Category Archives: See You In Court

“… we are confident this matter will be appropriately resolved in court.”

So

Jeff Long planned to fire Kansas Jayhawks football coach David Beaty and replace him with Les Miles early in his tenure as athletic director but needed the money to do it, newly released court documents show.

Long and others planned the firing during the fall of 2018, including Long directing an employee to start raising funds from donors to finance the coaching switch. In the midst of that planning, questions about Beaty took a turn toward a personal nature when Chris Freet, a top Kansas Athletics, Inc. official, quizzed a colleague about Beaty’s sex life, including whether the coach was involved in an extramarital affair.

Ultimately, Long fired Beaty in November 2018, initially promising the coach $3 million due to him under his contract. The payment was later withheld after Kansas Athletics reclassified Beaty’s firing as for cause after an investigation found one of Beaty’s non-coaching staffers engaged in impermissible coaching activities under NCAA rules.

Those details and others emerged in two sworn depositions from February that were unsealed this week in a lawsuit that Beaty filed against Kansas Athletics, seeking the $3 million he says is owed to him. The documents present a portrait into how Beaty was fired and other details about the inner workings of Kansas Athletics, an organization keen on walling off public scrutiny of its private dealings.

As you can guess, there’s nothing in what follows that any rational human being would consider flattering to Jeff Long, which hardly rates as a surprise, considering what a mediocre athletic director Long has been over the course of his career.  This futile exercise in denial might be my favorite bit:

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…

Lyons showed Long a later clip after KU had scored a touchdown against Boston College. Miles and special teams analyst Devin Ducote both held up their index fingers, appearing to show players that KU was electing to kick the extra point.

When Lyons argued that signaling by an analyst would be a violation during a game, Long disputed that.

“Devin could be signaling, ‘We’re No. 1,’” Long said. “We just scored a touchdown against Boston College. I don’t know. I don’t see any tactical thing. I see a finger in the air.”

And, the inevitable punchline.

Long also revealed that after The Star ran its original story, he instructed compliance to look into the matter, saying, “it appeared from the news article there was a potential violation.”

Jeff Long being shitty and vindictive at his job doesn’t surprise me, but you know what does?  Why schools keep thinking going to court will eventually vindicate them.  (Remember, Beatty’s buyout is a relatively small $3 million.)  Pro tip: when you have morons running your athletic department, they’re generally not going to be made to look any smarter in a deposition.

2 Comments

Filed under See You In Court

The NCAA strenuously objects.

From the Alston arguments in front of the 9th Circuit yesterday, this is hilarious.

Judge Smith also pressed Waxman on whether he thinks proposed state and federal laws could impact the case, pointing to California’s Fair Pay to Play Act, which allows compensation for a college athlete’s name, image and likeness, or NIL. The new law was signed last year, but doesn’t go into effect until 2023.

The judge said allowing athletes to get paid millions of dollars for their NIL could “completely undercut” the NCAA’s defenses.

But the attorney replied that the NCAA thinks that those statutes are “flatly inconsistent” with its principles of amateurism and the O’Bannon precedent.  Waxman added that they think that the state’s Fair Pay to Play Act is unconstitutional and violates the dormant commerce clause.

If you say so, man.

(h/t)

9 Comments

Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA

Is the NCAA following the First Rule of Holes?

You could certainly make an argument that this week’s announcement the organization intends to implement some form of one-time transfer rule for college football players is an indication that it’s trying to put down the shovel.

I’m not going to even mock them by saying better late than never, because it’s got to be hard for that group to acknowledge that it’s completely tangled itself up in its rules and regulations.

That’s the real problem here.  Even if Emmert and his team know they’ve lost their way, they’ve constructed so many barriers in the process that it makes it hard to get back on the road, even when they recognize the need to reset.

And there’s plenty more where that comes from.  Look at the argument advanced by the Alston plaintiffs to the appeals court yesterday.

The NCAA knows that standing pat on loosening NIL rules is a losing proposition, but if it proceeds to take steps to extricate itself from that, it runs smack dab into its O’Bannon stance.  It’s the inevitable problem that arrives when you insist on taking maximalist positions on everything.

Most of this could have been dealt with through proactive negotiations five years ago that would have left much of the schools’ positions intact, but that’s not how the NCAA rolls.  Is it any wonder that lawmakers are skeptical of Emmert’s position that this time, they really mean to do something about NIL that’s in all the parties’ best interests?

It’s a shame, too, because it’s still not too late for the NCAA to roll up its sleeves and work out something allowing it to retain more than half a loaf.  I expect that shovel still feels mighty comforting, though.

3 Comments

Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA

“We’d like this to be resolved by the court, not in the press.”

Good luck with that, Michigan State.

A photograph and affidavit filed in federal court Tuesday purport to show former Michigan State recruiting coordinator Curtis Blackwell and then-head football coach Mark Dantonio in the home of a top recruit in 2015, evidence that contradicts Dantonio’s sworn testimony and is an apparent violation of NCAA rules…

The filing came hours after MSU officials acknowledged for the first time the university is investigating allegations of misconduct and is in contact with the NCAA and Big Ten conference.

How fortunate for him that Dantonio’s already pocketed that big bonus.

8 Comments

Filed under Big Ten Football, See You In Court

Caught between the proverbial rock and hard place

I hate to break it to those of you who think the NCAA is playing and winning a game of three-dimensional chess as it attempts to put off the consequences of rising discontent with its amateurism protocol, but the reality is it’s growing more likely that it’s going to turn out to be a matter of reaping what it’s sown.

Screenshot_2020-02-13 Andy Schwarz on Twitter JonSolomonAspen and the 9th Circuit has specifically asked both sides to brie[...]

This is what happens when (1) you change the definition of what you’re defending on the fly to suit your needs and (2) you have zero interest in being proactive about a festering problem.

The courts, state legislatures and Congress are all dropping strong hints that the NCAA’s position is untenable.  It’s hard to see how creating study groups is going to blunt that charge.  But I guess that’s why some of you believe they pay Mark Emmert the big bucks.

Meanwhile, in Florida

3 Comments

Filed under Political Wankery, See You In Court, The NCAA

Today, in litigation

Boise State 1, Mountain West 0.

The Mountain West Board of Directors has quietly voted to rescind a decision that would end Boise State’s additional slice of revenue from the conference’s TV contract, several sources told the Union-Tribune.

In exchange, Boise State will drop a legal complaint filed last month against the conference and agree to terms of the new TV contract that begins this summer.

Essentially, the two sides are back to square one.

Nice try, small fry.

8 Comments

Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, See You In Court

For want of a (pinkie) nail

I’ve got to give some credit to SI.com’s Michael McCann for writing an entire column on the legal ramifications of the Mays family saga.  If you’re looking for an end game on Cade’s transfer waiver request, this is probably as good a suggestion as you’ll get:

Mays would seem to have a more compelling waiver argument by arguing that a transfer to Tennessee would reflect family hardship. Such hardship is an accepted rationale for a waiver. Mays would need to show that the transfer is motivated by a recent injury or illness to an immediate family member. He would also need corroborating documentation from the Vols’ athletic department that he would be allowed to depart from the team to provide care to this family member. Under NCAA rules, this family member must be located within 100 miles of the university.

Mays could argue that he is transferring back home to help out his parents, particularly his dad, in light of the hand injury. His parents’ lawsuit, which details the suffering of Kevin Mays, could help him in that regard. While the injury occurred more than two years ago, it stands to reason that Kevin Mays’s recovery—which has included multiple operations—has not gone as well as he hoped. Perhaps he needs care from sons Cade and Cooper, both of whom will be with the Vols next season. Kevin Mays is also from Knoxville, the same city as the University of Tennessee, meaning the 100-mile stipulation would be easily satisfied.

That would explain why Mars has indulged in a public pissing match with Greg McGarity.  Playing the family hardship card, I don’t think Georgia’s cooperation is necessary to get the waiver, so crap like this is merely gratuitous flexing.

63 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, See You In Court, The NCAA