Mike Leach is back in court, this time suing ESPN and Spaeth Communications for defamation. The coach is already suing Texas Tech and ESPN’s Craig James for wrongful termination.
Short recap: Craig James’ son, Adam, was allegedly shut in a closet while he had a concussion. Mike Leach was eventually fired, Craig James was bumped from Alamo Bowl duty, lawyers descended. Which brings us to this.
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.
ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz said the company has not seen the lawsuit and that it would be inappropriate to comment. …
[Broadcaster Mike] 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.”
Whether the Alamo Bowl was watched by “an audience of millions” — or at least millions who were actually listening to anything Mike Patrick said — is questionable, but in any case, this raises the prospects of more depositions involving Craig James and Leach, which will if nothing else provide some entertainment in the offseason.
And why would Leach think Spaeth Communications had anything to do with the purported clip post online of Adam James in the tight space?
YouTube shows the name of video’s uploader as "Spaethcom8181."
Well, yeah, there is that.
In the meantime, Leach reportedly wants to coach at the college level again. The question is whether the litigious end to his time in Lubbock will clear his name for future employers — or send a message that they hire him at their own peril?