House committee hears about Leach-James case

House Judiciary Committee member Linda Sanchez criticized the

hiding of injuries in sports after hearing testimony Monday on

Texas Tech’s firing of coach Mike Leach.

Referring to the Texas Tech incident involving wide receiver

Adam James that led to Leach’s dismissal in December, Sanchez,

D-Calif., said at a Manhattan forum that players, assistant coaches

and trainers should not have been silent concerning James’

concussion.

“It emphasizes the culture within sports of hiding injuries,”

she said.

Added NFL Players Association medical director Thom Mayer:

“Where was the medical staff? What are the qualifications and what

are we demanding of the medical staffs on the professional, NCAA,

high school and youth levels?”

James was sent to a dark storage shed last December by Leach

after the player said he couldn’t practice because of a concussion.

Leach didn’t believe James had a concussion and, according to the

school’s associate vice chancellor, Charlotte Bingham, Leach told

team trainers to tell the doctors “there’d be no more concussions

at Texas Tech.”

Bingham says the school was not aware of the situation until

James’ father, former NFL running back Craig James, spoke up.

“Players do have access to others to make complaints about

it,” she said at the forum.

“Athletes are discouraged from reporting injuries. That’s a

very serious component of strategizing someone who reports an

injury. If we don’t do something … we still have people who think

this is how it’s supposed to be.”