Former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach’s lawsuit against the college, over his firing for allegedly mistreating a player who had sustained a concussion, is proceeding. Last week Leach was in Lubbock, Texas, to give a deposition for the case. http://stats.nj.com/cfb/story.asp?i=20100313045726690000201&ref=hea&tm=&src=
Leach spoke briefly to the press,, and got emotional, after finishing up his five hours of sworn testimony behind closed doors. He had at least two attorneys with him for the proceeding.
In his suit, Leach says that he didn’t mistreat sophomore receiver Adam James. In this rather bizarre case, James has accused Leach of making him stand for hours while left in a dark place during practice. James and his dad, former football player and ESPN analyst Craig James, were to have given deposition this past last Saturday.
Leach is not only denying James’s charges, in his suit he is also alleging breach of contract, slander and libel. The former coach claims it is no coincidence that he was suspended a day before Dec. 31, which is when he was to have received an $800,000 bonus.
One of Leach’s lawyers, Paul Dobrowski, told the Associated Press that the school’s chancellor Kent Hance said during his deposition that James’ father wanted the coach fired because of the way he had treated his son Adam after he got a concussion – an assertion that Leach had maintained all along.
School president Guy Bailey on Dec. 27 has sent Hance a note suggesting that Leach be sent a letter of reprimand. But Leach’s lawyers contend that Craig James pressured the school to fire Leach.
It may not help Leach’s cause that two videos were posted on ESPN.com that show him berating his team in their locker room after games in the 2009 season.
An odd aspect of this claim by Leach is the whole theory of breach of contract. The law allows parties to break contracts, just pay the damages for them. Leach has no right to continue to coach this team, only to be paid to do so. If Texas Tech is paying Leach, his case is close to frivolous. The defamation claims are spurious at best.
We commented on this case at length on this case around Christmas time. See http://www.subtlebraininjury.com/blog/2009/12 We see little the counter allegations add to what is a very dark picture of how to treat someone with a brain injury.