Sunk: Paving Over The Pirate’s Parking Space

No word yet if the Texas Tech administration has painted over the custom-painted parking spot of Mike Leach:

Mike Leach Pirate Parking Spot

If Texas Tech athletic director Gerald Myers hasn’t yet, he’s probably busy trying to get the video of Pat Knight’s festival of f-bombs on Tuesday night deleted off Youtube.

Mike Leach Craig James in court

In case you missed Leach putting Craig James and his son Adam on blast on ESPN-TV last night, you can watch it after the jump.

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Mike Leach Releases Official Statement To Public

Here’s the statement released by Mike Leach to the public regarding his ouster today:

“I want everyone to know what a privilege and pleasure it has been to teach and coach more than 400 student-athletes at Texas Tech University over the past 10 years.

Mike Leach Fired

When I arrived at Texas Tech, the football program was on NCAA probation and the graduation rate was far below the national average. However, in the past 10 years, Tech has been to 10 straight bowl games, has the third best record in the Big 12 Conference, and has the highest graduation rate for football players of any public institution in the country.

Over the past several months, there have been individuals in the Texas Tech administration, Board of Regents and booster groups who have dealt in lies, and continue to do so. These lies have led to my firing this morning. I steadfastly refuse to deal in any lies, and am disappointed that I have not been afforded the opportunity for the truth to be known.

Texas Tech’s decision to deal in lies and fabricate a story which led to my firing, includes, but is not limited by, the animosity remaining from last year’s contract negotiations. I will not tolerate such retaliatory action; additionally, we will pursue all available legal remedies.

These actions taken by Texas Tech have severely damaged my reputation and public image. In addition, Texas Tech has caused harm to not only my family, but to the entire Red Raider nation and the sport of college football.

As you know, I prefer to engage in question and answer sessions; however, in this instance my counsel has advised me to simply make a statement. There will be time to answer questions about this issue in the future, but the serious legal nature of this situation prevents me from going into further detail at this time.”

Is it reasonable to think that the “lies” Leach is referring to have nothing to do with the specific incident with Adam James? That said, I don’t think this is the last we’ll hear about James and his father, ESPN announcer Craig James.

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Emails: Leach Only 1 Job Interview In Nine Years?!

The DALLAS MORNING NEWS has some interesting emails today that were circulated  between Texas Tech Chancellor Kent Hance, Tech AD Gerald Myers and prominent Tech booster and Dallas businessman Jim Sowell during Mike Leach’s 2008 contract negotiation.

Mike Leach email: Claimed he only had one job interview in nine years

The emails may give some indication of an extremely acrimonious contract negotiation between Leach’s reps at IMG last year and Tech administrators.

Most of the 11 pages of emails is Sowell making recommendations about the terms of Leach’s contract.

As part of those recommendations, Sowell attempted to discredit Leach’s leverage with the school in one email statement I found particularly interesting. Read more…

Texas Tech’s Termination Letter To Mike Leach

Here is the termination letter sent by Texas Tech President Guy Bailey to football coach Mike Leach today:

Mike Leach Termination Letter

More coverage on Leach’s firing here and here.

Report: Leach, TT Reps Negotiating a Settlement

Joe Schad reports this afternoon on Twitter and ESPN-TV that contract settlement discussions are underway between Texas Tech and reps for Mike Leach. Schad also noted a 10-day “cure period” that Leach’s reps will claim will entitle the coach to an $800,000 “retention bonus” that is contractually due him tomorrow.

Mike Leach Attorney Ted Liggett After Leach Firiing

(Video link)

Bruce Feldman of ESPN reports that he spoke to Leach earlier today. Feldman said that the coach today, “realized Tech was just looking for a reason to get rid of him and that this is a relationship that couldn’t be salvaged.”

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Coach Mike Leach Has Been Fired by Texas Tech

Mike Leach has been fired by Texas Tech.

Mike Leach Fired

Leach attorney Ted Liggett made the announcement inside a Lubbock courtroom today following his meeting with Judge Bill Sowder and Texas Tech officials in Sowder’s chambers.

The firing comes one day before Leach was to receive an $800,000 “completion bonus” from Texas Tech. Read more…

Adam James Coach: ‘Lazy, selfish, not a D1 player’

Highly-touted University of Houston offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen, who was the position coach for Adam James at Texas Tech the year James joined the team, had harsh words in an email to Tech university officials about the son of ESPN broadcaster Craig James.

Dana Holgerson slams Adam James

Holgorsen’s email also indicates an acute betrayal by Adam James of Texas Tech coach Mike Leach, who Holgorsen alleged was the only Division I coach offering Adam a scholarship. A fact I have independently corroborated with a Texas high school football recruiting expert.

From Lubbock’s Fox 26:

Holgorsen worked for (Mike) Leach at Texas Tech for eight years, the last three as offensive coordinator. FOX 26 Sports has obtained a copy of the e-mail written by Holgorsen.

“I am writing this letter on behalf of Mike Leach in regards to the Adam James situation,” Holgorsen writes in his e-mail. “I was the inside receiver coach at Texas Tech when we made the decision (to) sign Adam James in January of 2007. Adam had no offers to play NCAA D1 football during and after his senior year. After a conversation between Coach Leach and Adam’s father Craig, Coach Leach acquired a brief highlight tape of Adam and made the decision to take him as a scholarship student athlete.

“I was opposed to doing so in (the) belief he was not a D1 football player,” Holgorsen writes in his e-mail. “Coach Leach overrode my opinion and Adam became a Red Raider. During the rest of my time at Texas Tech I was Adam’s position coach where I always remained critical of Adam’s ability to play at this level due to being lazy in not only the classroom but also in the offseason and during practice.

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Video: ‘Shed’, ‘Electrical Closet’ At Texas Tech

KCBD-TV in Lubbock has video of the “shed” and “electrical closet” where Adam James was held at Mike Leach’s direction during Texas Tech practices two weeks ago.

Video of Texas Tech shed

The shed actually looks to be a modern equipment garage replete with ice maker and ventilation. (And it’s December.) The “electrical closet“? Actually a room where media conducts interviews with players in front of an AT&T advertising banner.

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Wed. 10am Hearing Likely To Decide Leach Fate

The LUBBOCK AVALANCHE-JOURNAL reports Tuesday afternoon that the attorney of Mike Leach has “filed a motion in a Lubbock district court seeking a hearing and a temporary restraining order against the university, seeking Leach’s reinstatement.”

Texas Tech 'Shed' Where Mike Leach Banished Adam James

(Closed-door hearing: Advantage Leach?)

What followed:

State District Judge William Sowder set a 10 a.m. closed-session hearing on a request for a temporary restraining order and injunction to block Texas Tech’s suspension of head football coach Mike Leach. The attorney general’s office will represent Tech.

Leach’s attorney, Ted Liggett, claims the school’s deal with the coach does not allow it to suspend the coach.

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Leach Lawyer Moves To Try To Block Suspension

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:

Adam James Texas Tech Craig James Mike Leach

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. Read more…