David Beaty files lawsuit against Kansas for unpaid buyout

Kansas head coach David Beaty applauds his team during the first half of an NCAA college football game against TCU in Lawrence, Kan., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
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(WIBW) -- Former Kansas head football coach David Beaty has filed a lawsuit against the University of Kansas' athletic department alleging school officials tried to escape paying his buyout.

The school said in November when Beaty was fired it would fulfill the terms of his contract, which included a $3 million buyout if Beaty was fired without cause.

The lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday afternoon in U.S. District Court by Texas-based Deans & Lyons, alleges KU breached its contract with Beaty by not making the guaranteed payments.

According to the lawsuit, which was obtained by 13 News on Tuesday, Beaty's counsel is also alleging Athletic Director Jeff Long and "at least one other senior Kansas Athletics official" commented that they needed to "find something," or more specifically, find "a dead hooker... in Beaty's closet" to justify withholding the $3 million owed.

KU Assistant Athletics Director Jim Marchiony said in an amended statement that the "filing is full of false claims and factual misstatements, including that KU's Director of Athletics made salacious comments about seeking reasons to withhold payment from Beaty."

But Beaty and his counsel believe that "something" allegedly mentioned is an ongoing NCAA investigation.

According to a release by Deans & Lyons co-founder Michael Lyons, Beaty was informed on Dec. 14 that KU had initiated an investigation into allegations involving "a member of the football staff," and would not make any payments until the investigation was complete.

In a statement, Marchiony said the investigation centers on Beaty, not just a member of the football staff.

"Immediately following the end of the season, Kansas Athletics staff conducted standard exit interviews of all football coaches and staff, and through that process we learned of possible NCAA violations allegedly committed by Beaty," Marchiony's statement said.

Marchiony said, when KU began its investigation, "Beaty refused to cooperate with the KU review and, ultimately, the NCAA took the lead in the still-ongoing investigation."

Beaty's attorneys said he 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 school's statement also said it "has placed the full amount owed in escrow," and, if the allegations are true, "Beaty would be the one violating the contract terms."

In the lawsuit, Beaty's counsel alleged KU requested an extended payment schedule to help alleviate the tax implications of his buyout. According to the suit, Beaty declined.

It continued by saying Beaty received a letter from KU General Counsel Brian White notifying him of the investigation "for the first time" shortly thereafter.

The lawsuit said Beaty responded to the letter noting he would "treat the failure to timely pay under the contract as a material breach." The suit then said Kansas Athletics had not responded in any way "to date."

Beaty and his counsel also alleged in the lawsuit that KU's athletics department has told prospective employers that Beaty is the subject of an open NCAA investigation.

The lawsuit ended its allegations of fact saying "Kansas Athletics continues to move the goal posts to avoid its contractual obligations that it acknowledged publicly, privately, orally, and in writing many times before using a self-initiated investigation as a shield to delay or attempt to avoid them.

Here is Kansas Athletics' full statement:

The University of Kansas is aware of a court filing submitted by attorneys of former Head Football Coach David Beaty. While the university typically does not comment on pending litigation, the nature of the current matter warrants further context.

The filing is full of false claims and factual misstatements, including that KU’s Director of Athletics made salacious comments about seeking reasons to withhold payment from Beaty. Simply, that did not happen.

Here are the facts. Beaty was informed he would not be retained by KU on November 4, 2018, but would be able to coach the remaining games. Immediately following the end of the season, Kansas Athletics staff conducted standard exit interviews of all football coaches and staff, and through that process we learned of possible NCAA violations allegedly committed by Beaty. KU contacted the NCAA and the Big 12 Conference and began an investigation into the matter. Beaty refused to cooperate with the KU review and, ultimately, the NCAA took the lead in the still-ongoing investigation.

Due to the nature of the allegations, which, if true, would be in violation of the terms of Beaty’s contract, the university has withheld payment of money owed to Beaty pending the outcome of the NCAA investigation. In a show of good faith, the university has placed the full amount owed in escrow.

While disappointed in the court filing, the university is committed to seeking the truth and upholding our high standards of ethical conduct.