Mike Leach finally talked about his firing Wednesday when he stopped by the KRIV-TV FOX studios in Houston and read a prepared statement.
The former Texas Tech coach said he plans to seek legal action against the university for firing him without probable cause. Tech fired Leach after he allegedly mistreated backup receiver Adam James, the son of former SMU and NFL player and current ESPN college football analyst Craig James.
Leach, 48, had stopped in Houston after leaving San Antonio, where the Red Raiders will face Michigan State on Saturday at 8 p.m. in the Alamo Bowl.
In his prepared statement, Leach gave praise to the high graduation rate of the Tech football program under his leadership. He also said what happened to him this morning was nothing more than some meddling movers and shakers associated with Tech who are still upset that he was given a contract extension last year that ultimately landed him a five-year, $12.7 million deal.
Here's the prepared statement Leach read on KRIV-TV:
"I want everyone to know what a privilege and pleasure it has been to teach and coach more than 400 student-athletes at Texas Tech University over the past 10 years. When I arrived at Texas Tech the football program was on
"However, in the past 10 years, Tech has been to 10 straight bowl games and we have the third best record in the Big 12 Conference. Tech also has the highest graduation rate of any public institution in the country, and that's something that we're particularly proud of.
"Over the past several months there have been individuals in the Texas Tech administration, Board of Regents and booster groups that have dealt in lies and continue to do so. These lies have led to my firing this morning. I steadfastly refuse to deal in any lies and am disappointed that I have not been afforded the opportunity to make the truth known.
"Texas Tech's decision to deal in lies and fabricate a story which led to my firing includes, but is not limited to, the animosity remaining from last year's contract negotiations. I will not tolerate such retaliatory action. Additionally, we will pursue all available legal remedies.
"These actions taken by Texas Tech have severely damaged my reputation and public image. In addition, Texas Tech has caused harm to not only my family, but to the entire Red Raider nation and all of college football.
"As you know, I prefer to engage in question and answer sessions. However, in this instance my counsel has advised me to simply make a statement. There will be a time, however, to answer questions about this issue in the future. But the serious legal nature of this situation prevents me from going into further detail at this time.''
_ Dwain Price