By James Clark | email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – To say that both sides are bitter in the lawsuit between Mike Leach and Texas Tech would be an understatement. Leach's lawyers held a public statement Wednesday, one day after a judge ruled Leach can sue the university for breach of contract, but no other issues. While it might look like a victory for Texas Tech, Leach's lawyers consider it to be a great victory for Leach and a serious blow for Tech.
"We are confident that the Court of Appeals will uphold his decision," says Leach's attorney Ted Liggett. Texas Tech has indicated there may be an appeal. Leach was fired in late December amid allegations he mistreated player Adam James. Leach denies it.
Leach's firing came just one day before he was to be paid an $800,000 longevity bonus. Liggett says, "One issue that has been lost to the public the past several months is the money that Mike Leach has earned and has not been paid." Liggett says if you add it all up for the remaining years of the contract including sick and vacation pay the university owes Leach something in the neighborhood of $12.5 million.
"We will sit down and entertain any offers of settlement as long as they are sincere and legitimate," says Liggett. Don't hold your breath on that settlement. Texas Tech's lead counsel is pretty clear, if not bit defiant in light of the judge's ruling. "The university will ultimately prevail on the sole remaining cause of action," says Dicky Grigg in a written statement. "Let me make a few things clear," Grigg continues, "Texas Tech has paid Mike Leach all of the money that he's owed under his contract."
"As we've said before, there is no merit to Leach's lawsuit either factually or legally," says Grigg. "The facts are clear – Mike Leach breached his contract and was terminated as a result of his irresponsible treatment of an injured student-athlete, his insubordination and his refusal to help resolve this issue."
On Tuesday Grigg took a verbal jab at Leach, saying, "Only Mike Leach would claim victory after losing on 10 of 11 issues." Liggett fired right back on Leach's behalf saying, "If Texas Tech won, why Grigg is the one who plans to file an appeal?"
Pete Christy contributed to this report.
Copyright 2010 KCBD. All rights reserved.