Dismissed Washington St. player sues school, Mike Leach over dismissal

Washington State head coach Mike Leach looks on from the sidelines during the first half of the Holiday Bowl NCAA college football game against Michigan State Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

A former Washington State player has sued Mike Leach and the school over his dismissal from the team in the fall of 2017.

Defensive back Zaire Webb says Leach is inconsistent in his player discipline protocols. Webb was dismissed from the team after he was cited for misdemeanor shoplifting after a shopping trip to Wal-Mart. The charge was eventually dismissed, but Webb was unable to rejoin the team and his athletic aid was canceled.

Webb claims the school’s policy is to suspend a player from his or her team if charges are pending regarding an incident. Webb was cited on Oct. 4 and dismissed the next day. On Oct. 9, he said he found out he was losing his financial aid.

He appealed the scholarship loss and says Leach provided a statement for the hearing. Here’s what the statement said, per the suit filed March 2.

 “Our team rules are repeated regularly within the football program and there is no uncertainty where we stand in regard to upholding them. It is our consistent policy to dismiss any member of our football team that violates any of the following: (1) do not do drugs, (2) do not steal, (3) do not hit a woman and (4) do not do anything to hurt the team.”

“In the months leading up to his dismissal, Zaire was involved in a series of events that called to question his commitment to the football program, as well as came into direct conflict with our team rules. Zaire played as a true freshman on our football team in the first few games of this season and it was not our desire to remove him from our team. He was performing on special teams and we can only assume with time in our program he would have continued to improve on the field.”

The suit then lists multiple instances of what it says are Leach not adhering to his dismissal policy. It cites the school’s handling of the situation surrounding linebacker Logan Tago.

Tago was accused of assault and robbery in 2016 after allegedly jumping another man for his beer. He agreed to a plea deal regarding the incident and spent a month in jail and did community service, for which he received a school award.

Tago was suspended from the team and currently remains on the roster He had 24 tackles as a junior in 2017.

It also cites Grant Porter’s assault charge from November of 2017. Porter allegedly assaulted his girlfriend and the charges are still pending. He is still on the team and also listed on Washington State’s spring football roster.

Webb’s suit seeks unspecified damages. A school spokesperson declined comment to Deadspin, which first reported on it. 

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.