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18 players have left WSU football since Mike Leach arrived; a closer look

While some are quick to criticize coach Mike Leach for the player attrition since he arrived at Washington State, there's a trend among the players who left that says it's not a bad thing.


Mike Leach has struggled in his first year as the Washington St. Cougars' football coach. Where UCLA, Arizona and ASU have seen varying degrees of success under their first-year head coaches, even more pressure has been put on Leach in Pullman, Wash., and a 2-8 record hasn't made things easier.

It also hasn't helped that 18 players have left the program since Leach arrived. But while some people are quick to blame Leach for the player attrition, Jason Puckett of Sports Radio KJR begs to differ.

It doesn't matter what program it is, player attrition is inevitable when a new staff takes over. However, the narrative from some has been that "18 players have left the WSU program because of Leach." That notion is absurd and factually incorrect and it's lazy on the part of some who work in the media.

Players leaving after a new coach is brought in is nothing new. It's happened when former head coach Paul Wulff took over as well, as 13 players left WSU during that coaching change.

Puckett continues on by breaking down each departure individually. A number of the departures were for either legal issues or violations of team rules. Another group came because of career-threatening injury. Many cited playing time issues or a disagreement with the coaching staff.