Texas Tech AD needs to have his head downsized.

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Fryingpan Sports

Texas Tech AD needs to have his head downsized.

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Mike Leach

By Bill Smith

A few years ago, I saw an advertisement for low calorie hair tonic for fat headed people. What is going on in Lubbock is proof of the need for that product.

All Tech head coach Mike Leach has done is bring the step-child of the Big 12 the best seasons they ever had in football. Last year Leach took the team nearly to the pinnacle of college football with a win over Texas, a one loss regular season, a Co-championship for the Big 12 South division and legitimate shot at the national title game. Leach has led Texas Tech to 9 bowl game in his 9 seasons as head coach. This from a team that traditionally did little but provide a perfect home coming opponent for Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and the rest of the top teams in the league.

In addition to bringing the TT football program back from the dead, Leach also has maintained one of the best graduation rates in the conference.

The TT AD Gerald Myers with the support of the administration started contract negotiations with Leach’s representatives to extend his contract during the 08 season. The two parties agreed on length and dollars quickly. But what should have been an easy deal to work out the fine details has turned into a spitting contest that is being held in the press and in front of the fans.

At this point there are far more questions than answers as to what caused the dispute. According to reports from several sources, the two sides reached agreement on the basics of the new extension. There have even been unconfirmed reports that the extension had been signed by both parties. In a telephone interview, Leach said “We have an agreement both parties signed. We agreed to do two more years, and I don’t see how that could be unsatisfactory to anybody. Why anybody would have a problem with two years left on my contract, I don’t know.”

But then on January 9th, TT added 4 additional provisions to the contract including penalties for interviewing for another job without permission, the requirement of the administration to approve or disapprove speaking engagements, and a buyout to be paid by Leach if he left early. Does this remind anyone of the Boston College situation? I thought so.

Part of the problem between the parties may have been Leach hiring a PR/Management firm. He had never been particularly active in giving speeches and doing other paid outside activities. Although Leach has been mentioned in connection with several job openings, he has interviewed for only one job (University of Washington) since taking his current position. Leach hired International Marketing Group (IMG) agents, Gary O’Hagan and Matt Baldwin. According to IMG, the parties have agreed in principle on compensation terms of $12.7 million over five years.

Earlier this week Myers announced that Leach had until Tuesday, February 17th at 5:00 PM to sign the deal. After the deadline expired, Myers said in a statement “Coach Leach has declined our $12.7 million contract. We will enter the decision-making process and should have some announcements by next week. Our decisions will be based on the best interest of Texas Tech and all of its supporters.” But then Myers got slapped down by the Texas Tech Board of Regents.

The Board announced that there would be a teleconference meeting of the Board would take place Friday that would include discussion and consideration of matters “including but not limited to the position of the football head coach.” The spin that Myers put on that was that the Board was considering firing Leach.

My Analysis:

Lubbock Texas is not Austin, or Norman Oklahoma, or even Lincoln Nebraska. The football program was a disgrace before Leach came and it will be again if he is forced out. What strikes me is another case of jealousy on the part of pinhead college administrators of the notoriety and pay that successful coaches get. “Educators” have an ingrained dislike for athletics and everything that goes along with them. They are often delighted to see a coach cut down to size. Remember, it is college presidents that have blocked a true playoff system from being implemented.

TT is far from the best job in football. TT would never again get a quality coach if they were to release Leach based on this confrontation. Now, the best thing that the Regents could do is fire Myers and beg forgiveness from Leach.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

My email is [email protected]

Technorati Tags: College Football, playoffs, Texas Tech, Nebraska, Texas, Oklahoma, Leach, Washington, IMG


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Texas Tech AD needs to have his head downsized. by

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