Tech coach Mike Leach suspended for uncaring, unethical treatment of player The Enlightened Spartan: Tech coach Mike Leach suspended for uncaring, unethical treatment of player

Monday, December 28, 2009

Tech coach Mike Leach suspended for uncaring, unethical treatment of player

Does Mike Leach have as lack of empathy and compassion for his football players as was reported by ESPN today? Leach has been SUSPENDED by Texas Tech University for the Alamo Bowl because he reportedly told a trainer to confine one of his players to a dark (equipment) room (to stand up for hours on end) after the player was diagonsed with a mild concussion and an elevated heart rate in a December 17 practice. Not once, but TWICE. And, the complaint from the family of the player is that it was coach Leach WHO TOLD THE TRAINER how to take care of the player (ok, so if a doctor told you that you had an illness or cancer or whatever, would you then ask your employer or teacher about how to care for it?). If this is true, THEN LEACH IS AN INCONSIDERATE, UNCARING BASTARD, A MEAN INDIVIDUAL, AND A COMPLETE IDIOT. He may have lost sight of his true mission, and thusly, it is the cost of winning in major college football. But, it is no excuse. If this is true, this is the same level of mistreatment that led to Kansas dismissing Mark Mangino. And, if so, does TTU have the same level of compassion for its players, or does it value winning more at the cost of players' health? Let us see how the investigation unfolds and how they handle this. Already, Leach is stating that he DID tell the trainers how to take care of the player (inappropriately, if true) - but if that is the case the ES finds it hard to believe Leach has a leg to stand on. Because it happened twice. Or, maybe Leach is a medical doctor or licensed trainer?

By the way, who was that player? None other than Adam James, the son of Craig James, ESPN all-world reporter and former star player with Eric Dickerson on that Southern Methodist team in the early 1980s. In Lubbock, reports that James was acting "like a slacker and his father like a Little League dad."

To be fair, Leach's attorney responds that James “was placed in an equipment room as it was much cooler and darker [than the practice field] after a doctor had examined him and returned him to the field.” And, “Mike tries to keep the players that are unable to practice as close as he can.” Sorry, this is backtracking that sounds eerily like fellow southerners George W Bush and Bill Clinton. And, the ES ain't buying it. If he had any balls, he would acknowledge what he did was wrong and man up. But, instead he will likely deny everything and lie to his firing squad...

Originally, it was Michigan State and the 14 suspended players that had a significant distraction for the upcoming game. Maybe, now it is even with the Leach distraction and suspension? What is worse - players stupidity or coach stupidity? This has huge implications for the Alamo Bowl, as Leach is a master motivator and Xs and Os guy down in Red Raider land. You can argue he may do more with less than any other coach in the country - as far as getting more Ws with the least amount of talent, and with a crazy scheme. Give a huge advantage to Michigan State in this game at this point. Going into today, the spread from the bookies in Vegas was MSU an 8-point underdog. Let's see how this changes in the next few days.

But, it leads to the question - does he really give a shit about his players welfare, or is he just treating them like meat? On the surface, this is borderline unethical; certainly uncaring.

In the past month, the ES attended an NCAA meeting with representatives from several coaches associations and other student affairs associations, and one of the things that was discussed was the need for education of coaches because "they need to understand the holistic environment of college for athletes as students instead of just treating players like meat." There was plenty of backlash by the coaches association ("we've had enough education") - and rightly so, as the vast majority of coaches care about their players' health and welfare. But, there ARE those extenuating circumstances and cases in which coaches (ummmm.... TTU's Leach, Kansas' Mangino, maybe like RR down in Ann Arbor pushing players beyond their off-season required limits ?) push their players too far because of the pressures to win. And, if it happens, then education IS still necessary. Too often, it is the rotten apple that spoils the bunch, no?

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