This week I’ve confirmed that at least one school in the ACC, SEC, and PAC-12 has legitimate interest in hiring Mike Leach as its football coach. Remarkable news considering Leach was quite literally blacklisted by schools with job openings last season because of the coach’s wrongful termination lawsuit against Texas Tech.
(Schools now warming to Leach as Supreme Court case awaits)
So why the change?
After he was blackballed last offseason, Leach released an autobiographical book called, Swing Your Sword. The book contained emails obtained from open records requests that indicated a plot by Tech officials and Craig James to unfairly characterize the coach’s forced departure from the school.
As the architect of one of the greatest program turnarounds in college football history, which just as significantly included a stellar graduation rate and NCAA rules compliance, Leach probably would’ve eventually been offered coaching opportunities in the future. But there are early indications that the path to those opportunities may have sped up considerably thanks to the stark revelations contained in Swing Your Sword.
Though that hasn’t prevented multiple schools interested in Leach’s future services to informally inquire about the status of his lawsuit against Texas Tech, which is currently in a holding pattern in the Texas Supreme Court. More specifically, some of the schools interested in the coach want to know if he would consider dropping all legal action against Texas Tech - and ESPN - as a condition for being offered a position with that school.
Of that scenario, Leach told Victor Rodriguez and Matt Minkus of 110podcast.com two days ago:
“I probably wouldn’t (drop lawsuits). I’d have to look at it.”
Though knowing Tech administrators as we now know them from their confirmed email correspondence displayed in Swing Your Sword and media reports, they probably wouldn’t be beneath attempting to delay a settlement if they knew such a move could harm Leach’s future job prospects.
If Leach somehow loses the Texas Supreme Court proceeding against Tech, the school will be completely freed of its contractual obligations to the coach.
Leach’s lawsuit against ESPN figures to only remain in play until the coach gains an attractive coaching offer.
Lawyers for Texas Tech and Leach were granted an “extension of time” by the Texas Supreme Court on October 12 in order to give both sides more time to prepare their arguments. An earlier extension granted by The Court in the same case lasted less than a month, so Leach is likely to be freed from his Texas Supreme Court obligation, at the least, before the end of the football season.