Mike Leach Says the Controversy Surrounding His Program is Pointless Drama

November 9, 2012 – 10:30 am by Chris Fedor

Washington State head coach Mike Leach is an extremely bright coach who has a history of putting together some very explosive offenses. However he is also very opinionated, speaks his mind often and drama follows him everywhere. In his final days at Texas Tech, the program turned into a full-on circus with Leach as the ringleader. The circus has now shifted to Pullman with Leach once again at the center of everything. Not only are the Cougars just 2-7 this season but Leach has banned his players from Twitter and he has gone as far as to compare some of his seniors to his corpses. Then this past weekend things got even worse.

Instead of holding a practice on Sunday, the team went through a strenuous condition session which apparently was designed to capture the team’s attention after being embarrassed against Utah on Saturday. That backfired. The school’s career leader in receiving yards, Marquess Wilson, reportedly left the grueling session early and has been suspended indefinitely or completely quit the team. One or the other. At this point that remains unclear. What is clear is that like his final days at Lubbock, team morale surrounding his team is pitiful, the leadership is lacking and the drama is still prevalent.

Mike Leach joined KJR in Seattle with Mitch and the Morning to talk about how this week of practice has been despite the drama surrounding his team, how he would describe all the “noise” with his team, on being criticized for being too critical when responding to questions, what he makes of people that say he hasn’t been critical of the coaching job this season, on staying optimistic through a tough season, what the status of Marquess Wilson is and whether he would like to have Wilson return at some point.

How this week of practice has been:

“Had a good week. Put together a bunch of good practices and a lot of enthusiasm. Now we just have to transfer it to the field.”

What phrase he would use to describe the so-called controversy surrounding his program the last week:

“Pointless drama because as far as our case we have gone out and had good practices and been pretty well focused in at the task at hand, including Sunday with one notable exception. Other than that it has gone really well.”

On people having a problem with how critical he has been of his players when responding to questions:

“If you don’t answer the question then they get ticked off. If you do answer the question and somebody gets their feelings hurt or upset then they get ticked off so now they have to figure out which way they want it. I may dabble in not answering the question.”

On people saying he hasn’t been critical of the coaching:

“I started with myself and the coaching staff and of course again divided by a comma but that’s part of the deal. It’s funny, in journalism there are those that want to write the great American novel and they become journalists because they want to be Ernest Hemingway and then there’s others that want an easy job where they can set their hours and try to manufacture hot points. That pond is full of both really.”

On staying optimistic despite the drama:

“I think you always stay optimistic. If you’re not optimistic it stunts your growth. If you don’t believe you can then you’re right. Anybody that has ever been successful in anything has done it over the top of a whole bunch of people that told them they couldn’t or told them this wasn’t possible or this wasn’t the right approach. You need to ignore that, you need to go about your business and do the best you can. Have everybody pull together and make it as good as you possibly can. That’s one of the elements. You’re not going to be successful in anything if you don’t think you can get it done.”

On his team this season:

“I think our pool of players are moving targets. They’re early in the careers so they develop and there are guys who can do something one day that they couldn’t do the last day and that type of thing so we’ve had a lot of people move around and I think they have steadily developed their skills and improved and we’ve played a pile of ranked teams and played them all well. If you look at it we’ve played the two best teams in this conference better than anybody. Then of course the disappointing thing about last week was the most elementary thing that exists in anything you do and that’s effort. We fell short on that and that’s more of a day one deal.”

On the status of Marquess Wilson:

“Definitely suspended. I haven’t talked to him so I don’t know. (Host: Has he reached out to you? Have you reached out to him?) Neither one but silent treatment on his part, that’s a decision too.”

Whether he would like to have Wilson back:

“I don’t care. We’re only going to have guys that are fully invested. We’re not going to have guys that are only half invested and we’ve certainly had great practices without him. (Host: So either way?) Yeah.”

On why Wilson hasn’t had the productive season many expected him to have:

“His effort and focus. (Host: That’s all it is huh?) That’s generally all it is.”

Listen to Mike Leach on KJR in Seattle here

Tags: , , , , ,

  1. One Response to “Mike Leach Says the Controversy Surrounding His Program is Pointless Drama”

  2. It hurts to see such a talent wasted but at the same time I agree with coach. Play hard or go home.

    By Official on Nov 9, 2012

Post a Comment