By Michael Slother - email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – The battle between Texas Tech and Mike Leach continues on. Both sides presented their case to an appeals court Thursday morning. 3 judges from Amarillo will take the time to consider arguments before they decide if the case will go to trial.
Around 200 people were at the hearing at Lubbock Christian University. Leach wasn't present but his attorney Paul Dobrowski presented their case first. "We request that the court reverse Judge Sowder's ruling that the court did not expressly waive sovereign immunity," Dobrowski said to the panel.
Dobrowski says Texas Tech waived its right to that immunity after Chancellor Hance and some of the regents undermined the decision of the University President Guy Bailey and athletic director Gerald Myers to fine and reprimand Leach for how he treated a former player. Instead of a fine and reprimand, Leach was fired just before he would have qualified for a bonus under his contract. Tech claims the treatment of that player was a breach of contract and grounds for dismissal.
Tech's attorney Sean Jordan said, "Having been advised that one of his players Adam James had been diagnosed with a concussion he nonetheless ordered that player be placed in a dark place for hours while practice was being conducted."
The morning wasn't all business as both sides had a few brief moments of laughter. Dobrowski quoted a movie before his rebuttal. "Can I briefly respond with Joe Pesci's statement? Everything you heard from him [Jordan], you can ignore," Dobrowski joked.
After about an hour the hearing concluded. Both sides now await a decision. "It is my understanding that because this is an interlocutory appeal it will be on a more expedited basis than a typical appeal," said Dobrowski. He continued to say decisions on typical appeals last between 5 and 6 months.
Chancellor Hance thought the hearing went well and thinks Tech's actions against Leach were justified. "It really comes down to an issue that Mike Leach punished an injured player and did not handle it right."
Texas Tech Attorney Dicky Grigg's Statement Regarding Court of Appeals Hearing
We are pleased with the way the arguments went today. As we've said before, there is no merit to Mike Leach's lawsuit either factually or legally, and we believe the Court of Appeals will follow the law and dismiss the remaining claim against the university. Mike Leach's termination occurred because of his irresponsible treatment of an injured player diagnosed with a brain concussion and his unwillingness to work with the university's leadership to resolve the issue.
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