Some Texas Tech fans believe former coach Mike Leach still needs to be paid approximately $2 million from Texas Tech.
On Wednesday, anonymous Texas Tech fans took out a full-page ad in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal to demand that Tech pay Leach the balance of his 2009 salary.
Leach, now the coach of Washington State, was fired from Texas Tech in 2009 after the Adam James kerfuffle in which the son of former SMU player Craig James claimed to have been locked in an electrical closet after suffering a concussion while Leach said he was not treated wrongly.
Earlier that season, Leach had signed a new five-year contract with the school worth $12.7 million. After Leach's termination, the school had paid him $300,000, which was his base salary.
Leach was hired as coach of Washington State in 2012 and last year the Cougars went to the New Mexico Bowl. As part of the letter, those responsible for it say that it "would help to finally erase any negatives associated with the University and would bring fans, alumni, and the people of Lubbock and the state firmly behind this new leadership of Texas Tech."
Chancellor Robert Duncan, President Duane Nellis, and Texas Tech Regents Mickey long, Nancy Neal, John Walker, Larry Anders, Debbie Montford, John Steinmetz, John Esparaza, Rick Francis, and Tim Lancaster
The purpose of this letter is to respectfully request that the Chancellor, the President and the Regents of Texas Tech University consider the full payment of the salary for 2009 to Mike Leach. Leach was paid $300,000 of the $2.6 million 2009 salary which includes the $800,000 bonus that would have been due him for his ten-year career.
Texas Tech has a new Chancellor, four new regents, a new football coach, athletic director, and president; all who were not involved in the firing of Mike Leach. This request is not being made just because it is the right thing to do. This payment for 2009 to Leach would help to finally erase any negatives associated with the University and would bring fans, alumni, and the people of Lubbock and the state firmly behind this new leadership of Texas Tech.
Regardless of the opinion that the firing was or was not justified, the majority of fans and citizens believe this situation was handled poorly.
A previous basketball coach who was accused of player mistreatment over an extended period of time was paid over $486,000 as a buy-out for time left on his contract; time that he did not even work. Leach fulfilled all but thirty-six hours of his contact. It is the belief of this group that had there been a basis for the firing before the bowl game, there would have been a basis after the bowl game when the ten-year contact would have been completed.
The courts never decided for either party. The courts decided to uphold sovereign immunity which prevented Leach from having his case heard. Nevertheless, the truth from Adam and Craig James came out in the March 2010 depositions as follows:
Q. Did Leach ever tell you “I don’t believe you have a concussion”?
A. No, sir, he didn’t.
Q. You weren’t locked in an electrical closet for three hours, were you?
Craig James emailed Kent Hance claiming his son was forced to stand for three hours in the cold without sitting.
Q. When you wrote this email of 12/26, you did not believe Adam had been confined to the electrical closet for a total of three hours, fair?
Texas has pride in honest and integrity. Our word is our bond. Texas Tech signed a contract with Mike Leach and up to this point has refused to fulfill this contract.
Let’s do the right thing, the honorable thing.
Don’t hide behind sovereign immunity.
Pay Mike Leach his entire salary for 2009.
Alumni and fans of Texas Tech University
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