The DALLAS MORNING NEWS is reporting that the ugly contract standoff between Mike Leach and Texas Tech is finally over. The school has called a 6 p.m. Central Time press conference to announce that Leach has agreed to a deal that will keep him in Lubbock through 2013.
The key is that there is no buyout clause in the contract, and Tech doesn’t need to give permission for Leach to interview for another job as long as he notifies the school. In other words, this new contract seems to make it fairly easy for Leach to bail on the Red Raiders for another job.
More details after the jump.
Leach met with Tech chancellor Kent Hance for almost three hours early Thursday afternoon and the two sides have agreed to Tech’s $12.7 million offer that will extend Leach’s current two-year deal three more seasons. The contract hasn’t been signed but that could take place as early as Friday, the source said.
The two sides agreed to take out the buyout in the contract altogether, the source said. Tech had wanted a $1.5 million buyout, but now Leach will become the fifth Big 12 football head coach without a buyout in his contract.
The two sides agreed to raise Leach’s guaranteed money to $2 million, the source said. Tech had offered $1.5 million in its latest offer. Both parties agreed that Leach is to give notification if he is to interview for another job, the source said, but doesn’t need Myers’ permission, as Tech had originally asked. Both sides agreed to meet in the middle on Leach’s personal property rights, the source said.
For a while it didn’t look like this was going to get done. Texas Tech gave Leach a Tuesday deadline to accept their contract offer with clauses that called for a buyout and restrictions on speaking with other schools about jobs, but Leach wasn’t having any of that. He started going on radio shows complaining about the negotiations, while his supporters held a rally on campus in his support.
Unhappy with the public nature of Leach’s ire, the school started considering just cutting him loose now, rather than deal with uncertainty in the program, which could have affected recruiting. Tech’s Board of Regents had even called a special Friday meeting to talk about Leach’s future.
But, alas, it looks like everyone is ready to make nice and get on with everything. It took nearly a year to get this thing done, which is a long time considering the whole thing’s probably going seem silly next year when Leach is bailing out to take a bigger job.