Lyons & Simmons Concludes Former University of Kansas Head Football Coach’s Contractual Dispute with $2.55 Million Settlement

DALLAS – Attorneys at Dallas-based Lyons & Simmons have successfully settled a high-profile breach of contract lawsuit against Kansas Athletics, Inc., on behalf of former University of Kansas head football coach David Beaty. The dispute centered on Kansas’ refusal to pay Coach Beaty’s liquidated damages provision in his contract after he was fired without cause in November of 2018.

The settlement brings to a close an often-contentious dispute that involved allegations that Kansas engineered alleged low-level NCAA infractions involving a support staff member in a post-termination effort to avoid paying $3 million as spelled out in the contract for a “without cause” termination. Well-publicized evidence in the case showed that while Kansas had failed to take meaningful employment action against other coaches at Kansas for far more serious alleged NCAA violations, it maintained that Coach Beaty’s firing should be recharacterized as “for cause.”

Coach Beaty’s attorney, Lyons & Simmons co-founder Michael Lyons, says Kansas’ post-termination investigation was in bad faith and sends a message about this growing trend in college athletics.

“Coach Beaty’s settlement is a win for the Beaty family and for coaches everywhere. This result sends a clear message in response to the growing prevalence of institutions that contract to pay liquidated damages and then refuse to pay based upon manufactured stories about alleged NCAA violations. When an institution elects not to pay a coach in accordance with the contract, its leadership needs to understand the scrutiny it will invariably attract and the economic and reputational impact it will have. I believe Coach Beaty’s case highlights all the reasons not to take the route taken here.”

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Dallas-based Lyons & Simmons, LLP is a trial boutique representing clients in wrongful death, personal injury, products liability and complex “bet-the-company” business litigation matters across the country. To learn more, visit

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