Report: Washington St. coach Leach blasts Pac-12 officials

Leach: "Why can't I help wondering, if you're trying to manipulate wins and losses?"

Washington State coach Mike Leach accused the Pac-12 Conference of favoritism in a series of text messages, Yahoo Sports reported Friday.

The website obtained a series of texts that Leach sent to conference officials, in which he lambasted one conference official while questioning the league's commitment to player safety and asking if there was an attempt to "manipulate wins and losses."

The barrage of messages from Leach to the conference stemmed from a controversial non-call during Washington State's 39-36 loss at USC on Sept. 21.

Leach was angered that Trojans linebacker Porter Gustin was not cited for targeting following a helmet-to-helmet hit on Washington State quarterback Gardner Minshew.

Following the game, Leach would not comment on the hit by Gustin and instead directed reporters to call Woodie Dixon, the Pac-12 general counsel and senior vice president of business affairs.

Yahoo Sports reported last week that, in the same game, Dixon telephoned the press box and overruled officials on a non-targeting call by Cougars linebacker Logan Tago on USC quarterback JT Daniels. Following that report, Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott announced that the conference will overhaul its replay protocols.

Days after the game, Leach blasted Dixon in a text to Pac-12 vice president of officiating David Coleman, writing: "Woodie is a total coward and is afraid of USC. I look forward to telling him in person."

Leach also sent a direct text to Dixon in response to the non-call on Gustin's hit.

"Don't ever waste my time, making me sit through some sanctimonious speech or demonstration on player safety or targeting if you are going to continue to alibi what happened last Friday," Leach texted.

Leach also alleged partiality in another text to Dixon, noting a game versus Stanford in 2015 in which he accused Dixon of calling Washington State officials in the press box and ordering them to tell the school's band that they "were playing too loud."

"Why can't I help wondering, if you're trying to manipulate wins and losses?" Leach texted to Dixon.

That prompted a text exchange between the two men.

Answered Dixon: "Mike don't ever again accuse (me of) of manipulating wins and losses. Please show this text to your AD and have him give me a call."

Leach texted back that "I didn't accuse you of anything. I suggest that you get on sorting out those rules that I pointed out. After all, that is your job."

Dixon also wrote to Washington State athletic director Patrick Chun that he had received a "disturbing" text from the coach.

Leach and Chung both declined comment on the matter Friday, but the Pac-12 released a statement late Friday night.

"While we do not comment on private communications with coaches, if there is ever a serious allegation of any kind from a coach we follow up and discuss the matter with the relevant university athletic department and provide them with an opportunity to request an inquiry into the matter," the statement read. "No such request has been received from Washington State University."

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