Kansas Athletics has filed a motion in federal court to dismiss a lawsuit from former KU head football coach David Beaty that claims the athletic department owes him $3 million.
As first reported by the Kansas City Star, lawyers representing Kansas Athletics filed this past Friday in the U.S. District Court of Kansas a motion for dismissal of Beaty’s lawsuit for, in part, a “lack of subject matter jurisdiction.”
The motion included a 101-page memo that included arguments, exhibits, documentation and more.
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 Kansas Athletics fired him without cause, he would be owed $3 million.
Filed in March, Beaty’s lawsuit alleges a breach of contract and unpaid wages of $3 million owed to him.
Contacted by the Journal-World for comment Monday afternoon, Beaty’s lawyer, Michael Lyons, said he didn’t want to comment on the motion from Kansas Athletics itself other than to say, “We believe it’s a delay tactic.”
In the memo accompanying the motion filed this past Friday, lawyers representing Kansas Athletics claim the lawsuit from the plaintiffs (Beaty and DB Sports, LLC) should be dismissed, because:
— The court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over plaintiffs’ claims.
— Plaintiffs are Kansas citizens suing a Kansas corporation and there is no basis for diversity jurisdiction.
— Kansas Athletics is “an arm of the state” and not a citizen for diversity jurisdiction purposes, and “is entitled to immunity from suit in federal court under the Eleventh Amendment.”
— Plaintiffs’ claim under Kansas Wage Payment Act fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
A spokesperson for the KU athletic department, Jim Marchiony, told the Journal-World on Monday that KU had no comment regarding the motion for dismissal. He also said KU had no update to provide on the NCAA’s investigation into alleged possible violations committed by Beaty when he was the head coach at KU.
Marchiony instead referenced KU’s initial response in March to Beaty’s suit.
Below is KU’s formal statement on the matter, as released on March 12:
“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.
“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.
“While disappointed in the court filing, the university is committed to seeking the truth and upholding our high standards of ethical conduct.”
Beaty declined to comment Monday on the motion for dismissal, opting to let Lyons speak on his behalf.
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.
Long hired Les Miles, former head coach at LSU and Oklahoma State, as Beaty’s replacement two weeks after firing Beaty.