Mississippi Slip: Leach, What Were You Thinking?

Dan Raley

It didn't take long for Mike Leach to create jaw-dropping controversy at his new place of employment as a college football coach.

In the Deep South, at Mississippi State University, in a section of the country where race relations remain a painful experience for an untold number of people, Leach tweeted out a noose in a manner that he thought was funny.

What was the former Washington State coach thinking?

A noose, really?

Anything with that unconscionable symbol of discrimination, death and white power affixed to it doesn't fly these days.

Maybe in hate-filled compounds off the grid, but not in the Mississippi mainstream.

Leach, a self-avowed historian of sorts on any number of subjects, should know better.

Was there any surprise that he lost a player, sophomore defensive tackle Fabian Lovett, over his callousness?

How could you play for a guy like this?

Lovett can't and won't, having since entered the NCAA transfer portal. The big lineman already has schools pursuing him, including Oregon.

Leach deleted the tweet and later apologized, but he needs to do more.

Just four months removed from telling the Cougars goodbye and good luck, Leach should self-quarantine his Twitter account.

We know this guy can be somewhat droll and offbeat in his approach.

We're also aware Leach can be insensitive and oversensitive, too.

He's not above degrading his players, publicly calling them out for lack of performance or generally mistreating them. 

It got him fired at Texas Tech.

He's not afraid of offending outsiders he disagrees with either.

We last saw him at the Apple Cup where Leach raised a few eyebrows with a knee-jerk reaction at his post-game media gathering.

He recoiled on a question served up by well-respected Spokane Spokesman-Review columnist John Blanchette and blistered him for his impertinence. 

The coach went so far as to call him a "sanctimonious troll."

Blanchette, more of a humorist than a critic, didn't deserve that mean-spirited label.

As for Leach, if the insult fits, wear it.