Today Mike Leach filed a libel lawsuit against ESPN and Spaeth Communications. The premise of the legal action, filed in Lubbock District Court today, is essentially to allow Leach to clear his name.
But if you’ve followed the Leach vs. Texas Tech saga like I have, you know the real reason Leach is going after ESPN and Spaeth in this instance.
Last night, before Leach made his claim against ESPN and Spaeth, he executed another legal manuever that has gone largely unreported. That manuever though went a long way to revealing the real motivation behind today’s lawsuit.
From KCBD in Lubbock yesterday:
“Officials say former Texas Tech head football coach Mike Leach has dropped all legal action against the individuals named in his suit against the University.
“That included Chancellor Kent Hance, President Guy Bailey and Athletic Director Gerald Myers, plus two members of the Board of Regents Larry Anders and Jerry Turner.
“This does not mean he dropped his case against the university, just the individuals named in the lawsuit. ”This is not a new development,” says Leach’s Attorney Ted Liggett. “The parties entered into a ‘Rule 11′ agreement finalizing the judge’s decision of several months ago that no action will be taken against the individuals.
“However, Texas Tech and Craig James are still defendants.”
So Leach has dropped legal action against all persons in the Texas Tech lawsuit except James, while continuing to press his multi-million dollar claim against the school in the same case.
Think that might have something to do with the fact that it was Craig James who first set Leach’s professional life ablaze by going public with charges of abuse by Leach against James’ son?
The same Craig James who …
- five months before his abuse complaint against Leach left voicemails to two Texas Tech assistant coaches demanding that his son get more playing time - while also questioning their manhood
- browbeat Leach - against the wishes of his assistants - into giving his son Adam a scholarship when no other prominent football school was offering a full ride
- secretly hired Spaeth Communications, the company best-known for discrediting John Kerry’s military career with its “swift boat” campaign in 2004
- via Spaeth, instructed Adam James to film a video of himself in an “electrical closest” after Leach publicly disputed the abuse charges - and then endorsed the distribution of that video under a pseudonym on the web and to ESPN
- prompted Texas Tech attorneys to send a documented letter to the Texas State Attorney General’s office in which Tech attorneys claimed the only reason the school fired Leach was because James himself had threatened a lawsuit against Tech if it didn’t oust the coach
- called his dispute with Leach “a spiritual war” - implying you-know-what about the coach
In Texas Tech administrators, James did have accomplices in Leach’s firing. Though more James puppeteers than equal participants to the demise of the winningest coach - any sport - in school history. (A coach who, in his final year at the helm of the Red Raiders, led his team to the highest graduation rate for football players of any public institution in the country.)
No, this new Leach lawsuit isn’t about ESPN. Or Spaeth. Read more…