Ex-Kansas coach David Beaty files lawsuit against Jayhawks athletic department claiming breach of contract

Former Kansas coach David Beaty is suing the school for $3 million for breach of contract and unpaid wages, according to a release from the Texas-based law firm Deans & Lyons, LLP.

The lawsuit claims that, immediately after his dismissal in November 2018, the school began to search for ways to avoid paying him the buyout despite Beaty staying on as head coach through the end of the 2018 season. The goal set forth by Kansas officials was to find "something" on Beaty such as "a dead hooker in [his] closet" according to the suit filed Deans & Lyons. 

"Ever since the season concluded, Kansas Athletics has moved the goal posts on coach Beaty," said Deans & Lyons co-founder Michael Lyons. "Kansas Athletics can't walk back its decision to terminate coach Beaty without cause after confirming it publicly, privately, and in writing. Coach Beaty and his family will always cherish their time at KU, but they do not understand why Kansas Athletics has reneged on its promises."

Beaty was terminated without cause on Nov. 4. Following the dismissal, first-year Kansas athletic director Jeff Long said that the dismissal was purely performance-based, and not due to personal conduct or NCAA-related issues. 

"Ultimately I did not see a path forward to long-term success in the Big 12," Long said. "As I look ahead, the next few seasons, and as I studied the football organization, it was clear to me that we needed to move forward in a different way."

According to the release, Kansas informed Beaty on Dec. 13 that it was conducting an investigation into a member of the football staff. Due to that investigation, Kansas told Beaty that it wouldn't pay his buyout until the investigation is complete, even though Beaty's representatives claim that their client has been cooperative in the inquiry. 

Kansas athletic director Jim Marchiony issued the following statement to CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd regarding the lawsuit.

"The filing is full of false claims and factual misstatements, including that KU's Director of Athletics made salacious comments about seeking reasons to withhold payment from Beaty," Marchiony said. "Simply, that did not happen. Here are the facts.  Beaty was informed he would not be retained by KU on November 4, 2018, but would be able to coach the remaining games. Immediately following the end of the season, Kansas athletics staff conducted standard exit interviews of all football coaches and staff, and through that process we learned of possible NCAA violations allegedly committed by Beaty. KU contacted the NCAA and the Big 12 Conference and began an investigation into the matter. Beaty refused to cooperate with the KU review and, ultimately, the NCAA took the lead in the still-ongoing investigation. 

"Due to the nature of the allegations, which, if true, would be in violation of the terms of Beaty's contract, the university has withheld payment of money owed to Beaty pending the outcome of the NCAA investigation. In a show of good faith, the university has placed the full amount owed in escrow."

Beaty's contract at Kansas calls for the buyout to be paid in six equal payments. In his four years at Kansas, Beaty posted a 6-42 overall record, went 2-34 in Big 12 play and finished last in the conference in each of his four seasons. Beaty was recently hired as a consultant at Texas under coach Tom Herman. 

College Football Writer

Barrett Sallee has been a member of the sports media in various aspects since 2001. He is currently a college football writer for CBS Sports, analyst for CBS Sports HQ and host for the SiriusXM college... Full Bio

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