Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Mizell gives Leach his first test of discipline
By ESPN.com staff
Washington State coach Mike Leach has his first disciplinary issue, as starting sophomore linebacker C.J. Mizell was arrested after being involved in a weekend fight at a fraternity house party.
Mizell, a native of Tallahassee, Fla., was arrested on misdemeanor charges of assault and trespassing.
From the Spokesman Review:
Pullman Police Sergeant Dan Dornes said police were called at approximately 12:24 a.m. Sunday after Mizell allegedly tried to enter a party at the Delta Tau Delta fraternity house. When Mizell was denied entry, he allegedly “punched one of the guys several times,” Dornes said.
Mizell fled the scene but was arrested Sunday, cited, booked and released. Fourth-degree assault and second-degree criminal trespassing are both misdemeanors. A WSU spokesman said coaches are aware of the arrest and are still gathering facts.
First off: I hope it's not going to be one of those offseasons,with Stanford LB Shayne Skov getting arrested for DUI this past weekend and now Mizell.
Leach, while known for a quirky personality, isn't slack on discipline. A portion of his book "Swing Your Sword" includes his reaction to a fight involving multiple Texas Tech players as well as his list of team rules, which included "no fighting":
There's a different standard for you. I don't care if it's fair. I don't care what he said. I don't care what kind of names he called you or what he might have said about your family. It doesn't matter. You leave ... I warned them about fighting. It was one of the first things I'd talk about every year when I first addressed the team.
Of course, Mizell should have left. But fights at fraternity houses often have two sides to the story. Mizell has struggled at times with his discipline, and fell afoul of former coach Paul Wulff's staff several times, but he took some steps up the maturity ladder this past season. Leach has said players will get a clean slate with him, but this also gives Leach a chance to send a message to his team.
Also from his book: Leach is creative with punishments. He had the players involved in the brawl at Texas Tech go through a rigorous boxing conditioning session — "Fight Club" he called it.
Mizell should expect to invest some sweat equity for this one.