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Benton Smith

Stories by Benton

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End of the Line: Equipment manager Jeff Himes says goodbye to Kansas football after more than 3 decades of service

A fixture around the Jayhawks’ facilities since he was hired way back in 1988, KU equipment manager Jeff Himes retired at the end of April, closing the book on his 32 years with the team. By Benton Smith

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Miles Kendrick: Jayhawks doing what they can during bizarre spring

When the COVID-19 pandemic nixed spring football and everything else Miles Kendrick had planned for this stretch of the offseason, the University of Kansas quarterback had a decision to make. By Benton Smith

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Report: Football Border War on brink of returning

A football rivalry left for dead almost a decade ago, the Border War reportedly will be exhumed and brought back to the gridiron sometime in the not too distant future.

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Will there be college football in 2020? 'We've got to think about this,' Mark Mangino urges

Like most people doing their best to navigate through the COVID-19 crisis, former University of Kansas football coach Mark Mangino isn’t sure what will come next in these unpredictable times. And for the retired Mangino, who often spends his fall Saturdays attending college football games or watching them on TV, that uncertainty is hanging over the sport he loves. By Benton Smith

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5 prospects for 2021 have included KU football on recently narrowed lists

This year college football coaches haven’t been able to invite recruits to campus for spring visits as they normally would, due to the COVID-19 crisis. Nevertheless, Les Miles’ staff at the University of Kansas has seen in recent weeks a number of prospects identify KU as one their top college choices.

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Jayhawks' new safeties coach, Jordan Peterson, shares takeaway philosophies

One of the new voices in the Kansas football program got to share some of his defensive philosophies this week, as safeties coach Jordan Peterson made his debut appearance for the team’s ongoing “KU comes to you” series on Twitter. A former defensive coordinator at New Mexico, Peterson used his video session to discuss forcing fumbles in particular. By Benton Smith

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Beaty's lawyers press KU AD about Miles' use of noncoaches

Lawyers for former Kansas football coach David Beaty are zeroing in on the university’s treatment of allegations against Les Miles — allegations that they say are just as serious as the ones that the university is using to justify not paying Beaty a $3 million buyout.

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KU argues Beaty attempting to distract from relevant facts in lawsuit

Filing describes deposition as coming from 'disgruntled former employee'

Lawyers for Kansas Athletics Inc., in a reply filed Wednesday, accused David Beaty’s law team of attempting to distract from facts relevant to the former KU football coach’s lawsuit with “salacious allegations against Jeff Long made by a disgruntled former employee.”

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Deposition alleges Long planned to fire Beaty before 2018 season began

Testimony also alleges inappropriate comments by KU's AD

Newly released depositions from former Kansas football coach David Beaty’s ongoing court battle with Kansas Athletics Inc. include claims that Athletic Director Jeff Long planned to fire Beaty even before the coach’s final season with the Jayhawks began.

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Study: KU spent 3rd-highest amount in football contract buyouts in past 15 years

It came as no big surprise when a new study on spending in high-profile college athletics found that the University of Kansas has paid more than most to get rid of football coaches.

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Newest assistants on KU football staff all signed 6-year contracts

Only first 2 years are guaranteed

Each of the three newest assistant coaches hired earlier this year to join Les Miles’ University of Kansas football staff signed a six-year contract, with only the first two years guaranteed.

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'Stick to the game plan': Les Miles videos urge everyday preventive actions amid pandemic

Just like a slew of prominent athletes, leaders and celebrities of late, Kansas football coach Les Miles decided to use social media as a way to urge people to do their small part in fighting a global pandemic.

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'Hello, Twitter': KU football assistants coaching via tweets amid social distancing

Online clinics connect Dearmon with Hall of Fame QB

It began with Kansas football offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Brent Dearmon, barefoot in his basement, standing next to a white board and saying, “Hello, Twitter.” The video featuring Dearmon, posted to the team’s Twitter account this past week, served as an introduction to the KU coaching staff’s latest way of navigating social distancing in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. By Benton Smith

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Pandemic already costing Big 12 millions and commissioner details uncertainty ahead

The Big 12 Conference lost two large revenue streams when the coronavirus pandemic canceled college basketball’s postseason tournaments, and the financial outlook of the league could look far worse if football games are lost in the fall.

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'Not everyone's going to like you': KU's Bryce Torneden remains confident as under the radar pro prospect

Bryce Torneden isn’t the biggest, fastest or most coveted pro football prospect coming out of the University of Kansas this year. But after arriving at the program’s pro day earlier this month in peak shape and showing off what he brings to the gridiron in front of scouts from 28 organizations, Torneden heads into the next stage of his football life feeling sure of himself. By Benton Smith

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KU AD Long: Administrators discussing contingency plans for 2020 college football season

KU’s athletic director says the university is already talking about contingency plans in case the coronavirus pandemic that canceled the NCAA’s winter and spring championships affects the 2020 football season, too. By Benton Smith

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In filing, KU reveals some evidence against former coach Beaty, says it's spent 'several hundred thousand' in court battle

Kansas Athletics Inc. says it has evidence that former football coach David Beaty broke NCAA rules while at KU, and that it has spent “several hundred thousand” dollars in the court battles tied to Beaty’s lawsuit against the university, according to recently released court documents.

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'It's really tough': Loss of spring practices could hit KU football hard

By this point of March, the Kansas football team was supposed to be four practices into its spring schedule. At least that was the plan before the coronavirus pandemic changed everything. Instead, spring football as the Jayhawks know it will be lost, and it remains unclear when they will next have a chance to practice again. By Benton Smith

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KU athletic department monitoring physical and mental health of athletes amid pandemic

AD Long: No KU cases of COVID-19

As the coronavirus outbreak continues to grow, University of Kansas Athletics Director Jeff Long said on Monday afternoon that neither any athletes on KU teams nor staff members within the department have tested positive for COVID-19. By Benton Smith

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KU football off to fast start in 2021 recruiting

Even before University of Kansas football coaches secured a verbal commitment from hometown Lawrence High prospect Devin Neal this weekend, the program’s 2021 recruiting class looked to be ahead of schedule. By Benton Smith

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Brent Dearmon points to former Auburn QB when discussing potential of KU signee Jalon Daniels

KU football offensive coordinator Brent Dearmon shared his appreciation for former Auburn QB Nick Marshall’s game when asked about the rushing ability of Class of 2020 KU signee Jalon Daniels. By Benton Smith

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With junior day canceled, KU football goes 'virtual' instead

Like college coaches in every sport throughout the country, the Kansas football staff quickly figured out in the past week or so that all of its recruiting plans for the immediate future would have to be scrapped. Instead of holding back, the Jayhawks pivoted and innovated. By Benton Smith

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Former KU football OT Hakeem Adeniji confident in draft status as NFL cancels visits

The plan was for Hakeem Adeniji to stick around Lawrence for a couple of more weeks. The former Kansas football offensive lineman would use his college town as a home base of sorts leading up to the NFL draft. That was before everything went haywire. By Benton Smith

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Benton Smith: Jayhawks focusing on positives while bracing for bizarre March Madness

Kansas City, Mo. — At Sprint Center on Wednesday afternoon for a pre-Big 12 Tournament shootaround in front of thousands of empty seats, the No. 1-ranked Kansas Jayhawks got a little preview of what the unconventional version of March Madness that awaits them. At least in terms of the atmosphere. By Benton Smith

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Benton Smith: Defensive confidence carrying Jayhawks into postseason as best team in nation

As shots refused to drop early in the second half, those offensive outcomes didn’t rattle No. 1-ranked Kansas, even as Texas Tech and its home crowd surged on every misfire Saturday afternoon inside United Supermarkets Arena. The Jayhawks long ago convinced themselves that they’re the type of team that can withstand most droughts and slumps. One more on the final day of the regular season didn’t fluster them. By Benton Smith

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Riding momentum of NFL combine, Hakeem Adeniji competes at KU's pro day

Fresh off a productive and potentially career-making trip to Indianapolis for the NFL pre-draft combine last week, Hakeem Adeniji still wanted to show scouts a little more at the Kansas football program’s annual pro day. By Benton Smith

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Benton Smith: Devon Dotson delivers again in his likely fieldhouse finale

Wednesday was a night for the Kansas basketball program to salute the only two seniors on the active roster, Udoka Azubuike and Isaiah Moss, as they played their final game inside Allen Fieldhouse. While that was the main event, and rightfully so, in a 75-66 Jayhawks victory, the co-headliner might as well have been Devon Dotson. You could call this his sophomore night, too, because he’s not likely to play any games for KU as a junior or senior. By Benton Smith

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Quan Hampton to join former KU football teammate in transferring to UNI

Dom Williams won’t be joining a roster full of strangers when he transfers to Northern Iowa. Former Kansas wide receiver Quan Hampton announced Tuesday he has committed to the Panthers, too.

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Brazilian Jayhawks to be celebrated on KU's Senior Night

Don’t be too alarmed when crimson and blue aren’t the only predominant colors on display in the Allen Fieldhouse stands during Senior Night for the Kansas women’s basketball team. Some bold blues, greens and yellows will be popping, too, with the colors of Brazil’s national flag paying homage to the Jayhawks’ two Brazilian seniors, Mariane De Carvalho and Niccolly Ramalho.

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Former KU RB Dom Williams to transfer to UNI

A few weeks after making public his decision to transfer from the University of Kansas, Dom Williams made up his mind on a destination.

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Under-the-radar Azur Kamara shows potential at NFL combine

Neither a star on the Kansas football team nor a player who garnered the types of accolades usually associated with future pro football players, Azur Kamara got his chance to prove himself this weekend at the NFL Scouting Combine.

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Benton Smith: Shorthanded Jayhawks impress in crunch time against Wildcats

Manhattan — In a Kansas basketball season packed with significant road success, one of the least aesthetically captivating victories on the Jayhawks’ resume won’t get cast aside as an afterthought.

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Former KU O-lineman Hakeem Adeniji performs at NFL Scouting Combine

Hakeem Adeniji had four seasons worth of starts at the University of Kansas to prove himself as a pro football prospect. Finally, on Friday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, the offensive lineman got to display his strength, speed and athleticism in front of dozens of NFL coaches, scouts and decision-makers all at once. By Benton Smith

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Beaty's lawyers set to subpoena Gassnola for communications with KU

Lawyers for former Kansas football coach David Beaty aim to get their hands on communications college basketball recruiting fixer T.J. Gassnola had with KU, a notice of intent to serve Gassnola with a subpoena revealed.

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KU football schedules 3-game series with Fresno State

The Kansas football program solidified plans to add Fresno State to its nonconference schedule for multiple years — eventually.

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Benton Smith: Udoka Azubuike's influence on both ends makes him KU's MVP

Ranked No. 1 in the country and saddled with just three losses on the season, the Kansas men's basketball team has had plenty of things go right during the past few months. And there are three players who typically receive most of the credit for that. Each has had his stretch — or stretches — in which he has carried the team and helped make Kansas the legitimate national title contender it appears to be. And all three, when clicking at the same time, have made Kansas nearly unstoppable. So which one has been KU's most valuable player? Here are the cases for Udoka Azubuike, Devon Dotson and Marcus Garrett as KU's 2019-20 team MVP.

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Benton Smith: Mondays more minor than 'big' for Jayhawks this season

The words “Big Monday” used to arrive with some anticipation. At least when it came to the Kansas basketball schedule.

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Judge rules KU must turn over evidence in David Beaty lawsuit case

A U.S. District Court magistrate judge ruled Tuesday that Kansas Athletics will have to turn over evidence requested by lawyers for former Kansas football coach David Beaty, whose $3 million lawsuit against his former employer remains ongoing, more than a year after KU fired him.

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Jonathan Wallace hired to become KU's new RBs coach, special teams coordinator

Assistant has ties to Brent Dearmon

Less than a week after Tony Hull announced he was leaving the Jayhawks, Jonathan Wallace, a former skill player at Auburn who also previously worked with KU offensive coordinator Brent Dearmon, was hired to take over the position.

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Benton Smith: Marcus Morris takes deserved spot in Allen Fieldhouse rafters

No one has or will confuse Marcus Morris’ college career with Wilt Chamberlain’s or Danny Manning’s. That doesn’t mean Morris should be denied a place among the pantheon of all-time Kansas greats.

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Benton Smith: Mature Udoka Azubuike knows when to let loose

After spending so much of Saturday’s matchup with Oklahoma dealing with two or three defenders when the ball made its way to his massive hands, Udoka Azubuike wouldn’t be bottled up physically or emotionally any longer.

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Les Miles bringing in pair of new analysts for KU football staff

A former defensive coordinator at NAIA Marian University, Brock Caraboa will become KU’s defensive senior analyst, while Charles Moore, a former graduate assistant at Auburn, is joining the Jayhawks as a special teams senior analyst.

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RBs coach Tony Hull leaving KU football

After sticking around for one year as the Kansas football program transitioned from one coaching regime to another, running backs coach Tony Hull is leaving the team. By Benton Smith

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Benton Smith: Udoka Azubuike reclaims the paint just in time for KU

Morgantown, W.Va. — A shift of power in the paint Wednesday night at WVU Coliseum made a massive difference for No. 3 Kansas.

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Les Miles expects some 2020 freshmen to take advantage of enrolling in spring

The way Les Miles envisions their futures, several freshmen on the Kansas football roster should be far ahead of schedule by the time the 2020 season arrives. Six members of the Jayhawks’ latest signing class already are enrolled, attending KU classes and getting acclimated when they could still be seniors in high school. By Benton Smith

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Former Brent Dearmon colleague joining KU as senior offensive analyst

One of Brent Dearmon’s former colleagues is reuniting with the Kansas football offensive coordinator and joining Les Miles’ staff at KU.

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Notebook: Azur Kamara snags NFL scouting combine invite, giving Jayhawks 2 representatives

For the first time since 2015, the Kansas football program will have multiple representatives at the NFL’s scouting combine. Azur Kamara, a 6-foot-4, 235-pound athlete who played outside linebacker and defensive end during his two years at KU, found out this past weekend, during the latest round of invites, that coaches and personnel decision-makers in the NFL want to have a closer look at him. By Benton Smith

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Les Miles: KU filled needs at WR, OL, DB and DL with 2020 class

For anyone wondering why the Kansas football team’s 2020 signing class had so many receivers, allow Les Miles to explain. Actually, while recapping this past week the Jayhawks’ list of incoming freshmen, Miles was happy to share his opinion that KU filled specific needs at a few other positions, too. By Benton Smith

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Benton Smith: Defensive identity the reason these Jayhawks are elite

A college basketball team isn’t supposed to go on the road and win with only two players consistently producing. But, as the Jayhawks reminded everyone yet again in a 60-46 victory at TCU on Saturday, what they do defensively makes them a such a tough out, regardless of their offensive circumstances. By Benton Smith

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Game Day Breakdown - No. 3 Kansas at TCU

At the midway point of Big 12 play, the Jayhawks have handled their business away from Allen Fieldhouse. With road wins at Iowa State, Oklahoma, Texas and Oklahoma State in January, they did their best to keep up with league-leading and now No. 1-ranked Baylor by winning on their opponents’ home courts every chance they got. By Benton Smith

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