It woud be pretty hard to argue that Mike Leach has been the most successful football coach in Texas Tech history. Since coming to the school in 2000, Leach has compiled a record of 76-39, and with seven more wins he’ll become the winningest coach in school history. More importantly, his offensive gameplans have helped put the Red Raiders on the national map. So it’s no surprise that he’d like a contract extension at the school, and that the school would want to give him one.
(”You believe what they’re trying to do to me?“)
Of course, those contract negotiations haven’t been very pretty. Talks between both sides have been going on for over a year, but have recently reached an impasse. Leach and his agents have absolutely no problem with the five years and $12.7 million the school is offering, but there are four little clauses in the deal that are going to keep Leach from signing it anytime soon.
From the FORT WORTH STAR TELEGRAM:
-Leach’s existing contract guaranteed he would be paid $3.6 million of the base $9 million, about 40 percent, if he were terminated early by the university without cause. Tech’s new contract proposal only guaranteed $1.5 million, about 13.5 percent, of the base $11.1 million offer.
-Leach’s current contract has a buyout of $500,000, a 7-to-1 ratio compared to his guaranteed money for early departure. Tech’s new proposal calls for a $1.5 million buyout, the same as his guaranteed payment if he were fired.
-Leach’s existing contract doesn’t penalize or restrict him from discussing another job opportunity. Tech’s new offer dictates that Leach would have to be granted permission by [athletic director Gerald] Myers before talking to others about employment opportunities, and if he didn’t abide by those rules, he could be terminated for cause.
-Leach’s current contract allows him to control his own personal property rights, such as speaking engagements and TV and radio commercials, etc. Tech’s new proposal calls for the university to “acquire coach’s rights for outside athletics related income,” taking control from him and allowing Tech to maximize its income.
Speaking on Sporting News Radio’s The Monty Show, Leach made it clear that he doesn’t plan on accepting any of those clauses anytime soon (via COLLEGEFOOTBALLTALK).
“Well the biggest thing is… the money is not the issue, and hasn’t been for some time,” Leach said. “After negotiating for over a year, at the 12th hour they put in four restrictive clauses which we’re not going to agree to any of the four.
“So it’s pretty much out of my hands and I’m just looking forward to coaching football. I’m excited about our upcoming team, excited about our recruiting class. We had the best recruiting class since I’ve been here and I’m thrilled with that.”
The school has given Leach and his agents a February 17th deadline to accept the deal, with athletic director Myers saying if they don’t agree by then, “it pretty well explains itself.” Seems to me that Red Raiders fans better enjoy Leach while they still can.