Mike Leach claimed in a statement Tuesday that Washington State’s recent series of football player arrests is at least partly a result of unfair and disproportionate targeting by the media and Pullman police.
“We’re going to let the legal system take its course,” Leach said to a group of reporters, according to The Spokesman-Review. “But the system has to be checked if with the number of people involved in these incidents the only ones accused are football players. If that’s the case, then something is seriously wrong, which goes far deeper than whatever has even been alleged.”
His statement comes on the heels of Monday’s arrest of linebacker Logan Tago on suspicion of robbery and assault in an incident that occurred in June. The Pullman Police Department said Tuesday that Tago was arrested, photographed and fingerprinted Monday and then immediately released from jail.
That occurred three weeks after the arrest of safety Shalom Luani amid accusations of breaking a man’s nose during a dispute outside a pizza restaurant in Pullman.
In addressing both incidents in his statement Tuesday, Leach went on to ask why the police in Pullman were only targeting football players.
“If the other guilty parties are not accused or charged, there needs to be an extensive investigation as to why,” Leach said. “How in the world can only football parties be guilty in events depicted like this? It is irresponsible to this town, this community and everybody to have some kind of a double standard where we only focus on one demographic, one group of people and then drag their name through the newspaper with a bunch of irresponsible comments.”
Police Commander Chris Tennant told The Spokesman-Review on Monday that the 22-year-old Luani became verbally abusive when his order took too long and then he struck the victim. Luani, an honorable mention All-Pac-12 player in 2015, was arrested on suspicion of second-degree assault, a felony, and released.
Police did not release any details of Tago’s alleged crimes.
The 6-foot-3, 235-pound sophomore played in the Cougars’ first two games this season, but it was not known if he would play Saturday against Idaho.