Judge denies motion to dismiss lawsuit by former KU football coach David Beaty

Kansas head coach David Beaty takes the field with he Jayhawks prior to kickoff on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kan.

Kansas head coach David Beaty takes the field with he Jayhawks prior to kickoff on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kan.

Originally published August 8, 2019 at 3:49 p.m., updated August 8, 2019 at 7:23 p.m.

A federal judge on Thursday denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit that former University of Kansas football coach David Beaty filed against Kansas Athletics Inc.

Mike Lyons, an attorney representing Beaty, told the Journal-World that he would let Judge Kathryn Vratil’s order speak for itself.

Erinn Barcomb-Peterson, a spokeswoman for KU, responded to the ruling in an email to the Journal-World Thursday evening.

“As we have said all along, former Head Football Coach David Beaty’s court filings contain factual misstatements and false claims, and we look forward to resolving this matter,” she wrote.

A document filed Thursday in the case specifies only that KAI’s motion for dismissal is overruled “for reasons stated on the record.”

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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.”

The motion to dismiss the case was filed May 17 in the U.S. District Court of Kansas. A memo accompanying it claimed that 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 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution bars individuals from suing states in federal court.

Beaty’s lawyers had filed a response saying that the argument didn’t hold up. They also noted that Beaty moved to Texas in January and intended to remain there “indefinitely.”

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Earlier this week, an attorney for KAI filed a reply to Beaty’s response. Among documentation in that reply is a lease in Beaty’s name, effective May 23, 2018, for an apartment in Austin.

However, it also includes signed and notarized written questions and answers from KAI to Beaty, in which he responds multiple times that he signed the lease on or about Jan. 17, 2019, and elsewhere states that he has resided in the apartment since Nov. 24, 2018.

In the versions of those documents uploaded to online court records, multiple pages are missing.

It was not immediately clear from court records Thursday when the next hearing will be, but the case will continue.

— Journal-World reporters Mackenzie Clark and Benton Smith contributed to this report.