Big 12: George W. Bush

Harrell, Leach visit White House

December, 15, 2008
12/15/08
7:44
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

It's been well-chronicled by many sources that Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell got a raw deal when he was snubbed for a trip to New York City for the Heisman Trophy award.

But it ended up that Harrell got a pretty nice consolation price, nonetheless. Harrell, Texas Tech coach Mike Leach, Leach's wife, Sharon, and Texas Tech assistant media relations director Blayne Beal got a private tour of the White House in Washington, D.C., and a 20-minute meeting with President George W. Bush.

The Red Raider entourage arrived when Bush was in the middle of his daily bicycle ride. He was so excited by their arrival that he stopped what he was doing to meet with him.

Bush and Leach share an interesting mutual acquaintance. Texas Tech chancellor Kent Hance is the only person to ever beat Bush in a campaign when he defeated the president in a 1978 Congressional race from West Texas. Hance is also negotiating Leach's contract extension that still has not been worked out.

"[Bush] said, 'I talk to Hance a lot,'" Beal told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. "And Mike said, 'I talk to him a lot, too.'"

Leach even broke his long-standing practice of discussing injuries when he told the president about Harrell's toughness when he talked about how Harrell played with broken fingers on his non-throwing hand in the Red Raiders' season-ending victory over Baylor.

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