The ongoing divorce proceedings between Texas Tech's Mike Leach and athletic director Gerald Myers picked up considerable steam last week. A series of revelations and accusations deepened the split and resulted with a university-imposed deadline of Tuesday on a contract extension offered to the coach.
Leach has his guns up and is ready to walk from the five-year, $12.7 million extension, which would be tagged to the two years he has left on his current deal. Sign by Tuesday or the extension is pulled.
Leach and his representation — International Marketing Group — are objecting to several clauses put in the extension. Longtime Houston attorney Tom Kirkendall breaks it down while asking, "What are Leach and IMG thinking?"
Myers is a basketball guy and thought he pulled one over on the world when he hired Bob Knight in 2001. Matt Hayes of the Sporting News wrote last week that, according to a friend of Leach, Myers gave Knight Leach's university parking spot.
"Even though Leach was given another spot in the same lot, the move didn't sit well. For the rest of the semester, Leach parked in a commuter lot and walked to work."
Tim MacMahon of the Dallas Morning News wrote: "During my season on the brink in Lubbock, I was amazed/amused by the dynamic between Myers and Knight. It was as if Myers worked for Knight, not vice versa.
"Myers' top priority seemed to be making sure Knight was happy. Myers apparently ruffled the feathers of the school's most important coach — football is king around these parts, you know — in the process of kissing up to Knight."
Leach's representatives have openly bypassed Myers in negotiations and in one proposal sent to chancellor Kent Hance, requested that Myers no longer be Leach's boss. The coach would be given "full control and responsibility for managing the football program and [Leach] will report directly to [Hance]." Leach's new title would have been athletic director for football.
That was shot down and with their frustration growing, IMG took the case directly to the regents. A Jan. 15 email, which was sent to clear up "some misinformation about our position," bypassed not only Myers, but Hance and university president Guy Bailey.
Although Myers, Hance and Bailey were sent a copy of the email later that evening, the damage was done. Then-regents chairman Scott Dueser responded, saying IMG was out of line emailing regents directly without courtesy copies to Myers, Hance and Bailey. Dueser suggest that IMG was trying to undermine Tech’s leadership and divide the board.