The circumstances surrounding Mike Leach’s dismissal at Texas Tech are equal parts sensational and uh, financial, at least in the view of the deposed head pirate who began a spirited public defense with an ESPN appearance early today. CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd has been following the week’s events with great interest and considers it appropriate to shine a bright light on the actions of Craig James, ESPN analyst / father of malcontent WR Adam. In the wake of Leach’s defense, muses Dodd, “Texas Tech better check its bank account and ESPN should consider firing their guy. First, he is now as radioactive as Leach in his own profession.”
I received two calls this week from people I trust saying James (above) had bothered coaches and that he had tried to leverage his influence at the network to get his son playing time. Big Daddy James had become a royal pain in the you-know-what. None of that should dismiss the assertion that Leach allegedly mistreated James’ son. But if a court ultimately rules in favor of Leach in what is sure to be an unlawful termination suit brought by Leach, James’ job could be in danger.
I thought from the beginning it was borderline unethical that friends and co-workers of James were reporting this story. It had that “railroad” smell to it from the beginning with James being portrayed as the protective parent.
There is definitely another side to this, a side that ESPN hasn™t reported until after the Times ran its story. An ESPN employee said that it did report the e-mails written by assistant coach Lincoln Riley as well as a memo written by Texas Tech doctor Michael Phy before the Times story. Just throwing this out there but where was the Worldwide Leader™s info coming from “ James, his son, maybe both? That™s OK if Craig James worked for Fox. It™s not OK if he drives a story in his favor with his employer.