It has been nearly eight years since Texas Tech fired Mike Leach and condemned themselves to nearly a decade of mediocrity. And perhaps Tech’s record since then gives coach Leach some comfort as he has clearly not let go of the way he was treated in Lubbock. He went on KTCK The Ticket out of Dallas on Friday, where he brought up his old employer.
“Tech has not paid me my salary from 2009, in which we won 9 games, and they haven’t won 9 since… so, any of this business, you go to West Texas, and everybody you meet, shake their hand, a guy’s word is his bond, shake their hand, and they’ll pay you. I can tell you one guy there, Kent Hance, who was chancellor there, if he gives you his word, don’t listen to a word of it. And if he gives you a contract and it’s signed, you might as well rip the thing up, because it’s not worth the paper that it’s written on because the state of Texas, in a very third-world fashion, is the only state that will exercise sovereign immunity against an integrated contract.”
If any of us were not paid for a job we did, I don’t think we would be too happy about it. So how much is Leach owed? About $2.5 million; not exactly chump change.
To add insult to injury, according to Leach, he doesn’t really have any recourse to get the money he is owed. For most of us, if we felt like we are owed money, especially a significant sum of money, we could file a suit and take the issue to court. However, the State of Texas has exercised “sovereign immunity”, which has rendered Leach’s contract with Texas Tech worthless, and he is unable to sue to have is argument heard in court.
When a person argues that they are a sovereign citizen, we view them as a moron making their situation worse. They are too stupid for their own good. However, when the State of Texas argues sovereign immunity, apparently it is a real thing.
No, I know it sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. Here’s an excerpt from the New York Times on the law in 2012:
“After December 2009, you have to assume that lawyers for every coach thinking about taking a job at a Texas college — or anyone looking at any contract with the state — would have boned up on sovereign immunity law.
They would be stupid not to. With only a few exceptions, the law prevents anyone from collecting on a lawsuit against the state government, or even from successfully suing the state, without the state’s permission.”
The Times goes on to talk about coach Leach’s contract, and his inability to take action.
This should be a giant red flag for any coach considering a job in the state of Texas, and that should concern Texas Tech. The Red Raiders are becoming frustrated with the lack of results on the field under Kliff Kingsbury, and if things don’t turn around in a hurry, they will be looking for a new head coach sooner rather than later. And, unless Patrick Mahomes II is going to forego the NFL, they most likely aren’t going to be able to bring in a hometown hero with ties to the school.
Someone like coach K may overlook the warning signs around Lubbock, because he has ties to the school. And like it or not Red Raider Nation, the warning signs are there and they are plenty. Coach Tommy Tuberville isn’t exactly speaking very highly of the university these days, referring to Lubbock as Iraq, and Leach is still fuming about his treatment in Lubbock. So, two of the last three coaches at the school probably aren’t going to give a favorable review, and the third is a hometown golden boy who, even with the full support of the school, has not been able to turn things around in Lubbock.
That means every coach for Texas Tech this millennium is either at odds with the school or hasn’t had success, and it Tuberville’s case it’s both. Furthermore, the school ran off the most successful coach in school history in what most people view as a witch hunt. Let that sink in. Not just a successful coach, but the most successful in school history. Then, they have refused to pay him for a 9-win season. I’m willing to bet that there are those around Lubbock that would kill for a 9-win season.
Texas Tech needs to step up and pay Leach the money he is owed. That might be hard to do when you’re looking at a significant buyout to cut ties with coach Kingsbury, but hey, you could always just decide not to pay him either.
“Other states don’t do that,” coach Leach said, “because that’s how North Korea does business.”