After more than 10 months of negotiations, Mike Leach and Texas Tech have agreed on a contract extension, the Dallas Morning New reports.
The newspaper said Leach and chancellor Kent Hance met for almost three hours Thursday afternoon and agreed to the deal, which will extend Leach's contract through 2013. Leach could sign the contract as early as Friday.
Athletic director Gerald Myers and Leach's agents, Gary O'Hagan and Matt Baldwin of the International Marketing Group, did not attend the meeting.
Tech added four clauses to its Jan. 9 proposal that sent the negotiations into a tailspin. They included termination compensation if Leach would have been fired, the buyout he would pay if he left early, a penalty for interviewing for another job without permission and who controlled Leach's personal property rights. The newspaper reported that details weren't available as to how those issues were resolved.
Earlier, Leach made a request to have Friday's Board of Regents meeting declared an open session. That request was granted and was a victory of sorts for Leach because it would have been unlikely that the regents would fire him in an open session.
Leach has long had a strained relationship with Tech, beginning in 2002 when university officials put a hold on a mail service for the football program when it ran up $5000 in charges. Internal memos obtained by the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal detailed an exchange between Leach and Lynda Gilbert, the school's vice president of fiscal affairs.
Leach asked Gilbert how to respond "when and if the media finds out that we do not have outgoing mail service."
Gilbert responded, "My recommendation is that you be truthful and admit that the football program has not managed their funds well."
The next day, Myers told the newspaper that the football program had exceeded it budget by $400,000 for the fiscal year. "Spend, spend, spend. You can't operate that way. You've got to have a business policy," Myers said.
The athletic director said he regularly had budgetary clashes with football coaches, which included frequent Big 12 resource comparisons.
"I want to discontinue that issue," he said. "I heard that over and over and over: 'This is what they do at OU. This is what they do at Nebraska. This is what they do at A&M.' Well this is what we have at Texas Tech. We're going to do the best we can with what we have. I'm tired of hearing about what they do there. Maybe they should get a job there if they think that's so great."
Leach, who was out of town on vacation, then hired a law firm "to monitor these events as they unfold." Leach's attorney said the coach would hold a news conference about the situation when he returned. It never happen, as the sides eventually sat down and worked out a resolution that ended with Myers expressing regret over his earlier comments.
The peace accord last less than two months when another controversy erupted over a sponsorship deal Leach negotiated with a Lubbock construction equipment company. The company, ASCO, agreed to provide $130,000 annually for Leach's camps and clinics. When Myers and other Tech officials learned of the agreement, they sought control of the money to help relieve budget overruns by the football program.
The deal eventually fell apart when Bill Wright, chairman for ASCO, decided to pull the funding because he had asked that the money be used only for Leach's camps and clinics, which were not affiliated with Tech.
"I want to emphasize this has been the most unsatisfactory process I have encountered in all of my 50 years of business experience," Wright wrote in his letter.
All seemed calm in December 2002 when Leach and Myers began talking contract extension. But by April 2003, the sides were haggling over "fair market value." In December 2003, Leach signed an addendum while work continued on a new deal, which was completed in April 2004.
In April 2005, Leach got got another year added onto his deal, extending it through 2009. In August 2006, Leach was given a deal through 2010. It was the third time in 29 months that Tech and Leach had renegotiated their agreement.