In a move that almost certainly removes the possibility of Mike Leach receiving monetary damages from his former employer, an appeals court has overturned a previous court’s ruling that the former Red Raider head coach’s suit against Texas Tech could continue.
In its ruling Friday, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the plaintiff’s contention that Tech waived its protection from lawsuits as a state entity and could thus be sued in a civil court for money Leach claims he’s owed. Instead, the appeals court ruled that Tech is immune from the monetary damages contained in Leach’s suit.
“We have felt all along that we would win, and we did win,” Tech attorney Dicky Gregg said in a statement released by the school.
“As we’ve maintained all along, the facts and the law were clear, and the Court of Appeals agreed. The breach of contract claim was properly dismissed, as were all other monetary claims.”
The ruling means that Leach can continue in his attempt to prove that he was dismissed without cause and that Tech breached his contract, but the school will not be subject to any future monetary claims. Barring, of course, a reversal of the appeals court decision; Leach’s attorney plans to to appeal the most recent ruling to the Texas Supreme Court.
So much for getting a chance to play against his former team. Notre Dame wide receiver Freddy Canteen says he is going to look for a new program to play football. Canteen previously transferred to Notre Dame from Michigan (Notre Dame hosts Michigan in Week 1 of the 2018 season).
“I will be transferring to another university to obtain a graduate degree that unfortunately Notre Dame does not offer,” Canteen said in a statement on Twitter. “I will also utilize my remaining two years of eligibility to play football.”
Canteen played in just three games for Notre Dame in 2017, with one reception for seven yards. A torn labrum brought his 2017 season to an abrupt end. The former Michigan player transferred to Notre Dame after the 2016 season, which was also wiped out by injury after his 2015 season was ruined by an injury.
As a graduate transfer, Canteen will be eligible to play right away this fall for whatever program he transfers to. And, as confirmed by Canteen, he will have two more years of eligibility to continue playing football for the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
When it comes to per school revenue distribution, ACC schools are still lagging behind the rest of the power conferences, but the ACC did see its revenue for the past fiscal year jump by 12 % to a reported $418.1 million. According to tax documents reviewed by Steve Berkowitz of USA Today, the ACC paid each football member of the conference between $25.3 million and $30.7 million for the 2017 fiscal year.
The revenue distribution was up from the $23.8 million each school was paid the previous year when the total revenue distribution was reported at $373.4 million. The ACC’s revenue actually dropped last season from the year prior to that, but that was influenced by a $31.4 million exit fee paid by former ACC member Maryland as the school left the ACC for the Big Ten. Each team in the conference receives an equal base share, but the conference then supplements the distribution to adjust for bowl expenses. Because of that, Clemson was paid $30.7 million after playing in two straight College Football Playoff games, including the championship game in the 2016 season.
Notre Dame, who was paid $4 million by the ACC last year, was given a distribution of $5.8 million due to its affiliation with the ACC in other sports outside of football.
ACC commissioner John Swofford was paid $3.3 million for the fiscal year with a base salary of $3.15 million. It is the first time Swofford has been paid $3 million by the conference after coming up just shy of the $3 million mark last year.
Where does the ACC stack up against its power conference peers? On a per-school breakdown, the SEC is the absolute king with each SEC member receiving an average of $41 million in the most recent revenue distributions from the conference. The Big Ten is also comfortably ahead of the pack in total revenue, with each member receiving about $37 million for the past year. The Big 12 generated $371 million in revenue in the past year, leading to payouts of $34.3 million for its 10 members. The Pac-12 reported a revenue of $509 million for the past year with a distribution to conference members doling out $30.9 million per school.
On a per-school basis, the ACC is lagging behind the other conferences in terms of how much each school is receiving from the conference. However, the ACC is moving forward with plans to launch an ACC Network which is expected to spike the revenue figures a bit. The SEC and Big Ten have really thrived with their own networks, while the Pac-12 continues to try capitalizing on its network in a similar way. With ESPN lending a helping hand with the ACC’s network plans, the conference likely will benefit more than the Pac-12 has, which should allow ACC schools to begin pulling in more with revenue distributions following the launch of the eventual network.
Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines are looking to get in some early work on the recruiting trail with a Massachusetts recruit. As has become a bit of a trend over the years, Michigan is offering a scholarship to an eighth grader with the size that scouts cannot miss.
Tyler Martin of Cambridge, Massachusetts announced via Twitter he has received an offer from Michigan. Of course, to receive an offer form a program like Michigan before entering high school for the first time doesn’t happen to just any middle schooler. Martin just so happens to stand out in the crowd at 6′-3″ and 227 pounds, according to USA Today. Having played both tight end and linebacker in middle school, Martin has already shown some skill that future coaches will hope develops to stay ahead of the curve.
As noted by USA Today, Martin is already thinking about his future. Just last month, Martin visited Boston College to scope out the scene. Given his size and ability to play two positions, if that continues to excel in high school, more and more programs from around the country will take an interest if they have not already.
This bit of a recruiting tactic is one that is aimed to be brought to an end by a proposal from the ACC regarding the recruiting process. As previously reported, a proposal from the ACC would restrict schools from extending any form of offer to a prospective student-athlete until September 1 of that player’s junior year of high school. Of course, that doesn’t mean that student can’t begin the recruiting process. It simply means making an offer to a middle schooler just about to go into high school would be prohibited.
A mini-Houston scheduling day at CFT continues, with the AAC school confirming another future matchup with a Power Five program.
On the heels of their tweaked series with UT-San Antonio, UH also announced a future home-and-home with Pac-12 member Utah. The Cougars will host the Utes at TDECU Stadium on Sept. 5, 2026, then travel to Salt Lake City’s Rice-Eccles Stadium Sept. 11, 2027.
Th two football programs have met four times previously, with the Cougars winning all four of those matchups. Three of those four games were played in Houston, with the most recent meeting coming way back in 1978.
In confirming their series, the two programs also took care of a couple of other scheduling notes.
Utah announced a three-game series with Weber State that will be played in 2023, 2026 and 2027. That trio of games against the FCS program will, obviously, be played in Salt Lake City. Houston, meanwhile, confirmed a home-and-home with Rice, with a Sept. 24, 2022, game at the Cougars’ home and a Sept. 9, 2023, game at the home of the Owls.