Thursday, February 19, 2009

Crisis averted

After a bizarre series of events that ranged from a verbal agreement on a contract extension to a near-firing by the school's Board of Regents, Texas Tech and coach Mike Leach agreed on the details of a five-year, $12.7 million deal late Thursday.

As for the small print that was causing the contentious negotiations:

The new agreement includes no buyout clause for Leach if he were to find another job. Tech's original offer included a clause that would have required him to pay $300,000 for each year remaining on the contract. Leach now will have to notify Tech officials if he plans to interview for another job, but there will be no penalty for doing so.
In other words, Leach won this standoff. It's hard to call the school a loser, though, when the whole thing ended with Tech wrapping up one of the best coaches in the country for the next five years.

Even if Leach happens to leave at some point during the life of the contract -- which is doubtful, given his previous lack of interest in high-profile openings -- it's probably worth risking $300,000 (or whatever) to to keep him around for as long as possible rather than fire him over a minor detail in an extension that had already been agreed upon.

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