Texas Tech fires head football coach Mike Leach - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Texas Tech fires head football coach Mike Leach

LUBBOCK, Texas — Texas Tech fired coach Mike Leach on Wednesday, just two days after he was suspended by the school as it investigated his treatment of a player with a concussion.

The school handed a termination letter to Leach's attorney, Ted Liggett, on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009, just before the two sides were to appear in a Lubbock, Texas, courtroom for a hearing on the coach's suspension.

Liggett says the letter says Leach is "terminated with cause effective immediately."

In February, Leach and the school agreed to a five-year, $12.7 million contract. According to terms of the deal, Leach was due a $800,000 bonus on Dec. 31 if he were still the head coach at Texas Tech.

Leach was suspended by the university on Monday after receiver Adam James alleged the coach twice confined him to small, dark spaces while the practiced.

James is the son of former NFL player and ESPN analyst Craig James.

Texas Tech plays Michigan State on Saturday in the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio.

Tech is the second Big 12 school to launch an internal investigation into a coach's treatment of his players.

On Nov. 16, Kansas investigated Mark Mangino, who got a big raise after he was national coach of the year and went 12-1 in 2007. Some players said he was insensitive, though others defended him.

Mangino resigned Dec. 3 after reaching a settlement with the school that was later disclosed as a $3 million buyout.

In an affidavit included in Tuesday's court filing, Leach said he "would never intentionally harm or endanger a player" and that he has been "forced into this situation without being afforded any process." He also said "absolutely" no evidence had been given to him that showed he had violated any university rules or standards.

Leach was the OU offensive coordinator under head coach Bob Stoops in 1999. Under Leach, the OU offense set six Big 12 Conference and 17 school records.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. Information from the Texas Tech Athletic Department was used in this report.

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