Texas Tech filing to dismiss Leach lawsuit

May, 5, 2010
5/05/10
9:00
AM ET
Two Texas Tech attorneys filed a motion to dismiss former coach Mike Leach's lawsuit against the university and four employees.

Tech's attorneys filed an affidavit from Dr. Robert Cantu, a Boston neurosurgeon who also served on the NFL's concussion committee.

Adam James, the son of former NFL player and ESPN analyst Craig James, said his coach twice ordered him to stand for hours while confined in a dark place during practice. Leach was suspended on Dec. 28, following the claim, and fired two days later.

"Whereas standing alone would not be harmful, standing in a totally darkened environment with symptoms of dizziness and difficulty with balance placed Adam at risk of falling," Cantu said. "Balance can be dramatically worsened by losing visual orientation, such as by closing one's eyes or by being in the dark."

Makes sense to me, but I believe one point of contention in the case is whether or not a graduate assistant was in the room with James. If so, it seems the risk of James falling would be substantially smaller.

But the move, which came with several sworn statements from trainers, seems like a confident one from Tech and its lawyers. The contents, as you might expect, don't bode well for Leach's case, but it could be interesting when -- or if -- Leach issues a public response to the motion, which includes at least a few nuggets of new information, like Leach using coarse language when discussing James' injury with trainer Buzz Chisum, according to Chisum's statement.

"Look at Dr. Cantu’s statement and the additional information from the team trainers,” one of Texas Tech's lawyers, Dickey Grigg said. “It is obvious that this is no way to treat a student athlete with a concussion -- regardless of a coach’s opinion of the player’s attitude or ability."

Arguing the treatment of James likely isn't Leach's defense though. He could argue that his treatment of James was not a fireable offense, and instead, his firing was based on his testy contract negotiations in the past, and the $800,000 bonus he was due the day after he was fired.

It's no doubt a complicated case, but the results could have a big impact on the perception of Texas Tech and Leach as both parties move on.

UPDATE: (10:46 a.m. ET) From the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, a quote from Paul Dobrowski, Leach's attorney:

"They're misstating the facts," Dobrowski said. "He tried to get them to work things out, and they refused. That is just flat wrong. Again, they are scrambling because they know they are in deep trouble."

Sounds to me like a lot of he said, she said, still. Texas Tech is arguing the exact opposite.

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