Wednesday, April 25, 2018

David Beaty: KU football ‘at least 3, maybe more’ years from fielding roster with 85 ‘true’ scholarship players

Kansas head coach David Beaty talks with an official after a targeting call was made during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017 at Memorial Stadium. The call was eventually reversed.

Kansas head coach David Beaty talks with an official after a targeting call was made during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017 at Memorial Stadium. The call was eventually reversed.


David Beaty didn’t have to discuss his program’s current scholarship numbers, but the Kansas head coach had his talking points ready to fire while fielding questions during the Big 12’s spring football media teleconference this week.

Asked what he thought about his team’s quarterback play during off-season practices, Beaty first said reasons for optimism at many positions exist, because the Jayhawks have a “healthy, mature, developed roster,” before getting to his pitch.

“We finally enter the season with 70-plus players on scholarship, which I can’t believe I’m saying that’s such a positive,” Beaty added. “But from where we came from — I don’t want to say an exact number, because it’s fluid; it’s obviously still fluid with medicals (injuries) and things that can happen. But if everything plays out the way that we expect, we should be above 70 in scholarship numbers, which is huge for us.”

The current Kansas football roster lists 99 players. At least 11 more recruits are expected to join the program this summer.

Beaty persistently avoids identifying the status of certain players — on scholarship versus walking on — at signing day press conferences. However, over the course of the past year, KU’s coach stated publicly the program was closer to operating at full capacity, the NCAA maximum of 85 scholarship players.

This past November Beaty declined to respond with an exact figure when asked how many players were on scholarship, a few days after mentioning offhand KU was down “30-plus scholarships” in 2015, his first year as head coach.

That non-answer came weeks removed from Beaty saying during one of his Hawk Talk radio shows KU had “about 84” players on scholarship this past season, while making it clear an unspecified number of those belonged to Jayhawks who entered the program as walk-ons. Teams can reward walk-ons with scholarships after they have been in a program two years without those counting against the 25 initials allotted for each recruiting class.

Prior to both of those instances, at an event for KU football supporters in June of last year, Beaty told backers he expected to have around 76 scholarship players for the 2017 season. It was at that same function that Beaty said it would take “a full five years” from his start date in December of 2014 to get Kansas back to 85 scholarship players.

This week, though, during the Big 12 media teleconference, Beaty, when asked whether KU could achieve the maximum number next season, in 2019, balked at the idea.

“Oh, man. We’re nowhere close to that, bud. That’s gonna take a number of years,” Beaty replied, estimating it will take “at least three, maybe more” to reach the end goal of 85 “true” scholarship players — not counting rewarded walk-ons.

“I’m so fired up about being 15 short, which tells you where we came from,” Beaty said, referencing the roster he inherited when he took over the program.

KU’s scholarship numbers took significant blows prior to his arrival, with players leaving for various reasons as KU transitioned from head coach Mark Mangino, to Turner Gill, to Charlie Weis to Beaty.

The Jayhawks finished 0-12 in Beaty’s first season, 2-10 in 2016 and 1-11 this past year, giving him a 3-33 record as head coach.


Kansas offensive lineman Chris Hughes (76), left, Beau Lawrence (60) and Hunter Saulsbury (66) work through a drill during practice on Wednesday, April 4, 2018.

“I just go back to 2015 and you take away the same number of scholarships from Oklahoma or Texas or Baylor or Iowa State or anybody — if you take away ours, the same number of scholarships from any of those teams — it’d be interesting to see where they turn out,” Beaty remarked. “When you go into a season with that kind of deficit it affects all the areas. I’m excited, because I think our quarterbacks are going to be directly affected (by improved depth).”

Spring reps for O-linemen?

The number of scholarship players available, Beaty said, affects every position, including quarterback.

The fourth-year KU coach reported QB play has benefited this spring from improved numbers on the offensive line, saying Kansas should be “two-deep and some change” up front this coming fall.

That assessment, of course, came a week after Beaty announced the number of injuries along the O-line the past few weeks made it too difficult to play a spring game — an open practice will take its place this Saturday at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.

“The majority of the spring, we’ve had most of our O-lineman available to us. Toward the end of spring it gets more physical and some of the guys aren’t able to practice,” Beaty said. “But for the guts of it, the first 10 practices, those guys being available and physically ready, it was good for us to be able to evaluate those guys.”


John Fitzgerald 4 years, 7 months ago

Thanks for this article, Benton. I was curious about this because it seemed 70 scholarship players was a bit low compared to what Beaty has said in the past. I wrote a little bit about how Zengers 63 scholarship remark was a bit misleading as well.

Brett McCabe 4 years, 7 months ago

Please....enough with the promotional posts.

[''] 4 years, 7 months ago

When Weis left and Beaty was hired they said it would be 3 years til he got back to full roster. It's been 3+ and now he says 3 more??? Why hide roster #'s? Sounds fishy. What is he Trump hiding his tax returns.So he simply isn't recruiting enough players right? And this is just another excuse? Yes? No?

Brett McCabe 4 years, 7 months ago

Beaty has mismanaged the roster from day one. At some point, you have to make a choice: what's most important? Beaty decided to give transfer and JUCO scholarships to try and create immediate impact rather than dig in for the long haul. That's fine, that's his decision. Don't start cry babying about it now. Literally ever single time the guy speaks, things get worse.

John Fitzgerald 4 years, 7 months ago

Does it frustrate you that Beaty still has a job and you’re on here crying day in and day out when what you say or think won’t change anything? Can’t imagine the life you live.

Gerry Butler 4 years, 7 months ago

AH- - - TOUCHE--- John - -gotta love it

Kevin Robert Fest 4 years, 7 months ago

I wouldn't say Beaty has mismanaged the roster since you can't help that players get hurt and can't play anymore, or they transfer or they get in trouble and dismissed from team. I'm not defending him but he was short from the beginning and just think about how many players medically can't play anymore, transferred or were dismissed since he became head coach. He stinks in every way possible but l don't think this situation is entirely his fault.

Michael Leiker 4 years, 7 months ago

Exactly Brett. Beaty talks as if his comments to the media exist in a bubble. How does a guy day after day, month after month go to the media and rationalize his failure and then demand what it takes to succeed from his team. You can't do it, message falls on deaf ears. Coach, just stop talking.

Brad Farha 4 years, 7 months ago

I had figured it would take 5-7 years initially. If you are down 30+, it's a huge hole. You lose close to 20 every year due to graduation/transfer/medical, and you can only offer 25 scholarships per year. A net gain of 5 per year. If you are down 30-35 scholarships....that's 6-7 years. I had originally hoped it would be closer to 5 because we might not lose 20 per year.

In the end, not happy about the situation, but I'll still be at the games next year. I love college athletics, and there's something awesome about taking kids and friends to a game on Saturday.

Jeff Coffman 4 years, 7 months ago

With 25 a year and red shirts 5 years would be a max of a recycle through all players, maybe 1-2 medical redshirts. How is it even possible for Beaty to take six years?

This is absurd.

Bryson Stricker 4 years, 7 months ago

When it comes to scholarship numbers, I strongly suggest those who aren’t actually fully aware of how scholarships work, to not comment. That includes LJW staff, myself and 99% of commenters.

The evidence? Benton tried making a comparison against what Sheahon said and what is to be believed. Sheahon was addressing how many recruited scholarship players we have here on campus right now. 63 is not an awful number based on where we began.

We have 4 if I’m not mistaken, recruited scholarship players left from Weis era.

We are also missing quite a few scholarship members of the 2018 class that will be coming in June. Those will put us above 70.

If you’re in the business of counting WALK ONS as legit schollies, you are bizarre. If you manage to hit on walk-ons, that is a testament to you and your dynamic in your program. Some of the walk-ons we offered were because we couldn’t do anything else with the scholarships and some were due to actually being decent players. (Schadler).

I agree with Brett that in my personal opinion, I think some things have been mismanaged roster wise, but I’m just a knowledgeable fan, not a coach and I won’t pretend I understand loopholes better than them.

David Beaty’s 4th year he will have had 100 recruiting scholarships. We will be at about 70-75 depending on a few players transferring out. If this was about any other program, that would be hideous. But you all and this article isn’t giving credit where it is due. He had 2 months to recruit to a dumpster fire his first year. I think he pulled in a decent class to be honest but you have to recruit kids you never would have given a shot due to the situation at that time. With time, those players have been replaced with better talent and some have left the program or are going to.

Who would you not have taken that we recruited and has left? Charles Baldwin? Chase Harrell? Jace Sternberger? Tyriek Starks? I could go on.

That doesn’t include the medical. Just because we get the scholarship back doesn’t mean we can offer more per year, just means we can give one to a walk-on.

I think our recruited scholarship number is in a pretty decent place given all things considered, but I won’t deny there are coaches out there that may have won more and some who would have managed roster better. But you’re lying to yourself if you think there are many coaches that could have replaced roster better and won a ton more. That’s a lot to manage at once.

cue the ignorants that won’t actually argue what I said, just say Beaty is 3-33

Joe Norgay 4 years, 7 months ago

Bryson, do you think the football players are going to hoist you up on their shoulders and friend you on Facebook because you spend every living breath defending one of the worst football programs in the history of football?

Jeff Coffman 4 years, 7 months ago

Please help us understand six years to rebuild a roster

Jeff Coffman 4 years, 7 months ago

I like how you profess that no one should comment about the roster including yourself, but than you give 7 paragraphs about the roster. The last paragraph is my favorite where you say there are coaches that would have won more and likely would have managed the roster better, but than you would call the person a liar if they could find a coach that would win a ton more and replace the roster...I concluded that you were lying to yourself.

Anyways...still waiting for the number of wins you expect from Beaty this year...remember Beaty was at six last year with more scholarships, a more veteran team don't lower the bar.

Mike Bennett 4 years, 7 months ago

Beaty was hired in 2014. Beaty and LJW estimated 60 scholarship players his first year. This year he choose to hand out 21 scholarships instead of 25. In 2017 he gave out 22, in 2016 he gave out 19 and the only year he has given his full allotment was his first year, 2015. If he's short of players, he needs to look in the mirror.

Bryson Stricker 4 years, 7 months ago


[''] 4 years, 7 months ago

You KNOW he handed out more? Yeah right. Prove it.

Joe Norgay 4 years, 7 months ago

Just blow it up. This is beyond embarrassing. Everyone associated with this program should have been shown the door after we gained 21 yard of offense against TCU in front of a national audience.

[''] 4 years, 7 months ago

What he really means is that he needs 3 more contract extensions & 3 more summer residences.

[''] 4 years, 7 months ago

He likes to go back to 2015 a whole lot. Diversion from 3-33 record. Give any other Big 12 coach that 2015 scenario and I am sure they would win more than 3 out of 36 games.

Tony Bandle 4 years, 7 months ago

Can the NCAA hammer a football program with the death penalty for incompetence?

Just asking!

Brian Skelly 4 years, 7 months ago

He said 3 years when he was in his first year... now on to year 3 and he says 3 more.

Me thinks short of doing anything that appears to change the course this year, he'll be done after this year. So should Zenger. That guy shouldnt be allowed to hire a 3rd football coach.

Chris Condren 4 years, 7 months ago

Beaty can try to continue selling used cars to fans and former fans but unless he wins he should not last the season. Hopefully the same will be true for the high salaried administrators including Zenger and Lester. Those guys going to meeting and act like they know what they are doing when in fact they have run the Athletic Department into the ground. It is amazing how much money KU spends on athletics to get the miserable results we are seeing.

Mike Bennett 4 years, 7 months ago

I've got some ocean front property in western Kansas to sell you. Beaty is all sound bite, no substance, so he can collect his next $3M. Unfortunately, the LJW is all too happy to be complicit in the BS he's trying to sell. If we are still that short, then it falls on his shoulders and no one else. Thank goodness this is his last year.

Chris DeWeese 4 years, 7 months ago

This is year 4, and the scholarship numbers are only in the low 70's? I'm just not understanding how that happened. I know there were articles about the updated roster with some names missing, but I just don't quite understand the math that requires an additional 3 years or more to get up to 85 scholarship players. It seems to me the juco guys we have mostly have 3 years of eligibility, which isn't bad. I guess I just wish there was more transparency.

Steven Haag 4 years, 7 months ago

Bryson, I totally get what you are saying. I find it truly SAD that there is so much actual HATE towards Beaty and how the comments can actually have a huge negative impact on current players and potential recruits. If anybody truly believes we will get some type of Nick Saban in here, they need to quit smoking that Colorado stuff. The University will not, I say again will NOT pony up the 10 million a year. That's how much it would take to get a big time coach in here. I will go so far as to say the University will not pony up more than 2 to 2.5 million a year, and that wouldn't happen until about year 5 or so. Other schools look at their sad state of basketball and have these delusions that they can have a program like KU basketball and it never happens. It's the same with these delusional KU football fans. If you truly think we will be like Alabama, Oklahoma, Ohio State, then your Kool-Aid is very powerful.

John Joseph Gorski 4 years, 7 months ago

I find it truly sad that you have so much love for the current worst head coach in the HISTORY of college football. Most of us would like a program like Alabama Oklahoma or Ohio State but right now we would settle to be Iowa State.

Brad Sherp 4 years, 7 months ago

Beaty is essentially admitting that he makes poor roster decisions.

Is this assuming that Beaty is fired today? I think you can add three years into Beaty's last day to get an accurate expectation.

Beaty repeatedly makes questionable roster moves such as loading up on juices and graduate transfers.

The reason why professional head coaches don't take this approach is because they know there is negative attrition, and they know that they will need numbers from 4-5 year high school players. They also show talent progression in their players year to year, while most of Beaty's players peak early and dont progress beyond that peak. Bowen's defensive players do show some progress year to year, but you can tell that Beaty has limited involvement with them.

If Beaty is fired 3 years from now (and I hope this is not the case because of his incompetence as a head coach), then we are 6 years away from fielding a Big 12 competitive roster.

Waylon Cook 4 years, 7 months ago

Biggest cuck to ever coach football at any level.

Mick Dupas 4 years, 7 months ago

Sounds like Beatty is already offering excuses for another one win season this fall...

[''] 4 years, 7 months ago

Don't bet your life on it, Mike. Every team that faces KU can score 45 points against a Bowen-led defense. Can we score 45 points to match?

John Brazelton 4 years, 7 months ago

If KU wins two of three pre-conference games this season, we will have at least a 3 to 4 win season record at the end. If we don't, we will most likely have a 4th new football coach this decade. At least the new coach will start off with a roster of experienced upper class players to which he can add new recruits too. Then all the commenters will have a new target to bad mouth instead of Beaty.

[''] 4 years, 7 months ago

And I guarantee you the next coach will win more than 3 games in his first 2 seasons, let alone 3 seasons.

Mark Bowers 4 years, 7 months ago

Beaty and Zenger deserve what they get. Beaty took the job to be the HC, he's responsible for the product on the field. The product on the field sucks because the past (more at the beginning than now) and because Beaty isn't ready to be a head coach yet. That means that our AD sucks too at understanding football and what's best for Kansas. No, fans aren't hating to just hate. It's been earned by the coaching staffs ineptness and Zenger's inability to recognize talent and make the appropriate hire.

[''] 4 years, 7 months ago

3-4 wins? What Big 12 games you see us winning? And please don't say Iowa State. Their coach is light years ahead of us.

Barry Weiss 4 years, 7 months ago

the dumpster fire grows by the day. I have to think that if we go into conference play with no wins, surely the administration will make a change. I know Beaty said we would be bowling last year before the season and we ended up with one win. Is he predicting a bowl this year? If not, why not, what happened to his thinking? Problem is, he cannot recruit in Texas where he said he could.

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