Though he was allowed to finish out the season, David Beaty was officially fired as Kansas’ head coach on Nov. 4, 2018. Turns out, he was effectively fired before the season even started.
According to testimony provided in an ongoing lawsuit brought by Beaty against his former employer, Kansas AD Jeff Long had determined before the 2018 season that he would fire Beaty and hire Les Miles.
In testimony obtained by the Kansas City Star, Matt Baty, one of the chief fundraisers in the KU athletics department, testified Long had determined by that August he would can Beaty at the first opportunity, and the administration turned to rooting against the football team in order to execute Long’s plan:
“I think it would be — if the football program had success that year, it would make it — our jobs more difficult to fire David Beaty,” Baty said in sworn testimony.
The lawsuit also brought to light that Kansas began negotiations to create what became an ESPN+ series titled “Miles to Go” well before Miles was hired, and while Beaty was still employed.
Miles was hired Nov. 18, five days before KU’s 2018 finale.
Beaty’s camp has for months alleged Kansas attempted to find a “dead hooker” in Beaty’s closet in an effort to avoid paying his $3 million buyout, which is the genesis for the lawsuit and the source of Long’s dirty laundry.
The deposition detailed that KU deputy AD for external engagement Chris Freet was indeed tasked with digging up dirt of a possible extramarital affair against Beaty, but Baty testified that Long has more of a skeleton in his closet than Beaty. From the Star:
Baty also testified that he heard Long make inappropriate and inflammatory sexual remarks about an elderly female donor to whom Long was prepared to make “a generous ask” financially. Baty also testified that Long made a comment about wanting a hotel room adjacent to where a female school staffer was staying, which Baty in context understood to be a sexual remark.
“As a general rule, the university does not comment on pending legal matters. However, in this instance, we feel compelled to note that Mr. Baty’s deposition is full of outright fabrications, lies and false attributions,” said Dan Beckler, KU associate athletic director for public relations. “As we have said all along, we are confident this matter will be appropriately resolved in court.”
Aside from what did or did not go on in Long and Beaty’s personal lives, Long based his legal argument for denying Beaty’s $3 million buyout around supposed evidence the athletics department had that Beaty was aware his staff committed NCAA violations by having non-countable coaches perform official coaching duties. However, Beaty’s camp alleged that Long was aware of similar behavior committed by Miles’ staff but was not concerned.
Beaty’s lawyer Michael Lyons pressed Long repeatedly about video clips of game footage from the 2019 season, coached by Miles, showing Long numerous snippets of non-countable KU coaches interacting with players and coaches on the sideline.
The first was from KU’s third game against Boston College, which showed then-offensive analyst Josh Eargle flipping through Miles’ play sheet and pointing to something on it. An analyst, by NCAA rules, cannot “make or assist in making tactical decisions related to the sport during on-court or on-field practice or competition.”
Long stated he disagreed with the assumption that Eargle was committing a coaching act in the specific clip, and later claimed he instituted moves to prevent such confusion in the future.