Mike Leach has been said to have three non-negotiable rules in his program at Washington State – don’t be violent towards women, don’t do illegal drugs, and don’t steal. Players caught breaking any one of those three rules, or as Leach calls them the “three sins,” will be dismissed from the team.
That leads us to this story from Deadspin, who notes that corner Zaire Webb has filed a lawsuit against Leach alleging that he “inconsistently applied the rule to him.” Webb, and a teammate, were caught and charged with third-degree misdemeanors back in October after being caught stealing from a Walmart. Webb and the other player wer dismissed from the team and had his scholarship taken away three days after the incident.
The charges against Webb were later dropped due to insufficient evidence.
Webb played for Wazzu as a freshman, and alleges that a number of other players have broken the three sins rule, only to get a slap on the wrist. The suit lists a number of other players who remained on the team following their transgressions that ranged from domestic violence to assault, to felony robbery.
According to Deadspin, when Leach dismissed Webb back in October he noted: “A consistent standard needs to be maintained in dealing with the conduct of our players. Every player is held to the same standards here and we have demonstrated that talent, athletic ability, age, or classification have no bearing on whether we keep or remove a player that violates any of our team policies.”
Obviously, Webb’s suit implies otherwise.
Only time will tell what becomes of this whole situation, but it’s a solid reminder to the coaching profession of the extra value that lies in making sure your set of team rules apply to everyone on your team, or a disgruntled player or parent may try to sue you.