While the bulk of emails, chat room chatter and radio talk shows have defended coach Mike Leach after he was fired Wednesday by Texas Tech administrators, the flip side of the story hinges around Adam James.
A redshirt sophomore backup receiver, James is the player who accused Leach of mistreating him and putting him in a dark, tight, electrical room while he was dealing wiht a mild concussion. After Leach's firing, the James family released a statement about the situation.
“We have heard the news this morning along with the public,'' the statement read. "We appreciate that the University conducted a fair and thorough investigation.
"From the family's point of view, this has always been about the safety and well being of our son and the players on the team. We have not seen any of the documents (relating to the lawsuit or actions this morning), so it would not be appropriate for us to discuss them.”
The James' also released statements from two coahces who coached Adam James at Celina High School.
"I had the pleasure of coaching Adam James for three years when he played tight end for the Celina Bobcats,'' the statement from Celina offensive coordinator Bill Elliott read. "He was a great player for us -- a starter for 2 years, an All District and All Area player, on a State Championship team that went 16-0 for the season.
"Adam is also a team player. He always did everything we asked him to do. The James family is known as a good family here in Celina, and the whole family has been very supportive of our program. Even though his dad travels a lot, he always found the time to help us out as a volunteer coach on our 7 on 7 Passing League. We are very proud of Adam and glad to see him playing as a Texas Tech red Raider, and wish them well in the Alamo Bowl.''
Jesse Cisneros, the baseball coach at Celina, also is very supportive of Adam James and his family. In an open letter to Craig James, Cisneros wrote:
"My thoughts have been with you, Adam and your family the past few days in light of the unfortunate incidents that Adam went through and is going through. I’d be remised if I didn’t offer my support knowing the type of person Adam is and the type of influence his family has had on his education and athletic accomplishments.
"Ihad the privilege of coaching Adam on the baseball field for over two years and over 100 games. Now that his character is being questioned, it upsets me because I know what type of commitment, dedication, passion, and respect Adam has and showed as a player for me. His attitude and leadership skills always created a positive environment for the team and made my job easier and enjoyable. Whether it was a league game or an out of town tournament, Adam never questioned his coach’s authority or his role on the team. As a matter of fact, I can recall, when I put Adam in right field and he literally went through the right field wall, suffering a minor injury, to help the team win. Ever since that moment, there was no doubt in my mind that Adam was and is a team player and a first class athlete.
"The James Family was always supportive of not only Adam, but of the rest of the players and coaches as well. I never felt like I had to favor him in any way regarding his playing time, positions, or batting order because of “who he was”. I’ve enjoyed following Adam these last couple of years and watching his progress as an athlete. I truly hope that this situation is quickly resolved for not only Adam’s sake and peace of mind, but for you and your family as well.''
-- Dwain Price