Suit alleges phone calls by James' father

Updated: January 16, 2010, 10:25 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach, in a lawsuit filed against the school last week, alleges that wide receiver Adam James stormed out of the athletic offices yelling an expletive and slammed the outer door to the coaches' office so hard that it split and came off its hinges, causing approximately $1,100 in damage.

The alleged confrontation with the coaches took place after Leach and assistant coach Lincoln Riley had informed James that he was being demoted to third string.

Leach
Leach

The lawsuit, filed on Jan. 8, also details conversations and messages Leach alleges ESPN college football analyst (and Adam James' father) Craig James had or left with Texas Tech coaches about his son.

Leach was fired Dec. 30, just days before Texas Tech played in the Valero Alamo Bowl, after the family of Adam James said Leach mistreated the player after he suffered a concussion, including placing him in a dark room by himself during practice. Leach had been suspended by the university the week prior to the game.

Among the details alleged in the lawsuit:

• In September, Craig James called assistant coach Tommy McVay "to tell him, in effect, that you coaches are crazy and you're screwing my kid."

James
James

• The same day that he made the call to McVay, Craig James left a message for Riley "stating, in effect, 'You don't know what you're doing. Adam James is the best player at the wide receiver position. ... If you've got the [blank] to call me back, and I don't think you do, call me back.' "

• During practices before the Valero Alamo Bowl, Adam James "told Coach [Bennie] Wylie that Wylie didn't know what he was doing and James' effort was just fine."

• Adam James "voluntarily placed himself into the electrical closet and apparently took pictures with his phone camera."

• Texas Tech president Guy Bailey advised Leach that he thought school chancellor Kent Hance was going to try to "railroad" Leach, because of a business relationship between James and Hance.

In a statement released by the school Friday, Hance said: "Mike Leach's latest petition contains a number of false statements. I want to make something clear. I do not have and never have had a business relationship with Craig James."

Bailey said in a news release that "statements attributed to me are patently false. It appears to me this latest filing is nothing more than a desperate attempt to deflect the focus from Mike Leach's irresponsible treatment of an injured student athlete and Leach's insubordination."

A statement recently released by the James family on Thursday read: "Since the James family is not a party to the lawsuit, we deem it inappropriate to discuss it."

Craig James, who was in Austin on Thursday for a speaking engagement, declined to comment on allegations by Leach that he lobbied for more playing time for his son.

"That's a matter that Texas Tech and the coach are dealing with right now and it would be inappropriate for me to say anything about it," said James, who said he believes his son is handling the situation well.

"Adam has been able to endure this because of the love of his teammates," Craig James said. "His teammates know who Adam is, they've seen him practice for three years and they love him. That's the comfort we have as a family ... he loves Texas Tech."

Court documents filed in the lawsuit -- which amended one filed on Dec. 29 seeking a temporary injunction to allow Leach to coach in the bowl game -- said statements from university administrators "were made intentionally" to harm Leach and expose him to financial harm.

"The mere allegation that a head football coach would mistreat a student athlete threatens that coach's reputation and prospects for future employment and exposes him to ridicule and contempt," Leach's attorney, Ted Liggett, said in the court filing.

Texas Tech spokeswoman Sally Post said last week that the school does not comment on pending litigation.

"We're confident that the facts in this matter speak for themselves," she said.

Information from ESPN college football reporter Joe Schad and The Associated Press is included in this report.