Sarcasm Font: Since we've had somewhat of a tough time over the last week, many of you have asked about a sarcasm font. I cannot change the software, create a new font or something of that nature, but for those of you who do the HTML thing, what about the following for a sarcasm font: "<sarc>I love the Texas Tech administration.</sarc>". If anyone has any other ideas, feel free to drop a comment.
Can This Get Any Better? Lots of times when I write the DTN DD there's news on the field to discuss, or preparation for spring practices or something other than a lawsuit, players supporting a coaching candidate and an administration that doesn't at all seem concerned about the length of time it is taking to hire a head coach.
I know that this has already been posted lots of places, but per the LAJ, Mike Leach vs. Texas Tech involves claims of the former Red Raider coach of wrongful termination, fraud, defamation, libel and slander (actual document - pdf). I know that some of you are awaiting my comment regarding the lawsuit and the merits of each side and I'm not sure. I'm actually a lowly estate planning and probate attorney (mix in some real estate and corporate work) and spend very little time in court. In any event, to say that civil trial work isn't my specialty would be an understatement, but I could still give my own two cents. I know that we have some civil trial attorneys and law school students that frequent DTN and they've given some good opinions on the matter.
But at some point, I have to make the decision as to how closely I really want to follow this situation. Although the plaintiff has requested a speedy trial, I'm not sure that this suit could last for quite some time, especially if one side appeals the district court's ruling, and although this may not be popular to admit, I hate sports when attorneys get involved (yes, there's quite a bit of irony there). I disliked covering Leach's contract negotiations and I disliked covering the Leach termination, but I realize that it's part of my job to do this and I realize that part of being a fan now a days means that you have to cover the good with the bad (it's just that there's been a lot more bad recently).
So now we've got a lawsuit to track, and a basketball team, the hiring of a new coach, spring football, a baseball team, a spring game DTN get-together, a football DTN get-together and hold a contest for a DTN t-shirt and bumper-sticker. And this isn't to say that I'm going to forget what happened. I'm working on that.
What makes this community so great is that we've got much better (and I mean much, much better) legal minds in this community that more than give their own two cents on this matter and their opinions are more qualified than mine, which will be collectively the DTN Law Review (herein "DTN LR"). As stuff breaks, I'll try to give you the framework to discuss, but I'll be leaning on you guys and gals as part of the DTN LR to inform the rest of us.
Player Support: LAJ's Don Williams writes this morning that the players are openly supporting interim head coach and defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill for the head coaching position. And before we throw the players under the bus for being young, not knowing what they're talking about and comments like they do not know what's best for the program, I'd maybe just ask everyone to perhaps appreciate their opinion.
Sure, no one likes changes, and despite all of the jokes made about McNeill, I do believe he is a very good person and he does care about these players. I have questions about how good of a defensive coordinator he is, but I do believe he's made this defense better in the two years that he's been in charge, thanks in large part to his ability to recruit better players. It's easy to make fun of McNeill for his weight or a myriad of other things, but I do believe that the players have an understanding of what's going on around them, despite the fact that we may not feel that way (and to clarify, I think that Tuberville is the better choice over McNeill, but I still respect the players' opinions).
Maybe, just maybe, they have a pretty good idea too.
Here's <sarc>disgruntled</sarc> RB Baron Batch:
"Eventually, the ‘Team Leach’ stuff has to stop. What happens when they hire a coach? Are you still going to do the ‘Team Leach’ stuff? The ‘Bring back Leach’ stuff?’
"Eventually, they have to start supporting us again," Batch said of the remaining players and coaches.
Batch is right on at least one thing, eventually, you have to start supporting the team, the players, again or you won't, ever again. For those of you who won't support the team ever again, I'm not sure what to say. I'm not in the business of telling people what to do, which includes when they need to move on from this entire fiasco. I don't have an answer. But for me personally, when (if) a new coach his hired, I'm going to start previewing players and coaches and make sense of the situation that's happening now. I'm not going to tell anyone they can't still be angry, but DTN is supposed to be a hobby for me and it's more "fun" to follow the players, talk about new coaches, and get ready for spring football, so that's what I'm going to do.
Even <sarc>malcontent</sarc> QB Steven Sheffield weighs in on the matter:
"To tell the truth, I really didn’t think it was going to be this big of a thing to pick a new coach after how the players responded and how everyone was acting after the bowl game," said quarterback Steven Sheffield, who rallied Tech to the bowl win. "I don’t see any reason why Coach Ruff shouldn’t get at least a one-year opportunity to prove what he can do with this team."
Sheffield said 90 to 95 percent of Tech players share his opinion.
"No less than 90 percent," he said. "I mean, there’s no way. And I talk to a lot of people on the team."
And <sarc>trouble-maker</sarc> LB Brian Duncan apparently made an unsolicited phone call to the LAJ to voice his opinion:
"I can speak for the entire team," Duncan said. "It showed not only before this incident, but every time Coach Ruff would get up to speak. All eyes are on him. All mouths are closed. And after he speaks, things change.
"Bowl week, he completely took over. We had a different atmosphere in practice. It was just fun to be around him. He lit up the whole team, and it showed in the bowl game."
Lincoln Riley = Mack Brown: FWST's Dwain Price talked with NFL legend Gil Brandt, who apparently feels that current offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley is destined for greatness:
"Lincoln Riley is a special, special, special guy," said Brandt, who works for NFL.com. "What he did in that game calling those plays, I thought he was magnificent.
"He’s a very bright guy, hard-working guy, he’s got a wonderful wife, he’s got all the things you need to be successful. He and Mack are 26-year-old look-a-likes when Mack was 26."
And Riley was flattered at the praise:
"I really appreciate him saying all that," he said. "Anything coming from him and the experience he had in football and all the great things he’s done, it definitely means a lot.
"I hope he’s right and I hope to continue, and hopefully get to that point [of stardom]. I felt good and confident in the role [of interim offensive coordinator], and no matter what I do the rest of my career I’ll always remember that game."
Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Oklahoma St. Cowboys
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Stillwater, OK
Television: KAMC (Lubbock); Fox Sports SW; ESPN 360
Looking for a Road Win: LAJ's Courtney Linehan writes this morning that this team is looking for a road win in Stillwater, and PF D`walyn Roberts thinks that they can match-up with with the Cowboys:
"We have to box out, because they like to go and rebound offensively," Roberts said. "Our bigs will be ready for this game, too. Moses is a good player, and they’ll be ready to go up against him, show what they have."
Linehan reminded me in her story that Oklahoma St. has a very tough policy regarding the suspension and discipline of their players as SF Marshall Moses, one of the team leaders, was charged with the possession of marijuana and driving on a suspended license last week. Oklahoma St. has a very tough policy regarding drug use as Moses was suspended, for one game, for the very tough non-conference opponent, Coppin St.
Rest assured that Moses was only suspended for that one game as he's now ready for conference play and Texas Tech.