WSU’s Mike Leach talks offseason, controversial tweet
Washington state head coach Mike Leach joined Brock Huard and Mike Salk on 710 ESPN Seattle Friday to talk about the Cougars’ upcoming season. Leach also spent time discussing his decision to post a since-deleted Tweet that featured a doctored speech from former President Barack Obama.
What has this offseason felt like? “I think a lot of enthusiasm. I mean it’s challenging of course (with the passing of Tyler Hilinski) but I think the whole team has kind of rallied together. And then also I think Tyson (Brown), our strength coach, has done a tremendous job as far as bringing all that together. I would have to say that our enthusiasm around our building is probably as high as I’ve seen it. And I think a portion of that has to do with the fact that we have some new faces that are going to get their opportunity to step in and play. If you look at the pundits, who to be perfectly honest have been wrong about us every year, so it appears they’re going to be wrong about us again, that’s the one thing that’s been about 100 percent on this stuff is that they’re going to be wrong, but I think we’ve got a pretty good group. We’ve got a tiny bit more depth than we’ve had, that’s always been our biggest struggle, and then some of these guys that people haven’t heard of I think are going to be pretty good.”
What do you have to say about your Tweet that featured a misleading video of former President Barack Obama? “I sent out a thing to try to stimulate a discussion, which I offered no opinion on and still have not offered an opinion on. And then of course all the gatekeepers of what everybody’s required to think, and if you don’t think it then they get upset, and the trouble with it is I never even offered what I thought, and so then they went ahead and told me what I thought and then threw out a certain amount of outrage, which to be honest says a little more about them than it does me. Never did get that discussion I’d hoped for. I put up a video, it was too general, it really was too general, I passed on a video, and then looked at the context of the speech, it was too far apart, too general, which doesn’t change the fact, I mean fine comment on what you have to comment on…”
On learning the video was fake: “I had no idea that that was the case, OK, so then as a couple inflammatory ones came in, ‘OK, this video’s not complete, it’s a hoax’, prove it, so I said ‘prove it,’ and after about eight prove-its or something somebody sent me the context of the speech, which I read, and then I took the thing down. OK, now at this point in time I’m nearly an expert at having my words taken out of context and videos of me taken out of context, so you’re not talking to a guy that’s never experienced that. As a matter of fact, somewhere I’m experiencing that right now.”
On sharing the real video once he found it: “So I learned that the video was inaccurate then I put out the whole speech, but I took down the video and I put out the whole speech. But the thing is, and the whole point of the entire thing and the one thing that’s illustrated by the deal that is troubling, is wouldn’t it be nice to hear what a variety of opinions and sides think on a subject so then you can kind of wait and go, ‘Oh, I like this idea, oh geez that idea was bad, oh I used to think this but listen to this guy, this guy says this and that’s a brilliant idea, OK well my idea needs to be adjusted this way because he brings up some really sharp points which match what I think on this this and this,’ and then everybody can hone and cultivate a better idea together. But instead it’s just name-calling.”