Washington State head coach Mike Leach hinted that the Pullman, Wash. Police Department has targeted his football players in several recent incidents in which Cougars players were arrested.
Sophomore linebacker Logan Tago was arrested on suspicion of robbery and assault after a June incident, safety Shalom Luani was arrested last month and accused of assault, and authorities are looking into another incident in which multiple football players were allegedly involved in a fight at a house party in July.
"If the other guilty parties are not accused or charged, there needs to be an extensive investigation as to why," Leach said, according to The Spokesman-Review. "How in the world can only football parties be guilty in events depicted like this? It is irresponsible to this town, this community and everybody to have some kind of a double standard where we only focus on one demographic, one group of people, and then drag their name through the newspaper with a bunch of irresponsible comments."
Leach said that other people were involved in those incidents but only the football players are being singled out. He addressed all three incidents in detail.
"First incident. A brawl at a party, the whole room is involved. The room erupts in a brawl," Leach says. "Everybody's hitting everybody. The only guys accused of doing anything are football players. The only guys accused of anything are football players. Where's everybody else? What about the other 100 people in the room? What was their role?"
Leach says that Luani "was jumped by five to six people" as he was leaving an unknown place and was the only person arrested in the incident. He added that he didn't have the details on Tago's arrest because it happened four months ago.
"Unless we are supposed to believe that these football players fought themselves, then there are numerous other guilty parties. ... Comments to the media have distorted the facts and already condemned football players in the court of public opinion," Leach said.
Washington State (0–2) has lost both of its games this season by a combined six points. The Cougars play Idaho this Saturday before opening conference play against Oregon on Oct. 1.
- Scooby Axson