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Leach Suit Expands to Include Hance, Myers, Bailey, Anders, Turner, Bingham and Craig James

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Leach's Fourth Amended Petition  expands the defendant pool and seeks to conduct additional discovery.

The Amended Petition individually names: 1) Chancellor Kent Hance; 2) President Guy Bailey; 3) Athletic Director Gerald Myers; 4) BOR Chairman Larry Anders; 5) BOR Vice-Chairman Jerry Turner; 6) TTU Attorney Charlotte Bingham; and 7) DTN's favorite national treasure, Craig James.

Former BOR Chairman Jim Sowell is not named among the expanded defendants.

The amended petition suggests that the above defendants interfered with Leach's contract with Texas Tech and are, therefore, individually liable for damages (Plausibility of this tactic, anyone? DTNLR?).

At any rate, the new (and revealing) allegations in the filing are based on recent depositions of the above individuals and documents obtained in previous discovery.

Selected allegations and new revelations after the jump (all selections are direct quotes from the Filing):

New Allegations:

On Leach's filing of a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO):

Bailey Deposition:

"Q:  And would you agree with me that he (Leach) had the right to pursue a grievance or complaint with an external court without fear of retaliation from the University?

Bailey: Yes."

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"In their depositions, Ms. Bingham and Mr. Bailey testified that Plaintiff Leach had the absolute right to file suit in this Court without fear of retaliation."

More on Adam James

"Far from a model student-athlete, during 2008 Adam James was a discipline problem and often failed to attend class."

Electrical Closet:  "At (Texas Tech Athletic Trainer, Steve) Pincock's direction, James spent the practice in a media room used for opposing teams' press conferences at the Red Raiders' stadium. Specifically, Pincock told Adam James not to enter into the electrical closet.  In his deposition, Adam James admitted that he ignored Mr. Pincock's express instructions (emphasis added).  Consequently, Mr. Adams voluntarily placed himself into the electrical closet and apparently took pictures with his phone camera."

"James was not required to engage in physical activity, and was checked periodically by team trainers.  In fact, James' teammates were permitted to enter the room and talk to James" (emphasis added).

"On the evening of December 20, 2009, Ms. Bingham interviewed Adam James who told her: (1) he was in the electrical closet for (5) minutes, (2) he was in the shed for 1.5 hours; and (3) he suffered no lasting effect from any alleged confinement.  In contrast Craig James said that Adam had been confined for a much longer period and had been instructed to stay in the electrical closet."

Vice Chairman Jerry Turner interferes with the Investigation

"On December 21, 2009, Defendant Turner contacted Ms. Bingham directly before (emphasis added) she had interviewed a single witness other than the James family. Despite being strictly prohibited from interfering with an investigation and discipline of Plaintiff Leach under SACS guidelines and TTU policies and procedures, Mr. Turner instructed Ms. Bingham, Mr. Bailey and Mr. Myers that the investigation should be used to terminate Mike Leach as head football coach at Texas Tech (emphasis added)."

TTU Attorney Charlotte Bingham's Preliminary Findings

"On or about December 22, 2009, Defendants met in person and via conference call to discuss the findings of Ms. Bingham's investigation.  Ms. Bingham told the other Defendants that: (1) Coach Leach did not lock Adam James in any space; (2) that Pincock, Williams and Leach had not ordered Adam James to stay in the electrical closet; (3) that Coach Leach had not been profane in front of Adam James; (4) that Coach Leach had placed Adam James into the dark because he was sensitive to light; (5) that Coach Leach was concerned about player morale if Adam James remained on the field; and (6) that Adam James was a discipline problem."

Craig James has their number

Footnote 8:  "According to statements from Hance, Craig James called Hance, Board Chairman Larry Anders, Board Vice Chairman Jerry Turner, and Athletic Director Gerald Myers."

On "December 27, 2009 Ms. Bingham left a voice mail for Leach's representative, to the effect that "outside pressures" were affecting this situation.  Ms. Bingham testified that "outside pressures" were the James Family. 

10-Day Cure Clause

"The Tech Defendants admit that they never gave Leach the 10 business day notice of an opportunity to cure as allowed by his contract because they wanted to terminate Leach and avoid payment."

Turner and Anders Overrule Bailey and Myers

"Gerald Myers and Guy Bailey, the two persons with authority to determine the disciplinary measures for Coach Leach, proposed that the Adam James matter be closed by Leach paying a fine and receiving a reprimand letter.  They circulated the proposal to Anders, Turner and Hance. President Bailey testified that he believed that a letter of instruction and apology would be sufficient response to the James' allegations and would resolve the matter.  Anders testified that he understood that the position of Myers and Bailey, who had exclusive authority to discipline, suspend and/or terminate Leach, was that a letter of reprimand and fine was sufficient punishment of Plaintiff as a result of the "Adam James" incident.

In response to receiving a draft of the letter of reprimand on December 27, 2009, Anders and Turner instructed Hance that Myers and Bailey not issue a letter of reprimand because they (Anders and Turner) wanted to keep the Adam James incident open and use it "to our advantage" to terminate Mike Leach for cause so payment could be avoided."

"After receiving the instructions of Anders and Turner, Hance, Bailey and Myers spoke and changed course. Instead of issuing a letter of reprimand to Coach Leach and closing the Adam James matter, Hance declared that Leach had until noon at December 28, 2009 to return a signed copy of the letter presented to him on December 26, 2009 and a letter of apology or he would be suspended.   No Defendant advised Leach or his attorney that if he failed to sign the letter and issue a letter of apology by noon on December 28, 2009 that he would be suspended or terminated."

The Ongoing Investigation to Nowhere

"On December 28, 2009, Leach received a letter suspending him as head football coach at Texas Tech University. The letter states that Texas Tech had received a complaint from a player and that an investigation was ongoing, which according to Chairman Anders was false."

The Coverup

"As part of their conspiracy to hide their true intention to terminate Plaintiff for cause to avoid payment, on December 30 and 31, 2009 Defendants Bingham, Anders, Turner, Hance, Bailey and Myers began the process of falsifying the investigation report on the James incident. Specifically, Chairman Hance directed Bingham to change her investigation report because it was too "mild" and "milk toast."

What Bonus? Ah yes, that bonus....

"Hance has subsequently claimed that Leach's contractual bonuses due under the contract "were never a consideration" when Leach was fired.  That statement is directly contradicted by the email of Board of Regent member (Nancy) Neal and Chairman Anders' deposition testimony."

"On December 29, 2009, TTU Board of Regent Member, who (sic) (Nancy) Neal recognized that TTU Defendants were attempting to avoid payment of the $800,000 bonus owed to Mike Leach on December 31, 2009 stated that it should be paid and that TTU "not be cheap about it.""

TTU Defendants violate guidelines of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)

"Defendants Anders and Turner recognized and acknowledged that the Defendants'  actions were inconsistent with SACS guidelines."

"On January 7, 2010, Defendant Turner acknowledged to other TTU BOR members that the actions of meddling by board members violated SACS guidelines."

"(T)he only persons authorized to conduct such negotiations were President Guy Bailey and Athletic Director Gerald Myers."

"Nevertheless, in direct contravention of these rules, Defendant Hance negotiated the contract directly with Plaintiff Leach and his agents."

" Unbeknownst to Plaintiff Leach, Defendants TTU, Hance, Anders and Turner permitted two former members of the Texas Tech Board of Regents ("BOR")  Alan White and James Sowell to direct negotiations and influence the terms of Plaintiff's contract."

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On a side note:  Is it just me, or is it just "coincidence" that the release of Leach's locker room speech after the Baylor game and bogus non-stories, like the Detron Lewis article in the AJ, happened to come out before the depositions and this new amended filing?  (Of course it is probably also random chance that his filing also happens to coincide with the eve of Spring scrimmage....).

Dueling coincidences.

Sorry for asking the questions.  Tin foil hat off.  Back to the kool-aid.