December 31, 2009
Incredibly, the Mike Leach saga gets even weirder ...
I was dubious of this clip when it showed up on the Lubbock Avalanche Journal's site tonight with the rather skeptical headline, "Video claiming to be Texas Tech’s Adam James in a closet shows up on YouTube." But if the slightly hoax-y vibe isn't enough to deter SportsCenter or a host of other generally reputable outlets from passing it along at face value, all bets are off; the thing is out there. Therefore, I present to you a cell phone video of someone claiming to be Texas Tech's Adam James in a closet:
If you're having a hard time making it out, James is whispering, "I turned the lights on real quick, so I gotta be fast." We hope you've enjoyed this screening of the Blair Leach Project.
Some other details on the clip: It was uploaded today, nearly two weeks after James, freshly diagnosed with a concussion, was allegedly isolated from the team on two different occasions by now-former coach Mike Leach; the account that posted it, "Spaethcom8181," has no other videos listed. A Dallas television station, WFAA, said tonight the link to the clip was given to the station by "representatives of the James family," and confirms the pallid figure therein is Adam James, although there's no way to know if it was shot during the practices when James was allegedly sequestered.
If you saw the clip of Leach's lawyer giving a Lubbock TV reporter a tour of the two relatively spacious, air-conditioned locations where he claims James was sequestered -- a shed (or "garage," as Leach's lawyer insisted on calling it) and a press room used for holding interviews with opposing coaches -- you'll notice that this clip was not shot in either of them; this room actually fits the description of the "electrical closet" referenced in initial reports on Monday. WFAA's brief description says the room is a "an electrical closet off the Press Room at Jones AT&T Stadium," presumably referencing the same press room that Leach's attorney showed off as quite fit for short-term human existence on Tuesday.
So there you go: If accepted at face value, we have video evidence to support the James clan's claim that Leach ordered their legitimately injured son to stand in an electrical closet. If for some reason we later discover the clip can't be taken at face value, don't say you weren't warned.