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Wednesday, April 1, 2020

KU argues Beaty attempting to distract from relevant facts in lawsuit

Filing describes deposition as coming from 'disgruntled former employee'

Kansas chancellor Doug Girod and Athletics Director Jeff Long talk before the game Saturday afternoon at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium on Aug. 31, 2019.

Kansas chancellor Doug Girod and Athletics Director Jeff Long talk before the game Saturday afternoon at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium on Aug. 31, 2019.

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Lawyers for Kansas Athletics Inc. are accusing David Beaty’s legal team of attempting to distract from facts relevant to the former KU football coach’s lawsuit with “salacious allegations against (KU Athletic Director) Jeff Long made by a disgruntled former employee.”

In a reply filed Wednesday, KU’s lawyers accused the plaintiffs of ignoring case law and focusing on diversions, such as the deposition of Matt Baty, former director of the Williams Education Fund.

Baty testified that Long made an inappropriate comment, “sexual in nature,” about an older female donor in a deposition unsealed earlier this week. The defense said Baty was asked by Long to resign because of a personnel issue in November 2018 and argued Baty had “motive to try to harm” KU’s athletic department and Long in particular.

“The personal attacks and the unnecessary inclusion of full deposition transcripts are additional examples of plaintiffs’ attempts to distract from the issues at hand while garnering media coverage,” KU’s lawyers wrote.

KU also said Baty had testified that Long's salacious remarks were nothing but an “inappropriate joke” and that Baty didn’t think anyone at KU was trying to find dirt on Beaty. Baty testified that one particular remark, about KU trying to find a “dead hooker” in Beaty’s closet, originated before Long officially started at KU in August 2018.

KU’s lawyers also brought up a portion of Baty’s testimony in which he admitted being close with Beaty and described himself as a business partner of the former KU coach.

Baty also stated he’s “not really” working together with Beaty in a venture called Pure, which was described as a multi-layered marketing business that sells dietary supplements and pills. Baty also testified he used the term "business partner" loosely and described himself as “a business partner with thousands of people.”

Long fired Beaty in early November of 2018, with three games remaining in the season. It appeared the termination would be without cause, but Beaty never received his $3 million buyout, leading to the lawsuit. KU would eventually send a letter to Beaty a year later to notify him he was terminated with cause because of alleged NCAA violations that occurred during his tenure, involving a noncoaching staff member acting in a coaching role.

Beaty’s lawyers have previously brought up KU’s treatment of allegations against other coaches, such as Bill Self, Mark Mangino and Les Miles, to contrast those situations with how Long and KU handled Beaty’s alleged NCAA violations. In its response, KU described that as another distraction strategy.

The self-reported violations that allegedly occurred after Miles took over are the most similar to the violations Beaty was accused of — both involved noncoaches reportedly acting in a coaching role.

But KU’s lawyers said the alleged incidents under Miles were “simply not the same” as the ones under Beaty, because Beaty allegedly orchestrated the violations. KU said the “facts that matter” in the $3 million breach of contract lawsuit are whether Beaty knew of and participated in repeated and intentional NCAA violations. The university argued that Beaty’s former players — quarterbacks Carter Stanley, Peyton Bender, Miles Kendrick and Miles Fallin — and a former assistant video coordinator, Cooper Flower, all of whom were interviewed during KU’s investigation, wouldn't have had any incentive to lie about Beaty.

According to the document, KU’s investigation into potential violations under Beaty began when Flower was unwilling to sign a standard exit form that included a portion about her being unaware of any NCAA violations that occurred in the program. That also prompted KU to interview QBs about meetings led by video coordinator Jeff Love, who was not a position coach at the time.

Flower said that Love told her the first time they met that he had coached KU quarterbacks “under the table.” And in their interviews with KU, the four quarterbacks said Love met with KU’s QBs multiple times each week during the offseason, leading up to spring practices in 2018.

“Coach Beaty would pop in every now and then,” Bender said.

The new court document also includes a reference to Beaty’s 3-33 record during his first three seasons, before Long became KU’s AD, and argues there’s nothing wrong with Long considering the possibility of firing Beaty before the season began.

KU’s lawyers, countering claims from Beaty that the department couldn’t afford to pay his buyout, stated the $3 million “Beaty claims to be owed” remains in escrow and will stay there until the litigation concludes.

Comments

Dane Pratt 6 months, 3 weeks ago

OMG, lawyers behaving inappropriately. Who could have predicted this.

This lawsuit makes no sense. What is the LJW leaving out of this story?

Matt Gauntt 6 months, 3 weeks ago

With the stuff Beaty is bringing up it is more and more apparent KU made the right decision getting rid of this tool.

Mike Hart 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Matt Gauntt: Well, if you were wrongly being denied $3MM that was OWED to you, you would be a "tool" too. Pay the man his money. He's not a tool for legally going after what is rightly owed him.

Jerry Walker 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Beaty was fired because he was an awful coach and at THAT TIME it had NOTHING to do with NCAA infractions. KU Inc. is the one that's trying to distract from that fact.

I get it...they don't want to pay the $3M. But that's no excuse for trying to weasel out of the terms of the contract.

"Kansas athletic director Jeff Long says he wasn’t sure about firing David Beaty, even as of Saturday night.

When he woke up Sunday morning, though, he said he felt confident a change was right for the program.

So Long went to the Anderson Family Football Complex to set KU’s football future in motion. He alerted Beaty that he will be fired at the end of the season, with the two coming to an agreement Beaty would remain head coach for the final three games this year."

Not one word about possible NCAA infractions.

What's next...re-opening an investigation into Mangino's buyout and asking for their money back?

Steve Corder 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Adjudication is always best achieved in court, not in the media.

I will not be enticed one way or another as the opinions of media types have often lead me astray.

Bee Bee 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Who gives a rat's a@@? How about focusing on winning some damn football games!!!

Steven Haag 6 months, 3 weeks ago

KU will end up having to pay the $3 million AND having lawyers fees on top of that. Should have just paid the $3 million and moved on. Now we look even more pathetic than we did before

Doug Horn 6 months, 3 weeks ago

The article Tuesday March 31st said KU has the 3rd highest football severance spending over the past 15 years at $23,731,412, which includes the $3 million buyout for Beaty. KU should have fired him after going 3-33 in three years for lack of wins! Unless there is some unknown evidence that hasn't been released yet, we look bad. With everything that is going on in the Athletic department right now they should be trying to keep our names out of the press and that is exactly why Beaty's lawyers are putting this out there. They are hoping to get us to just pay it so it goes away. In the end we are going to spend more than the $3 million, but doesn't the contract have something in it that would allow KU to fire for lack of performance?
6-42 over 4 years should be enough to get rid of the dead weight.

Joe Ross 6 months, 3 weeks ago

"KU said the “facts that matter” in the $3 million breach of contract lawsuit are whether Beaty knew of and participated in repeated and intentional NCAA violations."

...well is it "irony" or "hypocrisy"?

I don't know how the University plans to hold Beaty's feet to the fire without recognizing that it is itself being investigated for intentional NCAA violations.

Pay the man to go away.

Joanie Calder 6 months, 3 weeks ago

What’s being left out? Kansas City Star’s original article included the fact that besides Long’s comments about a donor, he also “jokingly” commented when next on a road trip, he want a room next to a student employee. Long needs to step up and address issues brought up in the deposition. No matter what KU’s attorneys say, depositions are under oath. It seems they weren’t expecting the release of the depositions so quickly.

Doug Horn 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Seems like Long needs a lesson on how to fire someone. How do you let a guy know that at the end of the season he is going to be fired, let him coach the last three games and not get him to sign something that says he understands that he will not be getting the buy out clause. Seems fairly simple, you want to coach the last three games then sign this statement that you know you are being terminated for poor performance of the team. He also needs to be required to attend an HR clinic on appropriate behavior. And if Long refuses to attend he should be fired! Long took over a mess but hasn't really looked that great. Was Long the one that gave Beaty the extension or was that someone else?

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