Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops offered some words of encouragement for Mike Leach after he learned the Texas Tech coach had gotten fired on Wednesday.
"Just disappointed for Mike,'' Stoops said. "Just feel for him. Again, I don't know all the details of the situation and I feel it's unfortunate that it has to be this way.''
Leach was the offensive coordinator on Stoops' staff in 1999 _ a year before he took over the job at Tech. In his 10 years with the Red Raiders, Leach became the school's all-time winningest coach with an 84-43 record.
"Mike has a long track record there and a long track record of success and doing things well,'' Stoops said. "And this is the first I've ever heard of any allegations against him.''
Leach was fired after the Tech administration said he mistreated redshirt sophomore Adam James, who is a backup receiver from Celina. It's the second time in less than a month that a former member of Stoops' staff has lost his job at a Big 12 school.
On Dec. 3, Kansas and coach Mark Mangino reached a $3 million settlement on a buyout after some players accused him of being insensitive to them and making humiliating remarks to them during games or practice, and often in front of others. Mangino was an assistant under Stoops at OU from 1999-2001.
Stoops believes it's just a mere coincidence that two of his former assistants, Leach and Mangino, were caught in the crosshairs at their respective universities.
"Mike was here for one year,'' Stoops said. "He spent a heckuva lot more time with Hal Mumme and himself (at Kentucky) than he did with me.
"I love Mike. Every time I've been around him he's always been very appropriate with his players. He's a bright guy who I would think would always do the right thing."
One thing that is evident to Stoops after what transpired between Leach and Mangino. Today's players have thin skin, they complain more when things don't go their way, they are more spoiled than players of the good old days, and they are changing the way coaches go about their business.
"It's much different,'' Stoops said, referring to how coaches must delicately treat today's players. "We were coached much harder overall.''
_ Dwain Price