Minutes after Texas Tech head football coach Mike Leach was dismissed from his job due to allegations he twice locked a player with a concussion in confined spaces, university officials uncovered a closet full of former and current Red Raiders players in Leach's old office.
"Obviously, had we known these young men were locked away in his office closet, we would have fired him long ago," said Texas Tech president Guy Bailey. "But I am happy to report that everyone seems to be okay, although the players are very gaunt and dehydrated."
"It sure is great to see Graham Harrell again," said athletics director Gerald Myers. "I always wondered what happened to him. Turns out he was stuck on a shelf next to a box of copier paper all this time."
Officials are still gathering information from the players who were locked away, but those strong enough to speak say they were punished by Leach for everything from missing a block and being late to practice, to getting hurt or touching Leach's pirate paraphernalia without permission.
"He has a lot of cool pirate stuff in his office," said former wide reciever Mark Dyson, who people thought left the program in 2006. "There's a full-sized skeleton pirates. But he doesn't like you to touch it. As I learned quite well."
Texas Tech officials have begun a search of other closets Leach had access to at both the football offices and the team's stadium.
"I remember hearing something from a closet in the basement of the stadium earlier this season," said Myers. "I thought a mop or something fell off a shelf. But maybe our defense is locked in there."
Leach's longtime secretary, Myra Thomas, says somewhere Leach has a pirate map of the Texas Tech campus with all of his closets marked with Xs.
"He took it with him, though," says Thomas. "That and his sword."