It was crystal clear on Friday that Leach is not happy one bit with what happened a few weeks back at the off-campus fight, which allegedly involved members of the WSU football team and sent a student to the hospital with a broken jaw.
“It’s definitely been a distraction,” Leach said. “It’s been a distraction and I think it’s been somewhat overblown, too. What you have here is a massive party, with stuff going on all night. When the room erupted (fight), yeah, football players were there.
“I’m more disappointed they didn’t leave. The thing that irritates me the most is that there were football players there and the media tries to fit in 'football player' as much as they can. It’s not fair.”
The main takeaway from Leach’s conference: he stated that at this point, he does not anticipate dismissing any players from the team as a result of the incident.
“Our football players have got to be smarter than that,” he said. “The bigger question here though isn’t, 'Did a football player punch someone?' It’s what created the situation for underage drinking where things escalated irresponsibly. Our guys need to get the hell out of there when that happens.”
“There needs to be scrutiny on any parties who created an environment where there was excessive underage drinking,” Leach added.
As has been the case since he arrived to WSU ahead of the 2012 season, Leach said that the Cougars are handling things internally. It appears this included a recent one-way trip to the famous “Leach Beach” (sand pit) in Pullman.
“We have special maneuvers for our team,” Leach said. “Monday we had the whole team run maneuvers to illustrate we don’t get in fights and we leave and don’t care who does any of that. We were supposed to lift weights in the afternoon, but they did more maneuvers to focus on concentrating leaving that situation. Wednesday is typically an off-day, but there was no off-day because we had to waste time addressing this stupid fight."
Note: Check back with CF.C later this afternoon for more from Leach's tele-conference.