Judge ready to end Mike Leach lawsuits

LUBBOCK, Texas — A judge is preparing 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 that the judge sent letters to attorneys, asking defense attorneys to draw up an order for summary judgment in the cases. Heninger said Leach would appeal once the judge rules.

Texas Tech fired Leach in December 2009 amid accusations he mistreated James’ son, a player who had a concussion. The suit against ESPN and Spaeth Communication alleged libel and slander.

In February, the last remaining count in Leach’s lawsuit against the school was dismissed. Leach is now the head coach at Washington State.

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