Texas Tech squabble over Mike Leach's contract, one big mess

by Berry Tramel Modified: February 19, 2009 at 4:43 am •  Published: February 19, 2009
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In the wake of one of its finest seasons ever, Texas Tech football has become one big mess. And athletic director Gerald Myers is to blame.

The spat between Myers and coach Mike Leach has gone public, with a bewildering contract squabble raising questions about Leach’s even short-term future with the Red Raiders.


Maybe Leach’s quirky personality is a headache for administrators, but no way can an AD allow contract negotiations to go this public.

It’s one more dent in the Tech athletic department under Myers. Women’s basketball and men’s basketball both have staggered in recent years, with the retirement of Marsha Sharp and the mid-season bolt of Bobby Knight a year ago.

Now Tech’s football success is in peril.

Leach did not act on a Tuesday deadline imposed by Myers for Leach to sign a contract extension; the Tech board of regents will meet Friday to discuss the impasse.

"I am prepared to finish out the last two years of my contract,” Leach told ESPN. "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.”

Money is not the issue. Both sides agreed on a five-year, $12.7-million deal.

Some of Myers’ demands are not standard operating procedure in college football.


by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The...
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