By James Clark | email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A Texas Tech athletic trainer supports former football coach Mike Leach's side of the story concerning allegations that Leach mistreated a player. Receiver Adam James and his family accuse Leach of having the player forced to stay in an electrical closet as punishment for having suffered an injury. However, athletic trainer Steve Pincock provided a written statement that ESPN acquired from a Leach representative, which contains a story similar to the one NewsChannel 11 has heard from the coaching staff.
"At no time during this practice [December 17th] was Adam ever placed in the electrical closet," Pincock said in the written statement. There is such a closet adjacent the media room where James was instructed to stay. But Pincock emphatically denies that James was made to stay in the closet.
To the contrary, NewsChannel 11 sources have said James was watching TV while in the media room. Pincock does acknowledge that Leach instructed James to be taken some dark and quiet place because James had been diagnosed with a mild concussion and had complained that bright sunlight bothered him.
On another occasion James was instructed to stay in a large equipment garage, out of the sunlight. Pincock tells ESPN that James was up and walking around, eating ice from an ice machine, and at one point sleeping.
The story is in stark contrast with a video that James shot of himself using a cell phone camera. The video depicts James in an electrical closet and whispering, "I turned the lights on real quick, so I gotta be, gotta be real quick."
Questions still remain about the video. Was James forced to stay in that closet or did he go from the media room to the closet on his own? Was the video shot during the time in question or after the fact?
Pincock goes on to describe James as a player with a bad attitude. In the statement acquired by ESPN, Pincock says, "Adam showed up to practice in street clothes, no team gear, and dark sunglasses,"
By reputation, Leach expects from injured players contributions to practice, no matter how small. So James was instructed to walk. Pincock wrote, "Adam walked about 40 to 50 yards, very slowly and with a non-caring attitude."
There have been conflicting accounts. Leach has been accused by confidential sources of having James locked up for three hours at a time. But Pincock joins Assistant Coach Lincoln Riley as named sources who back Leach's side of the story.
NewsChannel 11 has been told that after the January 2nd Alamo Bowl there may be players, past and present, who come forward to back James' side of the story.
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