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The Saga of Mike Leach and Texas Tech: The Board of Regents Set to Meet

Previous Editions of Our Saga

February 7, 2009 :: February 8, 2009 :: February 12, 2009 :: February 14, 2009

I'm Not Happy

I've tried to reserve DTN to be a place where I do not curse on the front page and I'm going to keep that rule and try and be a little more creative rather than resort to what I really want to say. Buy me a beer one day and I'll let if fly.

So the deadline has come and gone and as of right now, we (yes that means you) are in the same position that we were in when this mess first started, which is we are waiting for both parties to come to their senses and try and get the deal done.

It was about a year ago that I was able to have dinner with T.B. from BOTC and we were talking about our respective head coaches and mentioned that Texas Tech fans were so damn lucky to have a coach like Leach because he was totally and 100% unique to Texas Tech. Leach made Texas Tech a fascinating experiment to watch.  Over the course of a year, that relationship, which I never thought at the time, would be eroded to the point of a complete divorce.

I'm afraid that this marriage between the school that I love and the head coach that makes it incredibly interesting to follow his team (and love) could be ending sooner rather than later.

I'm also reminded that one year ago there were some major questions about whether or not Leach could win a big game, many were tired of his non-concern for the defense, and others were simply tired of his act. I wasn't one of those people.

I said it last night and I'll say it again, I'm not happy about the entire situation, but I blame Leach, Myers, IMG, Hance, O'Hagan, the Board of Regents and Baldwin for letting this situation get to the point that it is today.

Board of Regents Meeting

The Board of Regents (BOR) will be meeting on Friday and part of that meeting will be dealing with Section 02.03.2 of the Texas Tech's Regents' Rules (pdf):

Presidents' appointments. The provosts, vice presidents, vice pro-vosts, deans of schools and colleges, director of intercollegiate athletics, and head coaches of intercollegiate athletics programs shall be appointed by the president with prior approval of the chancellor and prior notification to the board. Any multi-year employment contract, employment contract modification, or contract extension related to persons filling such positions shall be approved by the president with prior approval of the chancellor and prior notification to the board.

Being a glass half-empty kinda guy, this led me to believe that the BOR was going to be making a decision that was not going to be a good outcome for Leach and Texas Tech. If you're a glass half-ful kinda guy (or gal) then perhaps this leads you to believe that there's going to be a contract extension.

I have no idea and no inside information. Your guess is as good as mine.

Gerald Myers

I still don't get why there's so much hate being hurled towards Gerald Myers. I completely get that he's the AD and as a result he's the spokesman for the athletic department, but I do want to remind everyone that Myers has done a ton for Texas Tech.

Just as a quick example, the section above quotes the BOR Rules require that the University President, Chancellor and Board of Regents all approve any sort of extension or contract modification for a head coach.

Quite simply it's real easy to blame Myers as the face of the athletic department, but the reality is that it's a decision made by multiple parties. It's not up to Myers to hire or fire Leach, this is going to be something that is handled by the University President, the BOR, Kent Hance and Gerald Myers.

When the four additional clauses were added to Leach's contract, Myers was skewered for being the guy who added those clauses because he felt that Leach should have been more loyal to Texas Tech, but considering that the University President, the BOR, the Chancellor and the Athletic Director all have to approve the contract extension, I'd imagine that they were all in on adding those items.

If you want to criticize Myers, then I think it is appropriate to include the entire Texas Tech administration.

We're Starting To Get A Little Attention

So, there's finally some folks talking about the situation, which could be a good thing to move this thing off-center. Let's run down the list:

Griffin's article has the most interesting quotes, which are from ESPN's Joe Schad who talked with Captain Leach. When asked about whether or not Leach was ready to move forward with just two years remaining, he said he was:

"I am prepared to finish out the last two years of my contract. I am not familiar with the notion of firing someone for failing to sign an extension to a contract. That notion to me is mind-numbing. But I guess stranger things have happened. I don't know what part of this is based in rumor or fact, but I can't fathom it. Maybe there are reasons I don't know about," Leach told Schad.

Much like Leach and my co-authors, Hinton believes that Leach will coach out his last two years of his contract and life will be fine.

The only problem with that scenario is that I have a hard time believing that this administration believes that Leach, as mysterious his ways may be, will be able to convince 18-year old boys to commit to a school where the coach that they want to play for may not be at that school for the foreseeable future.

Explain to me the scenario where recruiting, the life-blood of a program, ticks upward as a result of the current situation.

But I've been wrong many times in my life, and perhaps my hand-wringing is nothing more than the nervous nature of my personality and is completely unwarranted, but the BOR are probably well aware of the impact of recruiting, or lack thereof, can have on a program.

Blogging as a Force

So I've been asked why I don't take a stand and call out one party, that party being the administration, and rally the troops. Perhaps I'm underestimating my place in the world, but I'm just a guy with a laptop. Nothing more. I don't have any influence over the organization, I've received one email from Texas Tech over the course of two years about a clarification they made on their website. I don't have anyone "inside" the administration or "inside" IMG to give anyone any kind of additional information. I've never thought that I could change anyone's mind about the situation because these are grown men that are more highly involved with this process than I ever could be.

You tell me, do you really think that DTN has any influence over this situation?

Five Years vs. Seven Years

I mentioned it briefly yesterday, but it doesn't make any sense for Leach and the administration to only agree to a 5 year contract. We'll be in the same situation this same time next year as we have to fight rumors that Leach will be shopping himself.

Perhaps this is the situation that could change negotiations. Like most folks, Leach probably wants some job security, which is why he may be asking for such a high buy-out. Meanwhile, Texas Tech wants some head coach security. Each party could give a little on the buy-out and although I'm not sure the relationship between Myers and Leach for the forseeable future, it's not often that they'll have to deal with each other especially if there is a long-term contract in place.

I'm all about thinking long-term rather than short-term and the more I consider the situation, the more I think that extending this deal to 7 years is in the best interest of the Texas Tech administration.