DTN's Top Three:
- NYT's Michael Lewis is at it again with a look at basketball.
- Rush the Court checks in on the Big 12.
- BOTC bi-weekly Big 12 outlook.
As I'm sure you've noticed, but the deadline is looming and we have a couple of last-minute articles. The countdown clock, left sidebar, is nervously ticking away the seconds until a decision is to be made, or not.
I've been wondering if this story is really being noted nationally and it's really not on the radar. SI's Stewart Mandel has a list of college football's 10 most compelling offseason storylines and not a mention of Leach or the contract situation.
DT's Alex Ybarra has a story about AD Gerald Myers rejecting Leach and his agents' counteroffer, with a new quote (or at least new to me) from Texas Tech President Guy Bailey, still being hopeful:
Tech President Guy Bailey said he believes both sides still have enough time to come to an agreement - Leach still has two years remaining on his current contract - but he added that it would be beneficial if talks "cool down" for a little bit.
However, the amount of publicity these negotiations have garnered, Bailey said, makes them look more contentious than usual.
"At most universities," he said, "you don't see what's going on behind the scenes."
What has become somewhat obvious lately is that Mike Leach thinks that winning games ought to be enough. Let the results on the field carry the day. You want a P.R. guy, glad-hander and fundraiser, look for someone else. You want a coach all about the X’s and O’s and wins, here I am.
You also get the feeling the Tech officials feel like they need and expect more than Leach has given to the University in some capacities. Whether it is fund raising, or simply staying out of the news when it comes to sniffing around other jobs, Tech officials want more from Leach if they’re going to give him more $$$.
And that, my friends, is what is so sad about all of this. Tech has basically given Mike Leach everything a Pirate could want. From day one his recruiting budget nearly tripled that of Spike Dykes. Needed, yes, but hardly cheap for the department to absorb at the time. Want a new football building? Got it. Want an expanded and renovated stadium to recruit to, you got it. Play a non-conference schedule that is a coaches dream and ticket selling nightmare, you got it. Don’t want to make many personal appearances, no problem, you got it too.
Myers is so obviously still steaming that Leach interviewed with Washington in December without him having a clue. Because, of course, Leach is the first college coach to try to leverage a sensational season into another job or big money.
He had his feelings hurt and now, with public opinion going against Leach after his excessive university flirting and Cotton Bowl loss, Myers has decided to exact a little revenge. He has added a bunch of piddly take-this clauses into Leach’s new deal -- only guaranteeing 12 percent and requiring permission to talk to another school and a pretty steep buyout number, for example.
And Myers has hand because, well, if Leach plans to coach next season, Tech is his only option.
Good for Myers and, after next season, when he is looking for another coach to bring to Lubbock, I hope winning this little spitting contest was worth what is sure to be a headache. Or has he forgotten that the Mack Browns and Bob Stoops have not historically lined up to coach in Lubbock? Or that any increased interest almost certainly has been created by what Leach has helped built?
Not that Leach is the victim. He also has behaved like a horse’s butt.
I like Leach. And I have no idea what he was thinking with all of the clandestine interview hopping. He is not the coach of Ball State. It looks bad to recruits and everybody else when he is willing to hop on a plane to be on the list of also-considereds.
Show a little pride. And a lot more loyalty.
I'm just glad that this should come to an end in a day or two.
Can't Keep Up
LAJ's Jeff Walker writes that the Red Raiders started strong, but due to turnovers, missed shots and fouls, let the OU game get away. Here's Walker's analysis of the first half situation:
Then, the execution stopped.
On four straight possessions, Darko Cohadarevic or Mike Singletary missed shots. One from Singletary was a 3-pointer, where he now is 3 of 13 (23 percent) for the season.
Okorie picked up a charging foul on Tech’s next possession, but a jumper from John Roberson at the 9:09 mark still had the Red Raiders ahead, 23-19.
To that point, the Red Raiders’ best outside shooter, Alan Voskuil, hadn’t attempted a shot yet.
On a good note, Pat Knight says that Nick Okorie is starting to get his groove back:
"He’s such a good athlete with his jump shot he’s got to be able to jump in the air," Tech head coach Pat Knight said. "With that ankle injury, he wasn’t getting up on his jump shot like he was. … The kid’s been getting his confidence back the last few games. I think he’s starting to get that."
DT's Mike Graham reports on this weekend's scrimmages leading up to the start of the season. Head Coach Dan Spencer believes that scrimmages help simulate the game:
"Baseball is a play sport," he said. "You do all your fundamentals and everything you do is to get ready to play. In order to simulate it, you've gotta scrimmage."
"When you get to about now, our guys have seen our pitching and our pitching have seen our hitters," he said. "It gets a little stale from that standpoint, but it's what we've got."