Washington State head coach Mike Leach has apparently never heard the old saying that you never argue with somebody who buys ink by the barrel. Of course, going the conventional route has never really been the coach’s M.O. so it probably isn’t too surprising to see him keep up with war of words with USA Today columnist Dan Wolken on Friday either.
First, some background. Leach originally shared a video of a President Obama speech on Sunday that was misleadingly edited under the ruse of creating discussion about the government and proceeded to argue with people about it for several hours on Twitter. While he eventually removed the tweet in question, the fact that a head coach at a public university would share such a doctored video caused many to wonder what he was thinking in the first place. One of those people was Wolken, who penned a column the next day that was critical of Leach and noted that incidents just like this one is a good reason why despite plenty of wins, bigger schools won’t come close to hiring him.
That, apparently, touched a bit of a nerve.
So a guy, who no one knows, Wolken, has an ax to grind. I’m not sure who he is, but at the risk at building his career, I am willing to debate him, anywhere and anytime. He is pathetically biased, but I think that the message of free thought needs to get out
— Mike Leach (@Coach_Leach) June 20, 2018
Speaking to the Seattle Times on Friday, Leach didn’t exactly back down or try to calm the waters. Here’s just a taste from a lengthy Q&A he did with Times columnist Matt Calkins:
Yeah, they expect less bias because I think he’s 100 percent biased. Anyway, I think he does a horrible job and doesn’t know what he’s talking about. It doesn’t matter what anybody says, he’s just gonna distort the thing. He’ll probably be selling Big Gulps here in a couple years. I don’t know. As I think about it, I ought to let all that take its course.
Calkins: Who did you talk to about Dan (a sixth-year USA Today veteran whose response can be found here)? You said people don’t respect him; is that something someone just told you?
Leach: I just randomly … we’ve already talked about that guy more than he deserves. But I don’t know, maybe you know him, maybe you like him a lot. You might have gone to high school together. Maybe you had slumber parties as children and watched superhero films. I don’t know, but that’s my general impression. And his work certainly measures up to some of those unlofty expectations.
Let’s just say there’s a lot more in that Times piece that you can unpack as well.
While saying Wolken would be working at a 7-11 in the future is a funny line, this entire spat seems to further prove the original column’s point. While Leach’s quirky personality has plenty of endearing qualities, somebody at Washington State should probably tell the coach that this thing has gone on long enough and this is not how the Cougs want to be making headlines in what has otherwise been a quiet offseason.
Still, let’s all hope Wolken makes his way out to Los Angeles next month for Pac-12 Media Days because fireworks might be just one of the few things we can all expect.
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) June 22, 2018