CFB: Sources: Ex-Texas Tech coach Leach shorted $1.7 million
By Dwain Price
FORT WORTH, Texas — Two sources close to former Texas Tech head football coach Mike Leach said the university still hasn't paid Leach at least $1.7 million for work he performed for the school during the 2009 season.
Following some contentious negotiations with the Tech administration, Leach signed a five-year, $12.7 million contract with the Red Raiders on Feb. 19, 2009. But one source said Tech only paid Leach his base salary of $300,000 for the 2009 season and still owes him money for guaranteed outside income and bonuses.
"Texas Tech didn't pay Mike Leach for all the work he did in 2009," one source said. "Imagine Mack Brown working for his school and they just decide they're not going to pay him. That's what we have here with Mike Leach."
According to Leach's contract, Tech is supposed to pay him $1.6 million in guaranteed outside athletics-related personal income. He also was slated to collect an additional $25,000 because Tech played in a bowl game, $25,000 because the Raiders finished the season ranked No. 21 in the final Associated Press poll, $25,000 because Tech won five Big 12 games, and $25,000 because its football program's graduation rate was above 65 percent.
According to the contract, Leach was to have received payment no later than Feb. 15.
"This is dangerous," a source said. "Texas Tech is basically saying the contract Mike Leach signed is not worth the paper it's written on."
Tech fired Leach on Dec. 30, and Leach has a suit pending against the school for defamation of character, fraud and for firing him without cause. A judge ruled Tuesday that Leach's lawsuit could proceed after the university attempted to have it dismissed. Because of the lawsuit, Leach can't comment.
"His base was $300,000, and then his other (salary) was outside income. He's been paid his base," Tech athletic director Gerald Myers said. "But there's a lawsuit going on and I'm really not at liberty to talk about what Leach is owed and what he's not owed."
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram filed an open records request regarding the contract and was subsequently told he received his $300,000 base salary, plus $100,000 in bonuses for the conference wins, bowl appearance, Top 25 ranking and graduation rate. The school's response indicated Leach wasn't entitled to the $1.6 million in guaranteed outside athletics-related personal income after he was fired in the aftermath of the Adam James situation.
"Mike Leach has been paid what he is owed by Texas Tech," the school responded in an e-mail. "His mistreatment of an injured student-athlete was a breach of his contract and ultimately resulted in Mike Leach's termination. When he breached his contract, he no longer was entitled to further compensation."
According to a source, Tech has the right to debate what money is owed Leach for the four years that were remaining on his contract, but not the money Leach worked for in 2009.
In 10 years at Tech, Leach coached the Red Raiders to an 84-43 record and 10 bowl games. He departed as the program's all-time winningest coach.
Excerpts from the contract Mike Leach signed with Texas Tech on Feb. 19, 2009:
1. Base salary: $300,000
2. Guarantee of Outside Athletics Related Personal Income, Contract Year 2009: $1.6 million.
3. Supplemental Compensation: Beginning with the 2009 football season, in the event the University football team achieves the following accomplishments, Coach shall receive Supplemental Compensation ... no later than Feb. 15 of the following year:
a.) Football team attains a Graduation Success Rate of 65 percent as defined by the NCAA: $25,000
b.) Participates in any other bowl: $25,000
c.) Final Associated Press or USA Today Poll Ranking No. 11-25: $25,000
d.) 5 regular-season conference wins: $25,000
4. Contract Completion Bonus: If Coach is the Head Football Coach at University as of December 31, 2009, University will pay Coach a Contract Completion Bonus of $800,000.