Wednesday, January 06, 2010

an ad hominem is not a legitimate defense

I keep seeing this over and over again: the answer to the charges that Mike Leach punished a concussed player is that the player, Adam James, was lazy and entitled. Can someone explain to me how the player's lack of work ethic justifies locking him in a room for the grave offense of having a concussion? Nevertheless, sneering mockeries of James appeared on signs and t-shirts all over the broadcast of the Alamo Bowl. I even heard this argument from Mike Leach himself, which I personally find despicable.

Of course, Leach's public treatment of his players has become increasingly unprofessional in recent years, and some of those surprising tweets from early this season now seem much more telling in light of recent events. As I said yesterday, it's significant that, rather than rushing to their highly successful coach's defense, the current players that have gone public are standing by James, but it's not just that they defended James. Look at the comments they made:
Starting Center Shawn Byrnes on Leach: “He didnt understand how to deal with people. … Everyone is excited about this to be honest. … Adam James took a stand. How could punish a kid for having a concussion? What could that possibly accomplish?”

Texas Tech defensive lineman Chris Perry on Leach’s firing today and the coach’s treatment of Adam James: “I have no complaints about this decision. (Leach) put Adam in a shed like an animal. Like an animal in a cage. … That was bull. … You call the players. We practiced hard this week. We have our pep back now. We had less stress this week. You know why? Because he’s (Leach) gone.”

Texas Tech defensive back Taylor Charbonnet on Leach’s treatment of teammate Adam James: “I didn’t like it at all. I didn’t agree with it. I don’t know why Leach did that.”

What I think we're starting to see is a long deteriorating relationship between Leach and his players that boiled over this season in several very embarrassing public episodes, but has been simmering out of sight of the cameras for some time. I have a feeling this is the real story of Mike Leach's firing from Texas Tech.

1 comment:

TioChuy said...

While I agree about how absurd it is to blame a kid for abuse, I also think there is more to the story than Adam James. I heard one reporter quote someone saying "If someone wants to shoot you, don't hand them the gun."
I believe Leach's firing was a long time coming, and I think money had more to do with it than anything else.
I'm honestly not sad to see Leach go. I've wanted a more balanced offense for a while, even during our last and best season. I'm just disappointed in the way it was handled.
I understand that the alleged treatment of this player is abhorrent. Honestly though, the story is about a kid that was told to stay in a closet. If it was me or, anyone I know, I think the story would be "They tried to put me in an unlocked shed and I left." I don't care what's on the line no one is sticking me somewhere I don't want to be and leaving me there without a firearm in my face. Maybe it's the soldier in me, but his story seems a bit of BS to me. Again though I by no means condone mal-treatment of injured players; I love football but no matter the rivalry I hate injuries.
So here’s to Tech getting a coach that can be just as innovative while realizing that going for it on 4th and 5 or more in the 1st quarter is criminally insane.