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

Coach David Beaty watching the team during pregame workout on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018 at Memorial Stadium.

Coach David Beaty watching the team during pregame workout on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018 at Memorial Stadium.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

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.

In a previous hearing this past December, attorneys for Beaty requested evidence that would show how the Kansas athletic department handled other NCAA violations by KU head coaches.

The plaintiffs stated in court documents that such evidence should include information regarding current head coach Les Miles, who earlier this year, in the NCAA’s amended Notice of Allegations, was added to the list of accused violators after KU self-reported staff members who aren’t full-time assistants carried out coaching duties.

Similar violations, which the NCAA included in the initial NOA, reportedly happened when Beaty was the head coach, and they were at the heart of KU’s argument to withhold the $3 million Beaty’s contract stated he would be owed if fired without cause.

Judge Gwynne E. Birzer ordered Kansas Athletics to turn over information that shows how the department responded to not only the violations under Miles, but also the NCAA’s multiple alleged Level 1 violations against the KU men’s basketball program.

Other evidence ordered to be presented to the plaintiff’s team will deal with how the athletic department decided to deal with academic fraud violations that emerged when Mark Mangino was the head coach, leading to a loss of scholarships from 2007-09.

Beaty’s lawyers requested communications that include any information about the aforementioned instances, as well as details regarding any investigations that followed, the contracts of relevant coaches and any information exchanged between Kansas Athletics and the Big 12 or NCAA regarding those matters.

Lawyers for Beaty argued that the evidence is relevant because it will bring to light facts that show whether KU, theoretically, “would have actually terminated Beaty for cause,” upon discovering the alleged violations that happened when he was in charge, if the athletic department would have discovered those allegations before firing him.

Beaty’s lawyers have argued since filing the lawsuit that Kansas Athletics officials “immediately began discussing what it would take to avoid the $3 million payout,” after firing Beaty in November of 2018 and allowing him to finish out the season.