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HCA: James Williams, Mike Leach respond to Eric Dickerson’s comments

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Over the weekend Eric Dickerson had some thoughts about Mike Leach. On Tuesday, both Leach and James Williams responded.

NCAA Football: Alamo Bowl-Iowa State vs Washington State Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

NFL legend Eric Dickerson has been a mentor of sorts for former WSU running back James Williams. The two met in the LA five years ago and have stayed in contact since that point.

Over the weekend, Williams, who declared a year early for the NFL Draft, went undrafted and ended up signing a free agent deal with the Kansas City Chiefs. But that’s where the drama starts.

Once the Draft was all said and done in Nashville, Leach took to Twitter and sent out a screen capture of a tweet from The Athletic’s Max Olson.

Of course, as expected, a lot of people saw this as a slight toward Williams. One of the people that saw it that way was Dickerson, who is now a member of the Rams front office. And, because it’s the year 2019 and this is what we do, he also took to Twitter to give his thoughts, accusing Leach of talking down Williams’ draft stock.

“Thank you for not helping James accomplish his goal of feeding his family... Who were homeless only a few years ago,” Dickerson wrote. “We will not stand for NCAA coaches using their power to harm young men who are simply trying to help their families. We’re watching you ‘Coach’ Leach.”

Dickerson also clarified his stance in an interview with 247Sports:

I feel coaches need to look at the whole person, the athlete, when advising them. And once a decision is made -- to go or not to go -- I believe coaches should support their guys 100 percent and it’s clear from talking with NFL personnel that didn’t happen for James. The fact he (Leach) never congratulated James, publicly or privately, on the great situation he’s headed to in Kansas City says a lot.

The whole interview is full of strong statements like that one. Dickerson came out strong against Leach and the entire college football system. After reading that, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Leach had a response of his own:

Throughout all of this, Williams has been in the background. Earlier this week, he joined Spokane TV station SWX for an interview to give his thoughts on the situation.

He said that I wasn’t going to get drafted. He told me a lot of things, and that’s one of them ‘you’re not going to get drafted, so I don’t know why you’re trying to go to the NFL.’ I’m not trying to bash him, that’s not what I’m trying to do... You’re my head coach. I’ve been there four years, busting my butt for you. Me leaving has nothing to do with you. I’ve got a whole family that I’m trying to feed, I’m going to have a baby on the way, I’ve got a fiancee and stuff...

The full interview is well worth a watch (but the odd video player makes it a little difficult to transcribe).

Just like every situation, there are multiple sides to the story. Leach got in trouble on Twitter once again with his subtweet and, while we don’t know the full behind the scenes story, likely could have smoother handling the situation with Williams. Dickerson appears to be using this as an example to promote his own platform. All the while, Williams is just trying to avoid injury and provide for his young family.

It’s a unique situation that has gained headlines because of a pair of big names involved. But in the end, Williams got to pick his own team. He looks like a great fit with the Chiefs and we’ll see if he can make a name for himself in the sport he loves.

Leach and Dickerson

WSU’ Mike Leach to Eric Dickerson: ‘The NFL doesn’t tell us who to recruit and we don’t tell them who to draft’ | The Spokesman-Review
Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson’s frustration with Mike Leach stemmed from a tweet shared by the WSU head coach after the 2019 NFL draft concluded. The tweet, originally posted by The Athletic’s Max Olson, listed the 49 college underclassmen who left college early but didn’t hear their names called last weekend in Nashville.

Exclusive Q&A: Eric Dickerson on James Williams, Mike Leach, WSU
NFL Hall of Fame running back and Los Angeles Rams vice president Eric Dickerson was at the center of Coug Nation with his tweets that Washington State coach Mike Leach "talked down" Cougar running back James Williams to NFL scouts.

Mike Leach won't engage Eric Dickerson on draft comments
Washington State coach Mike Leach isn't interested in addressing accusations made by Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson that Leach deliberately talked down the draft stock of a former Cougars running back.

Basketball

Washington State’s CJ Elleby signs with agent, schedules workouts with five NBA teams | The Spokesman-Review
Washington State freshman forward CJ Elleby has hired an agent and plans to work out for a handful of NBA teams in the coming weeks while still preserving his college eligibility, The Spokesman-Review learned Tuesday.