Monday, January 11, 2010
Mike Leach Got "Swift Boated?"
There's an interesting little twist to the Mike Leach firing story out there-- apparently the same PR firm that was responsible for the sketchy "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" campaign against John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election was hired by the James family before they went public with the accusations against the Pirate. The issue then is whether this political connection somehow calls the accusations against Leach into question.
The answer--don't think so. The founder of Spaeth Communications, the firm in question, indicated that Craig James called the firm to help figure out what to say publicly about what happened to his son Adam. The fact that Craig James hired a PR firm to help deal with disclosing the allegations to the public probably just indicates that he feared a backlash and media war over Adam James's complaint. That's understandable given that Leach was an extremely popular coach down in Lubbock (although apparently not with all the players). Also that feared backlash did happen despite what the James family said to the media--Adam James was mercilessly booed Alamo Bowl by Texas Tech fans.
While the firm choice may seem questionable given their history, there was still an abundance of evidence that Adam James was in fact locked in a shed and electrical closet with a concussion for hours on end. If any of the kids who levied accusations against Mark Mangino in Kansas or Jim Leavitt at USF had the resources the James family has, I have no doubt they would have tried the same thing.
Bascially this doesn't say anything about whether Leach's firing was legitimate or not. Leach may be right that Texas Tech wasn't happy about the amount of money they were paying him and found an excuse to get rid of their eccentric head coach. On the other hand, you don't mess with concussions and basically imprison 18-21 year old kids alone in the dark to treat them and then refuse to appologize for it. This story is far from over as Mike Leach is suing Texas Tech for defamation and wrongful termination. But so far, it doesn't look like Leach was "Swift Boated."