As the US Senate campaign for former disgraced ESPN analyst Craig James goes nowhere, he may even have worse news to deal with thanks to his old friend Mike Leach. The new Washington State head coach has retained the services of a new lawyer, Stephen D. Heninger. And Heninger has come out with all guns blazing at Candidate James. A press release from Leach’s lawyer indicates that James made conflicting statements and lied under oath, thereby committing perjury. The conflicting statements revolve around whether or not James used his power at ESPN to get Mike Leach fired…
“On December 12, 2011, Craig James signed a sworn Petition concerned with two books that recount the firing of Texas Tech coach, Mike Leach, in December 2009 regarding events between Leach and James’ son (Adam James) who was a football player on that team at the time. This latest sworn Petition states that James was not responsible for Leach’s firing. These sworn statements are in stark conflict with the sworn testimony taken earlier by depositions of Craig James, Adam James and Texas Tech officials which state that Craig James was working for ESPN and had a powerful platform and the Texas Tech President and the Athletic Director wanted to give Leach a private reprimand and a fine but James wanted an apology and Leach fired.”
It appears that James has signed a new sworn petition defending his role in “standing up to evil” and “kicking the skunks out of the bushes” in Lubbock. I’m not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV, but this smells like perjury does it not? This new sworn statement is related to Leach’s original lawsuit against ESPN and Spaeth Communications. That case has been stayed until the State Supreme Court rules on whether or not Leach has the right to also sue Texas Tech.
With the case stalled and James very publicly making a run for United States Senate, what better time for Leach and his lawyer to make a full court press against James? The conflicting testimony is as follows. In December of this year, with Craig James in the middle of his hopeless Senate run, he made these statements under oath:
* “Leach ordered the punitive actions, not for medical reasons, but to discipline and punish Adam James for ‘his attitude’ while he was diagnosed with a concussion.”
* “The authors create and foster a false impression in their books, and in public media surrounding the books, that Craig James was responsible for Leach’s firing by the University.”
* “… the allegation that Craig James interfered with Leach’s contract, by threatening TTU and its officials with litigation if Texas Tech did not terminate Leach, is illogical on its face. . .It is ludicrous and factually untrue to state that Craig James was the cause of the firing.”
And here’s the previous sworn statements Leach’s lawyer cites proving James is not being truthful with his most recent sworn testimony in comparison to the original depostition from Texas Tech admins and Adam James himself:
* The President and the Athletic Director wanted to give Leach a private reprimand and a fine but James wanted an apology and Leach fired. (Deposition of Larry Anders at p. 78, 87.) Tech officials felt that time was not their friend because of the threat from Craig James. (Deposition of Larry Anders at p. 120.) Therefore, they acted quickly. When Leach refused to sign a letter that said he acted wrongly (which was insufficient for Craig James) he told the Board he would file for an injunction if they terminated him
* Ms. Bingham testified that James threatened her that he would bring in a team of lawyers “and that would be a can of worms and it would not be pretty.” Ms. Bingham said this was a threat to sue Texas Tech. (Deposition of Charlotte Bingham at p. 74.)
* The video of the electrical closet and the reporting by ESPN that Adam James had been confined there for several hours was scripted drama and not fact. Charlotte Bingham, the official investigator spoke with Adam James. He told her he was only in the electrical closet for five minutes:
“Q. And it says here that Adam James told you that he was in the electrical closet for five minutes, right?
A. That’s correct.”
(Deposition of Charlotte Bingham at p. 80.) Indeed the trainer who took Adam James to the media room specifically told Adam James he did not want him in the electrical closet. (Deposition of Charlotte Bingham at p. 80-81.) Yet Adam went in there on his own.
Considering these are sworn statements, Craig James is even MORE delusional than we all thought, and that is really quite the accomplishment. Did Leach and Bruce Feldman make up those e-mails out of the blue in Swing Your Sword? Does Craig James not know that his son admitted to voluntarily going into an electrical closet for five minutes? Does he not know that the Texas Tech legal vice-chancellor said under oath that she was threatened by James?
If it wasn’t so mind-numbing, it would be funny in a twisted sort of way.
It’s clear that Craig James is going all-in with this self-made heroic father image, saving his distressed son, fighting evil like he’s some sort of real-life Batman. It’s hard to run for the Senate if you admit to lying and scheming to get a man fired. It’s much easier if you want to live in some sort of alternate reality where you’re the gee-golliest good guy in Texas.
This is delusion of the highest level! If anyone expects Craig James to go back to television after his failed Senate run, there is no way a network (in their right mind) would ever consider hiring him again. Seeing as how his unlikeable ratings are so high and the negative press against James has been so great, it would be impossible for a network to welcome him with open arms and put him on the air. ESPN lucked out with James leaving on his own and ESPN probably would have let James walk at the end of his contract and be done with him regardless. For now, we get to enjoy his Senate campaign come to a slow, painful demise. Time will tell if James’ next act on the public stage will be trying to escape perjury charges.