Jonathan Begley

December 30, 2009


Filed under: Attitude,Character — jonathanbegley @ 12:40 pm

Being a Texas Tech graduate I must respond to recent events in Lubbock regarding the termination of head football coach Mike Leach.  There is no doubt that Leach is a phenomenal football coach and his presence will be sorely missed at Tech.  The “Mad Scientist” was quirky and strange not only in his personal life but on the football field where he led an unorthodox and talented group of players. 

I don’t envy the position that the Texas Tech University administration was in this week.  They have a player alleging that he was locked in a confined space for several hours because he had a concussion and didn’t want to practice.  The player’s father is a nationally recognized sports analyst who was quick to use his position to act on the situation.  And they have a football coach that knows how to win, whom the city loves, and whom fills the seats. 

I like winning as much as anyone and I am afraid to say that the Tech football program has a long road back to their current position.  I also see myself as a man who tries to live with integrity and I hope the same from my alma mater.  

If Leach indeed intentionally punished this player in a manner that put his health and safety at risk then he deserves to lose his job.  I don’t feel sorry for him and I am sure he will receive countless coaching offers from schools across the country willing to pay him far more than Tech.  If the university knows information from their investigation of the incident that led them to their quick and drastic actions, they should let the public know.  If this is all true, then I applaud the university’s actions.  Winning is not everything. 

With that being said, the school should continue to act with integrity and fulfill their obligation to a bonus agreement of $800,000 due tomorrow.  This bonus was for achievements on the field, which Leach accomplished.  It had nothing to do with any disciplinary actions alleged by a player.  

I think that this last fact of the bonus due tomorrow is dangerous to Texas Tech.  The same university who brought in Bob Knight, the chair tossing, student choking, chin popping coach because he wins, is now saying that they do not stand for such behavior.  If the university, or anyone for that matter, wants to be seen as a stand up, man, woman, or organization of integrity, they should act in that manner at all times; in all situations.


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