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New Email Causes Leach to Request Sanctions

LondonRaider on Vacation:  If you're at all wondering why esteemed DTN writer LondonRaider hasn't chimed in on the latest filings, it's because he's on vacation (first time in four years), trying to enjoy some time away from work and the Saga of Mike Leach.  He'll be back shortly, but he just wanted everyone to know that he's trying to stay in the good graces of his wife by not writing a ten page paper on the latest fired shots.

Sitton Email Causes S#!$ Storm:  LAJ's Matthew McGowan wrote yesterday that former regent Windy Sitton sent an email to current regent Jerry Turner, who, on December 30, 2009, expressed her displeasure with the head coach Mike Leach's firing.  The email (which I haven't found) said, in part:

"Jerry, I know his firing has been in the works since the chancellor and the (athletic director) were outmaneuvered by Leach," she wrote. "The problem rests with arrogance of the chancellor and the ineptness of the A.D."

Sitton's off the cuff remarks seem to reflect the feelings of many of the folks that frequent DTN, but this isn't the end of the story.

Sitton has now signed an affidavit, yesterday in fact, that essentially says that she sent this email in haste without knowing all of the facts and she takes it all back.  Sitton also says that she had no knowledge that the firing was actually in the works and only had the version of facts from Leach.  My first thought with this is that I'd love to see if there was a follow-up email from Turner to Sitton or Sitton to Turner where everything was explained.  I'd also be interested to know if there was a conversation between these two. 

I also thought it was somewhat humorous as Sitton makes the following remark in the last paragraph of her affidavit:

"Again, I regret the remarks that I made in my email about Mr. Hance and Mr. Myers, as I know them to be loyal and steadfast supporters and alumni of Texas Tech University."

The humorous part (to me) is that she doesn't specifically take back her remarks regarding Hance's arrogance and Myer's ineptness.  I find somewhat comical that it's not just the folks that frequent DTN that feel this way and Sitton's excuse that her comments were made in haste seem irrelevant because it doesn't seem that those aren't the type of feelings that are established by one incident, no matter how serious that event actually was.  Those seem like the type of feelings that are built up over time of dealing with an AD and a Chancellor while being a regent.

On the other side of the fence, LAJ's Matthew Mcgowan writes that Leach attorneys are asking for sanctions on Texas Tech for failing to turn over the email, while Texas Tech attorneys are saying it's not that big of a deal.  Texas Tech attorney Dicky Gregg said this:

"They didn't ask for it, so we didn't produce it," said Dicky Grigg, who's representing Tech. "It doesn't seem to me that it's that big a deal. They're trying to make everything into a huge deal. Next, they're going to say that Hance, Myers and Bailey were involved in the assassination of President Kennedy. They're going to have some document. This is just so bizarre."

Mcgowan writes that Leach's attorney's believe that Sitton's email makes it clear that those in power at Texas Tech intended to fire Leach as part of a conspiracy and that this would further help the Leach side with Texas Tech's sovereign immunity defense:

The e-mail, he said, also reinforces their argument university officials had ulterior motives that should dissolve the school's sovereign immunity, which would shield the university from the lawsuit as a state institution.

Dobrowski demanded answers Thursday in an e-mail he sent to Assistant Attorney General Daniel Perkins. He asked Perkins to explain why Tech chose not to release the information.

In his response, Perkins claims the e-mail was beyond the scope of the subpoena. Although his legal team knew of the document's existence, it was deemed irrelevant.

"We have complied with all of Judge Sowder's admonitions, and we certainly haven't 'rat-holed' any documents," Perkins replied.

I've said it all this week and I think it's important to say it again, the sovereign immunity defense is a very real defense and although I can't say that I understand all of the intricacies of the defense I know that if Leach can clear the sovereign immunity defense then Texas Tech will be back-peddling a bit.  But the hearing for next week is going to be a huge hearing for both sides.