As it turns out, it was indeed ESPN analyst Craig James and his wife who complained to Texas Tech officials about the treatment of their son, Tech receiver Adam James, leading to the suspension of head coach Mike Leach.
The couple released a statement today regarding the incident that led to their complaints.
“Mr. and Mrs. James took the step with great regret and after consideration and prayer to convey to the Texas Tech Administration that their son had been subjected to actions and treatment not consistent with common sense rules for safety and health. The James family believes this is a matter important to protect all the fine young men involved in Tech football and the University’s reputation for developing and educating young men and women.
“Over the past year, there has been a greatly enhanced recognition of the dangers of concussions and the potential for long-term physical damage to players. At virtually every level of football coaching, cases where children and young men have sustained concussions have generated serious discussion of the importance of correct treatment and diagnosis. The entire James family is supportive of the University and looks forward to a resolution of the matter.”
It’s rumored that Leach forced Adam James to sit in a darkened room after coming to practice wearing a pair of sunglasses. James allegedly told his coach that he was advised by a doctor to wear the glasses due to sunlight aggravating a mild concussion.
In an intriguing twist, as noted by AOL Fanhouse, James was scheduled to be a part of the broadcast team for the Alamo Bowl. Obviously, given this current situation, James will have to be replaced in the booth.
UPDATE 7:42 p.m. ET: ESPN.com has updated their report on this developing situation, providing additional details into the alleged actions that led to Leach’s suspension.
A source close to the family said James sustained a concussion on Dec. 16, was examined on Dec. 17 and told not to practice due to a concussion and an elevated heart rate. The source said Leach called a trainer and directed him to move James “to the darkest place, to clean out the equipment and to make sure that he could not sit or lean. He was confined for three hours.”
According to the source, Leach told the trainer, two days later, to “put [James] in the darkest, tightest spot. It was in an electrical closet, again, with a guard posted outside.”
An attorney for Leach said that while James was secluded twice, the circumstances were not as portrayed in that account.
Ted Liggett, Leach’s attorney, said James “was placed in an equipment room as it was much cooler and darker” than the practice field “after a doctor had examined him and returned him to the field.”
Liggett said that on that day, a trainer was posted outside the room and that James was provided ice. Liggett said that James was secluded for one to two hours. Liggett said that on another occassion, James was placed in a “press room with air conditioning and a stationary bike he coud use.”
Leach’s attorney added that Leach will take the necessary legal steps to get the suspension overturned.