Graham Harrell: Mike Leach once called Big 12 commissioner from sideline

Wednesday November 13th, 2013

Mike Leach created a reputation for beinga  colorful coach at Texas Tech. f(Michael Chang/Getty Images) Mike Leach created a reputation for being a colorful coach at Texas Tech. (Michael Chang/Getty Images)

Former Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell told Aaron Dickens of one of his favorite anecdotes from his seasons playing for Mike Leach.

Leach, the colorful former Texas Tech coach -- now at Washington State -- has made headlines for his love of pirates and his conflicts with national college broadcasters. So Harrell's recall of Leach using his cell phone to call then-Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe to complain about officiating -- during the game -- doesn't sound too far-fetched.

Back in 2007, Tech was playing Texas in a close game, and Leach was fuming under the belief that officials were helping make sure that Texas reached a BCS bowl. He also wasn't happy that the referee also happened to be an Austin resident.

From AT&T Fan Zone: (The Leach story begins around the 13:54 mark.)

"I can remember in the third quarter, he's pulling his cell phone out," Harrell says of Texas Tech's 2007 loss at Texas. "He always talked to me between series, so he's talking to me and he pulls his cell phone out and he called the Big 12 commissioner. He's like cussing out the Big 12 commissioner, telling him like, 'These refs are screwing us. You better watch my post-game press conference because I've got some stuff to say.'"

Tech eventually lost the game, 59-43, and Leach followed through with his reported threat, pulling no punches and calling the officiating "a complete travesty" during his postgame press conference.

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From USA Today:

On Saturday, Leach noted without naming him that referee Randy Christly lives in Austin.

"I think it's disturbing that Austin residents are involved in this. People work too hard, too long, there's too much money invested in these games to allow that," Leach said after the game.

"Am I condemning the crew? Hell yeah, I'm condemning the crew."

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