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Leach writes Tech, player's dad worked to 'smear' his name wire reports

LUBBOCK, Texas -- Former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach on Tuesday offered up fresh details on what he says was happening behind the scenes around the time he was fired.

In excerpts from his book, Swing Your Sword, Leach said emails "suggest" there was never a university investigation into allegations he mistreated a player, Adam James, with a concussion but rather "an effort to sell me down the river." He also claims a public relations firm, Spaeth Communications, was used by the university to "smear" Leach's name.

"They knew the facts weren't on their side so they used Spaeth to spread misinformation and try to turn public opinion," an excerpt says.

The university fired Leach in December 2009 amid claims that he mistreated receiver Adam James, son of Craig James, an ESPN analyst. Leach has long denied that, and said he believes an $800,000 bonus he was due was the reason he was fired.

Leach sued the school for wrongful termination but a Texas appeals court allowed his trial to go forward for only non-monetary damages.

Leach, who has lived in Key West, Fla., since shortly after his firing and was passed up for the job at Maryland early this year, is awaiting word on whether the Texas Supreme Court will review the appellate court's ruling. If the high court reverses the appeals court and rules that Texas Tech waived sovereign immunity protection by its conduct, Leach's suit could go forward for monetary damages.

Texas Tech's response to Leach's petition for a high court review is due Wednesday. Leach has filed a separate libel suit accusing ESPN and Spaeth of slander.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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