Mostly cheers for Tech's James on senior day
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP)
The 23-year-old tight end was at the center of the controversy during the firing of former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach in December 2009. Leach was suspended, then fired amid allegations he mistreated James, who had a concussion. Leach has denied the allegations and sued the school.
Craig James, the player's father who some have suggested pushed school officials to fire Leach, was not at the game. The former SMU star and ESPN analyst was working a game in Champaign, Ill., where Illinois was playing No. 22 Michigan.
Adam James, sporting a black headband and carrying a flower in his hand for his mother, ran out from the Texas Tech tunnel as his name was announced in a not-too-full stadium crowd. He met his mother, Marilyn, his two sisters, Jessica and Caylin, and Andy, his brother, a Texas Tech student on the field.
James had no catches in Texas Tech's 66-6 loss to No. Oklahoma State and went out near the end of the first half with an injury to his ribs. He was taken for X-rays, team spokesman Blayne Beal said.
Craig James is a defendant in the suit Leach filed against the school, and the pirate-loving former Red Raiders coach also has sued ESPN Inc. and a public relations firm, accusing them of libel and slander after Leach was fired.
James, who is expected to graduate in May with a degree in hotel and restaurant management, said he doesn't care if he is viewed as a pariah by some. He got nasty emails and voicemails after Leach's departure.
''I don't really think that much about it,'' James said last week during his first interview since Leach's dismissal. ''I really have never let what people say or think about me affect me, unless it was somebody that really knew me and knew who I was.''