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Monday, July 22, 2019

David Beaty’s lawyers file response to Kansas Athletics’ motion to dismiss lawsuit

Lawyers: KU 'continues to move the goal posts' on buyout

Kansas head coach David Beaty watches as Iowa State gets deep into Kansas territory during the second quarter, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas head coach David Beaty watches as Iowa State gets deep into Kansas territory during the second quarter, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018 at Memorial Stadium.

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Lawyers representing former University of Kansas football head coach David Beaty say Kansas Athletics Inc., “continues to move the goal posts” when it comes to paying Beaty his $3 million buyout.

The coach’s legal team filed on Monday in the U.S. District Court of Kansas its response to a KAI motion to dismiss Beaty’s lawsuit against his one-time employer, countering in part that KAI’s argument based on “a lack of subject matter jurisdiction” doesn’t hold up.

Filed in May, a memo accompanying KAI’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit claimed Beaty and DB Sports, LLC, are Kansas citizens suing a Kansas corporation and there is no basis for diversity jurisdiction, as well as that KAI is “an arm of the state” and not a citizen for diversity jurisdiction purposes.

The response filed on Monday argued that KAI is “a $100,000,000 company that operates without the strictures imposed by the University of Kansas.”

The 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution bars individuals from suing states in federal court.

Beaty’s lawyers also referenced Beaty’s citizenship, noting he is “a born and raised Texan,” and that Beaty moved to Texas after KU fired him, and that he intends to remain there “indefinitely.”

Although Beaty’s wife and youngest child still live in Lawrence, the former KU coach’s lawyers stated Beaty has lived in Austin, Texas, since January and that he is waiting to buy a house in Texas until this lawsuit is resolved and he learns the fate of his buyout.

KU Athletic Director Jeff Long fired Beaty with three games remaining in the 2018 season, Beaty’s fourth year in charge of the program. Per the contract extension Beaty signed in 2016, if KAI fired him without cause, he would be owed $3 million.

When Beaty sued for that money in March, KAI claimed that through exit interviews with football coaches and staff it learned of “possible NCAA violations allegedly committed by Beaty.” If proven true, such violations would be deemed just cause for the termination of the contract.

According to attorneys representing Beaty, the former KU football coach was informed on Dec. 13, 2018, that KAI had initiated an investigation into allegations “involving a member of the football staff and that Kansas Athletics would not make the guaranteed payments until its self-initiated investigation was completed.”

Per his attorneys, Beaty cooperated with the investigation and maintains he was “unaware of any violations of any NCAA rules while the head football coach at KU.”

Hired by former KU Athletic Director Sheahon Zenger in December of 2014, Beaty went 6-42 as the Jayhawks’ head football coach over the course of four seasons, 2015-18.

KU’s 3-9 mark in his final season was its best under Beaty, who had three years remaining on the contract extension he signed in 2016 when the deal was terminated.

Comments

Brett McCabe 8 months, 1 week ago

Maybe Zenger will pay it? Imagine how much further along we would be if Beaty actually had been hired by Herman? I’m not sure if extorting money from a dummy really means that you #earnedit. I’m 100% in favor of dragging this out as long as possible.

Jay Scott 8 months, 1 week ago

Even for you, that's a spectacularly stupid comment...

Mike Hart 8 months, 1 week ago

Jay, are you really surprised? The character of Beaty was never in question... people can ridicule the hiring, the contract extension or devalue him as a coach, but the personal spite and animus toward the man has always been unnecessary, and quite frankly: Undeserved. This reflects poorly on the University for failing to honor a contract. His firing was not for just cause... it was discretionary based on performance. This is ex post facto to now go back and claim he isn't due what was in his contract... for a choice KU made in letting him go. The "lacking jurisdiction" claim is pathetically weak.

Gordon Penny 8 months, 1 week ago

The jurisdiction claim isn't weak at all. In fact, in might succeed. For a claim to survive this attack, the Plaintiff cannot live in the same state as any defendant. Beatty is claiming he lives in Texas even though his family still resides in Kansas. The defense to this attack is going to depend on whether or not the judge buys Beatty's argument that he was a resident of Texas at the time the suit was filed. If the judge rejects that argument, the case will be dismissed.

Dane Pratt 8 months, 1 week ago

OMG, why are they doing this. Pay the man his GD salary and be done with it. This is a no win situation for KU.

Frederick Heckel 8 months, 1 week ago

Maybe because he actually did something that violated his contract and means he isn't entitled to the money?

Bill Kackley 8 months, 1 week ago

He was fired before the "exit interviews" so there cannot be any just cause even if he did to it, which I don't believe he did. To fire someone with just cause you have to have knowledge of that just cause. This is just KAI being cheap and it gives the university a bad name.

Frederick Heckel 8 months, 1 week ago

Not how it works but keep kissing that Beaty ass.

John Fitzgerald 8 months, 1 week ago

Beaty won 6 games in 4 years. That's nearly 1 game a year. I'd say that's plenty cause to be fired. And then something was uncovered at the exit interviews so that brought up the potential termination of contract. The talks of the termination of contract didn't happen until AFTER the exit interviews. But it better be a solid violation because if Kansas is being petty here it doesn't look good.

Bill Kackley 8 months, 1 week ago

Yes it is. You cannot fire someone for cause without having knowledge of the offense.

Jeff Coffman 8 months, 1 week ago

The real question is when did termination occur and when was cause determined. Beaty was the head coach through the end of the season, even if he was told he was being terminated or even if he was told he wasn't going to be retained, he was still the head football coach. As long as he was the coach he had to be bound by the contract. If they were going to terminate him without cause and he chose to stay and coach the last three games, until he was actually terminated by KU (KAI) then he was still bound by the contract. If he was going to be termed without cause on November 1st and he stayed until December 1st and in that four weeks he did or we found something he did during his tenure he would still be responsible and the actual termination turns to a "Cause" reason.

Jay Scott 8 months, 1 week ago

KAI knows it has a losing case and is just hoping Beaty runs out of money before they do.

They're starting to look like the Clintons on this.

Jeff Coffman 8 months, 1 week ago

A few points to clear up. KU chose not to retain Beaty as the Head Coach and that he would still be the head coach for the remaining 3 games of the year. This might create a little bit of a gray area because he technically had not been dismissed as Head Football Coach until after the season. Beaty earned another 350-400k for those three weeks, so you can't have it both ways. You are either the coach or you aren't. If you are coaching, you still open yourself up to the usual stipulations of the contract. Until he was officially no longer coaching is when the termination occurred. If before that moment there was an accusation, KU is doing the right thing by holding accountable someone for their actions. If it occurred after the official non-coaching date, then only subsequent payments should be in jeopardy, since his contract is based on the amount (around $3.2MM) and making 6 equal payments. Roughly $500k/month.

This article forgot to mention that the payments are being made over the 6 month period as required to an Escrow account in good faith. If the allegations are just cause then the $3MM is returned to KU. If the allegations do not affect the terminations he obtains them from the escrow account. KU has paid the amount.

Do I think they are grasping as straws to retain the money...yes; however, if the coach was doing something that affects KU, then I don't want him to receive the cash. This happens in sports a lot, where allegations occur, team is put on probation, records are destroyed, etc., and the coach gets paid and goes to another opportunity.

This however, is just lawyer's posturing. KU has filed in Kansas, and Attorney's are saying it shouldn't be done in Kansas or vice versa.

Len Shaffer 8 months, 1 week ago

I haven't read the whole article but I saw that Beaty's attorney said KU was "moving the goalposts." That brought a question to mind: how would Beaty know anything about goalposts?

Eric Eakins 8 months, 1 week ago

He called a timeout to consult with them then he decided to drop the lawsuit, no wait let's go for it, no let's change jurisdiction, send in the best lawyer, who is that, not sure, let's ping pong a few until one emerges, oh wait we forgot to recruit that position, maybe there is a junior lawyer waiting for the right chance, etc....../s (for those who have a hard time chuckling through this.

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