Mike Leach Mess: Court Ordered Mediation Process to Be Continued

Bob StewartContributor IFebruary 6, 2010

LUBBOCK, TEXAS - NOVEMBER 1:  Head coach Mike Leach of the Texas Tech Red Raiders watches the action during the game against the Texas Longhorns on November 1, 2008 at Jones Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. (Photo by: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images



What were the possible scenarios that went on at this first mediation and where is it headed from here?

It appears that the two sides have not come to a deal that is agreeable to both sides.


From Wire Reports

Attorneys for fired Texas Tech coach Mike Leach and the university have met in mediation but reached no outcome. In a court filing late Friday, mediator Frank E. Murchison stated that mediation has recessed "pending future scheduling."

From my past experience, this first meeting was most likely a ‘what do you have'/'this is what we need’ meeting. It was basically a feeling out of how far either side will go and that includes if the Plaintiff, Mike Leach is still looking to push it to trial.

I will note that IF the University, represented by the state Attorney General really believed that the rule of sovereign immunity applied then I don’t see why further mediation would be necessary. If the Defendant here truly believes they’re shielded, why bother?

As I have outlined in my previous article, there is big a hurdle for the University to get over what with the expressed provision in the contract providing a ten (10) business day to cure. When taken in light of the undisputed fact that the time from the receipt of the “guidance” letter even if unsigned to the time of dismissal was less than 2 days at the least and 6 days at the very most, both of those time periods fall way short of the provision in the contract.

An additional factor staring the University’s administrators in their collective faces is the problem of the possible rendering of a decision on behalf of the Plaintiff that the University within the strict guidelines of the Texas Whistleblower Act caused an act of retaliation against the Plaintiff on the bogus basis of insubordination as a claim for the dismissal.

The Whistleblower law provides an employee protection from retaliation when the employee in good faith reports a violation of law (in this case breach of an expressed civil contract) to an appropriate enforcement authority and the court is recognized as an appropriate enforcement authority. So, when Mike Leach applied for an injunction and was dismissed from employment for his action it may be found as a retaliatory act for his seeking due process in the court.

So the story continues and the Board of Regents will no doubt meet again for further deliberations on how best to head off the possibilities that are outlined above.

Also: It must be kept in mind, although not so much an internal affair within the University, there’s still the matter of the veracity of the original claim by Craig James that could possibly arise from all of this in a future lawsuit, unless there’s some stipulation in a mediated agreement that may, or may not come from an out of court settlement.

Only time will tell.


Bob Stewart