administrator at a big-name school would be comfortable hiring him.
Mike Leach is outspoken
Joe-Schmoe college football fan loves Mike Leach. I love Mike Leach. My co-host, Chris, loves Mike Leach.
I don’t know of anybody that doesn’t appreciate his personality.
But his employers don’t always appreciate how blunt he is with the media.
On top of that, his administrators at Texas Tech, even after being the winningest coach in Texas Tech history, chose to side with a player and his father rather than with the coach in an issue that ultimately led to his firing in Lubbock.
His statements, as you can see in the video above, do not pull any punches. He doesn’t have a filter.
Mike Leach is old school
The way that Leach handles his teams is definitely considered “old-school.”
After a couple of three-and-outs a few weeks ago against Colorado, he made his entire offense do up-downs once they returned to the sideline.
— Ƒunhouse (@BackAftaThis) October 22, 2017
Now, that is entertaining to football fans, and while football fans appreciate good, hard work and discipline from a coach, not all players are keen on that type of embarassment, especially during a game on national television.
The incident that led to his dismissal at Texas Tech in late 2009 was similar.
We were told that Adam James, son of ESPN’s Craig James, was forced into a shed to stand hours on end after showing up to practice.
The shed turned out to be an equipment room, complete with ice maker, fan, ventilation, and exercise equipment.
We were told that Adam James, son of ESPN’s Craig James, was next confined in an electrical closet under guard.
The “electrical closet” turned out to be a spacious press room with video monitors and stationary bikes, and the “guard” turned out to be trainers who were checking on his head injury.
So we already know that Adam James, son of ESPN’s Craig James, was exaggerating the circumstances to the point of nearly straight-up lies.
So the next question one might reasonably ask is: “why was he told to go there?”
Well Adam James, son of ESPN’s Craig James, suffered a mild concussion not so long ago that had him sidelined, but was recently cleared by his own doctor to play.
Instead, he showed up to practice wearing sun glasses (presumably because of the concussion he had been cleared from), and offered his own diagnosis to coach Mike Leach.
That being that he was not feeling up to practice and instead would rest on the sidelines in his sunglasses while the rest of the team worked their tails off.
At this point, it’s worth taking a step back and looking at the situation in it’s totality.
First, I’d like to appeal to the former or still participating football players out there and ask them what they think their coach would have done if they had been cleared to play, but decided quite nonchalantly that they didn’t feel like it.
I could very well ask this of any former or current athlete, but football coaches tend to be an ever harder breed; they’re all like Bobby Knight.
What Mike Leach did was tell Adam James, son of ESPN’s Craig James, that he’d be damned if was going to let him laze around on the sidelines in sunglasses while the rest of the team worked and if the sun was such a problem, that he’d be better off sitting out the practice in the equipment garage, where players often took respite from the heat.
Leach is a disciplinarian.
Everyone walks on egg-shells now so they are not accused of mistreating student-athletes, or anyone else in any walk of life.
Leach doesn’t live like that. If his team doesn’t do what they’re supposed to, he let’s them know, and then he lets the media know, and anybody else that will listen.
Things like this won’t go over well at places that live and die with their football programs. Especially in today’s world of social media.
Leach’s campaign against his former employers at Texas Tech
If you have not seen paycoachleach.com, do yourself a favor and go look.
I’m not here to try and convince you of which side you should take on the story. Seems to me that he should be paid for that season that Tech refused to pay him for, but that’s not for me to decide.
Regardless, rather than fighting it in court and keeping quiet about it, he’s created a public campaign against his former employers about it.
In July, he went on the Jim Rome show and went off on how he feels about Texas Tech’s administrators.
He, with the help of others, organized a rally outside of the Texas Tech stadium in October before the Raiders’ game against Iowa St, to coincide with his #paycoachleach campaign.
On top of that, on Oct 23rd, USA Today reported that Leach hired investigators to dig up dirt on the “weasels” at Texas Tech.
Dolcefino Consulting, a firm in Houston, is working on behalf of Leach to help pressure Tech into paying him the money he says he’s still owed for the 2009 football season — about $2.5 million. Leach remains Tech’s winningest coach but was fired after the 2009 season, when the Red Raiders finished 9-4.
The firm is led by Wayne Dolcefino, a former investigative reporter for a TV station in Houston.
“We’re going to get into their stuff, OK?” Dolcefino told USA TODAY Sports Monday.
Dolcefino said it’s time for “hardball” with Tech. That includes making public-records requests that seek evidence of waste, fraud and abuse.
“If they want to be weasels and not pay the guy, then they won’t pay him,” Dolcefino said. “But we’re going to look under every nook and cranny. We’re starting with phone records.”
I talked with Gary Parrish, from CBSSports.com, about this topic on our podcast a couple of weeks ago. He explained it from an administrator’s side.
“If I’m an administrator – especially an administrator that has anything in my past I’d rather people not know about – I’d be like ok, I hire this guy, everything’s going ok, then it goes bad, and I think about making a coaching change, is he gonna hire investigators to look into my past? Try to dig up dirt on me?
No thanks. I’d rather just avoid it.
It can’t help ya long term, but he seems more interested in being vindictive and getting what he believes is owed to him than anything else.
It’s probably not what I would do, but I wouldn’t do a lot of things Mike Leach does.”
The bottom line is this: No administrator at a big-time football program is going to risk bringing in Mike Leach for the reason Parrish mentioned.
There are a lot of big wigs at these schools that have things to hide.
We’ve seen it go down at Ole Miss, and it cost Hugh Freeze his job. Ross Bjork had his phone records and e-mails dug through by attorney Thomas Mars, thanks to a lawsuit brought on by former Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt.
I love watching Mike Leach, and I enjoy what he brings to college football, but none of the bigger schools the media is connecting him with will EVER hire him to coach their football team.