I've heard just about every radio interview Mike Leach has done over the last few days, so it didn't even phase me when he laid into Craig James on the Scott Van Pelt show this afternoon (click the link for the audio, rewind to around 12:45 p.m.). It was only after the interview finished that I realized why Leach's comments were likely to draw even more attention -- beyond the reach of Van Pelt's show. It didn't even dawn on me that Leach was hammering James -- without saying his name, mind you -- on an ESPN radio show.
Which is why I started cackling about five minutes after the interview had ended upon realizing what was going on. Leach's statements probably created a few awkward moments, but it was good radio all around -- and Van Pelt's show is always good radio anyway.
So what happened? Leach was asked why he waited a year before he got back into coaching. It was like putting everything on a tee, and he gladly took a swing. Here's a quick transcript.
"Obviously the smearing and the passing along of misinformation definitely had a chilling effect. I think also as the information's come out, everybody's seen my position is entirely accurate, I think that's clarified a lot of things. But when you have a national broadcaster, I think we all know who I'm talking about -- he thinks he's going to be senator -- dissatisfied with his son's playing time and used ESPN as a platform to fire a sitting head coach, then hired a PR firm before he even complains about everything, obviously there's going to be some negative information passed around. It's all proven to be false and I think the majority of people see it that way. I think that it's all turned out well, but it's unfortunate that I had to squander two years of my career just for kind of selfish personal interests."
The interview ended with Leach inviting Van Pelt to Pullman to "drop a line" and go fishing. If there were ever a boat I'd want to be on, it's that one, should the two ever decide to get together for a fishing excursion.
The podcast should be up soon on Van Pelt's show page.