Of Contracts and Perspective

One is the man who made Texas Tech football one of the most exciting teams in the country to watch, the other is the man who took a huge gamble hiring an untested and inexperienced offensive-coordinator to run a football team. Come inside as Football Analyst Mitchell Fish gives his take on the Mike Leach and Texas Tech contract talks.

Starting in the Fall of 2006, I have covered Texas Tech Football as a correspondent for RaiderPower. I have had different titles, but the job has always been the same.

I was there when Tech was embarrassed by TCU in '06 and when the Red Raiders rallied to win the Insight Bowl. I was there when they lost to Colorado at the Jones in 2007 and shocked the world by beating Oklahoma just a few weeks later. I was there when Tech beat Texas because of a great throw and catch, I was there when Tech was trounced by Oklahoma.

Tech has had some ups and downs since Mike Leach has been the coach, but most of the time there were more ups than downs.

I'm not going to get into the infamous "four clauses" that have now become National buzzwords.

I'm certainly not going to attempt to lay blame for the dirty laundry that has now been brought into the daylight for the entire Nation to see.

The entire Leach and Tech contract fight has soured what should be a time of exuberance for Tech fans. 11-2, beating the #1 team in the country for the first time in school history, winning multiple National awards, signing a tremendous recruiting class just to name a few highlights of the last year.

And yet, that has been forgotten as quickly as it happened.

It seems that Mike Leach and Gerald Myers are on a collision course, and both are determined not to blink.

Leach, the man who took Tech football from mediocre to relevant.

Myers the boss who writes the checks and hired the inexperienced and quirky offensive-coordinator from Oklahoma, a move that at the time was as much risk as it was reward.

If this contract dispute were an argument between siblings, now would be the time that the parents would step in, sit both kids down at the kitchen table and provide needed guidance.

However, there is no parent in this case.

So, the question now is who suffers?

I honestly don't know what will happen with Mike Leach and Tech, I don't know who wrote what e-mail to whom on what date with what stipulations, I don't know which term was the straw that broke the camels back.

What I do know is that it won't be Mike Leach, who is still under contract.

It won't be Gerald Myers, who can retire knowing that he lead Tech athletics into the 21st century as best as he could.

It will be the local kids in the stands at football games, the freshmen in the South end zone screaming until they are hoarse after every football game, the recent grads who return to recapture a part of their college experience, the parents who bring the next generation of Raiders to their first college games, the men and women who have watched Tech play football since a helmet was just a thick piece of leather.

The ones who will suffer are the ones who are the lifeblood of Tech football, the paying fans.

Without a crew or ship (in Leach's case, fans and a job), a pirate captain is nothing more than an oddly-dressed and unkempt wacko.

And in the Big XII, without a winning football program, you're the laughing stock of the conference.

This isn't to say that Leach is the only coach that could lead Tech to continued success, nor is it to say that Leach should be able to dictate the terms of his contact to the people who sign his checks or disregard the wishes of his bosses in the athletic department and the University as a whole…

But a captain in the crows nest may be worth more than a mutiny on the deck.


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