The Mike Leach-Craig James-ESPN saga has been largely forgotten by many, as Leach is now coaching at Washington State, James failed in his Senate run, Bruce Feldman has moved on to CBS and the media world's moved on to other college sports stories (hello, Johnny Manziel!). The Leach-James story may not be over quite yet, though. While a judge ruled to grant ESPN, James and Spaeth Communications a summary judgement in Leach's lawsuit against them this week, Leach's lawyer told The Associated Press' Betsy Blaney that his client isn't giving up yet:
A judge is preparing to sign final orders to grant summary judgment in favor of Craig James, ESPN Inc. and a public relations firm in lawsuits brought against them by football coach Mike Leach after he was fired by Texas Tech, Leach attorney Stephen Heninger said Thursday.
State District Judge William Sowder sent letters Tuesday to attorneys, asking defense attorneys to draw up a proposed order for summary judgment in the cases. The letters said the judge was granting the motions for summary judgment but it not official until Sowder signs the order.
Heninger said Leach would appeal once the judge signs.
"I'm very surprised," Heninger said. "Feel very confident on the appeal. Very."
Leach does face an uphill battle here. Sowder's summary judgement means after weighing all the available evidence, he concluded that there was no way a jury could find in Leach's favour. That means Leach's only recourse on an appeal would appear to be arguing either that new facts have come to light (probably not happening, as this is all about what happened in 2009) or that Sowder made a legal error in his ruling. Either of those seems unlikely. Still, it's interesting that Leach is apparently willing to keep trying here. Many coaches would have chalked this up to a past loss by this point and moved on to focusing on their current job, but Leach is still swinging his sword.
And hey, if the lawsuit doesn't work out for him, he's still winning the book-signing acronym war…