Arrow-right Camera
Subscribe now

WSU’s Mike Leach: NCAA rule changes an issue that needs to be addressed

Mike Leach is disturbed by the recent spate of NCAA rule changes and the Washington State coach voiced his frustrations during a pre-fall camp conference call Tuesday. The Cougars open fall camp Wednesday in Pullman. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Mike Leach isn’t necessarily bothered by a recent NCAA ruling that disallows teams from holding multiple full-contact practices on the same day. His teams at Washington State, nor those at Texas Tech, ever employed two-a-days to begin with.

The more pressing issue, according to the sixth-year Cougars coach, is the governing body’s tendency to modify rules and invent new ones willy-nilly. The hotly-debated topic of double-days just happens to be another instance of that.

“I think they should be allowed to change the rules like once every five years maybe,” offered Leach Tuesday afternoon during a pre-fall camp teleconference.

Leach and WSU will open fall camp at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Rogers Field in Pullman – not at Lewiston’s Sacajawea Junior High, where the Cougars have traditionally gone for the first week of August workouts.

That’s because when WSU booked the natural grass fields at Sacajawea, and the dorms at Lewis-Clark State that will house the Cougars during their Lewiston retreat, the NCAA had yet to broaden the preseason window in which teams are allowed to practice.

In June, the rules committee passed legislation permitting teams to start earlier, so they could still squeeze in all 29 practice sessions. Since two-a-days were never part of the regimen at WSU, the Cougars are starting only two days ahead of schedule.

“Which doesn’t hurt us,” Leach said. “It doesn’t really hurt us or anything like that. And there’s several rule change committees that impact this and it’s so bureaucratic and boring that I haven’t really gotten to the bottom of it because it’s like studying the tax code or something like that.”

The oft-opinionated Leach also pointed to the elimination of satellite camps as yet another rule modification that “deprives student-athletes of opportunity.”

“They say they’re all about opportunities and they come up with a bunch of harebrained rules on satellite camps,” he said. “And this notion that any time there’s a problem, let’s make a rule or some sideshow Bob raises his hand, ‘Oh, I’ve got a rule. Let’s make a rule. Who can invent a rule?’ OK, and so then once they do all that crap there and pretty soon they’re meeting at resorts and country clubs and stuff like that. And coming up with, I mean literally some of the stupidest rules under the sun.”

The Cougars will eventually make their way across the border following two days of practice in Pullman. WSU will spend seven days at Lewiston’s Sacjawea, from Aug. 4-11, before returning home on Aug. 13. The practices from Aug. 2-13 are open to the public.