HOUSTON (CBS Houston) – If anyone was still questioning whether Mike Leach’s return to the sidelines could elicit the same kind of interest he had during his time at Texas Tech, the college all-star game he helps oversee with his partner, a Houston-area strip club guide publisher with legal troubles, may be a fair indication that “the Pirate” hasn’t changed a bit.
In January of this year, Leach, the new Washington State football coach and embattled former head man for Texas Tech, organized the inaugural Casino del Sol College All-Star Game for seniors heading toward the NFL Draft through Arizona Sports Group, LLC, a business he helped incorporate in 2010. His co-manager of the business is a Houston-area man named John Gray, who is the publisher for a string of regional strip club guides, overseeing titles such as “Adult Quest,” “Wildscene,” and “Risque Business.”
On the all-star game’s website, it lists Gray as having been a former active board member for the EV1.NET Houston Bowl, as well as holding other roles with the Dallas Mavericks and the Mississippi Gamblers of the USBL. It does not, however, list his adult-affiliated position. But as Seattle Weekly reports, Gray’s background is one that also included him overseeing Lone Star Pornutopia in Houston, hosting an annual industry gathering of porn stars from 2007 to 2009. Big industry names such as Ron Jeremy and Ginger Lynn were in attendance for the parties hosted by Leach’s current business partner.
But Gray’s recent past remains checkered. Last year, Gray was sued in federal court by an Austin photographer who alleged that Gray had stolen $240,000 worth of copyrighted photos that Gray had used in his magazines without the photographer’s permission. Leann Collins, the photographer, attempted to reach out to the one of Gray’s publications, but was met with an almost incomprehensible response from a Gray employee named Ginger Johnson, who wrote “f— you” in the subject line. The suit is still ongoing, according to public filings.
Gray’s background and his association with Leach is the latest eyebrow-raising tale in what has been an interesting couple years for Leach, highlighted by his public falling out with Texas Tech, his eventual dismissal from the university, and the legal battle with the school and ESPN over allegations he mistreated a player with concussion symptoms. Earlier this month, Leach was named Washington State’s new head coach, hoping to continue a coaching career that’s been put on hold the past couple years.
Leach and Gray’s college all-star game is scheduled to take place at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium in Tucson, Ariz., and will be broadcast on Fox Sports Arizona, according to the game’s website.