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Mike Leach ‘isn’t welcome’ at Texas high school after pulling offer

Mike Leach AP

It’s been a rocky last few months — hell, last few years — for Mike Leach.

Fired by Texas Tech in 2009 after allegations that he had “abused” a player of a previously prominent college football “analyst” surfaced, Leach spent two years away from coaching as he sued his former employer for wrongful termination.  Hired by Washington State in late November of 2011, and in the midst of what would become a three-win season, Leach was again accused of the “physical, emotional and verbal abuse” of a player, allegations which were knocked down — for now — by a two-pronged investigation on the part of both Wazzu and the Pac-12.

Now, Leach has apparently stepped into it at the high school level as well.

DeSoto (Tex.) High School defensive back Myron Turner has been a verbal commitment to the Cougars since October and, according to his coach, has steadfastly turned down scholarship overtures from other schools in keeping that non-binding commitment to Wazzu.  Just last weekend, all seemed well as Turner made an official visit to Pullman.

Monday, however, Claude Mathis, the DeSoto coach, received a call from Leach informing him that the football program was going in another (bigger) direction at Turner’s safety position and pulled the scholarship offer.  Suffice to say, with National Signing Day looming on the horizon, neither the coach nor the player was pleased with the abrupt and out-of-the-blue development.

“You just don’t do a kid like that,” Mathis said. “Washington State isn’t welcome at DeSoto any longer.”

“He’s really hurt right now,” added Mathis of his player.

We’ve always been big fans and supporters of Leach, but, if this is how the situation played out — we’ve only heard one side of the story but, knowing Leach, we’ll hear his soon enough — that’s a low-class, reprehensible move on the part of the coach.  Two weeks before signing day, and you pull a scholarship from a kid who has remain committed even as allegations of player abuse were swirling?

Bad look, coach.  Bad look.

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25 Responses to “Mike Leach ‘isn’t welcome’ at Texas high school after pulling offer”
  1. jeremyb91 says: Jan 23, 2013 9:31 PM

    … “that’s a low-class, reprehensible move on the part of the coach.”

    How many players stay committed to the same school all the way up until signing day and flip at the last minute, screwing the school who needs a committment? It goes both ways.

  2. seanb20124 says: Jan 23, 2013 9:39 PM

    It’s a business

  3. pdcooper08 says: Jan 23, 2013 10:04 PM

    This kid got screwed. Hopefully he is talented enough, other schools will come back in the picture. But that’s correct, it’s a business.

  4. balfe13 says: Jan 23, 2013 10:10 PM

    If he was committing to WSU, he clearly didn’t have that many other FBS offers… and I live an hour from Pullman

  5. goodfieldnohit says: Jan 24, 2013 12:07 AM



  6. Deb says: Jan 24, 2013 1:35 AM

    I’m a big Mike Leach fan, but if the story is true as reported thus far, JT is right: It was a sucky thing for Leach to do. No matter how many other kids fail to honor their commitments and flip on their verbal agreements, this kid remained loyal to Wazzu and Leach should have honored the scholarship offer at this late date.

    Say it ain’t so, Mike!

  7. gfj7000 says: Jan 24, 2013 2:06 AM

    Claude Mathis should call Mark Helfrich of Oregon to see if there is a need there for a Safety as their regular Safety was injured for the entire year. If Myron Turner is that high-quality of a player (I’ve seen others come out of Desoto HS) then why not start at the Top of the PAC-12. It’s worth a try. Go for it Claude!! Leach doesn’t deserve what he’s got, and is turning out to be a low-class bum with no conscience, no ethics, and seems to be getting into trouble for the past 4 years. Ugh!! If he has a 2nd 3-9 year in 2013 – he’ll be out looking for work like Bobby Petrino was.

  8. mancave001 says: Jan 24, 2013 7:11 AM


    How many players stay committed to the same school all the way up until signing day and flip at the last minute, screwing the school who needs a committment? It goes both ways.

    Agreed. I get that it sucks for the kid,possibly but it does go both ways. Wait til the kid males it to the NFL…then he’ll see how the world really turns.

  9. indianaviking says: Jan 24, 2013 7:38 AM

    To those defending Leach because some kids to the same thing…they are 18 year old KIDS. Leach is an ADULT. Allegedly.

  10. hor2012 says: Jan 24, 2013 7:46 AM

    I’m going to with hold judgement on this until I hear from the coach. I’m wondering if he heard somthing about this kid that turned him off. Just from a purely football point of view it wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense to do this unless there’s a big time name out there that the coaches believe they have a chance at. I’m just saying, there going to be more to this then Leach just deciding he going in another direction

  11. vincentbojackson says: Jan 24, 2013 7:49 AM

    Never trust a pirate.

  12. gorilladunk says: Jan 24, 2013 9:20 AM

    @gfj7000….Helfrich shouldn’t have to call Mathis…Helfrich and his ENTIRE offensive staff were at DeSoto high school on Wed to talk to a recruit who had committed and was waffling after Chip Kelly left.

  13. tuscaloosaguy says: Jan 24, 2013 9:26 AM

    Come to Bama and go to the NFL

  14. thegamecocker says: Jan 24, 2013 9:26 AM


    I didn’t vote thumbs up or down on your post. It is terrible for the young man at this time. But two things some of these others posters cited:
    1) Coach Leach may have heard something about this young man that lead him to believe he could be trouble
    2) big time college athletics is now “big business” I’m sorry to say. As a business, you have to allocate your “assets” wisely and “student/athletes” are nothing more than assets. These head coaches are the highest paid university employees and they have to win or else they are out! I understand the emotional end of this….but unfortunately, it doesn’t matter.

  15. mogogo1 says: Jan 24, 2013 11:35 AM

    If this is true, Leach is a total jerk. But it’s an odd story. You need multiple safeties on a team. It’s not like he was giving a single scholarship to a punter or kicker.

  16. kozbee says: Jan 24, 2013 11:56 AM

    He sounds like a Woody Hayes type coach.

  17. divingdancer says: Jan 24, 2013 2:12 PM

    Well, it’s not like Leach has ever been known for having any class other than low class. An adequate coach, maybe. But a class act? Those words have never been said in the same sentence as “Mike Leach”. I feel sorry for the kid. But when you go into business with Mike Leach, buyer beware.

  18. binarymath says: Jan 24, 2013 2:31 PM

    Suppose for a moment that the first time the kid shows up for a visit, he turns out to be shorter, smaller, or slower than advertised (not that any player has EVER been listed incorrectly in the media guide…).

    It’s also possible that the kid failed the “look me in the eye” test that every coach uses to help assess whether a recruit has a competitive fire.

    Also, if you are holding on to your “commitment” to WSU over other alleged offers, you are not a blue-chip prospect. What top-tier recruit has WSU as their top choice?

    So Leach either gets pounded for withdrawing the offer, or he gets pounded for recruiting poorly.

    For every star athlete that does the signing day video where they pick one of the 5 hats on a table, there are multiple marginal athletes that falls by the wayside when the letter-of-intent chips fall into place.

    Leach is no saint, but this is clearly a “dog bites man” story.

  19. th56 says: Jan 24, 2013 2:51 PM

    This is common practice in the SEC and at a lot of top programs. IMO it’s despicable but allowed by the NCAA. Sadly Leach is hardly alone.

  20. florida727 says: Jan 24, 2013 3:04 PM

    Probably not a popular opinion, but I can side with Leach/WSU on this one pretty easily. The reasons have been stated by others, but the most notable rationales are that a) kids de-commit all the time and no one faults them, so why is the reverse scenario also not okay, b) it definitely is big business, and if you were the head coach making $3.5M per for winning games and you had a chance to get a better player by dropping someone else, you’d do it in a heartbeat, and c) we don’t know the whole story; the comment about going in a bigger/better direction may very well have been a way to not tarnish the kid’s reputation if they found something out they decided they didn’t like.

    No matter how you cut it, it’s ultimately the school’s choice as to whose education they pay for and whose they don’t. Do I empathize with the kid? Of course. But if he’s talented enough, he’ll still go to college for free.

    Just read your post #binarymath. Couldn’t agree more.

  21. Deb says: Jan 24, 2013 4:27 PM

    @thegamecocker …

    I qualified my comment with “if the story is true as reported” to account for the possibility that Leach may have a legitimate reason–such as an unpublicized character issue–for reneging on the scholarship offer. And I also qualified with “at this late date” to account for business considerations. By two weeks prior to National Signing Day, coaches have had time to evaluate their talent options and make thoughtful decisions. Dumping a kid at this point is disingenuous and doesn’t leave him with many options.

    As others have pointed out, what some immature 17- or 18-year-olds being wooed by multiple programs might do in that situation doesn’t justify a coach cutting the legs out from under a kid at the last moment. The reason we’re reading about this is because it’s not common practice–so the “it’s just business” argument doesn’t work.

  22. lew24 says: Jan 24, 2013 5:12 PM

    Wazzu needs all the help they can get. They need to find the best player possible. Its unfortunate what happen but its the slimey part of recruiting!

  23. thegamecocker says: Jan 24, 2013 7:11 PM


    You’re correct in that the only reason this story is getting press time is because it doesn’t happen that often. No doubt it causes bad PR as there is nothing good that comes out of a story like this. Until Coach Leach makes a statement one way or another we’ll never know. However, it would also be in Leach’s character to contact another school, assuming the young man has no issues, so that he does have a school to go to. I think Coach Leach is honorable if that were the case. Despite what Craig James says, I think Mike Leach is a fine and fair man who would not go out of his way to undermine a young student/athlete.

  24. Deb says: Jan 24, 2013 8:42 PM

    @thegamecocker …

    Like I said … I’m a Leach fan. Still hoping he’ll say it’s not so.

  25. jeremyb91 says: Jan 24, 2013 8:50 PM

    I just talked to a guy whose job it is to videotape and help kids get into colleges and he says this happens all the time. The problem with this situation is the player has no other FBS offers therefore “he’s screwed.” The kid should have taken his 5 maximum free visits to colleges to get an idea of where he can go to maximize his leverage. This kid chose not to, therefore “he’s screwed” because he spread himself too thin. It’s a dog-eat-dog world and it happens all the time at USC, Alabama, Ohio State, and other big programs when they get a high 4 or 5 star athlete and drop a low 4 start high 3 star athlete at the last minute. Mike Leach got it from the coach and the media because the 3 star player doesn’t have many offers besides WSU. If he were good enough, he would have plenty of suitors but Mike Leach realized the kid wasn’t good enough and cut the rope. Sorry for the kid, but Leach saved him from riding the pine for 4 years.

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