Mike Leach And Texas Tech Are Far From a Done Deal

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Mike Leach And Texas Tech Are Far From a Done Deal

As most fans, alums, and supporters of Texas Tech are well aware, the Mike Leach mess is still brewing.

Here at the Bleacher Report, back on February 02, 2010 I wrote an opinion entitled: The Leach Debacle: Are The Rules and Procedures Only a One-Way Street?

Here is what I wrote that is the crux of my opinion:

We have all heard more than enough emotionally driven rhetoric and hyperbole that has surrounded this dark affair. But when you cut through the BS and get down to the matter of the real facts it appears on the surface that the administrators handling this situation committed the cardinal sin of not following verbatim their very own operating policies and procedures.

First off ... This is no private run-by-the-seat-of-your pants common business operation.

Texas Tech University is a public institution given authority to operate by the State Legislature, in Chapter 109.00 of the Texas Education Codes. Texas Tech University is bound by law in Chapter 109.21 of the Texas Education Code, that delegates to the Board of Regents the power and authority to govern, control, and direct the policies of TTU and therefore the Board of Regents is bound by law to operate within all Operating Policies and Procedures outlined in the Texas Tech University Operating Policy and Procedures manual.

--snip--

...the dismissal breached the contract in so far as the following:

  • The university did NOT honor nor provide the allotted time for cure as distinctly expressed in Mike Leach's contract.

That being: "10 business days to cure . . ."

  • In addition, the university in it’s own Operating Policy and Procedures delineates the procedures that shall be followed yet were not followed by the university to allow for an employee complaint and or grievance to be filed and to be investigated before the notice of dismissal was issued.

Mike Leach’s contract expressly stated and provided for a “10 business days to cure” provision in which time period Mike Leach could/read shall be provided by TTU OP 70.10 Item 2 Procedures, pg 3 to file a complaint/grievance.

 

Now... lo-and-behold, since I wrote that opinion, the attorneys for Mike Leach have now expanded the lawsuit as reported in the Daily Toreador:

Attorneys for former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach filed a fourth amended petition Friday claiming the former coach’s firing was predetermined and done so to help the university save money.

In the filing, six Tech officials are being sued individually for damages: Tech Chancellor Kent Hance, Board of Regents members Jerry Turner and Larry Anders, Tech President Guy Bailey, Tech Athletic Director Gerald Myers and Tech Investigator Charlotte Bingham. Craig James, the father of Adam James was also named as a defendant.

Although, what really caught my eye in the article in the Daily Toreador was the following:

One of Tech’s defenses in this case has been the sovereign immunity claim, which points out that an individual cannot sue the state,  of which Tech is a branch. But Leach’s attorneys believe the Tech administration has waived that through numerous causes, such as the Board of Regents making its own policies and procedures, therefore acting as its own legislative body.

Instead of following the University's expressed "policies and procedures" they decided to act as their "own legislative body" ... Be it that the expressed "policies and procedures" can only be changed with the approval and oversight of the State Legislature through the State Education Code, there appears to be a major malfunction in this debacle.

By acting as their "own legislative body,"  these administrators not only breached Mike Leach's rights to a fair and impartial investigation, in addition to a breach of Mike Leach's contract, they have also breached their official duties in representing the community of Texas Tech and the best interests of the University and the State of Texas.

This is not going to go away soon...

Bob Stewart

Bio: Thirty years as a senior employment dispute and contract mediator in the Human Resources Division at one of the largest Universities on the West Coast.
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