Coach Suspended Amid Charge of Player Mistreatment

December 29, 2009

Texas Tech University on Monday suspended its head football coach, Mike Leach, after the father of a player said the coach had punished the athlete because he thought he was faking an injury. The university's statement offered little in the way of details, except to say that administrators were investigating the situation. But news reports filled in some of the gaps. The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reported that Leach had ordered a player to stand in a shed at the university's football practice facility for two hours twice within two days, after the athlete reportedly suffered a concussion on Dec. 16. Then ESPN reported later Monday that the player was the son of the network's high-profile college football commentator Craig James, himself a former college football star at Southern Methodist University. James and his wife said in a statement that "with great regret and after consideration and prayer," they had told Texas Tech administrators "that their son had been subjected to actions and treatment not consistent with common sense rules for safety and health." This is the third such allegation of mistreatment of a player at a major college football program in recent weeks.

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