The evidence continues to mount that Texas Tech school administrators, faced with a wrongful termination lawsuit from former football coach Mike Leach, are in the process of intimating that ESPN’s Craig James played a major role in the dismissal of the school’s most successful coach of all-time.
Saturday Matthew McGowan of the LUBBOCK AVALANCHE-JOURNAL reports that yesterday Leach attorney Paul Dobrowski told a “room full of reporters” that Texas Tech Chancellor Kent Hance stated under oath in his Thursday deposition that James, an ESPN national college football analyst, “personally wanted Leach fired.”
Hance’s statement about James comes after Texas Tech attorneys, in a written request to the Texas Attorney General on Jan. 26 to keep public school documents about the firing secret, reported, “Craig James threatened on Dec. 20 to sue the university if it did not investigate the actions of then-head football coach Mike Leach.”
I wrote at the time of that revelation:
Tech attorneys are trying to keep all records sealed within the university as it pertains to the Leach investigation, but in the process of trying to keep those secrets, university lawyers tipped off just how much influence Craig James was trying to exert over the Texas Tech football program - and Leach himself.
The reason Tech lawyers released the statement about James’ threatened lawsuit was an attempt to prove to the state’s attorney general that the school had no choice but to go forward with its subsequent actions against Leach. And that behind-the-scenes details of those actions needed to be sealed forever.
Sounds a lot like Tech school officials are doing what they can to place the blame for the Leach investigation and subsequent dismissal of the coach on James. That would perhaps take the heat off themselves for what was an extremely unpopular decision with fans and, more importantly, donors. (Donations to the school have reportedly plummeted since Leach was fired, causing cuts in Tech academic programs.)
Though from Craig James’ perspective, the worst may be yet to come. Read more…