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Texas Tech dismisses counteroffer from Mike Leach's agents

Mike Leach might be coaching at Texas Tech next season under a dark cloud.

Texas Tech athletic Gerald Myers didn’t act kindly toward a contract proposal he received from one of Leach’s agents, Mike Baldwin of International Marketing Group (IMG).

“This so-called proposal is simply an offer for us to guarantee that coach Leach could never be fired,’’ Myers said in a prepared statement released Friday by Texas Tech. “It would cost us a maximum of $4.4 million if we wanted to change coaches in the first year. It would cost Texas Tech millions in subsequent years of his five-year contract.’’

Leach and Tech have agreed on a five-year, $12.7 million contract. But they are at an impasse on key issues that ultimately might force Leach to either coach out the remaining two years on his current contract or seek employment elsewhere following next season.

Myers has given Leach until Tuesday to accept Tech’s new proposal. But part of the reason why Leach probably won’t sign it is because under his current contract, he is guaranteed 40 percent of his money, but only 12 percent is guaranteed in Tech’s new proposal.

Leach’s agents don’t like that Tech wants to receive all monies from Leach’s personal property rights, including TV and radio commercials and speaking engagements. Those personal property rights are now held by Leach.

In addition, Myers would require Leach to receive permission to interview for another coaching job. That became a source of embarrassment for Tech in December when Leach flew to Seattle to interview for the University of Washington job, and Tech officials didn’t know about it until after the fact.

Baldwin notified Myers in an e-mail Tuesday that either IMG or Leach would seek permission from Tech before he interviews for another job.

Tech’s new proposal would make Leach responsible for a $1.5 million buyout if he left Tech for another job before his contract ended. Baldwin wants to keep the same $500,000 figure in Leach’s current contract. Myers believes Tech has made its best offer, and he doesn’t sound ready to budge.

“If Leach left Tech he would only pay $500,000,” Myers said in his statement. “Our proposal is a fair offer of $12.7 million for five years. Both Leach and Texas Tech would pay the same annually decreasing buyout figures. Leach’s agent’s proposal is not fair. We will not even respond to such a proposal.”