The DALLAS MORNING NEWS has some interesting emails today that were circulated between Texas Tech Chancellor Kent Hance, Tech AD Gerald Myers and prominent Tech booster and Dallas businessman Jim Sowell during Mike Leach’s 2008 contract negotiation.
The emails may give some indication of an extremely acrimonious contract negotiation between Leach’s reps at IMG last year and Tech administrators.
Most of the 11 pages of emails is Sowell making recommendations about the terms of Leach’s contract.
As part of those recommendations, Sowell attempted to discredit Leach’s leverage with the school in one email statement I found particularly interesting.
Sowell wrote this in an email sent to AD Myers and Chancellor Vance:
Kent (Vance), their (IMG’s) latest offer is offensive. … In 9 years he (Leach) has had only one real interview. Washington (where they hired another coach in less than 24 hours after their interview with Leach). We got the report from the Miami AD on their “interview” with Leach last year in a hotel lobby.
The Kentucky job, where he was offensive coordinator for two years, has been open twice since he has been at Tech. They weren’t interested in him. Auburn wouldn’t interview him after his agent to them Mike would pay his own way to the interview!
In spite of being named (2008) Big 12 coach of the year, he is NOT a hot commodity. If he was, he’d already be gone. He has no bargaining power.
Leach has been able to do one thing that no other coach has been able to do before - make me disgusted with the Tech football program.
Sowell claimed in another email how Leach’s agent had sucessfully duped reporters into thinking the coach had interviewed for jobs at other prominent schools while still at Tech.
Again, this email is from a prominent booster privy to the details of the 2008 Leach contract negotiations. If the email is any indication, it shows just how much personal animosity had built up between a Tech booster and possibly the school’s administration and Leach.
Considering Leach’s stunning superficial success on and off-the-field, Sowell’s vitriol-laced statements about the coach really are quite remarkable. Makes you wonder if Hance and Myers shared his view. Not unreasonable to think, in my opinion, that they did.
Sowell’s perspective may go a long way to giving clues as to why the contract negotiation dragged out and why Leach was unceremoniously fired today.