WSU Athletic Director Bill Moos and President Kirk Schulz will meet with the Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins this week to discuss the growing friction between the police and the WSU football program.
Washington State Athletic Director Bill Moos and President Kirk Schulz could meet with Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins on Thursday to discuss the growing friction between the football program and the Pullman police, ESPN.com reported Wednesday evening.
This comes after WSU football coach Mike Leach told reporters on Tuesday evening that he thought the police were unfairly targeting his players in their investigation of three assault incidents that took place over the summer.
In comments to ESPN, Moos said Leach was “doing what any good football coach would do.”
“He’s trying to protect his players,” Moos told ESPN. “There is no coach I’ve ever been around in my long career as an athletic director that is more of a disciplinarian than Mike Leach. He’s got solid rules that pertain to drug testing, assault of women, and robbery that are no-tolerance. He’s tough on fighting, too.”
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Moos said he was aware of Leach’s feelings about the relationship between the police and the football team and that he stood behind his football coach and his “desire to protect his players when they are accused of things, and when there may in fact be more to the story.”
Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins told The Seattle Times on Wednesday that he disagreed with “the characterization that our staff in targeting football players.”
Jenkins did, however, provide more details to some of the cases Leach referenced in his statement to reporters Tuesday night.
For instance, in the case involving Shalom Luani, whom police are recommending be charged with second degree assault, Jenkins said Tuesday that Luani told police he was jumped by five or six men and that they tore his shirt off and gave him a concussion.
These facts were not made public before because Jenkins said they emerged later in the investigation, after initial reports were first made.
Jenkins was complementary of Moos and Leach in an interview on Wednesday, saying, “Since Coach Leach has been here, and coach (Ernie) Kent, and Bill Moos, there’s been a lot of improvement in student-athlete conduct in the community. I think they’ve done a lot to make those improvements and I respect what they’ve done. I think these latest incidents are an anomaly and exception to the rule. It looks bad because (there were) so many incidents in a short time, but I still respect what they’ve done.”