Blog Entry

Mike Leach should just let this go

Posted on: January 21, 2011 11:36 am
Edited on: July 12, 2011 12:57 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The Associated Press reported this morning that an appeals court has dismissed Mike Leach's lawsuit claiming that Texas Tech had committed a breach of contract  when they fired him in January of last year, and denied his claims for monetary damages. But not surprisingly -- given Leach's by-now famously stubborn temperament and own law degree -- Leach and his representation say they will file an appeal of the ruling, and hope to take the case to the Texas Supreme Court.

This may or may not be the right move, legally speaking. (This blogger is certainly no lawyer.) But in terms of Leach's coaching career, currently in a state of suspended animation, the appeal won't do anything to help get him back on the sidelines.

Because at this point, it's fair to assume that Leach's legal entanglements have become a major roadblock between Leach and his next head coaching gig. 22 schools hired new head coaches this offseason, and only Maryland gave Leach so much as an interview. For a coach with Leach's oft-stated (very oft-stated) desire to return to coaching and his impeccable resume -- exciting offenses, high graduation rates, no NCAA trouble, a legitimate national championship contender built in the relative hinterlands of Lubbock -- the snubs are otherwise inexplicable.

Take the case of Dana Holgorsen, a Leach disciple running Leach's offense. Why is he one of the hottest coaching commodities in the country, even without any head coaching experience at the FBS level, while Leach -- who all-but-invented the offense Holgorsen runs and has a decade of highly successful head coaching under his belt -- can't get a sniff? Why hire the guy you're hoping becomes the next Leach when you can just hire the real thing?

The only logical answer is Leach's reputation for prickliness and the ugliness of the legal dispute between himself and Texas Tech. As one official at a BCS-conference school told Sports Illustrated :
"When you're looking for the promise of a new day, you don't want to have to account for those cloudy days from years past," said a senior athletic administrator whose BCS-conference school had a recent opening but never considered Leach. "Wherever he is hired, it's going to be difficult not to have that opening press conference and those opening profiles include what happened at Texas Tech."
Leach may eventually have his day in court. But it looks like that day, more than ever, may cost him years of his coaching prime. If he's serious about getting back to football (and about repairing his image, fair or not, as an unmanageable maverick), it's likely long beyond the point where the appeal should have been dropped.

Since: Nov 8, 2006
Posted on: January 21, 2011 11:19 pm

Mike Leach should just let this go

I am sure Mike Leach holds free career and legal advice from an online journalist in very high regard.

Since: Jul 24, 2008
Posted on: January 21, 2011 9:47 pm

Texas Tech Sucks!

Texas Tech getting soverign immunity is just another example of how government establishments can do any corrupt thing that they want to: and they will never be held accountable for their actions.

I will make sure that I put away all of my Tech apearal as I raise my kids.  I do not want to indoctrinate them to such low standards for a school.....this being the school that I went to.

I think they can do much better than Texas Tech.  Now I know why I moved away from Lubbock.  The small mindedness and the world view of the people and politicians of that place is sad....very sad.

Since: Jan 17, 2007
Posted on: January 21, 2011 7:55 pm

Mike Leach should just let this go

I think you guys backing Leach are wrong, and the article has it right.  But it is what it is...he's not going to drop anything.  I think it would be interesting to see him hired as the OC at Okla State to run Holgerson's offense, which is Leach's offense...whatever!  The Cowboys have a fantastic offense coming back almost intact, with the primary loss (Kendall Hunter) being well-replaced by Joseph Randle (Soph) and Jeremy Smith (Jr).  One and done, then promote from within.

Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: January 21, 2011 7:17 pm

Mike Leach should just let this go

This isn't doing him any good. I understand wanting to prove he was wronged, but at what cost? Is it worth his career? Sometimes, you have to cut bait  and move on. Leach is a good coach and an innovator. He'd be a great hire for many a program. However, why would anyone hire him after seeing this messy divorce?

Since: Nov 12, 2007
Posted on: January 21, 2011 6:55 pm

Mike Leach should just let this go

Only 1 school interviewed him.  No one else will touch him!   In all likelihood, Leach could have had the MD job but wouldn't let his lawsuit go.  1 month later, he has no case, no head coaching gig, and at least 12 months to wait before another opportunity shows up. 
May be a good coach, but a poor decision maker.

Since: Nov 14, 2007
Posted on: January 21, 2011 2:23 pm

Mike Leach should just let this go

Career wise it may be better to let it go but I hope he keeps fighting.  To bad Craig James and his sorry ass excuse of a kid can't go down for this as well!

Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: January 21, 2011 1:40 pm

Mike Leach should just let this go

I guess Texas Tech messed with the wrong SOB.  He isn't going to sit back and accept what they did like other coaches have.  Kudos to going after them.  Either way, he was successful and will get back in because of it.

Since: Apr 7, 2008
Posted on: January 21, 2011 1:14 pm

Mike Leach should just let this go

The only thing about the whole process that I believe may still help Leach, is that while this ruling made it impossible (barring appeal) to get a cash settlement from Texas Tech, the courts could still rule in his favor concerning wrongful termination. So while he won't get any cash out of it (cash he probably doesn't really need anyway) he could in essence clear his name from the debacle at Texas Tech and then have a fantastic answer for any question pertaining to Texas Tech at any future press conference: "I was fired improperly, end of story."

So I certainly agree with the post that he needs to get this all sorted out before he will get back into the game, but I do believe there would be some value in having a judge decree that he was improperly fired.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or