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. Myers wants to require permission for Leach to interview elsewhere. That’s certainly how it’s done in the NFL, but not in college football, where contracts are one-way streets in favor of the coaches. Myers also wants to not pay off the entire contract should Leach be fired, which is not standard much of anywhere. Leach’s constant flirtations with other schools can wear on a boss. But sometimes it goes with the territory. Myers is an old basketball coach, hired by Tech to coach hoops in 1970. That was 39 years ago. Time was, you gave AD jobs to old coaches. And Myers has had his moments. Knight gave Tech several seasons in the spotlight. Myers hired Leach in the first place, a move that has proven to be fruitful in terms of victory and financial support. But this spat with Leach gives a horrible impression of the Tech athletic department. No matter how this plays out, Tech and Leach come out looking bad, and Gerald Myers comes out looking worst of all.