A Winner Loses
With super-wide splits in his offensive line and a pass-happy attack, the innovative Mike Leach won a lot of games on the field for Texas Tech. But now he can’t beat his former employer in court.
The Texas Supreme Court ruled earlier this month against Leach and in support of two previous lower court rulings, effectively ending Leach’s lawsuit against Texas Tech over his 2009 firing. (Hard to believe five and a half years have passed!) The coach, who is now the head man at Washington State, had been accused of abusing a player who had sustained a concussion. Leach supposedly confined said player to a small, dark rooms on two occasions while his teammates practiced. The Red Raider in question was Adam James, the son of former star SMU running back Craig James and, at the time of Leach’s dismissal, an ESPN broadcaster.
Leach also sued for libel and slander, making defendants of the elder James, ESPN and the PR firm Spaeth Communications. A Texas judge ruled against Leach’s allegations and in favor of James
et al in 2013.
Leach rung up ten winning seasons in his ten years at Texas Tech, averaging 8.4 wins per season.
He has not been able to match his success at Tech in his three years at Washington State, as the Cougars are only 12-25 overall and 7-20 in Pac-12 play.
Outside linebacker / defensive end Dante Fowler Jr., the #3 overall pick out of Florida in this year’s NFL Draft, will likely miss the entire season for the Jacksonville Jaguars after tearing his left anterior cruciate ligament in his first practice at rookie minicamp.
One day later third round pick Jeff Heuerman, a tight end from Ohio State, also tore his left ACL in a special teams practice for the Denver Broncos. He, too, is expected to be out for the season.