If someone told you that current Washington State coach Mike Leach had once pulled his personal cell phone out in the middle of a game in order to complain about the refs, would you be surprised? We didn’t think so.
TV cameras regularly zoom in on football coaches berating refs from the sidelines. However, during Texas Tech’s 2007 contest against conference powerhouse Texas, the cameras missed something far better. In a recent interview with RedRaiderSports.com, former Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell discussed the wild scene.
“I can remember in the third quarter, he’s pulling his cell phone out,” Harrell told RedRaiderSports.com (at 13:54 mark). “He always talked to me between series, so he’s talking to me and he pulls his cell phone out and he called the Big 12 commissioner. He’s like cussing out the Big 12 commissioner, telling him like, ‘These refs are screwing us. You better watch my post-game press conference because I’ve got some stuff to say.'”
In that game Tech gave up 24 fourth-quarter points to Colt McCoy’s Longhorns, en route to the loss. It’s easy to understand Leach’s frustration.
Calling the conference commissioner takes that anger to an entirely new level, however. Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe agreed.
“Coach Leach’s public statements called into question the integrity and competence of game officials and the conference’s officiating program,” Beebe said at the time.
Leach was fined $10,000 for the post-game comments he had promised Beebe. That amount was a record fine at the time.
When asked for a comment on setting the record, Leach only continued to give the sports world some glorious soundbites.
“Made my feelings known already, so I don’t have a reaction,” Leach had said. “We’ve broke records around here before. We’re used to breaking records.”
Talk about shooting from the hip. No wonder they loved Leach so much down in cowboy-country.