Leach's Petition Against ESPN and Spaeth Communications

Here is a copy of Mike Leach's law suit against ESPN and Spaeth Communications.  Enjoy.

You may particularly be interested to see the following email exchange between Sally Post, Director of Communications and Broadcast Media for Texas Tech University and Merrie Spaeth, President of Spaeth Communications.

From: Post, Sally [mail to sally.post@ttu.com]

Sent:  Friday, January 01, 2010 8:50pm

To:  Merrie Spaeth

Subject:  RE: Latest story posted on DMN

Here's what the trainer told Charlotte. It is NOT signed.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

From:  Merrie Spaeth [merrie@spaeth.com]

Sent: Friday, January 01, 2010 7:57 pm

To:  Post, Sally

Subject:  FW: Latest story posted on DMN

Sally - I assume you and the Chancellor have seen these. We will not make any comment until we talk to you and let me know what the University has done.

- The doctor:  other than the ‘mild' - concussion (There is no such thing.) it's not really in dispute. The issue isn't whether the other treatment harmed Adam. . . But he needs to confirm the diagnosis, recant "mild" and talk about the need for rest, etc.

-  The trainer:  this is a rather dramatically different account than Adam's and from what we understand he provided to the university.  How to handle?

-  The Chisum statement is really irrelevant . . .

merrie.

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/spt/stories/010209dnspotechstatements.3782a3a5.html.

====================

Well, well, well.  What do we have here? 

The above email exchange is recreated for this post and taken from page 36 of Mike Leach's Original Petition complaining of ESPN, Inc., and Spaeth Communications, Inc.

Analysis after the jump...

Who is Sally Post?

Sally Post is the Director of Communications and Broadcast Media for Texas Tech University.

As Director of the Office of Communications and Marketing, Sally oversees media relations for the university and supervises the office's broadcast division. A veteran journalist, she has worked as a print reporter and editor and as a broadcast producer, assignment manager and executive producer for the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal and the Hockley County Free Press, the network affiliate television stations in Lubbock and KVUE-TV, the ABC affiliate in Austin. She earned two degrees from Texas Tech, a bachelor's degree in journalism and a master's degree in mass communication. Sally is responsible for general administration news and the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents.

Q: Did the Director of Communications and Broadcast Media for Texas Tech University send the trainer's unsigned statement to Spaeth Communications?

A:  It certainly appears that way.  As in:  "Here's what the trainer told Charlotte. It is NOT signed."

Q: Why is the Director of Communications and Broadcast Media for Texas Tech University corresponding with Merrie Spaeth of Spaeth Communications, a PR firm retained by Craig James?

A:  That is not a rhetorical question.

Q:  Why is Merrie Spaeth, President of Spaeth Communications, advising the Director of Communications and Broadcast Media for Texas Tech University how to respond to an article written in the Dallas Morning News which includes reports which refute Adam James' claims?

To Wit:

Sally - I assume you and the Chancellor have seen these. We will not make any comment until we talk to you and let me know what the University has done.

Q:  Do these statements imply that there is some degree of coordination taking place between the Director of Communications and Broadcast Media for Texas Tech University and Spaeth Communications?

A:  Well, if you mean by coordination that Spaeth Communications will refrain from making a comment until Sally Post speaks to Chancellor Kent  Hance, and until Spaeth Communications receives word from Sally Post as to how the response should be handled, and then Spaeth Communications will comment accordingly, then yes, that certainly appears to meet even the loosest definition of coordination.

Q:  Isn't Merrie Spaeth supposed to be representing Adam James and Craig James and NOT Texas Tech University?  If so, then under what circumstances would or should Texas Tech University be corresponding with Spaeth Communications concerning the termination of former head football coach Mike Leach?  Did Texas Tech also retain Spaeth Communications to manage its public relations response? Did Texas Tech accept Spaeth Communications' offer to work on a pro bono basis?  Is the communication between Texas Tech and Spaeth Communications merely a professional courtesy?

(Sorry, I am struggling to find the font for dripping sarcasm.)

A:  Umm....

Next.

The doctor:  other than the ‘mild' - concussion (There is no such thing.) it's not really in dispute. The issue isn't whether the other treatment harmed Adam. . . But he needs to confirm the diagnosis, recant "mild" and talk about the need for rest, etc.

Q:  Is Merrie Spaeth a qualified trained medical professional?

A:  Uh, no. 

Merrie Spaeth (b. August 23, 1948) is an American political and public relations consultant, and former film actress.

A Philadelphia native, Spaeth graduated from Smith College in 1970, and from the Columbia Graduate School of Business in 1980.[1] As a teenager, she appeared in the film The World of Henry Orient.

Q:  Is there no such thing as a mild concussion?

A:   Perhaps the Center of Disease Control may beg to differ.

Q:  Did Merrie Spaeth, who is not a medical professional, advise the Director of Communications and Broadcast Media for Texas Tech University to have Dr. Michael Phy, Texas Tech's team physician who diagnosed Adam James'  with a mild concussion,  to recant his diagnosis and treatment plan for James'  injury? 

A:  Are you f**** kidding me?

The trainer:  this is a rather dramatically different account than Adam's and from what we understand he provided to the university.  How to handle?

Q:  Is Merrie Spaeth asking the Director of Communications and Broadcast Media for Texas Tech University for advice on how to handle conflicting reports from Adam James and the trainer (Steve Pincock) who was responsible for overseeing Adam James'  treatment?

A:  I believe that would be a "yes."  Furthermore, Sally Post responds by furnishing Spaeth Communications with a copy of Steve Pincock's "unsigned" discussion with Charlotte Bingham.  Why would Sally Post do that?

The Chisum statement is really irrelevant . . .

Q:  Is Chisum's statement irrelevant?

A: From the Dallas Morning News Article in question:

"Statement from Mark Chisum, Texas Tech director of sports medicine for football, dated Dec. 31:

The storage shed can hold two golf carts, ice machine and various portable water fountains for football practice. The media room for the visiting football teams is about the size of a big garage. The shed cannot lock because the key was broken off in the lock several years ago. The media room was not locked. I was not involved in checking on the player in either place. I do not know how often the athlete was checked on by another athletic trainer. I do not know if the player had his cell phone on him in either places. An athlete with a concussion will have headaches and be sensitive to light (photophobia). We also have the athlete not lift Weights and take it easy and not to stress their bodies and only take Tylenol by mouth for the headaches.

Irrelevant?  Really Merrie?

merrie

Gee, thanks Merrie.

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