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University Of Kansas Settles Multi-Million Dollar Federal Lawsuit With Former Head Football Coach

Former University of Kansas head football coach David Beaty is suing KU Athletics for $3 million in a contract dispute.
Charlie Riedel
Former University of Kansas head football coach David Beaty is suing KU Athletics for $3 million in a contract dispute.

Late on Friday, Kansas Athletics announced it had settled a long and bitter lawsuit with former head football coach David Beaty for $2.55 million.

In a relatively short statement, University of Kansas officials said the settlement ends all litigation and disputes between the parties.

"Despite the settlement, the University maintains that the facts and principals behind its position remain intact," the statement said, apparently referring to KU's claims that it did not owe Beaty a $3 million contractual buyout when he was fired in 2018. Kansas Athletics claimed Beaty violated NCAA rules before he was dismissed after four dismal seasons where he won just two games.

The NCAA has charged KU with minor violations during Beaty's tenure.

Beaty sued KU in 2019, claiming the university went looking for any violation to avoid paying Beaty the money.

"This has been an agonizing process for him," Beaty's Dallas-based lawyer, Michael Lyons, told KCUR. "David Beaty and his family are happy to have this behind them."

In the end, KU saved no money by settling with Beaty. In addition to the $2.55 million payout, Kansas Athletics has run up enormous legal bills fighting the lawsuit.

As KCUR reported in April, KU had to that point spent more than $352,000 on the case. Costs most certainly would have mounted between then and when it signed the settlement Friday.

The NCAA has not made a final decision on whether Beaty actually violated the rules.

KU is also waiting to hear about far more serious allegations against the basketball program, ones arising out of the college basketball scandal involving Adidas shoes. An FBI investigation out of New York revealed that an Adidas consultant paid the families or guardians of highly recruited high school prospects in an attempt to steer them to KU and other major programs.

Kansas is mounting a vigorous defense against the NCAA allegations and has called them "simply baseless and littered with false representations" in its response.

Friday might have brought a hint of just how bad it might get for Jayhawk basketball. Oklahoma State, a rather minor player in the scandal, was hit with a one-year ban from post-season play, lost three scholarships for the next three seasons, and is on probation for three years by the NCAA.

Oklahoma State called the penalty "unfair and unjust" in a statement.

Copyright 2020 KCUR 89.3

Sam grew up in Overland Park and was educated at the University of Kansas. After working in Philadelphia where he covered organized crime, politics and political corruption he moved on to TV news management jobs in Minneapolis and St. Louis. Sam came home in 2013 and covered health care and education at KCPT. He came to work at KCUR in 2014. Sam has a national news and documentary Emmy for an investigation into the federal Bureau of Prisons and how it puts unescorted inmates on Grayhound and Trailways buses to move them to different prisons. Sam has one son and is pretty good in the kitchen.