Mike Leach: Texas Tech ‘should pay me’


It’s bowl season in Raiderland for the first time in 2017. There’s plenty of excitement around the Texas Tech football program after a successful season in 2020 and a promising future under new head coach Joey McGuire. But ahead of the Liberty Bowl against Mississippi State on Tuesday, Bulldogs’ head coach and former Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach seemed anything but excited to be speaking about the Red Raiders again.

“Some of the leadership is, at least when I was there, is very sleazy and slimy and dirty,” Leach said about Texas Tech on Monday during his media availability. “They all know who they are, and the Tech people know who are they too.”
 
Leach is arguably the most polarizing figure in Texas Tech athletics history. Leach won 84 games from 2000 to 2009, making him the winningest football coach in program history. Leach was fired in 2009 after allegedly telling a player to stand in an equipment shed during practice after suffering a concussion. The firing was disputed from large portions of the fanbase, but the most divine decision from Texas Tech was that of choosing to not pay Leach the remainder of his contract. This decision is characterized by certain Texas Tech fans as the inciting cause of the “Pirate Curse”, a belief that Texas Tech football will perform poorly until Leach is paid. Leach sued the university for wrongful termination, a suit that he lost but continues to pursue.

“They talk about they had some investigation or something -- they never had an investigation,” Leach said about the leadership of Texas Tech during his firing. “They lied about having an investigation, then they won’t produce the documents to prove they had investigation.”

Leach went beyond general claims against the leadership and went as far as to call out individuals.

“It just goes to show you how Kent Hance and some of his little cronies, how sleazy those guys are,” Leach said about the former Chancellor of the Texas Tech University System. “Let’s go ahead and see it (the documents proving investigation), of course it’s gonna illustrate they lied to the fans and everybody else.”

The solution seems simple to Leach: he wants what he’s deemed as his money.

“I’ve been willing to settle this thing for along time,” Leach said about his firing from Texas Tech. “They don’t seem to be willing to, which is unfortunate.”

“We should get this thing settled, they should pay me and we should all celebrate achievements together.”

One of the most jarring comments from Leach was one claiming that Texas Tech has hidden documents surrounding sexual assault.

“And then they continue to hide documents on everything from sexual assault and everything else,” Leach said about the university.

Leach ended his tirade with a hint of sympathy for West Texans, one that was rooted in frustration towards the university.

“It’s really a shame because the good people of Lubbock, Texas and West Texas deserve quite a lot better,” Leach said.

Leach’s comments a day before the Liberty Bowl only add drama to a matchup where he’ll be coaching against his former quarterback Sonny Cumbie. Texas Tech fans and Leach advocates will both be watching closely, with a larger national audience likely as well after Leach’s bold comments.

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