ed.- bumped from the fanposts
Did anyone else see this?* Leach's contract renewal with TTU is one of the more bizarre stories of the young offseason. I swear, the TTU administration is trying to run off the Dread Pirate Leach. Here's the skinny:
As the weekend approached, both sides were closing in on a 5 year, $12.7 mill agreement. Getting to this point was a miracle of negotiation because Leach wanted no buyout clause in the agreement should he go elsewhere. This is a standard provision in some of his Big 12 rivals' contracts, including Mack Brown, Mark Mangino, Bob Stoops and Bruce Snyder. TTU wouldn't budge on not including a buyout (pretty smart since Leach is growing restless), nor would Leach bugde on signing one including a buyout. However, both sides got together and established a sliding scale of annually decreasing buyout amounts. Each side would pay the exact same amount, depending on whether he was fired and bought out, or quit and had to pay TTU. The problem with this arrangement (as Leach rightly points out), is that he is left to bear the burden of risk in this, while the university is relatively well-insulated from loss. Think of it like your social security taxes, with the buyout costing exactly 7.65%: If I make $106,800, I am taxed 7.65% on the full amount (Leach); if the university makes $5 million, they are taxed 7.65% up to the first $106,800. He was right, this was a bad deal for Leach, but nevertheless he was ready to sign on the dotted line.
Enter some uber-smug University counsel, who add these provisions to the agreement:
• That if he is fired, his contract is only guaranteed for 12 percent. Texas coach Mack Brown, Oklahoma's Bob Stoops, Kansas State's Bill Snyder and Kansas' Mark Mangino are all guaranteed for 100 percent, while the league average is 55 percent. Leach's current contract puts his guaranteed portion at 40 percent.
• Leach's current buyout, which is $500,000, would increase to $1.5 million (Brown, Stoops, Snyder and Mangino do not have buyouts.)
• Leach would have to receive permission from Texas Tech to speak with another school or risk owing Tech $1.5 million.
• All of the money from his personal speaking properties, whether he makes an appearance or authors a book on his life in Wyoming, would go to Tech.
Just a couple of observations. The first is that the guaranteed amount for Mark Mangino is 100%, league average (which included Chizik!!) was 55%. Tech is guaranteeing 12% of his contract. The second is a clause which is the result of the now-infamous B.C. kerfuffle with Jagodinski, where BC fired a coach just for looking around, and doing a little market comparison (a ploy in coaching as old as the contract). This clause essentially gives TTU the power to decide what school Leach can interview with without being fired; this, therefore, makes any meaningful job search/contract renegotion tactic a huge risk, and a risk borne by Leach (remember, he is only guaranteed at 12%).** The final one, and the one that gets my gall is the forfeiture clause: This 11th hour screw-job requirement states that irrespective of how Leach earns money, about his own life, and on his own time, it would nevertheless go to TTU. All "personal properties" would include, as the authors note, speaking engagements and book deals. I thought of a few more: symposia, honoria, potentially recordings (he's a huge music fan), coaching clinics, etc.
The long and short of this is that the University and Leach have rapidly developed bad blood, and, just like a divorce gone sour, the middlemen (negotiators, lawyers, etc) have also started to take this personally...the end result is that Leach will be somewhere next year, at a different university that appreciates him a bit more ($) and isn't quite so punitive in its efforts to retain him. Business is business, and in Leach's case, has gotten personal...to the detriment of that team, the university and Leach himself.
* I know this isn't about Alabama, but it involves Leach, who lost to Ole Miss, who we beat, yet who beat Florida, who beat us, so it's tangential. Not to mention, Leach was on Auburn's shortlist,but they hired Chizik, who was at Iowa State who was a team we beat, and one that Leach regularly beat...so, work with me: It's the off-season.
** This isn't quite as bad as it seems: Many professions include a non-competition clause in their contracts; they are pretty standard in corporate contracts, law and medicine. As an interesting side project, if anyone has a contract like this, and is not those three professions, shoot me an email. The problem with this clause isn't that it bars future employment, it's that it decides who Leach could try to find a job with, be it a conference foe or Orchard Park High School. It gives the university a carte blanche veto over any position, anywhere (yes, Leach would have a pretty good lawsuit, I'd guess).