Mike Leach apparently has new evidence that uncovers how Craig James and Texas Tech used a public relations firm to create a national smear campaign against him. And since Leach hasn’t really had his day in court following his termination by Texas Tech, he’s put that alleged evidence onto paper with a new book called “Swing Your Sword.”
Leach previews the book in the following interview, claiming that James hired a PR firm, Spaeth Communications, to help hook his son, Craig James in touch with ESPN’s Craig James. The younger James’ concussion story, you’ll remember, was part of what led to Leach’s firing. He also says Tech then used the same information from the PR firm to continue the crusade in hopes that it wouldn’t have to pay him.
I should mention that Leach describes all this while out fishing on the Atlantic Ocean, a goofy side-note that won’t surprise anybody who is familiar with Leach and his eccentricity. It will be interesting to see if his book brings the whole issue up nationally and/or helps him get the opportunity to finally tell his side of the story in court. There’s also the possibility that this may adversely affect Leach’s chances at landing a high-profile coaching job when he does return to coaching. Though I don’t think Leach is too worried about ruffling feathers.
Mike Leach joined 105.3 The Fan in Dallas with Richie and Greggo to discuss what his new book uncovers surrounding his ongoing battle with Texas Tech, the roles of Craig James and his son Adam during the lead-up to his dismissal, his thoughts on Adam James as a player, and his claim that the PR firm helped put Adam James in touch with ESPN’s Joe Schad.
What does your new book uncover surrounding the investigation leading to your firing at Texas Tech?:
“The quick summary would be, No. 1, Texas Tech wasn’t satisfied — and by Texas Tech really it was just the Chancellor and two regents — … were dissatisfied with the contract that they’d agreed to and negotiated. A day later, they send a memo out saying, ‘If we fire him by November, we don’t have to pay him.’ So they never planned to fulfill the contract, they never offered any defense for it, they haven’t paid me in 2009, the season I already worked and their only defense is sovereign immunity, which is a medieval doctrine. … The evidence against them is ridiculously compelling and we’re just looking for our day in court. Right now we’re battling to see if we can be heard.”
On uncovering some things surrounding Craig James in the investigation as well:
“The other interesting thing is Craig James hired a PR firm and Craig James used a PR firm who funneled a bunch of false information to ESPN. And then the chancellor at Tech utilized the same PR firm to smear me nationally in order to try and take my contract. Craig James was upset and bitter about how much playing time his son had and I think he knew I was going to cut him after the bowl game. And their documents outline their strategy to smear me nationally, their strategy to try to get witnesses to change their statements and then their strategy to distribute the false video that Adam James took on his phone.”
More on Adam James and whether his ability warranted the type of attention that he and his father were apparently demanding:
“He played about five plays a game. The problem was he didn’t have a real good attitude and his effort wasn’t good. He didn’t have any scholarship offers coming out of high school, which is why he accepted a grey shirt at Texas Tech. … But the biggest thing is he never got out from under his dad’s coattails. … They’ve got some sham allegation that I tried to force him to play with a concussion. He’s a player that played five plays a game, when just shortly before that we benched the starting quarterback for a month because he had a concussion. Interestingly enough, he played every snap.”
On his book detailing James’ hiring of the PR firm, which had Adam James forward his names and cell phones to Joe Schad:
“Joe Schad did contact Adam James and players and then Adam, of course, would go around and try to find the occasional malcontent … to try to make negative comments. It was literally orchestrated specifically by Craig James through Adam and Joe Schad. That’s in the book in the words of … the PR firm that Craig hired.”