Adam James spoke to selected media on Tuesday, the first time the Texas Tech player had been made available to the press since December 2009. That’s when former head coach Mike Leach got fired in the wake of his alleged mistreatment of James.
Many fans still take Leach’s side—which is explained in great detail l in his recent autobiography—while James’ father, ESPN analyst and former SMU hero Craig James, has become one of the most divisive figures in college football, in large part because of his perceived role in the controversy.
Don Williams and David Just of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal had the lengthiest interview, which took place with a Tech official present. Due to ongoing litigation, James was not allowed to answer questions about Leach or the concussion that he suffered prior to the 2009 controversy.
This Saturday’s game against Oklahoma State is Senior Day, which means the back-up tight end will get an individual introduction on the field. Players often walk out with their parents on Senior Day, but Craig James will be covering a different game for ESPN.
“I really didn’t think about it until a couple of weeks ago when they asked me who was going to walk out there with me,” the younger James told the Avalanche-Journal. “One of the guys kind of cracked a joke about it and that was the first time that I thought about it.”
As the Dallas Moring News reported, Tech players have publicly asked fans and boosters not to boo James. That’s also the position of Double T Nation fan blogger Travis W. Bishop, who urged fellow fans, “we need to support them as a TEAM and to ‘boo’ one is to ‘boo’ them all.”
Still, James says he’s expecting it, and he is right to steel himself against criticism. One Double T Nation commenter reponded to Bishop:
Booing Adam James has more important symbolic value than any other “Booing” at an athletic event than I can ever recall. It is the fans 1st and only open and uncensored public opportunity to show their displeasure at not only what Adam did, but also to express all of the pent up frustration they feel for Craig James and the administration.
Back in 2009 Adam James was subject to prank phone calls and angry Facebook messages, but he says he never gets confronted in person and never considered leaving Tech. “I love Texas Tech,” he said. “I’ve always loved it. I want to graduate from here. All my life, I want to be associated with Texas Tech.”