Washington State football coach Mike Leach has not been holding back his words after his team’s 0-2 start to the season.
Leach first made headlines this week when he went on a rant ripping his own players for their struggles on the field, comparing them to a “JC softball team.” Now, Leach is coming to his players’ defense.
Following the team’s practice on Tuesday, Leach addressed off-field issues involving his players.
During his conversation on the matter, Leach questioned whether police officers and media members unfairly target and criticize the football players.
“No one has been found guilty,” Leach said after practice, according to Jacob Thorpe of The Spokesman-Review. “Some have not been arrested. None are charged. Comments to the media have distorted the facts and already condemned football players in the court of public opinion.”
This week alone, safety Logan Tago and safety Shalom Luani were arrested.
Tago was arrested for second-degree assault and second-degree robbery, both felony charges. On Tuesday, police recommended Luani be charged with assault for his involvement in an incident over the summer.
Once again, Leach came to their defense.
“If the other guilty parties are not accused or charged, there needs to be an extensive investigation as to why,” Leach added. “How in the world can only football parties be guilty in events depicted like this? It is irresponsible to this town, this community, and everybody to have some kind of a double standard where we only focus on one demographic, one group of people and then drag their name through the newspaper with a bunch of irresponsible comments.
“We can’t allow the double standard. Because of all these inconsistencies, all I’m left with is to presume them innocent until proven guilty, which is what I should have done in the first place. With that said, if they have charges, fine. We’re going to let the legal system take its course. But the system has to be checked if with the number of people involved in these incidents the only ones accused are football players. If that’s the case, then something is seriously wrong, which goes far deeper than whatever has even been alleged. And whatever has even been alleged is only fractionally accurate.”
After publicly bashing his players, this should help Leach catch less heat since he has their back in a matter like this.
Washington State will take the field in search of its first win of the season against Idaho on Saturday afternoon. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. ET on the Pac-12 Network.