Former Kansas Football Coach Sues Over Unpaid Salary

Suit filed by Lyons & Simmons attorneys alleges new narrative followed termination

DALLAS – Former University of Kansas head football coach David Beaty has filed suit against Kansas Athletics, Inc., the school’s athletic department, alleging breach of contract and unpaid wages of $3 million owed to him after his November 2018 dismissal.

Beaty was given a multi-year contract to turn KU’s football program around and the contract guaranteed payment if he was terminated without cause. In November, Kansas Athletic Director Jeff Long emphasized – publicly, privately, and in writing – that Beaty’s termination was without cause and that the coach would be paid $3 million owed under his contract.

Based on Long’s promises and his contract, Beaty agreed to remain at KU and finish out the season. But Kansas Athletics officials immediately began discussing what it would take to avoid the $3 million payout, emphasizing the need to find “something” on Beaty such as “a dead hooker in [his] closet” according to the suit filed by attorneys at Texas-based Lyons & Simmons, LLP, and Kansas City-based Scharnhorst Ast Kennard Griffin PC.

On Dec. 13, Beaty was informed that KU had initiated an investigation into allegations involving a member of the football staff and that Kansas Athletics would not make the guaranteed payments until its self-initiated investigation was completed. Beaty has cooperated with the investigation and has been unequivocal that he is unaware of any violations of any NCAA rules while the head football coach at KU.

The suit alleges that Kansas Athletics breached its contract with Beaty by not making the guaranteed payments after terminating Beaty without cause.

“Ever since the season concluded, Kansas Athletics has moved the goal posts on Coach Beaty,” said Lyons & Simmons co-founder Michael Lyons. “Kansas Athletics can’t walk back its decision to terminate Coach Beaty without cause after confirming it publicly, privately, and in writing.”

“Coach Beaty and his family will always cherish their time at KU, but they do not understand why Kansas Athletics has reneged on its promises,” said Mr. Lyons.

The lawsuit, filed March 12, is David Beaty and DB Sports, LLC v. Kansas Athletics, Inc., Cause No. 2:19-cv-02137 in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas.

Dallas-based Lyons & Simmons, LLP maintains a reputation as one of the state’s premier trial boutique firms. Its lawyers routinely handle high-stakes litigation of all kinds, including matters involving personal injury, wrongful death, products liability, business disputes, professional liability, real estate, securities, and construction.

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