Mike Leach Snub in CFB Hall of Fame Demands Change

Arguing about who should be in the sports Hall of Fame is something people have done for a long time. Every year, some deserving players or coaches don’t make it in.

Fans always have a favorite they think was unfairly left out.

I’ve always wanted Dale Murphy in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Tommy Nobis should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. And Erk Russell deserves a spot in the College Football Hall of Fame.

Now, there’s another name on my list. This one is huge in college football. It’s a big deal that he’s not even being considered.

Mike Leach, former coach at Texas Tech, Washington State, and Mississippi State, passed away in December 2022. He won’t be considered for the Hall of Fame.

Why? His win percentage was .596, just shy of the required .600.

Fans hoped he’d make the list anyway. But he didn’t.

When he wasn’t on the ballot, people were upset. They wanted an exception for him.

This week, NFF president Steve Hatchell explained why. “If you don’t qualify under one of the criteria, it’s tough. We’ve heard every reason why we should look beyond why someone is not in the Hall of Fame. But at some point, you have to say, ‘These are the rules.’”

“Mike was great to the National Football Foundation and the Hall of Fame. If we needed counsel on something, I’d call him. We love Mike and what he did for the sport. What he did for Texas Tech and Washington State was nothing short of phenomenal.”

“But once you get wiggly on the criteria, what do you say doesn’t matter?”

Pish posh!

Once you get “wiggly” on the criteria? News flash, Mr. Hatchell, it’s happened before.

The win percentage rule hasn’t always been strict. The Hall’s leadership has changed the criteria over the years.

As of 2024, there are 32 coaches in the Hall with a win percentage below .600. Hayden Fry, inducted in 2003, had a win percentage of .564.

Maybe it’s time to change the rule again. Win percentage doesn’t always show a coach’s impact.

The College Football Hall of Fame has criteria, which is good. But sometimes, the impact of a player or coach should matter more, especially when a premature death is involved.

Mike Leach changed the game. Some NFL players might not be there without him. His career stacks up against many in the Hall of Fame.

There shouldn’t be any debate about Leach. The Hall should’ve adjusted the rules after his death.

They didn’t, and now they seem out of touch.

If they reverse the decision, it’ll feel like it was due to pressure, not respect for Leach.

Mike Leach is a legend, Hall of Fame or not. Ignoring his greatness because of a stat like win percentage is wrong.

Make a change, Steve Hatchell. It’s been done before.

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