FanPost

The Truth About Hance -- Parsing Hance's Fairy Tale Part 2

Texas Tech Red Raiders

The "Fairy Tale" article began by claiming nothing happened before December 19. I believe that is incorrect, so I begin my rebuttal with a statement before the "Fairy Tale" begins.

Rebuttal: Craig James said in an interview that the family gave Leach a certain period of time and went public with it when he didn’t apologize.

On Saturday, December 19, Hance receives word from current Chairman of the Board of Regents that Craig James was upset about the alleged mistreatment of his son, Adam James, who had been diagnosed with a minor concussion.

Rebuttal: A concussion is a concussion. Don’t trivialize it. What we are all talking about here is a serious injury in anyone's book that is being maligned because it came from a young athlete who probably is a slacker and whose father has hovered way too much. None of that should matter. He's a kid. His brain was injured for God's sake. Pretend it was your child; it will put tings in perspective for you.

Over the next two days, on Sunday and Monday, December 20-21, Texas Tech’s in-house attorney collects statements from Craig James, Adam James, the physician, the trainers and Coach Leach. (Personally, I find it curious that the attorney even bothered to collect a statement from Craig James who at no time was anywhere within the vicinity of the alleged incident).

Rebuttal: Craig James was the parent who made the complaint. His statement would include what his son told him and when; what Leach told him and when, etc. Craig James was essential as a party to this. There had already been discussions with Leach rather than just the launch of an investigation, and Leach was cocky and defiant.

On Tuesday, December 22, the in-house attorney, who Hance now describes as the investigator (and whose identity and qualifications are unknown), reports back with preliminary findings.

Rebuttal: Who are you to question anyone’s credentials? It was an in-house attorney, not a graduate assistant in animal husbandry. An attorney was an excellent choice. It required someone who handled delicate legal matters. In-house was smart, too. This could have kept it quiet if Leach had done the right thing.

The Board of Regents conducts a conference call to discuss the allegations.

Based on these two-days' worth of statements collected by the attorney, some members of the Board of Regents, according to Hance, recommend Leach’s termination.

Hance communicates the outcome of the Board of Regents discussion to Mike Leach which Hance explains will result in some sort of reprimand. Hance describes Leach’s reaction as visceral.

Rebuttal: If my highest-paid employee had done something like this, and since it was a Board member who brought it to the attention of the Tech Administration, a Board conference call was totally appropriate. If I had been on the Board, I would have recommended his termination, too, unless we could be assured that nothing like this would ever happen again. Even then, I might have voted to fire him on the spot. As a corporate CEO for most of my 40-year career, I would have been scared to death about the legal implications and naturally concerned for the well-being of every student athlete. What if this happened to Sticks or Batch during the Spring and, Heaven forbid, one of them died. Then it comes out that Tech's football coach had been accused of this before, and the administration did nothing. Can you spell punitive damages Leach cussed out his superior in no uncertain terms. I've never had an employee cuss me out in no uncertain terms, but if one did, I would terminate their employment on the spot. There is no place for an out-of-control employee in any successful organization.

On Saturday, December 26, Leach meets with Myers and Bailey. Myers and Bailey ask Leach to sign a drafted letter, which Leach refuses to do.

Rebuttal: This is not true. The letter only had a signature line to show "received." There was never a letter drafted for Leach to sign. This document is public record.

Let’s see if we can determine why Leach would not sign a letter (which has been inaccurately misconstrued to be a letter of apology to Craig James and Adam James).

Rebuttal: Yes, the document was misconstrued. (Inaccurately misconstrued is a double negative.) There was an earlier request for an apology from the James family.

The Letter’s opening premise:

As you know, we have been conducting an inquiry into allegations by a student athlete that your treatment of him, subsequent to his being diagnosed with a mild concussion, may have been injurious to his health and served no medical and/or educational purposes. Texas Tech takes these allegations very seriously. In addition to being unacceptable, if proven, these allegations constitute a breach of your employment contract.

Comments: Bailey and Myers confirm that the allegations against Leach are not yet proven.

Rebuttal: Tech knew what had happened at this point. They had the trainer’s affidavit. There werene't many witnesses. Tech was gracious in the language used here.

So that we can carry out an inquiry that takes into account the safety of our student athletes and in addition, that is fair to the students, yourself, and the university, we have determined that you must abide by the following guidelines from this day forward:"

Comments: Let’s pause for a moment. Per Myers and Bailey, the allegations against Leach are not yet proven. They state their intention is to conduct an inquiry. They state that Leach must abide by a set of four guidelines going forward (discussed below) and that following those guidelines is necessary to conduct the inquiry. We’ll review the guidelines individually, but the inherent assumption of this statement is flawed.

Rebuttal: No need to pause. Myers and Bailey knew what the egomaniac sadistic bully had done. The inquiry was already underway (essentially completed). The reference to the inquiry was unnecessary. They should have just said: "So that we can carry out an inquiry that takes into account [T]he safety of our student athletes is vital, and and in addition, that is fair to the students, yourself, and the university, we have determined that you must abide by the following guidelines from this day forward:" Leach could have modified the letter if he felt it was important to do so before merely acknowledging receipt.

The statement suggests that Leach was not previously abiding by the following guidelines, which in itself is a tacit admission of wrongdoing by Leach. Furthermore, none of the guidelines set forth would preclude the administration from conducting an inquiry in any case.

Rebuttal: I believe it is quite clear that Leach wasn’t following the guidelines. The real point, however, is whether the guidelines were reasonable and should have been followed. Clearly they were reasonable.

These guidelines include (the first guideline was crossed out, so we’ll ignore it):

2. Any player claiming an injury will be examined by a physician and cleared in writing prior to practicing or playing. Decisions regarding whether an injury warrants suspension from practice and/or play will be determined by a physician without pressure from you or your staff."

Comments: The first part of this guideline does not appear to be a deviation from normal practice. It is probably safe to presume that players are already examined and cleared by a physician. It is also probably safe to presume that a player’s treatment and release is documented. The clause ‘without pressure from you or your staff,’ however, presumes that Leach and his staff have some sort of history of pressuring physicians and trainers which has not been alleged, is not documented, and is not otherwise proven.

Rebuttal: So, you want every statement made in a letter about athlete safety to be proven before it is sent? How ridiculous is that! The trainer did not approve of the treatment of Adam James by Leach. Players such as Brandon Cox say this was far from the first time. The letter probably should have said: "It appears to us from what we know at this point that you have been torturing student athletes and putting their lives at risk needlessly."

3. You must recognize that the players you are working with are student athletes and that you have an obligation to treat them with respect and further to conduct yourself in a manner consistent with your position as an instructor of students.

Rebuttal: Leach has not treated players with respect, and he did not conduct himself in a manner consistent with his position.

4. You must at all times assure the fair and responsible treatment of student athletes in relation to their health, welfare, and discipline, and if you are not doing so, you must immediately cease any actions not in compliance with this provision of your contract."

Comments: There is nothing to suggest that Leach does not already comply with these guidelines. Listing these guidelines here suggests that Leach has not previously complied with them.

Rebuttal: Again, this is a very gracious letter. You must treat student athletes responsibly. Don’t mistreat them. Totally appropriate letter!

5. There will be no retaliation against any student who has suffered an injury.

Comments: This guideline is probably the most inflammatory. The suggestion that Leach has previously retaliated against injured players is outrageous and unsubstantiated. No individual of sound mind and judgment would ever sign a document with such a self-incriminating assertion.

Rebuttal: CLEARLY Leach retaliated against Adam James. CLEARLY! This sentence does not admit anything, and signing a receipt for a letter is not the least bit incriminating. What’s important here is that no coach should ever retaliate against any student who has suffered an injury. I would fire any coach who refused to acknowledge this at any time. I would fire any employee who refused to acknowledge something like this. If someone in a company is accused of sexual harassment (even just jokes), the employer must act and decisively. Sexual harassment is very serious, but usually, the potential for ongoing mistreatment of injured children is even more serious in my book.

Ok, now back to Hance’s statement.

Hance also states that he wanted a firm guarantee from Leach that mistreatment of a player with a ‘brain concussion’ (is there any other kind?), would not occur again.

Rebuttal: There is only one kind. Gee, you wrote "inaccurately misconstrued" which might be defined as wrongly wrong. As we speak, we occasionally start in one direction and head in another. Perhaps he started to say brain injury and changed to concussion. You are so twisted that you ignore what’s important. What’s important is that Tech knew Leach had mistreated Adam James at this point. There was no one else to speak with. Leach mistreated a student athlete with a brain injury, a concussion, a brain concussion. Tech wanted this egomaniac to say he wouldn’t let that happen, and he refused.

Again?

Rebuttal: Yes, again. He did it to Adam James. Apparently there had been other incidents according to 2009 players. Players have reported to the administration that something happened with Leach this year. He went off the deep end.

Firstly, Hance’s statements are not reflected in the above letter, but if true, would presume that Leach had previously mistreated a player with a concussion, which has yet to be proven. Hance’s request for a guarantee from Leach is the equivalent of asking you to guarantee that you stop abusing your spouse. Again. Even if you’ve never done so. It is an absurd request.

Rebuttal: Leach probably had previously mistreated players. Current players seem to indicate this. But it was proven at this point that Leach had mistreated a player with a concussion. Tech had statements from everyone, and it was clear that Leach went nuts with Adam James. Chancellor Hance didn’t ask him to stop abusing his wife; he asked him to commit that he wouldn’t mistreat a student with a concussion. Jesus, Joseph, and Mary, how about Decency and Common Sense 101? If that had been my son, I would still be beating Leach about the head and face. Leach was utterly outrageous – out of control.

On Monday, December 28th Hance and Myers suspend Leach, two days after presenting a letter which stated that the University was about to commence an inquiry into allegations that had not yet been proven. Hance notes that Leach was not communicating with the Administration.

Rebuttal: Liar. The investigation began on December 19. You are so full of it. You couldn’t tell the truth if your life depended upon it. 9 days after the complaint, after everyone had been interviewed and signed affidavits, after it was proven to his superiors that he was totally out of line with a student athlete, after he cussed out his boss, refused to simply sign a letter acknowledging receipt of policies for the protection of student athletes, Tech suspends him. This was after he had been given every opportunity to do the right thing. Chancellor Hance did not want to fire Leach. I know this. I communicated with the Chancellor at the time, and I will be delighted to testify if needed. .

Apparently, those two whole agonizing days since presenting the letter felt like an eternity to Hance et al. They could not bear waiting any longer.

Rebuttal: 9 days, Dude. Tell the truth, or don't write.

Not five more days until the $800,000 contract bonus kicked in.

Rebuttal: Hance says the money was not a consideration. If it had been me, it would have been a consideration. I would have fired him then because I darned sure would not want to give an $800,000 "stay bonus" to a guy I was likely going to fire.

Not six more days until the Alamo Bowl was concluded.

Rebuttal: Sure, let this wildman continue to run loose at the Alamo Bowl. That makes no sense. The guy refuses to acknowledge that he won’t torture injured student athletes. He no longer had any business near a student athlete!

As a measure of last resort, having exhausted all other options, it appears that Hance, Myers and Co had come to the gut wrenching conclusion that they had no other choice but to suspend Leach.

It must have been awful.

Rebuttal: There was no plan to fire Leach. Chancellor Hance would have been delighted to have Leach stay if he would be a responsible human being.

On Tuesday, December 29th Leach’s attorney files a request for a temporary restraining order. Hance characterizes Leach’s actions as ‘suing’ the university. If fact, Hance emphasizes "(Leach’s) response was a lawsuit. His response was to sue Texas Tech."

Now I realize it has probably been a long time since Hance (who received his law degree from the University of Texas) has seen the inside of a courtroom. I will just go out a limb, however, and say that there is a better than even chance that Hance surely knows the difference between a request for temporary restraining order and a law suit.

Rebuttal: Dude, you are so far off that it is embarrassing. A Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order is an action that can only be brought after a LAWSUIT is filed. Leach sued Tech. Then he asked for this extraordinary remedy of temporary relief.

For those of you who are not lawyers (I am not a lawyer), the rationale for a temporary restraining order is to restore the status quo ante; that is, to make whole again someone whose rights have been violated. Leach was asking that a judge lift the suspension to allow him to continue coaching until a proper investigation/hearing could take place - an investigation that presumably requires more than taking a day-and-a-half worth of statements.

Rebuttal: Wrong again. A TRO is to maintain the status quo. It is to stop something that is about to happen. The court could not lift the suspension in a TRO action because it was already in place.

Lastly, Hance criticizes Leach for not ‘working with his boss’ to solve the problem.

Rebuttal: Leach refused everything. He did not work with his superiors at all. He told them in essence to stuff it. If Leach had worked with his superiors to resolve the problem, he would still be Head Coach.

Yes, the final touch to the fairy tale. Coach Leach - that irascible renegade - failing once again to conform to the entirely reasonable demands of the noble truth-seeking Administration.

Rebuttal: Yes, this is correct. These "demands" by Tech were overly reasonable in light of the situation. Several top players on the team have told the administration that the team heaved a collective sigh of relief when Leach was fired. They said he had turned into a bully egomaniac within the last year. He cared about nothing but himself. Terrible trait for a "coach!"

On Wednesday, December 30th a full three-days since presenting Leach the letter which at that point had only referred to allegations, Leach's attorney was handed a termination notice.

The End.

Rebuttal: No, 11 days.

Conclusion: In summary, if we analyze Hance’s statement, Hance justifies Leach’s suspension and firing because Leach was uncooperative and because of Leach's alleged mistreatement of an injured player.

Leach would not sign a self incriminating letter. Nor was any proper investigation conducted.

If only Leach had cooperated.

Surely things would be different.

Rebuttal: Yes, all Leach had to do was PRETEND to be a decent human being. If he had acknowledged "receipt" of the letter, he would still be coach. If he had apologized to the James family, he would still be coach. If he had agreed to not put student athletes at risk, he would still be coach. If he hadn’t sued his employer, he might still be coach. Thank God he didn’t do any of those simple things, because Tech know has one of the top coaches in the country – one of the only coaches to ever have two undefeated seasons! Now, here’s where we are today. Our Head Coach is one of the only coaches in history of Division I football to coach not one, but two, undefeated teams. Coach Tuberville’s credentials are incredible.

The misinformation from people blinded with the win-at-all-costs mentality is absurd.

Now, here’s where we are today. Our Head Coach is one of the only coaches in history of Division I football to coach not one, but two, undefeated teams. Coach Tuberville’s credentials are incredible.

Our Defensive Coordinator was the Assistant Head Coach of the National Champion Alabama Crimson Tide. So, Tech has two SEC defensive heavyweights. Many have said that if a team just had the quality of defense played in the SEC with the quality of offense played in the Big 12 South, it would be hard to beat.

Tech has both an Offensive Coordinator and a Head Coach.

Coach Tubs is committed to the Air Raid. It attracted him to Tech. It attracts recruits to Tech. Tech has moved to the Next Level, and we can thank the mistreatment of a student athlete for doing something good.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Viva The Matadors' writers or editors.

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