Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Ex-KU football coach David Beaty to subpoena ESPN for ‘Miles to Go’ footage, contracts

Kansas head coach David Beaty watches as Iowa State gets deep into Kansas territory during the second quarter, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas head coach David Beaty watches as Iowa State gets deep into Kansas territory during the second quarter, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018 at Memorial Stadium.


As former University of Kansas football coach David Beaty’s legal pursuit of his $3 million buyout continues, his attorneys are now seeking raw footage from a TV series starring his replacement.

Beaty, through counsel Brent Coverdale of Kansas City, Mo., on Monday filed a notice of intent to issue subpoenas, accompanied by the lists of what he’s asking video production companies to provide.

The subpoenas ask ESPN to provide unedited, raw footage for all episodes of “Miles to Go,” the documentary-style series that aims to give fans a behind-the-scenes look at current coach Les Miles’ rebuild of the football program.

The show began filming prior to Athletic Director Jeff Long’s Nov. 18, 2018, announcement of Miles’ hire. It premiered Aug. 29, 2019.

Beaty filed the lawsuit in March 2019 in U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas after KU fired him without cause in November 2018. Case documents state that Long confirmed publicly and privately that Beaty was being fired without cause, which entitled him to a $3 million buyout, per a contract extension he’d signed in 2016.

However, about a month later, Beaty received a letter stating that Kansas Athletics Inc. would be suspending any upcoming severance payments pending the completion of an NCAA investigation into violations that Beaty allegedly committed, according to documents in the case.

The NCAA alleged that Beaty didn’t demonstrate that he monitored the KU football staff because he knew that a noncoaching staff member acted in a coaching role with the quarterbacks on the team, both in position meetings and during practices, from December 2017 through October 2018.

In a Nov. 21, 2019, letter to Beaty, Long wrote that he had reviewed the NCAA’s investigation and factual records and found the allegations to be true, and that the effective date of Beaty’s termination remained Nov. 24, 2018, according to documents in the case.

In a recent filing, Beaty contends that KAI cannot “retroactively and unilaterally re-terminate the contracts (this time supposedly with cause) under the unambiguous terms of the parties’ contracts.”

“Miles to Go” was produced by JM Associates Inc. and Sport & Story LLC, both Arkansas-based companies, and streamed on ESPN+, as the Journal-World and have reported.

The subpoenas ask ESPN, JM Associates and Sport & Story to produce their unedited, raw footage for all episodes of the show, documents reflecting communications with Kansas Athletics Inc., Long or KU concerning the show, contracts, and releases signed by Long, Miles, Matt Baty and Chris Freet for the show.

Baty was the director of the Williams Education Fund from August 2016 through November 2018. Freet was named KU’s deputy athletics director for external engagement in September 2018.

In addition, the subpoenas ask ESPN and XOS Digital Inc., a Wilmington, Mass., video editing software company, to provide unedited, raw footage for all of the football team’s practices and/or games in 2019.

The show has followed Miles through his voyage to Kansas, recruiting visits, practices and KU’s 2019 season, during which the team went 3-9.

The notice of intent to issue the subpoenas says that Beaty’s legal team is requesting that the recipients provide all documents and footage on or before Feb. 15.

The NCAA’s detailed Notice of Allegations, which KU received Sept. 23, 2019, states that Beaty’s staffer provided the quarterbacks instruction in the film room and in occasional text messages. In a statement issued the same day, Long noted that the university “self-reported the violations from the previous football staff.”

In the same news release from KU, Miles said he is “confident in the University’s process” leading to the self-reported violations.

Related coverage

Dec. 23, 2019: David Beaty’s lawyers file partial motion for summary judgment on lawsuit

Sept. 23, 2019: Alleged KU football violations involve misuse of Beaty staff member

Aug. 8, 2019: Judge denies motion to dismiss lawsuit by former KU football coach David Beaty

July 22, 2019: David Beaty’s lawyers file response to Kansas Athletics’ motion to dismiss lawsuit

May 20, 2019: Motion filed by KU aims to dismiss David Beaty’s lawsuit

March 26, 2019: Report: David Beaty calls KU’s claims he refused to cooperate with investigation ‘verifiably false’

March 12, 2019: Former KU football coach David Beaty suing Kansas Athletics for $3 million

Nov. 5, 2018: David Beaty: Decision to remain KU football coach for final 3 games ‘very, very easy’

Nov. 4, 2018: KU not retaining football coach David Beaty


Dane Pratt 2 years, 6 months ago

what do they expect to find in the raw footage

Len Shaffer 2 years, 6 months ago

I cannot for the life of me understand why KU doesn't just pay the man and make this all go away. Is the small (by athletic-department standards) amount really worth the headaches and PR disaster that this thing continues to be???

And can KU really justify RETROACTIVELY saying that Beaty's firing was with cause for what amounts to an extremely minor NCAA infraction?

As I've said before, this is just not a good look for KU.

Robert Brown 2 years, 6 months ago

You act like this is some national story that everyone is following— it’s not. Contract disputes happen all the time. This is not embarrassing the KU athletic department.

Freddie Garza 2 years, 6 months ago

Sorry champ, but we need that money for future recruits.

Michael Maris 2 years, 6 months ago

After watching the first 3 episodes of "Miles to Go" production. It certainly appears that AD Long had his mind made up well before the end of the season. But, that's his job as the AD. How many coaches survive after a new AD has been employed for any respective University Athletic Program? I'd venture to say very damn few (other than Bill Snyder, I can't think of any off the top of my head). I'm sure Tom Osborne probably survived a few AD changes. But, I've not done any research to prove that to be fact or fiction. This story is nothing but a page filler for the printed paper. It's time to move on. How about coaches getting ready to hit the road after the dead period is over (and leading up to the February signing day venture). That's what we're really interested in.

Armen Kurdian 2 years, 6 months ago

It just seems to me that this so called contract breaches wouldn't stand up to a test in a court of law. Yeah, he didn't do so good, but I agree with Len, I just don't think this looks good and is a fight the University is not going to win, nor does it seem (at least based on only what I've read) that they should. I'm sure there's more than just what's been reported in the LJW, but there would definitely need to be a lot more for the school to prevail.

Brian Skelly 2 years, 6 months ago

Give Beaty credit. He's going for the "run around the village three times and light it on fire" approach.

That said, the sheer absurdity of KU's unwillingness just to pay him to make this go away seems bizarre.    Especially when you consider how much money was thrown at Perkins, Gill, Weis, etc.

Regardless, it seems silly.    At some point the lawyers fees likely starts to exceed the cost to just make him go away.

Daniel Kennamore 2 years, 6 months ago

Maybe if Beaty had tried half as hard to improve the football program as he is to get his golden parachute he would have actually won a game or two.

Mike Hart 2 years, 6 months ago

Daniel, a post like this... just makes you look truly ignorant. Beaty worked his ass off as KU head coach. Criticize the results or his limited success.. but don't criticize his effort. Golden parachute? It's called a contract.. .and it is a contract that KU is reneging on.. .and it's embarrassing to me that KU is trying to make some retroactive case to prevent from having to pay the man.

Garry Wright 2 years, 6 months ago

Daniel, I think you're way off base. Beaty tried as hard as he could. He also, because of pressure, resorted to the Juco route to try and win some games. KU needs to pay him and be done with this.

Robert Brown 2 years, 6 months ago

He was under no pressure to recruit JUCO. He created the pressure and elevated the expectations by recruiting JUCO and transfers repeating the mistake made by Weis. Had he focused on recruiting high school players and on development, his record wouldn’t have been any worse and the program would be in much better shape.

Mike Hart 2 years, 6 months ago

Dead wrong. Les Miles has a distinct edge in recruiting HS talent. One, the program IS in better shape after Beaty left then what Beaty inherited. Secondly, Les Miles has his track record at OSU, but namely LSU that will naturally attract HS talent. Beaty didn't have a head coaching pedigree coming to KU to try to clean up this mess. That's not Beaty's fault. Blame the AD for hiring him if you must blame someone. Beaty had numerous HS candidates back out after verbal commitments. Let's not pretend this hasn't happened to Miles already too.

Dane Pratt 2 years, 6 months ago

Has any school ever sued the coach they fired when said coach got them in trouble with the NCAA? That seems like the avenue KU should pursue. Pay Beaty according to the terms of his contract which stipulated money owed if he was fired without cause, which he was.

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