Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Ex-coach Leach sues ESPN for libel, slander

LUBBOCK, Texas — Former coach Mike Leach sued ESPN Inc. and a public relations firm on Wednesday, accusing them of libel and slander after he was fired by Texas Tech amid accusations that he mistreated a player suffering from a concussion.

The suit filed in Texas district court claims the network's coverage of Leach's firing last year was "willful and negligent defamation" and that it failed to "retract false and damaging statements" it made from "misinformation" provided to ESPN by Craig James, the father of the Texas Tech player.

Josh Krulewitz, spokesman for the network based in Bristol, Conn., said officials had not seen the suit and declined comment.

Leach attorney Ted Liggett said the former coach wants "to set the record" straight.

"Mike Leach is adamant," Liggett said. "Mike Leach wants his name cleared. His reputation has taken a severe hit and been tarnished."

The university fired Leach on Dec. 30, two days after suspending him amid allegations he mistreated Adam James. Leach has denied the claim.

Adam James has said his coach twice ordered him to stand for hours while confined in a dark place during practice. Wednesday, Liggett claimed that Adam James under oath said he thought it was "humorous" what Leach told him to do and that he didn't think Leach should have been fired.

The suit, which seeks undisclosed damages and retractions from ESPN and the PR firm, was filed now because the statute of limitations on slander and libel is one year.

"On a daily basis we're still seeing stories across the country" with accounts Leach claims are counter to the truth, Liggett said. "Mike Leach is looking forward to getting back into coaching; he's said that on several occasions."

Leach was fired a few days before Texas Tech beat Michigan State in the Alamo Bowl. Craig James was slated to be a broadcaster but was replaced by Mike Patrick, according to the suit.

Patrick described Adam James to "an audience of millions," saying, "There is Adam James, who is the young man who was actually punished for having a concussion," the lawsuit claims. Patrick's comments left the impression that "Leach punished a player for having a concussion."

Craig James is also a defendant in the lawsuit Leach filed against Texas Tech when he was fired.

NEBRASKA: The No. 16 Cornhuskers will be without senior wide receiver and kick returner Niles Paul as they try to win the Big 12 North title. Coach Bo Pelini said Paul hurt a foot at practice Tuesday and will miss Friday's game against Colorado.

OREGON: The school said allegations of impropriety surrounding running back LaMichael James and a vehicle he had been driving are unfounded. The university issued a statement saying it was determined that James' use of the vehicle "did not constitute a violation of NCAA legislation." Questions arose after an anonymous tip that James was driving a sports utility vehicle that he borrowed from a friend.

UCLA: Offensive coordinator Norm Chow's two-year contract extension finally was approved by the University of California Board of Regents. The school announced that Chow's deal was approved late last week.

Ex-coach Leach sues ESPN for libel, slander 11/24/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 24, 2010 7:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Buccaneers defense was among NFL's best when its pressure got to the QB

    Bucs

    It doesn't matter how many times they've thrown a football. It doesn't matter how many seasons they've played. It doesn't matter whether they have a degree from Harvard or Central Florida.

    Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy recorded 6.5 sacks last season, but many of his other contributions didn't show up in the box scores. [ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times]

  2. Rays DFA Danny Farquhar to make room for Brad Boxberger

    Blogs

    The Rays continued shuffling their bullpen, dumping RHP Danny Farquhar after Wednesday's game to make room for RHP Brad Boxberger to be activated off the DL.

    Farquhar, who worked an inning in Wednesday's 6-2 loss, had a 2-2, 4.11 record for 37 appearances, working primarily in lower leverage situations. In …

  3. USF to face Indiana in men's basketball next season

    College

    The USF men's basketball team will get an early test from a Big Ten powerhouse next season.

  4. Rays employee helps save suicidal woman near Pirates stadium

    Blogs

    A Rays front-office employee joined umpire John Tumpane in saving a woman threatening to jump from a bridge near PNC Park on Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh.

    Multimedia production manager Mike Weinman, 32, was walking across the Roberto Clemente Bridge with Rays broadcasting director Larry McCabe when he …

  5. Blake Snell struggles in return as Rays fall to Pirates

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH

    Blake Snell talked a good game ahead of his return to the Rays rotation Wednesday night, but he didn't pitch one.

    The Pirates’ David Freese scores on a Blake Snell wild pitch during the first inning against the Rays.