UPDATE: My current opinion of what is driving Leach suspension: Texas Tech AD Gerald Myers is using the Craig James complaint as cover to jettison Leach with cause. In the process, Meyers will avoid paying the $800,000 ‘completion bonus’ contractually due Leach this Friday.
That said, Craig James never should’ve give Meyers a chance to take this all public in the first place.
David Barron and Joesph Duarte of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE report that Mike Leach is taking legal action that could ensure he receives an $800,000 ‘completion bonus’ that is contractually due him from Texas Tech on Friday:
Leach’s attorney said the coach had not acted improperly and said he will seek a court injunction that would enable Leach to coach Texas Tech against Michigan State in the Alamo Bowl on Saturday at San Antonio.
Leach apparently will fight the suspension leveled against him Monday.
Ted Liggett, Leach’s attorney, disputed reports that the coach mistreated James.
Furthermore, Liggett said he would soon seek an injunction to overturn the suspension in hopes that Leach could coach Saturday in the Valero Alamo Bowl.
I can’t imagine that if Leach is successful in his bid to legally force his way back onto the sideline for Saturday’s game, he’ll still be the Red Raiders head coach next fall.
In my opinion the injunction is more likely designed to ensure Leach receives the bonus payment Tech owes him. Either way, I think the legal manuever by Leach likely foreshadows his departure from the school.
But unlike Mark Mangino at Kansas, Leach apparently does have plenty of support from former players, as I noted earlier today on SbB and Barron and Duart further report in their piece.
According to information obtained by the Chronicle, the doctor who treated James said he diagnosed a mild concussion and made recommendations regarding “level of activity and treatment.”
“The action taken by Mike Leach did nothing to worsen his condition, and there was no damage done by what Mike Leach did. None,” Liggett added.
In addition, Liggett said Craig James “attempted to use his influence to get his son playing time when he can’t earn it himself.” Adam James had 17 catches this season for 154 yards and a touchdown.
A series of e-mails and statements obtained by the Chronicle included praise for Leach and criticism of Adam James’ talent, attitude and work ethic, including the suggestion the player was trying to “get back” at coaches for lack of playing time.
Among those identified as writing the e-mails were former Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell, former Tech wide receiver Eric Morris, assistant coach Lincoln Riley and former assistant coach Dana Holgerson, now the offensive coordinator at the University of Houston.
So perhaps Leach’s fate isn’t sealed just yet. But if he’s to retain his gig, he’s got an uphill battle to say the least.
I’m not in any way advocating Leach’s treatment of Adam James, but in this case I think it’s reasonable to observe that Leach wouldn’t be facing this sort of dire circumstance if Adam’s father wasn’t one of the most powerful college football media members in the country.