Yesterday I asked that you would copy me on any email that you decided to send to the Texas Tech University Administration. I had no concept as to what kind of response I'd receive and now I know. Although I haven't actually counted, I think it would be safe to assume that I was copied on more than 200 emails from alumni, fans, and fans from other teams regarding their displeasure with the method by which this entire situation was handled. To be honest, I was surprised at the actual volume of support and I'm surprised at the response. It's been absolutely amazing and this speaks to the power of this community. If you've sent me an email recently I may not be able to respond I may not be able to respond for at least a couple of days, I hope you understand.
Who to Blame
Last night, rather than continue to write about this, I gathered with some fellow Red Raiders and decided to drink and as we talked about the situation last night, the thing that I expressed to them was the thought that if you want to play the blame game then you'll have plenty of participants. I really want to just blame Gerald Myers for the entire situation, and I do believe that he didn't want Mike Leach to be the head coach last year, but at the end of the day, I blame everyone, and I mean everyone, involved. From Gerald Myers for his seemingly lack of communication with his football head coach, to Mike Leach for perhaps thumbing his nose at anyone and everyone involved at the administration, to Craig James for perhaps being an over-bearing parent, etc.
This is really about adults not being able to get along and co-exist.
It's about egos, and that goes for everyone involved, and no one wanting to budge.
And don't believe for a second that the reason that Leach was terminated was because he decided to sue the university. That's absolute bullocks. Legally speaking, it was Leach's only move that he could make, which was to file an injunction. Leach was terminated because he couldn't get along with the administration, on almost every level.
In 2006, during the basketball season, Bob Knight
choked hit Michael Prince under the chin ([Note by Seth C, 01/01/10 7:58 AM CST ] I've revised this as Knight did not choke Prince, but hit him under the chin. I felt that my initial characterization of the incident was not accurate.), during a game. I've tried to find the video this morning and have come up empty and what I remember about the incident was that Knight laid his hands on an athlete in what many deemed to be an inappropriate manner. You had that incident on television and you had the entire world watching. Knight and Myers were close friends, and the only reason that Knight came to Texas Tech was because of the close relationship between the two. I do not believe that it was ever reported that Bob Knight was asked to apologize, nor do I remember Knight being asked to sign a document to acknowledge his mistreatment of players. Bringing this up isn't to debate what Knight did to Prince during that game, what I'm curious about is whether the parties were treated fairly.
This is perhaps the biggest issue that I have with the entire incident is what appears to be the unequal treatment of those coaches who were friends with Myers and those who were not.
This is the Straw
You could say that the Adam James incident is the straw that broke the camels back. In fact I recall reading something about how additional facts would be coming to light in the near future. I'm fine with additional incidents coming to light, in fact, I would expect it considering the potential litigation that's going to occur, but if this is the case, then you have an administration that looked the other way and was okay with that. This means that should additional details emerge, that not only would Mike Leach lose some of his luster in my opinion as a head coach, but this would also mean that you have an administration that condoned his actions by not acting at all. If this turns out to be true then you can go read the first paragraph of this post . . . everyone deserves some blame.
Supporting the Program
I'll be honest, there's no way in hell that I will be able to stop caring about my university. For me, I have to separate the people who may be in charge at this particular time, whether it's Leach, Myers, Bailey, Hance, etc., with the university itself. I understand that the initial reaction is to no longer support the school in any method. I've received more than a handful of emails from fans who have expressed to Hance that their donation will not be made this year. If everyone decides to no longer support the program, whether that be with your tickets, buying merchandise, or contributions to the Red Raider Club, then what you'll have is a football program that will fall to irrelevance incredibly quickly. I'd be lying if I told you that I would never watch or support the team from this point forward, or until the current administration was no longer in charge, but that's not the case. Mike Leach improved the quality and the state of the program in almost every respect. I do not think that Leach's impact on the football program can ever properly be attributed, but if you give up on this program and these players at this point then what you will have, without question, is a program that will fall into irrelevance.
This isn't to say that I think that you shouldn't be upset. I understand the emotions involved and now may not be the right time to suggest that not supporting the program will only make matters worse. Texas Tech is not a program that has built in advantages like some of the other state schools and powerhouses in the Big 12. Texas Tech has had to build their program brick by brick. Tearing down that wall could happen very quickly, much faster than it ever took to build that wall.
I agree that we should all be upset at the method by which this entire process was handled, but I'll always cheer for the laundry.
I'm not ready to move forward just yet. I feel like I probably need to express myself through alcohol for this three day weekend. After the game on Saturday, I'll probably discuss some of the options and I'll throw my two cents as to who I believe should be named as the head coach.