Texas Tech has confirmed that Junior Defensive End Leon Mackey was involved in an altercation over the weekend. Here are what seem to be the known facts. The Texas Tech Police did respond to a reported assault at the Texas Tech Recreation Center on Saturday. According to the university, there was a fight between two students and one of the students was hit in the face. One of the students was taken to University Medical Center. Texas Tech Athletic Department Spokesman Blayne Beale has also confirmed that Leon Mackey was in fact involved in an altercation at the Recreation Center on Saturday.
Now, the question becomes what should Tommy Tuberville and the Texas Tech coaching staff do about this incident? That really depends on what actually happened. Did Leon Mackey assault another student or was he simply defending himself? The answer to that question should go a long way in determining what should happen in this case. If it is determined that Mackey assaulted another student, and that is a big if, he should be removed from the team.
A number of alumni and fans will focus on the impact that Mackey is expected to have on the field during the upcoming season. That should not even be a consideration. The university should be committed to protecting all of the students. If there was in fact an assault, the guilty party should be held accountable. That may or may not turn out to be Leon Mackey.
It always makes for a happier campus when the sports teams are doing well. However, Texas Tech has to be about more than sports and has to protect all of its students equally. There is already a feeling following the Amaro and Williams credit card incident that Texas Tech football players consider themselves to be exempt from the rules. If any student is creating an unsafe environment for other students then he or she should be removed. The same standard should apply regardless of which student is at fault.
If Leon Mackey is the victim in this circumstance, then the university should support him and remove any student or students that might have attempted to assault him. If Mr. Mackey turned out to be the perpetrator, he should be removed. Texas Tech should have a zero tolerance policy on violence, especially when that violence results in a student winding up in the hospital.