Leach Won't Budge on Injury Policy

After Saturday's game saw multiple Red Raiders leave the field due to suffering serious injuries, the media and fans were left buzzing about Texas Tech's starting line-up for this weekend's conference match-up with Kansas State. But in Monday's press conference, head coach Mike Leach made it clear that he will not be altering his controversial policy of refusing to discuss team injuries.

With all of the injuries the Red Raiders have faced in the past few weeks, it's no wonder that people are wondering how depleted the depth chart will be come Saturday's conference game against Kansas State. In Saturday's win over New Mexico, Texas Tech lost multiple key players to injuries, including QB Taylor Potts, OL Shawn Byrnes, LB Cody Davis, DB Nathan Stone, and DE Daniel Howard.

Despite the plethora of injuries, Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach is maintaining his no comment policy, something that has been a source of contention between the media and the unorthodox coach. In Monday's press conference, Leach reiterated his stance on not speaking about team injuries. "We don't have injuries here, and if we did, we wouldn't acknowledge them," Coach Leach stated. "I am truthful on nearly everything, but I am honestly telling you I will lie about injuries should any ever occur if I feel like it. I may just do the standard ‘I don't talk about injuries'; I may make something up because quite frankly you are who you are and you got what you got."

Leach's stance diverges from many D-I coaches, who regularly offer up injuries, illnesses, and missing players as explanations for why their teams don't perform up to expectations. After Colt McCoy's subpar performance against the Red Raiders, Texas head coach Mack Brown explained that the Heisman hopeful was suffering from the flu and was therefore not 100%.

Mike Leach, on the other hand, says that he doesn't want to make excuses for his team as it does nothing to change the results of the game and discredits the backups who step in to take over when a starter goes down.

"We have a whole bunch of people that are going to go out there and practice and play and achieve things… on the field. So I am more than willing to talk about them, and those are the people that need to be discussed and recognized. We don't have any alibis for injuries. Teams that sit and talk about injuries all the time provide themselves with an excuse for not being successful. We are not going to provide… excuses or alibis for underachievement."

Another reason Coach Leach avoids talking about injuries is that he wants his players' performances to speak for themselves. Despite going down with a concussion in the second quarter on Saturday and not returning to the game, quarterback Taylor Potts continues to lead the nation in total passing yards by more than 100. Coach Leach wants the media to focus on the numbers and game results rather than injuries.

"I am not interested in a guy all of a sudden that generates attention just because he is injured… I think it's journalism at its lowest level if you are so uncreative that you can't come up with a story or devise a story or find something newsworthy outside of any injury. I mean, ‘Oh, all these folks are injured', well hey, that's not a story and a chimpanzee can write that. So I don't want to provide or aid any of that."

Ironically, Leach's policy is something that he adopted from Kansas State's head coach Bill Snyder, who he will go head-to-head with this weekend. Leach called Snyder's refusal to discuss injuries with the media "a stroke of genius."

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