Big 12: Adam James

You saw my all-interview team last week, but considering I'm not on campus every day during the season, I only spend a finite amount of time around players. The local media gets a whole lot more time, and as such, has their own set of top interviews across the league.

I enlisted their help to nominate the players who helped readers like you learn more about the game and players they love. Here's what they had to say:

David Ash, QB, Texas: He doesn't mind mixing it up with reporters in a playful manner and offers short and often very blunt answers that are very telling. Sharp guy. And he's always good for at least one Scripture passage. -- Kirk Bohls, Austin American-Statesman

Lanear Sampson, WR, Baylor: Thoughtful interviewee, really listens to the question. Interested in the media so he’s using interview sessions as a training ground. Very well spoken and always available without being a pest about it. -- John Morris, Baylor

R.J. Washington, DL, Oklahoma: Tells it straight, good storyteller, always funny, always brought it to the interview room, whether things were good or bad. -- Jake Trotter, ESPN SoonerNation

Chris Harper, WR, Kansas State: By far the best quote on the team. He was insightful, confident and never afraid to speak his mind. It will be a shame for everyone on the K-State beat to lose him to the NFL. -- Kellis Robinett, Kansas City Star

Ahmad Dixon, S, Baylor: Go-to guy for interviews for most people around here because you can always get good sound bites from him. Playful-type interview subject, always a smile in his voice. -- John Morris, Baylor

Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas: The future high NFL draft pick was far and away the most colorful Longhorn to speak with the media week in and week out. Not so much for his Manny Diaz-like analogies or funny outtakes on different aspects of the team/game. But because of his brutal honesty. No moment speaks more to that than when he angered Texas fans by speaking his mind about the loud (or lack there of) the fan base is during home games. "I like without a doubt playing on the road better than playing at home," Vaccaro said. "It's way louder and gets me way [more excited]. No offense to our fans, but [DKR] is not loud." Quotes like that were few and far between in 2012 for the Longhorns. -- William Wilkerson, ESPN HornsNation

Jeff Woody, RB, Iowa State: Articulate, and can talk about nearly any topic. Funny, but not showy. -- Andrew Logue, Des Moines Register

Gabe Ikard, OL, Oklahoma: Always has a good sense of the pulse of the team. Insightful when discussing his teammates. Pre-med, very bright. -- Jake Trotter, ESPN SoonerNation

Jeremiah George, LB, Iowa State: He is the only player I've ever seen who showed up to an interview with opening remarks like a coach at a press conference. He is honest about his play and that of his team. Also, he is plugged in with his teammates and can tell you exactly why someone is playing better. -- Bobby La Gesse, Ames Tribune

Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor: Youthful enthusiasm shows through in interviews. Never shies away from interview requests. Not completely polished but will get plenty of opportunities over the next couple of years. -- John Morris, Baylor

Shawne Alston, RB, West Virginia: It's a shame his thigh bruise kept him out of action (and out of the interview room) for much of the season, because Alston was always honest and direct in answering questions. He was at his best when describing his injury, the painful rehab process (including multiple hospital visits where he went under general anesthesia to have blood drained from the bruise) and the reaction from fans who questioned his toughness. -- Patrick Southern, Blue and Gold News

Collin Klein, QB, Kansas State: No one had to deal with the media more, but Klein handled the attention of a Heisman campaign exceptionally well. He never turned down an interview, even when others gave him permission to do so, and always provided insight into his life story and K-State's successful season. I mean, is there an anecdote about his life we don't know? -- Kellis Robinett, Kansas City Star

Austin Zouzalik, WR, Texas Tech: The Red Raiders’ receiver-return man isn’t loud or gregarious, but he puts a lot of thought into what he says and doesn’t stick to just the safe answers. With a dry humor, he’ll share funny anecdotes about his roommates who happen to be teammates. He gave some good insight into how things changed when Tommy Tuberville replaced Mike Leach. And he was one of the players brave enough to stick up for former teammate Adam James, a pariah to a lot of Red Raiders fans after Leach was fired. -- Don Williams, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

Travis Tannahill, TE, Kansas State: Whether you wanted to talk about hunting or football, Tannahill was there for the media. He was capable of breaking down every aspect of K-State's offense, and always had a knack for putting wins and losses into perspective. -- Kellis Robinett, Kansas City Star

Mike Ragone, TE, Kansas: He was an automatic request by almost every local media member every week and was routinely the last guy in the media room on player availability day. Colorful character from New Jersey with a classic accent and a sinister laugh, Ragone always filled his interviews with great stories and a clear appreciation for his chance to play football and love of KU. -- Matt Tait, Lawrence Journal-World

Alex Torres, WR, Texas Tech: Because he came late to the Red Raiders after spending time at Air Force Academy Prep School, Torres was a 25-year-old senior in 2012 and his maturity and comfort level show through in interviews. After he caught the winning touchdown pass to beat TCU in triple overtime, Torres gave an interesting chalk-talk explanation for why the play worked. He’d run the same route stem toward the same linebacker all afternoon -- then threw in a wrinkle on the decisive play that got him open. Sharing that sort of thing helps fans and media understand what they didn’t see in real time, no matter how closely they looked. -- Don Williams, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

Terrance Bullitt, LB, Texas Tech: Serious shoulder injuries have limited Bullitt for two years and led to two surgeries. The fact he’s played in 22 games during that time shows how much the game means to him. It also comes through with the media. Bullitt will defend his teammates when he feels criticism is unwarranted or overdone, but takes ownership for shortcomings when he sees them. He was a junior in 2012, but Bullitt's one of those guys who seemed to carry himself like a leader even when he was young. -- Don Williams, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia: Open, honest, witty and comfortable in the spotlight. He'll do very well under the NFL media glare at the next level. -- Jimmy Burch, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Austin Stewart, S, Texas Tech: Stewart made headlines last April when he accidentally smacked his scooter into a bus at an intersection on the Tech campus. Luckily, he came away uninjured. The mishap certainly did nothing to impair Stewart’s speech, which is fast and unfiltered. As loquacious a Red Raider as you’ll find, Stewart said the bus accident felt “like I got blindsided by [Brian] Urlacher.” Discussing a two-tiered, two-color hairstyle he sported this fall, Stewart said that “going to California (for JUCO ball) helped.” Too bad he played in only four games in 2012, because he’s a sound bite waiting to happen. -- Don Williams, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

Nick Florence, QB, Baylor: Thoughtful and well-spoken. A solid citizen, all the way around. -- Jimmy Burch, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Bears rallying without RG3, Ganaway

November, 26, 2011
11/26/11
10:04
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What an unbelievable story developing at Cowboys Stadium.

Robert Griffin III is out after taking a hit to the head and then having his head bounce on the turf. Running back Terrance Ganaway fumbled and hit his head on the turf, taking a seat as well.

The defense and quarterback Nick Florence have stepped up in their absence.

The Bears forced and recovered an Adam James fumble, and after Ganaway fumbled, juco cornerback Joe Williams picked off Seth Doege in the red zone and returned it 90 yards for a touchdown to go up 52-28 late in the third quarter.

You hear coaches all the time say "Somebody's got to step up" when players get injured. There might not be a tougher player in the country to replace than Griffin. So far, the Bears are doing it with defense and great throws from Florence.

So far this quarter, Baylor has shut out Texas Tech and scored 21 points.

This, against a Texas Tech team playing to extend its season and reach bowl eligibility. Amazing.

Big 12 did you know: Week 11

November, 11, 2011
11/11/11
9:00
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Time for a few fun facts via various sports information departments around the Big 12 and ESPN Stats & Information.
  • Oklahoma in 2000 is the only team in BCS history to appear in the national championship game without a previous BCS appearance. Oklahoma State is in position to become the second.
  • Four Big 12 teams are bowl-eligible; four more are on the cusp with five wins. Missouri has four wins.
  • Kansas State's Collin Klein has 72 more net rushing yards than Michigan's Denard Robinson, though has played in one more game.
  • Kansas State has given up 1,095 passing yards and 110 points the last two weeks, both losses.
  • In its last two games, Texas has outrushed opponents by a combined yardage of 880-28.
  • Baylor's 697 yards of offense last week against Missouri was the most in school history.
  • In that game, quarterback Robert Griffin III broke his own record with 470 yards of offense. The record was set the previous week against Oklahoma State, with 452.
  • Oklahoma State is 1-9 in its past 10 trips to Lubbock.
  • Missouri's only victory over Texas since 1920 was in 1997, when Texas went 4-7 under John Mackovic.
  • Missouri running back Henry Josey has at least 129 yards in four consecutive games.
  • Josey's 13 runs of 20 yards or longer is the most among FBS running backs.
  • Texas first met Missouri back in 1894. That's also the first time Texas played Texas A&M.
  • Kansas State has four non-offensive touchdowns in four weeks.
  • Iowa State quarterback Jared Barnett is 2-0 as starter.
  • Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon has 10 touchdown catches in the red zone, the most of any receiver.
  • Oklahoma State is tied with LSU for No. 1 in the BCS computer rankings. Stanford is No. 8, according to the computers.
  • Oklahoma's crowd of 85,709 last week against Texas A&M was a school record.
  • Baylor receiver Kendall Wright has at least seven catches in nine consecutive games. With 29 more yards, he'll be the first 1,000-yard receiver in school history.
  • Ryan Broyles' 4,586 receiving yards is second-most in NCAA history.
  • Missouri has been outscored 43-0 in the third quarter of each of its four losses.
  • Last week's loss to Oklahoma was Texas A&M's first road defeat of the season.
  • Iowa State has at least 250 yards rushing in consecutive games for the first time since 2000.
  • Kansas lost to Iowa State 13-10 last week, but the 13 points were the fewest allowed by a Kansas defense since 2007.
  • The Jayhawks shut out ISU in the third quarter, the first time this season Kansas hasn't allowed any points in the third quarter.
  • Last week's 95 receiving yards were a career high for Texas Tech's Adam James.
  • Baylor is second nationally with more than 577 yards of offense per game. Kansas, its opponent Saturday, is last nationally, giving up more than 541.
  • Oklahoma State has nine wins in four consecutive seasons for the first time in school history.
Texas Tech receiver turned tight end Adam James, the central figure of a scandal that resulted in Red Raiders coach Mike Leach being fired, spoke to media members for the first time since 2009 this week.

"It hasn’t necessarily been as much of a challenge as it has been a learning experience," James told reporters, who conducted the interview with a member of Texas Tech staff in attendance to make sure no questions affected ongoing litigation surrounding Leach's firing.

James' father, Craig James, is an ESPN analyst. Leach is currently involved in lawsuits against Texas Tech, James and ESPN.

Saturday will be Adam James' final home game as a Red Raider, and he says he expects to be booed when he's introduced during Senior Day festivities.

"I really didn’t think about it until a couple of weeks ago when they asked me who was going to walk out there with me," James said. "One of the guys kind of cracked a joke about it and that was the first time that I thought about it."

He says he has avoided the message boards, but the noise will be unavoidable on Saturday.

"When you get 60,000 strong, it’s easy to voice your opinion. But I really have never let what people say or think about me affect me, unless it was somebody that really knew me and knew who I was," he said.

James also responded to reports that he was immature and possessed a poor work ethic early in his career.

"I would say every player as they age, they mature," he said. "And with maturity, you realize you can push yourself harder. Any player comes in not really knowing what their limits are. Some mature faster than others, so I would definitely say I’ve matured as a player, just like anybody else."

James never once considered transferring from Texas Tech, he said, and family members didn't bring up the idea.

"It would have been easy to leave and go somewhere else," he said, "but for me, I never really thought about it. I love Texas Tech. I’ve always loved it. I want to graduate from here. All my life, I want to be associated with Texas Tech."

See more on James here.

Mailbag: Recruiting, Gabbert, coddling?

May, 11, 2011
5/11/11
4:15
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Caesar in Limbo asked: Is there an increasing trend with coaches losing the battle against whining players? Leach, Mangino and I'm sure there's got to be more. Does a weak player just have to point their finger if they feel mistreated? Do these kids need therapy or a boot?! Why won't administrators back their coaches anymore? Could a coach from 20 years ago make it in today's "coddle" culture?

David Ubben: I don't know if I buy that. To some level, sure, we're more sensitive as a culture than ever before, but I also think those two situations are very different, and the issues with the players weren't the only reason Mangino and Leach were let go.

Mangino's was obviously a big part of it, but that controversy also hit in the middle of a seven-game losing streak to end the season, despite still having Todd Reesing, Dezmon Briscoe and Kerry Meier. Like I wrote yesterday, Mangino's coaching style, which I'll just call intense, doesn't come off as well if he's not winning games. Winning solves if not everything, something close to it. (This is the point when I glare in Columbus, Ohio's direction.) If Kansas won 10 games in 2009, does anyone think Mark Mangino would not still be the coach?

In Leach's case, it was pretty clear that he badly strained his relationship with his bosses during his contract negotiations prior to the 2009 season. That relationship between a coach and the administration often gets overlooked. Leach's wasn't good, and he gave the higher-ups a reason to fire him.

Bob Stoops has a fantastic relationship with his AD, Joe Castiglione and the university president, David Boren. If the Adam James situation happened to Stoops, would he still be around?

I think we all know the answer to that question.

These situations are a lot more complex than just a couple whiny, entitled kids getting coaches fired.


Mike in Oklahoma City, Okla., asked: Ubbs, do you think Tyler Gabbert leaving MU has anything to do with his brother's "slide" in the recent NFL draft due to the college system he played for? Do you think he will transfer to a pro style team in response to that?

DU: No, and that's not really the reason for his "slide," per se. The way I see his slide is one team saw Jake Locker as a better fit and better talent than Gabbert, which bumped him out of the top 5-7 where he was projected to go, down to No. 10. In the days leading up to the draft, I'd say it was pretty clear that Cam Newton was going to be the first quarterback taken.

Everyone had questions this year. Can Newton be a true NFL passer? Is Locker accurate enough? Can Gabbert be the same kind of passer after a dropback? I really doubt that had anything to do with Tyler Gabbert's decision.

And besides that, from the moment Blaine Gabbert stepped on Missouri's campus, he had NFL written all over him. Guys with big arms that are 6-foot-5 and 235 pounds tend to, at the very least, get drafted. Tyler Gabbert's career is just beginning, but at 6-foot and 190 pounds, he's going to be fighting uphill to get his chance at the NFL level.


Scott in College Station, Texas asked: David, When do the first 2012 ESPN recruit rankings come out? Thanks

DU: We released them last year around late May and early June, so I'd expect them then, but don't get too worried, Scott. I'm sure your Aggies will be well represented in our ESPNU150, unlike last year.

I'd be very, very surprised if Trey Williams wasn't on it. Matt Davis probably has a good shot, too. Maybe Davante Borque. Our recruiting guys handle that.


Preston in Dallas asked: If Texas has another bad year, and Texas A&M and Oklahoma St. continue to take the next step how do think this will effect recruiting in Texas?

DU: It would help a little bit, but it's going to take a lot of losing for Texas to not be back on top of the recruiting game. For one, players want to play for Mack Brown.

But more than anything, you're battling Texas culture. Players grow up wanting to be Longhorns. That's just a fact. Not all of them, of course, but certainly a majority of kids in one of the richest recruiting banks in the country.

How many kids grow up in Texas dreaming of playing for Oklahoma State? Texas A&M?

They'll grow up, and some will realize that in their personal situation, maybe either school is a better fit or Texas doesn't want them, but there's no changing that Texas is the flagship program in the state. That's one recruiting advantage that takes a whole heck of a lot to negate.

Another losing season, or even 2-3 more isn't going to suddenly allow either school to consistently outrecruit Texas.

The Revolving Door: Texas Tech

April, 28, 2011
4/28/11
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We capped off our series looking at the strongest and weakest points of each team in the league heading into 2011, and it's on to the next one.

I've done it. You've done it.

"Hey, is that guy still around?"

Admittedly, even with two fewer teams, it's hard for fans to keep track. Our next series, which we did last year, too, takes a look at two key players for every team in the league that are taking their talents elsewhere, returning to campus, or arriving to try and write a legacy of their own.

So really, this series isn't so much for the fans of the teams in the posts, but more for everyone else. It wouldn't be a bad idea to bookmark this series.

Let's get started.

First up? Texas Tech.

Going:

Taylor Potts, QB
Potts was no fan favorite during his time in Lubbock, but he had a nice senior year and finished his career with a bowl win over Northwestern. Perhaps his finest moment? After being benched for Steven Sheffield midseason, Potts came off the bench against then-No. 12 Missouri to lead a comeback win and the signature game of the Red Raiders' season. That's impressive. Despite the criticism, Potts still threw for 3,726 yards and completed 67 percent of his passes last season, notching 35 touchdowns and just nine picks. Only three quarterbacks in college football threw more touchdowns last season.

Lyle Leong, WR

Leong caught 19 of those touchdowns last season, second nationally to only Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon. He proved to be a reliable red zone target and caught 74 passes for 926 yards. His career built to his big year as a senior, and despite Texas Tech's usual depth at receiver, his presence will be missed in the passing game. It'll be most evident down in the red zone.

Staying:

Alex Torres, WR

Torres struggled while battling injuries last season after a big freshman year. He finished with just 39 catches, 481 yards and three touchdowns, but if he stays healthy, he's likely to have a 1,000-yard season as a junior in 2011. Clearly, the potential is there, and he's likely to be new quarterback Seth Doege's top target. As a freshman, he had 67 catches for 806 yards and six scores. Here's guessing he clears that number easily this fall.

Cody Davis, S

Davis should be one of the leaders of the Red Raiders defense as its leading returning tackler. As a sophomore in 2010, he made 87 tackles, with 69 solo stops, just two fewer than linebacker Bront Bird, who led the team. Chad Glasgow coached an All-American and a Thorpe Award finalist at safety last season in TCU's Tejay Johnson. He comes to try and shore up a Texas Tech secondary as its defensive coordinator this season. Davis may not have Johnson's athletic ability, but he should look even better with a spring and fall camp under Glasgow's watch.

Coming:

Jace Amaro, TE

For now, Texas Tech's starting tight end is Adam James. A beefed up, 233-pound Adam James, but still. Amaro, meanwhile, was one of the Red Raiders top recruits and one of the nation's best tight ends. Coach Tommy Tuberville wants to have a more capable tight end to help run the ball more effectively, and a strong effort to recruit one paid off in his first full class. Amaro will be a part of a slight change in Texas Tech's offense, but his 6-foot-4, 230-pound frame should fill out plenty a year from now.

Ronnie Daniels, RB

The Red Raiders have two more highly-recruited running backs headed to campus this fall, Bradley Marquez and Kenny Williams, but Daniels made a big impact this spring after enrolling early. Tuberville wants to use more two-back formations, and for now, the 6-foot-1, 195-pounder, is likely to find his way on the field. He showed plenty of prowess carrying the ball and catching it, and if he can prove he's mastered pass blocking as well, he'll definitely make an early impact somehow.

Leach suit defendant: Former coach's story inconsistent

May, 25, 2010
5/25/10
10:47
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Larry Anders, chairman of the Texas Tech Board of Regents, filed his response to former Red Raider coach Mike Leach's lawsuit on Monday. Though most responses to lawsuits tend to be short, Anders' response was 48 pages long.

His Dallas lawyer, Steven Rasch, says its length comes from comparing the accounts of the events surrounding Leach's firing.

"We think it's the first time somebody has really pieced together the sworn testimonies in the case that demonstrate the discrepancy between what the events were at the time, as recalled by the witnesses, versus what Leach is saying now," Rasch told ESPN.com.

Leach was fired on Dec. 30, 2009, two days after being suspended amid allegations that he mistreated receiver Adam James. Among the seven defendants named in Leach's suit is Craig James, Adam James' father, a former NFL player and ESPN college football analyst. The other six defendants filed joint responses or responses using the university's lawyers, Rasch said.

In the response filed on Monday, Leach agrees with the description of head trainer Steve Pincock as "honest and reliable." Later, Pincock's sworn testimony says that despite Pincock's diagnosis and warnings, Leach did not believe James had a concussion.

Pincock's sworn testimony reads: "Leach asked me multiple times if James really had a concussion. Leach told me he had seen the video from practice, and that there was no way James had a concussions from the hit he had taken. He also asked me multiple times how easy would it be to fake a concussion. I responded repeatedly that the doctor diagnosed James with a concussion. I also relayed that James had told me after the practice in which he sustained the concussion, he had gone to eat at IHOP with a teammate, gone home, and suffered dizziness forcing him to sleep sitting up."

Pincock also says James reported vomiting that evening, and Leach asked for a sample of vomit, which Pincock says he "of course" could not produce. But Pincock says later in the statement that he told Leach that a doctor had diagnosed James with a concussion and he could not practice.

Leach has continually maintained he did nothing wrong in regards to the incident.

"Mike Leach is trying to reconstruct the events to say that he did believe there was a concussion and what he did to Adam James was some sort of bizarre form of treatment for Adam James' light sensitivity," Rasch said. "We think the sworn testimony makes it very clear that Leach, by all the questions he asked and the statements he made, thought Adam James was faking it, he treated it as if he were faking it, he tried to punish and humiliate him by making him stand in a dark shed for several hours during football practice."

Whether or not that constitutes a fireable offense is a point of contention in the suit. We may never know the absolute truth about what happened after James suffered what the trainers diagnosed as a concussion. But Anders and his attorney feel confident that their own sworn testimonies contradict what Leach is arguing in his suit.

The details are up to the law-types to decide, but clearly, Anders has little doubt of how he believes the events unfolded.

Lunch links: Dylan Meier reactions, expansion, etc.

April, 21, 2010
4/21/10
12:30
PM ET
Really good set of stuff today, if I do say so myself. And I just did, so...yeah.

Dylan Meier

Expansion

Everything else


Not a great news day for the Longhorns.

Lunch links: Nebraska looking to championship loss for motivation

March, 15, 2010
3/15/10
12:30
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Finally, the endless string of conference tournaments is over and college football can take center stage. Here are some links to get you started.

Leach deposition slated for Friday

March, 8, 2010
3/08/10
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Former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach is scheduled to be deposed on Friday, answering questions from attorneys representing Texas Tech in Leach's lawsuit against the school.

Leach, who moved to Key West after the Red Raiders fired him, alleges libel, slander and breach of contract in his lawsuit, claiming Texas Tech fired him without cause.

The university fired Leach on Dec. 30, and Leach also alleges that an $800,000 bonus, which Leach would have earned on Dec. 31, also contributed to his firing. The move came two days after Leach was suspended amid allegations that he mistreated Texas Tech receiver Adam James, the son of ESPN analyst and former NFL player Craig James.

Tuberville settling in at Texas Tech

February, 24, 2010
2/24/10
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New Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville has probably shook a few thousand hands during the past month.

Tuberville spoke to more than 1,000 Texas Tech fans at an alumni event in Dallas. He spoke to another 500 fans in Houston. Tuberville threw out the first pitch at the Texas Tech baseball team's season opener last week, and he has tried to attend as many Red Raiders basketball games as possible.

"It's been great," Tuberville said of his reception in Lubbock. "It's been really good. I go out and shake hands and do all the things you need to do from a PR standpoint. I tell people who we are and what they can expect. I've been all over Texas speaking to Kiwanis clubs and Lions clubs."

Tuberville, who hasn't coached since stepping down as Auburn's coach in December 2008, didn't know exactly what to expect when he was hired to replace fired Mike Leach on Jan. 11.

Leach had been an ultra-popular coach at Texas Tech, leading the Red Raiders to 84 victories and 10 straight bowl games before he was fired on Dec. 30 for insubordination. Leach had been suspended indefinitely by the school while it investigated allegations he mistreated a player suffering from a concussion. Leach took the school to court to overturn his suspension, and Texas Tech fired him before the legal hearing.

"Mike did a lot of great things here," Tuberville said. "It was kind of like me leaving Auburn. A lot of people were disappointed, but things change. It's kind of ironic -- Mike was here for 10 years and I was at Auburn for 10 years."

Tuberville said he met with Red Raiders wide receiver Adam James shortly after he was hired. James' father, ESPN college football analyst Craig James, complained to school officials about Leach's treatment of his son while he recovered from a concussion, claiming the former coach secluded him in a dark shed and utility closet.

"I think Adam went through a tougher time than anyone," Tuberville said. "I met with him for about 20 minutes right after I got the job. I met with all the players. I didn't do him any differently than anyone else."

Tuberville said he hasn't noticed Texas Tech's players treating James any differently.

"These are college kids," Tuberville said. "This is not life and death. They just want to play and win games."
Here are some lunch links to send you into the afternoon on a cold, blustery day across the Midlands.

Call it my own version of "Chicken Soup for the Big 12 Fan's Soul."

Enjoy them.

Video: Leach on Adam James, firing

January, 1, 2010
1/01/10
1:43
AM ET

Dismissed Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach talks with ESPN's Rece Davis about the controversy surrounding player Adam James that led to his firing.

ISU AD takes shot at Tech during pep rally

December, 31, 2009
12/31/09
9:59
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Texas Tech's misfortune apparently is becoming a punchline for other schools around the conference.

Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard got a laugh at the Red Raiders' expense during a pep rally for his school Wednesday before his team's Insight Bowl game against Minnesota.

Pollard alluded to the firing of Tech coach Mike Leach, who was let go by the school after reports surfaced about him placing reserve wide receiver Adam James in a shed while he was recovering from a concussion.

Several hours later, Pollard made this comment to ISU fans:

“I’m so excited to be here, because I’ve been locked in a closet by Paul Rhoads,” Pollard said, according to the Des Moines Register.

Pollard's comments got a few chuckles from the assembled Cyclone fans.

But I bet it wasn't very funny to many people in West Texas.

James likely won't play Valero Alamo Bowl

December, 30, 2009
12/30/09
8:40
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Texas Tech wide receiver Adam James likely will not see action Saturday in Texas Tech’s game against Michigan State in the Valero Alamo Bowl, interim Tech coach Ruffin McNeill said.

The treatment of James’ concussion was the trigger point that helped lead to the firing of Tech coach Mike Leach after a 10-season coaching tenure.

“Right now he is still under physical rehabilitation and won’t be able to dress for the game,” McNeill said. “He’s conditioning and walking with the other players who are injured. Right now, he hasn’t taken any reps so he won’t be available for the game.”

James is listed as Tech’s second-team receiver at the H position on their bowl depth chart behind starter Tremain Swindall. James, a 6-foot-3, 216-pound sophomore from Celina, Texas, started the season opener against North Dakota and saw action in all 12 games for the Red Raiders. He ranked 10th on the team in receptions with 17 grabs for 154 yards and a touchdown.

McNeill said he briefly spoken to James, along with other members of the team as part of his typical coaching routine.

“There’s been nothing that's personally been said to Adam from me, other than to just hang in there and for the team to stay focused,” McNeill said. “I didn’t think there was a need for me to speak to him. I felt like the focus should be on the entire team. I’ve always been that way.”

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