Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Judge rules ‘Miles to Go’ footage, 2019 practice film can be part of Beaty case

Kansas head coach Les Miles calls out players to go head-to-head in the Jayhawk drill during practice on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019.

Kansas head coach Les Miles calls out players to go head-to-head in the Jayhawk drill during practice on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019.


The raw, unedited footage of the “Miles to Go” documentary that profiled coach Les Miles’ first season at the helm of KU football can be subpoenaed and used as evidence in the case of former coach David Beaty’s disputed firing, a U.S. magistrate judge ruled Tuesday.

Beaty’s team of attorneys has argued in previous legal filings that unaired footage from the ESPN+ documentary series will show University of Kansas Athletic Director Jeff Long planning to fire the coach, who went 6-42 in four seasons with KU, before the fall 2018 season began.

Outside counsel for KU Athletics filed a motion in mid-February asking for a subpoena of the footage to be quashed, saying that the footage wasn’t relevant to Beaty’s case and that it could potentially give opponents a schematic advantage by showing footage of Miles’ practices.

Judge Gwynne Birzer in Wichita ruled against that motion Tuesday, saying that the footage, as well as contracts and communications also issued as part of the initial subpoena, could serve as proof of the timeline surrounding Beaty’s termination.

Birzer also ruled Tuesday against a motion from KU to quash a second subpoena for video footage of spring 2019 practices that took place under Miles’ direction. KU’s athletics department has argued that Miles’ practice video could give opponents an advantage and that it’s irrelevant to Beaty’s firing.

Beaty’s team, however, argues that the footage will show Miles committing the same violations KU used to fire Beaty for cause and not pay a $3 million buyout — using more coaches than allowed under NCAA rules.

Both the “Miles to Go” footage and 2019 practice footage could also give more insight into KU Athletics’ “motivations” regarding NCAA violations levied against Beaty, Birzer said in her ruling.

The “Miles to Go” footage and practice footage must be produced by May 15, Birzer ordered. Before it can be released publicly, though, both parties in the case will meet to evaluate if any of the produced material needs to be sealed — either because it would give KU football opponents a schematic advantage or because student privacy may be violated if the documentary footage is released.

KU has argued in previous case filings that release of some “Miles to Go” footage could violate the Family Educational Right to Privacy Act, a federal law that protects access to education records.

Beaty’s case is currently set to go to trial in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan., in February 2021.


Dale Rogers 2 years, 2 months ago

So, what incoming AD would NOT have been planning to fire Beaty? That's his job. Improve the situation. You do that by getting rid of the problem. Long would have been remiss had he not planned to get rid of him and replace him with someone better.

Dirk Medema 2 years, 2 months ago

Dale - Spot on with your assessment, the problem comes when making other claims and $3M of a person’s contract.

Tangentially, can the NCAA request the same video and dump more penalties our way? It’s making for quite a legacy. (Sarcasm)

Mike Hart 2 years, 2 months ago

Uh... the point being.. if Long was going to fire home BEFORE the 2018 season began, then it is proof that he was not being fired for just cause. And that all the KU claims that he was fired for just cause after the fact ... are ridiculous. More mud in KU’s eye

Len Shaffer 2 years, 2 months ago

I haven't been agreeing with those who have said that maybe Long isn't deserving of his position, but the more that this drags on, the more I'm beginning to think that maybe they're right.

Brian Wilson 2 years, 2 months ago

You can't withhold this kind of money after the fact without getting tangled in a web. So, the video will be used to show original intent and the timeline discussed of the videoman/coach meetings with players apparently does not lineup due to students and coaches not in town at the same the meetings occurred as KU has claimed. This does not sound good.

Speculating here....the attorneys may not be willing to settle for what's owed plus attorney fees. If confident and think they can prove claims made in public are not true they may have filed or will file civil suit for defamation and reputational damages. Piling on and adding institutional pressure may be Grassnola adding testimony on top of all this as well as Beatty having had job interviews for jobs where he has been rejected. So 3 million, plus lost earnings, plus interest, plus damages, yada, yada, yada...and it could take 3 ro 4 times owed to settle. A difficult position...could be if you don't bend over a can of "Nike-NCAA-whooopa***" may be opened in the court room. Pretty obvious, I've said enuff about about Long and settling this a long time ago.

Michael Leiker 2 years, 2 months ago

Agree completely, and the idea that you have a camera crew following a potential hire around before he's officially being interviewed, while a current coach is in place (don't tell me ESPN did it on their own and Long didn't know about it). Just dumb.

Jeff Coffman 2 years, 2 months ago

This case like Beaty's tenure has gone on way too long.

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