When Washington State Cougars head coach Mike Leach steps up to the podium at Pac-12 Media Day, it’s always an adventure. That’s because Leach is one of the more open coaches who talks about how he sees things while mixing in a penchant for the offbeat.
This morning was no different.
Here are some of his more notable quotes from his podium session this morning:
On recruiting players to come play in Pullman and the difference between LA and Pullman:
You know, you guys might love the traffic in L.A. A lot of great things about L.A. You might sit in the car, listen to the radio, look at the person beside you. You know, you get flipped off. I always thought it was kind of funny when somebody flipped me off, couldn’t help but laugh. You know, wait in line for stuff. Well, you don’t get to do that in Pullman, Washington.
So there are sacrifices you make to come up there to Pullman, because you don’t have to plan ahead. It sucks if you want to develop your planning skills. You know, good food is right there. Well, I’d like to wait in line. Well, you can stand there, but I’ll be here at the counter doing nothing, so when you’re ready to order, come order.
On his reaction to the return of Chip Kelly to the Pac-12:
Exactly what it was when he was in the Pac-12. Just watched a bunch of film when we play them, and then put together the best game plan you can, and go play them. But we don’t play them for a year anyways, so. So I’ve got two years to obsess over the return of Chip Kelly. Some people could enjoy it for one, I could enjoy it for two.
On the change to the redshirt rule, allowing players to play in up to four games at any time during the season:
The red-shirt rule. There are so many rules lately. Though I think that’s a good rule. I think that’s a good rule. It approaches five years of eligibility, which I’ve always thought would make things very simple, would be a smart way to do things. It would eliminate a portion of the rule book. Maybe there are those that would like to have as many rules as they can. But, you know, five years of eligibility, then you don’t have all of the appeals and the transfer stuff. But it’s a step towards that, and I think it’s really good for the student-athlete too.
On whether he has concerns about sports betting becoming legal:
Not really. Because I’m going to continue to not bet on sports. The injury thing, I’m not going to -- well, okay. Here are your choices: You’ve got some conferences talking about, all right, having an injury report. Well, let’s start with the fact I’m not a doctor, so I’m not even qualified to say whether a guy is injured or not.
But then you’ve got one federal law that says you’re not allowed to reveal someone’s medical information. Then you’ve got another law that says we have gambling, so we want to know all about their injuries. And I realize that this business of not talking about people’s medical condition gets run roughshod through every year in the NCAA.
But you’re sitting there with two laws that contradict each other, so I’m going to be wrong one way or the other. So I’m not going to reveal injuries, even if I’m qualified to until I’m forced. And they might force me. I doubt it. But they might, and if they do, then I’ll try to figure out a way around it.
Whew! It looks like the Cougars dodged an NCAA bullet after Leach made it sound like he had to ponder whether to start betting on sports.
Here’s the full transcript of Leach’s podium session.
And, finally, for good measure, here’s the video of Leach’s session, courtesy of the Pac-12 Networks Facebook page.
Overall, this year wasn’t Leach most entertaining session as there weren’t as many offbeat questions thrown at him as in year’s past, but it’s still always enjoyable in large part due to his candor. Does anyone think that David Shaw would have said something like “ I’m going to continue to not bet on sports.” Sure, Rick Neuheisel might have said it due to the trouble he got into in Washington if he were still coaching in the Pac-12, but it’s doubtful any other coach would have.