By their questionable actions has the administration at Texas Tech University placed themselves in a no win situation?
If the powers to be are so sure that their original action was the correct decision in dismissing Mike Leach, the most successful coach in the history of their university’s football program for what now appears to be a fairly flimsy excuse of insubordination, then why bother to mediate at all?
To answer that question one must understand the following: What could possibly be the lasting outcome if the parties fail to work out a fair and reasonable stipulated settlement of this lawsuit that Mike Leach has filed?
If the case proceeds to trial and the judge allows the university to hide behind the veil of sovereign immunity and dismisses the case, will the university be risking a never-ending future of negative speculation from the dark cloud that will continue to hang over this affair for the foreseeable future?
Legends and myths in athletic programs have been made and have endured on much less substance than the chain of events that have led up to this current situation. People who are passionate about sports have a way of never letting go. That is what makes them fans. They are fanatical. They tell their children, and their children tell their children and pass it on for generations, especially in such a tight knit community such as Lubbock.
Currently, for many there is still only a vague perception of what transpired and it has not totally been answered. This affair may never be fully answered. But to those closest to the mess, specifically the students and the rabid supporters of the football team, in addition to the university faculty are no doubt still mulling the events and trying to make sense of the past month and half.
Some of these folks have sided with the university administrators. Others have staked their claim with the "Pirate." And those who most likely come closest to the truth perceive that nobody was right -- and everybody was wrong to a degree in the mishandling of this whole affair. And these are the people who really count, the entire university community. Those who wish to maintain the pride and honor that is the true foundation of their university.
Most importantly, the university community are the last who should be required to shoulder the brunt of feeling that the outside world, as close as downtown Lubbock and as distant as Seattle and Miami are looking negatively upon this institution on the West Texas plain. They should never be placed in that position, especially due to the inability of those entrusted to lead by example, the administrators who are tasked with maintaining the pride and honor of their university.
And hopefully, this is why the powers to be at the university are currently mediating, or at least it should be.
The thing to really keep in mind, as I said earlier, legends and myths have endured on much less substance than the chain of events that have led up to this current situation. I am fairly certain that no one really wishes to be remembered into the foreseeable future as the legendary bad guy in this story.
Finding an agreeable middle ground through mediation will assure that no one ends up being saddled as the bad guy.
Are you listening Chancellor Hance and President Bailey?
The university community is waiting.