Tech Leaks Leach Lawsuit ‘Settlement’ To ESPN?

ESPN.com reported today:

Former Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach and the school are headed to mediation Friday in Lubbock, Texas, sources with knowledge of the situation told ESPN.com on Tuesday.

Mike Leach accused Craig James of making inappropriate calls to his coaching staff

(ESPN’s James should just cut a check w/ Tech to Leach now)

On Jan. 21, State District Judge William Sowder ordered Leach, Texas Tech and their attorneys to complete mediation by Feb. 5. Lubbock attorney Frank E. “Dirk” Murchison III, a graduate of the Texas Tech School of Law, will try to mediate a resolution between the sides, according to the sources.

The source said neither side wants the case to go to trial and said the dispute might be resolved in mediation at a later date.

Interesting news from ESPN, if only it were true.

The LUBBOCK AVALANCHE-JOURNAL reports that Leach has absolutely no intention of settling with the school.

Rumors former Texas Tech head football coach Mike Leach and administrators are close to a settlement deal are untrue, one of Leach’s attorneys said Monday.

When asked if settlement options have been discussed, Paul Dobrowski, a Houston-based attorney on Leach’s legal team, simply replied, “No.”

Quite a gulf between ESPN’s report and the A-J’s followup story. Why would a source obviously not in the Leach camp feed such an incorrect characterization of the dispute to ESPN?

Simple, because Tech is desperate to settle the lawsuit as quickly and as quietly as possible. Leach meanwhile has all the time in the world, and $10M at stake. Not to mention what appears to be a favorable set of circumstances that will give him an edge in the proceedings.

One person in particular who would dramatically benefit from a quick, confidential settlement between Leach and Tech is Craig James. Texas Tech lawyers recently revealed in a document sent to the Texas Attorney General that the school’s investigation of Leach was spurred by a threat of legal action by the ESPN announcer against the school.

That claim from Texas Tech came to light in a school appeal to keep school documents involving the Leach firing sealed. So Texas Tech apparently is so worried about its internal investigation documents getting out that it threw James under the bus!

What does that tell you about Leach’s leverage in this case? If I was James and Tech, I’d split the $10M owed the coach 50-50 and mail a check to Margaritaville.