A hearing will be held in Lubbock at 8:30 this morning in the 99th District Court to determine whether Texas Tech coach Mike Leach will be allowed to coach in Saturday's Alamo Bowl against Michigan State.
Tech officials suspended Leach on Monday amid allegations he mistreated backup wide receiver Adam James after the redshirt sophomore from Celina suffered a concussion during a Dec. 16 scrimmage. Leach's attorney, Ted Liggett, filed the motion for a temporary restraining order Tuesday in Lubbock.
Texas Tech continues to investigate a complaint from James and his family, but Leach backers wonder why he was suspended before the investigation was complete.
"They never even told him why he was suspended," a source said. "There’s nothing more to investigate.
"Now if they said our investigation is complete and we decided to suspend the coach for this reason or that reason, OK. But they didn’t do that."
A letter to Leach obtained by the Star-Telegram dated Monday and signed by Tech athletic director Gerald Myers and school President Gus Bailey didn’t specify why Leach was suspended.
The letter stated: "We recently received a complaint from a player and his parents regarding your treatment of him after an injury, and we have undertaken an investigation of that complaint. We consider this a serious matter.
"Until the investigation is complete, you are suspended from all duties as head football coach effective immediately."
James’ father, Craig James, played at SMU and in the NFL. He is currently is a college football analyst for ESPN.
The source said Craig James has been "hounding these coaches at Texas Tech — not just Mike — all year" for more playing time for Adam James.
"They suspended him because a family is upset about the kid’s playing time," the source said. "That’s what it is. [Leach] didn’t do anything wrong with this kid.
"James wanted Mike, No. 1, to promise that his son would be a starter next year, which you can’t do."
Craig James did not return a telephone call seeking comment.
Apparently, Adam James told his parents Leach secluded him in a dark, tight electrical closet on two occasions while the team was practicing as he was dealing with his concussion. Liggett said that wasn’t the case.
"He was not put in any type of solitary confinement," Liggett told CNN. "He was diagnosed with a simple concussion and returned to the football team.
"As coach does with injured players, he had him watching practice and doing some walking and decided he’d be better off in a garage — called the 'o-rage,’ because it’s where the offensive lineman rest."
However, the source said Leach could have ended the controversy before he was suspended by writing an apology to James.
"Mike said, 'I’m not going to do that. I didn’t do anything wrong,’ " the source said. "He just got stubborn."
Another source close to James told The Associated Press that Leach late last week postponed a meeting related to the inquiry and refused to sign a letter saying "no one injured would be returned to work out without doctors’ permission."
Leach’s future with Tech could hang in the balance today as the hearing takes place.
Leach, in the first year of a five-year, $12.7 million deal, would receive an $800,000 bonus if he’s still the coach on Thursday. If his contract is terminated before next season, the Raiders must pay him $1.6 million — $400,000 for each year remaining on his contract.
Defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill has been named Tech’s interim coach and will coach Saturday unless a judge says otherwise.