The year was 2007. It was a simpler time. Dan Beebe was in his first season as Big 12 Commissioner, and Mike Leach was still at Texas Tech, probably not even having met redshirt freshman Adam James. But he was already a crazy person.
On Nov. 10, Leach's Red Raiders took on Texas in Austin, and Leach was infuriated by the officiating in the third quarter. On one play, video review (correctly) overturned a Texas Tech touchdown pass. On the very next play, another potential touchdown was nullified by a holding penalty, while Leach believed officials had missed a roughing the quarterback call.
Then-Tech quarterback Graham Harrell explains what happened next (via Football Scoop):
"I can remember in the third quarter, he's pulling his cell phone out. 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.'"
Leach wasn't joking. In his presser, he called the officiating "a complete travesty," and implied that the zebras were in the tank for Texas because a)the Big 12 wanted Texas to go to a BCS bowl, b)the referee was from Austin, and/or c)they were just incompetent.
Three days later, Beebe docked Leach $10,000, still the largest fine in conference history.