Posted on: January 2, 2010 12:27 pm
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Mike Leach In Trouble From the Very Beginning

I've been following this whole Mike Leach vs. Texas Tech fiasco from afar and tried to come to what I would consider a fair and reasonable conclusion to what my thoughts are on the entire thing. From what I have gathered, Tech athletic director Gerald Myers has wanted to fire Coach Leach for about a year now and Adam James coming forward claiming he was mistreated by Leach gave Myers the perfect opportunity to get exactly what he wanted, which was to force Leach out. Remember, Leach and the athletic department have had more than their share of differences over the years. That hit its peak when the two sides had a more than difficult time coming to an agreement on a contract extension for Leach, which they finally did for 5 years and $12.7 million after months of disagreement. 

As everyone knows by now, Adam James claims he was put in the dark for hours and also locked in an electrical closet after Leach found out during a day at practice that he was suffering from a concussion. Coach Leach doesn't deny placing James in the dark, but claims there were trainers watching him at all times while he was in the dark. Current acting offensive coordinator and many others such as former great Red Raider QB Graham Harrell have come out in support of Coach Leach saying that he would never put one of his players in danger. To me, this entire thing got blown way out of proportion. Is Coach Leach completely innocent in all of this? My guess is no, he did something wrong. However, I don't believe it's nearly to the extent that Adam James and his father as well as current ESPN college football analyst Craig James are saying.

Still, when these allegations of mistreatment came out, you knew Mike Leach was in trouble in regards to his job. Even Leach admitted this when he made the comment saying he'd be surprised if he wasn't eventually fired by the university. Turns out he was right. Before Leach and his lawyer could go to court to try and lift his suspension which would have allowed him to coach in the Alamo Bowl, the university handed him a letter which had a message that he was terminated 'effective immediately' and "with cause." No doubt this is only the beginning of what will be a long, long battle in court between Leach and the university. There are no real winners in this aside from the lawyer of Mike Leach and the lawyers the university will hire. They live for this. In the case of Adam James, lots of people are already considering him 'soft', among other things. For Craig James, he's coming across to some people as a guy with an agenda since his son wasn't getting enough playing time at Texas Tech for his liking. For Mike Leach, his job at Texas Tech is no more and he may have a very difficult time finding a job for quite some time given the seriousness of these accusations against him.

For now though, his major battle(s) will not be coming on the gridiron, but rather in court. Unless further evidence of mistreatment towards players that we don't yet know about comes out in court, I think he has a pretty good case against the university for wrongful termination. However, there's no way the entire story has yet come out and considering the university will undoubtedly be able to hire the best attorneys money will buy in this lawsuit against them. For whatever it's worth, Mike Leach has a law degree from the University of Pepperdine, so there's no doubt he and his lawyer will also be able to come up with a great case of their own. Texas Tech better have a great case against Coach Leach, otherwise they may have just been better off firing him "without cause" and agreeing to a $1.6 million buyout. Given the multiple disagreements between Leach and the athletic department in the past though, they obviously had no interest in paying Leach more money than they already have.

 
 
 
 
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