A little over a year ago, I wrote this about Jeff Long’s struggle to weasel out of a $3 million buyout of David Beaty’s contract after Long sacked him:
You can stop chuckling now. What’s impressive here, as you may have noticed, is that Beaty’s suit has caused the school to admit to possible NCAA violations, which should make for a lot of fun in discovery. Not that this is going to get anywhere near the point of Jeff Long sitting for questions under oath. Either the NCAA comes up with something relatively quickly, or Kansas settles, probably for an amount north of the buy out. (Beaty’s lawyers aren’t gonna pay themselves, after all.)
And here we are.
Former Kansas football coach David Beaty and KU Athletics have reached a settlement for $2.55 million that effectively ends Beaty’s lawsuit against the athletic department, KU announced in a release on Friday.
The agreement comes 15 months after Beaty first filed his lawsuit, where he alleged that KU Athletics sought to concoct a reason to fire him for cause to avoid a $3 million payout…
Though KU settled for less than Beaty’s original $3 million buyout in his contract, the department likely did not come out ahead financially. In a Jan. 31 memo that was later unsealed, KU blamed Beaty for violations that “resulted in several hundred thousand in legal fees for Kansas Athletics.” This accusation came four months before the case settled Friday, meaning KU’s lawyer fees were likely to have exceeded the half-million mark on Beaty’s lawsuit alone…
Big picture, though, this appears to be a sound move for KU Athletics in regards to risk management. Beaty’s legal team was still going through discovery, and had already sent out a subpoena to former Adidas representative T.J. Gassnola. That could have been disastrous for KU’s looming NCAA case, as anything said in Gassnola’s deposition could have been used against KU, with that new information also coming out late in the process.
A Kansas judge also had approved an order for Beaty’s lawyers to receive practice footage from Les Miles’ first year as coach, along with un-aired footage from KU’s “Miles to Go” documentary that was broadcast on ESPN+ each week.
So, to recap: Long, in trashing Beaty, opens his athletic department up to NCAA inquiry, and, in the end, pays out more than was owed his fired coach when you include legal expenses and hands it over in one lump sum instead of the six installments originally agreed to in Beaty’s contract.
I know the bar is fairly low at Kansas — I mean, this is the place that gave Charlie Weis another big contract after everyone else in the country had figured out he was a fraud as a head coach — but Long is working hard not to clear it. The surprise, though, isn’t how this turned out, or even that Long won’t face any consequences for this botch job. It’s that there are people in the industry who still think he’s credible.
It’s good to be an AD.