Leach Speaks Out Friday Night On Contract Negotiations - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/6/09

Leach Speaks Out Friday Night On Contract Negotiations

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NewsChannel 11 learned new information (including comments from Coach Mike Leach), and new perspective Friday night on the stalled talks between Mike Leach and Texas Tech.  Leach is looking at four issues, but the Chancellor only has one.

Leach has two years left as head football coach.  A three-year extension would give him a minimum $12.7 million over five years.  Public records obtained by NewsChannel 11 say Leach has problems with four conditions in Tech's contract offer.

  • If fired, his severance would be reduced.
  • He can buy his way out, but at a higher cost.
  • He has to get permission before he interviews for another job. 
  • Texas Tech can use his name and likeness to generate revenue.

By contrast, Chancellor Kent Hance is focused on one issue: Loyalty.  Hance tells NewsChannel 11 that he wants Mike Leach here but he won't deal with Leach's agents anymore.   Hance says Leach's agents went behind his back and tried to negotiate with the Board of Regents, which is a big no-no.  Hance also says Leach's agents went behind his back to get Leach a job interview in Seattle back in December

"But I'll tell you this.   As Chancellor of Texas Tech, I don't want to wake up and read the newspaper that one of my coaches is interviewing at some other school, and me not know about it. We're gonna get that loyalty factor straightened out one way or the other." Said Hance

Not all is lost. Hance says he wants Leach to stay, to love Lubbock, and to love Texas Tech. "And I think maybe his agents don't understand this as well as we do. But we're bending over backwards, and this is it.  We hope that he signs it, and he has until a week after Tuesday," says Hance.

NewsChannel 11 Sport Director Pete Christy talked to Coach Leach Friday night and he responded to Hance's comments.

Leach says he did have permission to look for another job.   He cites an April 29th 2008 email from Athletic Director Gerald Meyers to Leach's agents.  "If better opportunities occur for him [Leach] somewhere else we will fully understand."  So, Leach says he didn't have a choice but to look around.

Leach says he only has two years left on his contract.  Most Big 12 coaches have four or five so that recruits feel more comfortable about their four year commitments.  If he signs the new deal, his guarantee is 12%, which he says is the lowest guaranteed income in the Big 12.  Four coaches have 100%, Leach says.

His buyout would become one of the highest in the Big 12.  But Leach stressed to NewsChannel 11 that he wants to be here and he's hopeful it can still get done.

Leach also said his agents handle hundreds of college and NFL coaches' contracts and have not had trouble like this before.  We'll keep you posted as the deadline Tech has set is less than two weeks away.

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