James family responds to latest skirmish between Leach & TTU - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/5/10

James family responds to latest skirmish between Leach & TTU

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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

By James Clark | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – Does Adam James feel like he or his family was used as a pawn in the battle between fired Coach Mike Leach and Texas University?  KCBD NewsChannel 11 asked the question in light of Wednesday's firefight of words between Leach and TTU. 

The James family attorney, Scott McLaughlin, says family members do not feel like there was any conspiracy to fire Leach.  Nor does the James family feel like Adam James was manipulated by the Chancellor or Regents as an excuse to fire Leach. "No, the James' do not feel that way at all," McLaughlin said. "They feel like Mike Leach abused their son by confining him to a dark room because he had a head concussion," he added.

Leach was accused of mistreating James in December and was fired. Leach is suing the university. Only complicating matters, James' father is ESPN Sportscaster Craig James. 

Leach has consistently denied any wrongdoing and the James family is highly critical of Leach for that.  They say Leach should simply admit what he did was wrong.

"We believed all along that Mike Leach was hostile to Adam for having a concussion. The evidence that Texas Tech put in the court record on May 4th demonstrates that he was hostile toward Adam's concussion. He was even hostile to injuries in general or concussions in general," said McLaughlin.

So should Leach have been fired? "The James family would have been satisfied with any course of action that would have assured that Leach not punish Adam James for having a concussion," said McLaughlin.

McLaughlin dismissed Wednesday's questions of whether or not Texas Tech coerced a witness. Trainer Steve Pincock twice amended his account of what happened between Leach and James. But McLaughlin thinks Leach's case suffered a much more crushing blow when Dr. Robert Cantu made a statement that Leach's treatment of James was both inappropriate and would also have a "chilling effect" on other players who might need to report an injury.  

Texas Tech says Cantu has served as an expert to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL's concussion committee. "To me those are devastating to Leach's position," McLaughlin says when talking about statements by Dr. Cantu and Leach's former staffers.

"The facts are inconvenient for Team Leach," said McLaughlin.

(Christy Moreland contributed to this report)

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