Mike Leach's decision to indefinitely suspend Brandon Carter and strip the popular offensive lineman of his captaincy is being roundly booed by Texas Tech fans, and it's becoming increasingly clear there is a deep level of discontent between the coach and his players.
Carter was actually the first to break the news, announcing it Sunday on his Twitter page: "I am not a captain anymore and will not be playing this week. Good luck red raiders ill still be cheering on my family from the stands!!:)"
Hours later, linebacker Marlon Williams, the team's leading tackler, wrote on his Twitter page, "Wondering why I'm still in this meeting room when the head coach can't even be on time to his on (sic) meeting."
Leach was asked Monday about Williams' comment. "Anybody that's a malcontent doesn't stay around here very long, because we've got a pretty good line of recruits that are fully willing to replace him. Interestingly enough, he doesn't have a Twitter page anymore."
That's because hours earlier, Leach banned his players from using the popular social networking site.
Leach was asked repeatedly about Carter's suspension but declined to say why the All-American candidate was suspended.
"Well, none of that's privy to the media," he said. "It's for violating a team rule. Anything that he needs to do to get back, that's pretty much between me and him."
Leach then went off on Twitter, saying his players get enough attention as is.
"If they don't get enough attention, I've got graduate assistants and student assistants that'll sit there and listen to them embellish stories and talk and tell them how great they are all they want. They don't need Twitter."
The sports information office later distributed a written transcript of Monday's news conference, but Leach's comments about Carter and Williams were missing from the transcript.
Associate athletic director for media relations Chris Cook said his department was "not trying to hide anything" and that the distributed transcripts "never" are complete. Cook then noted that each news conference can be viewed on Tech's website — for a fee.
"The content is available, but what we send out — not to censor it or anything like that — is just to hit the high points," Cook said. "That's what a lot of people do."
Tech fans are starting to see through the smoke screen, and many are upset with Leach deciding to pass on a field goal attempt in the 29-28 loss at Houston, instead sending Taylor Potts into the line. He was stuffed at the Cougar one.
"Maybe we need to suspend Leach for a game or two and straighten him out," commented one fan on the Avalanche-Journal site.
Leach probably didn't help matters when he decided to take away much of the bench seating for his players. The only remaining benches have been marked "For Starters Only."
Leach said: "Heck, I stand the whole game. God forbid that an 18- to 22-year-old athlete should have to go stand and cheer his teammates out there. I think we all like it."
On Monday, Kevin Sherrington of the Dallas Morning News wrote of Leach: "But when your own behavior could be perceived as pushing the edge of the envelope, as Leach's conduct does, it sets a standard for the players, too. It's like a parent with a drinking problem telling his kids not to imbibe."