ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Smart Money Backs Fired Texas Tech Coach in Case of Suit Against His Former Employer

TexasTechSeal  Readers of this blog probably mostly associate Texas Tech with its University Press, which has brought forth some of the best formal poetry of the early 21st century.  Apparently, the school also has a sports program. 

An Associated Press report posted on states that Texas Tech's President fired the university's football coach Mike Leach for cause based on allegations that he had mistreated a student-athlete who has suffered a concussion.  Leach was fired one day before an $800,000 bonus would have been triggered.

On January 8th, Leach sued, as reported on, sued for breach of contract, fraud and defamation, among other things.  Texas Tech is claiming sovereign immunity to suit, but Leach is claiming protection under Texas' whistleblower statute and claims that under that statute, sovereign immunity does not apply. 

According to this report on, Leach has a good chance of succeeding in his lawsuit.  According to the report, Leach's best legal argument would be to claim that his conduct did not rise to the level that would justify a "for cause" firing.  The report suggests that the good people of West Texas will support Coach Leach regardless of any misconduct, and that attitude might force the university into a settlement.

[Jeremy Telman]

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