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Report: Mike Leach Called Pac-12 Official "A Total Coward" In Series Of Texts About Player Safety

Illustration for article titled Report: Mike Leach Called Pac-12 Official "A Total Coward" In Series Of Texts About Player Safety
Photo: Harry How (Getty Images)

Even though he refused to comment after the game about the non-flagged helmet-to-helmet hit on his team’s quarterback on Sept. 21, Washington State head coach Mike Leach ripped into Pac-12 officials about player safety just days after the fact through text messages, according to documents Yahoo Sports obtained via a public-records request.

Among the officials Leach admonished was general counsel and senior vice president of business affairs Woodie Dixon, who reportedly phoned in to the USC-Washington State game and used his authority to overrule replay officials about a targeting call in the game.

Here are some of the highlights:

Leach, in a text to Pac-12 vice president of officiating David Coleman, wrote on Sept. 25 about the targeting no-call against USC: “Woodie is a total coward and is afraid of USC. I look forward to telling him in person.”

In texts to Dixon and Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott, Leach blasts the league for not backing up its public posturing about commitment to player safety. Leach wrote to Dixon in the wake of the Gustin hit: “Don’t ever waste my time, making me sit through some sanctimonious speech or demonstration on player safety or targeting if you are going to continue to alibi what happened last Friday.”

Leach also said in a text message to Scott: “The Pac-12 cannot say with any credibility, that they are actually trying to protect student athletes.”


Leach naturally didn’t stop there. His textual tirade included a reference to a game with Stanford in 2015 where he not only accused Dixon telling the Washington State band to “quiet down” in that game, but also trying to manipulate the outcomes of Pac-12 matches in general. Dixon didn’t take kindly to the comment.

Dixon responded: “Mike don’t ever again accuse [me of] of manipulating wins and losses. Please show this text to your AD and have him give me a call.”

Leach wrote back: “I didn’t accuse you of anything. I suggest that you get on sorting out those rules that I pointed out. After all, that is your job.”

But all of the hotheadedness from Leach’s end remained solely on the phone. A spokesman from the Pac-12 said in a statement that no official allegations have been brought forward from Washington State, and it doesn’t look like any will be soon. Leach is known for peddling conspiracies every now and again, but at least with these most recent accusations, it’s easier to understand where he’s coming from.


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