LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech fired Mike Leach on Wednesday after the coach took the school to court to try to overturn his suspension for alleged mistreatment of an injured player.
“I’m very sad to say there’s only one person to blame for this and it’s Mike Leach,” Texas Tech chancellor Kent Hance told the AP.
Jerry Turner, vice chairman of the university system’s board of regents, said “other things” came to light during an investigation of Leach’s treatment of receiver Adam James. The sophomore alleged the coach twice confined him to a small, dark place after the player was diagnosed with a concussion.
Leach was suspended Monday after he refused to agree to guidelines for dealing with players set forth by his bosses in a Dec. 23 letter.
When Leach decided to fight the university in court “in defiance” of his suspension, that’s why “we are where we are,” Turner said.
Leach was in San Antonio with his team, which is preparing for the Alamo Bowl against Michigan State on Saturday. He left the team’s hotel while his interim replacement, defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill, was holding a news conference.
Approached by a reporter, Leach said, “No comment,” before being asked a question. Asked how he felt Texas Tech treated him throughout the last two weeks, Leach responded, “I think that’s apparent.”
Texas Tech’s official statement said Leach’s recent actions made it impossible for him to remain as coach.
“In a defiant act of insubordination, Coach Leach continually refused to cooperate in a meaningful way to help resolve the complaint. He also refused to obey a suspension order and instead sued Texas Tech University,” the statement said.
Leach later released a statement to some media outlets.
“Texas Tech’s decision to deal in lies and fabricate a story which led to my firing includes, but is not limited by, the animosity remaining from last year’s contract negotiations. I will not tolerate such retaliatory action. Additionally, we will pursue all available legal remedies,” Leach said in the statement, according to media reports.