Apparently, the Texas Tech college football program is trying to make sure no lawyer goes without work.
Former Texas Tech Coach, Mike Leach is suing the college for wrongful termination of his coaching contract and for backpay. This case is in the discovery phase, But Leach wasn't done, he has now sued ESPN for spreading defamatory statements about how Leach handled the concussion of wide receiver Adam Jones, son of ESPN analyst Craig James.
The James' family allegations surround Leach's decision to lock their son in an electrical closet after he refused to practice with a concussion. Leach claims that these allegations were repeated on ESPN. Adam Jones says he was humiliated and demeaned this conduct.
Well, so far, the proof has been a little underwhelming. It appears (according to Leach) that Adam Jones had been a disciplinary problem. Leach was upset with Jones for showing up late at practice wearing a hat and sunglasses when he was injured. In addition, Adam Jones may have destroyed a door in the team's office (causing a $1000 in damages) after he was demoted to the third team. Most importantly, Adam Jones testified that Leach's actions never placed him in medical harm.
For his part, Adam couldn't say whether he is "locked" in an electrical closet or if the door even had a lock. Leach claims that he intended for Adam to be in the team's media room (the size of a one car garage) and that Adam needed to be in a dark place due to light sensitivity.
And then there's Texas Tech, certain emails have surfaced that suggest that the school may have been looking for an excuse to terminate Leach's contract if their contract negotiations did not improve. The school might have first wanted to fine Leach but then used the Jones' allegations to fire him.
All of this brings me to my brilliant legal conclusion: settle. These lawsuits will only be a vehicle to tear each other down. Leach needs a new job and Tech needs to move on. Craig James is major media personality who does not need to be mired in lawsuits and it doesn't look his son is going all-pro any time soon. Tech should give Leach a modest buy-out, paid over time and Leach should take it. Leach and the Jones family should exchange mutual apologies and get back to the big business of college football.