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#pounditWednesday, March 22, 2023

Mike Leach has hilarious response to question about officiating

Mike Leach on the sidelines

Oct 2, 2021; College Station, Texas, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs head coach Mike Leach argues a call while playing against the Texas A&M Aggies in the third quarter at Kyle Field. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Mississippi State was on the wrong end of some questionable calls in their blowout loss to Georgia last weekend, but the typically outspoken Mike Leach has not said anything publicly about the officiating. He has a very good reason for remaining quiet.

During Wednesday’s SEC coaches teleconference, Leach was asked by a reporter how he would grade the officiating in the conference this season. He called the question “ridiculous.”

“That’s obviously a ridiculous question,” Leach said, via Stefan Krajisnik of the Clarion Ledger. “You know that unless I plan to spend some money, but I’ll tell you what — you go ahead and mail me a check. I think $30,000 will cover it, although I would want to check the market first. You go ahead and mail me the check, and I’ll give you one heck of an answer.”

Obviously, Leach was referring to the fine he would have to pay if he publicly criticized SEC officiating.

Mississippi State appeared to set the tone early against Georgia when they recovered a fumble in their own territory. Officials ruled that forward progress had been stopped, however. There was also a missed intentional grounding call that should have gone against Georgia and a blatant block in the back penalty on a 70-yard touchdown run from Georgia.

The final score was 45-19, so it is unlikely that any of those calls impacted the outcome. Still, it would be understandable if the officiating frustrated Leach and his team. For now, the coach will just stick with giving out wedding advice. At least that doesn’t cost him thousands of dollars.


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