Tom Keegan: How many more games for David Beaty?

Kansas football head coach David Beaty gives the rundown on his incoming players during a Signing Day news conference at Mrkonic Auditorium in the Anderson Family Football Complex.

Now that Sheahon Zenger is gone, the length of the Kansas football coach’s tenure will be based purely on what’s best for the university’s future, not what’s best for anybody else’s job security.

Firing Beaty would have been the same as Zenger firing himself because there was no way anybody would have allowed him to hire another football coach.

So Beaty operated in a no-fire zone, and didn’t need to fear any oversight from his boss, who was powerless to stop him from doing anything he saw fit, such as scaling way back on recruiting high school football players and building the program in a way that made the scholarship situation worse, not better.

Now, with a new, experienced athletic director hired and set to start Aug. 1, oversight becomes a much bigger part of the landscape. The pertinent question: How quickly will Jeff Long make a change if he determines that Beaty is not up to the task?

For example, if Nicholls State comes into Kansas Memorial Stadium for the 6 p.m. kickoff Sept. 1, will Long have seen enough and make a change to make a clear statement that not good enough is not good enough whether it happens after one week or 12 weeks?

There would be no painting a loss to the FCS school on the rise as anything other than the latest evidence of an unremitting regression of a KU program that keeps setting a new basement.

No excuse for losing to Nicholls State would fly, given that the Colonels not so long ago were to the FCS what Kansas is to the FBS. The difference: Nicholls State has progressed.

Nicholls State hired Tim Rebowe as head coach on Nov. 21, 2014, two weeks before KU hired Beaty.

Both men were charged with major rebuilding projects. The Colonels were coming off an 0-11 season, KU a 3-9 mark.

Rebowe’s records: 3-8, 5-6, 8-4.

Beaty’s records: 0-12, 2-10, 1-11.

Kansas, its defense strengthened by an offseason recruiting strategy designed at going all in on 2018, isn’t likely to lose to Nicholls State, but what if it does? What then?

The argument against making a change right then and there basically is the absence of a strong argument for it. It’s not as if Kansas could, one week into the season, or 11 for that matter, raid Toledo’s football staff, hiring Jason Candle and most of his assistants to replace Beaty and most of his staff.

The next coach will come from outside the current staff, so using games to audition a candidate for the job isn’t an option.

The last time Kansas employed an interim coach, defensive coordinator Clint Bowen got the call when Charlie Weis was fired with a 2-2 record in 2014. Tom Hayes coached the final three games in 2001, when Terry Allen was fired after going 2-6.

Weis obviously wasn’t fired because of his record. After all, who fires 2-2? His personality hastened his departure.

It’s conceivable Beaty could survive embarrassing loss after embarrassing loss for the entire season, but he won’t last if he lies to his boss about the extent to which he is responsible for the scholarship mess in the event Long asks him for a 100 percent accurate list of every scholarship he has handed out during his reign of error. Simply saying he has done it the right way won’t cut it with Long.

How long into the season Beaty will last is a question asked far more often than which of the three quarterbacks will start the opener. That proves that a large percentage of the fan base has lost interest in the program and won’t tune back in until a new coach is in place.

Will 0-1 bring about change? Or 1-2? Or will a 1-5 record when the bye week hits be the time? Might Beaty be allowed to ride out a 2-10 season, which, by the way, would improve his winning percentage?

Long is new. He will want to see for himself what so many others no longer have the stomach to watch again.

When will he make the move? It’s as intriguing a question as surrounds KU football at the moment, but it’s probably not very important.

Even if change comes on an interim basis, hope won’t arrive until the 2019 season, so it’s probably best to prepare to watch 12 more times what you’ve already seen way too many times.

Comments

Mike Barnhart

Book it, November 4th.

Gassing him too early would look bad to prospective replacements. It'd be too embarrassing to fire him following a beatdown by a struggling K-State team. So, he gets sacked after Iowa State.

The hope will be that the interim coach provides a spark against K-State.

1 week, 1 day ago

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Bryan Mohr

Any prospective replacement that's a winner will think nothing badly of Long firing a 3-33 coach on day #1. Les Miles: I might have taken the KU job with a fat salary but I'm disturbed that Long fired Beaty so quickly. That isn't what Miles or any other winner would think. David Beaty is ranked #1 on http://coacheshotseat.com

1 week, 1 day ago

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Al Martin

Who thinks K-State will struggle? They return a lot of players.

1 week, 1 day ago

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Whitney Tangeman

My guess - 10/21 following blow out loss to Texas Tech, making us 1-6. Not trying to give up on the season before it has started, just trying to look back in October and see if I’m right. I hope the players will prove me wrong!

1 week, 1 day ago

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Craig Carson

as terrible as KU has been, 1-6 might be an overreach...I know they wont remain this bad forever but after 10 years of D5 level FB, its hard NOT to see them failing

1 week ago

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Jeff Coffman

It should have been -9 games. Losing to non p5 last year should have ended the reign of error. He has failed.

1 week, 1 day ago

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Bryce Landon

"Reign of error" - You, sir, win this message board, if not the Internet, for today with that comment.

6 days, 5 hours ago

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Bryan Mohr

Long's healthy salary and Zenger's buyout was about firing Beaty and replacing him with a good coach. There is no reason to keep Beaty a single day after Long takes charge. If Beaty starts winning games it will make the entire move look like an expensive mistake. It's unlikely, but why would Girod and Long even allow the possibility of that. Even if Long can't hire his guy this August, what difference will it make if Clint Bowen or Meacham leads the team from game #1. Bowen is a (mostly) well-liked hometown guy. Fans might enjoy watching him lead the team until Long announces his man.

1 week, 1 day ago

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Brett McCabe

You also do a favor to all of the assistants by terminating Beaty and promoting an interim. Everyone gets a chance to show their mettle as opposed to spend the season in a lame-duck situation. It could help the entire staff find a way to land on its feet, somewhere.

If the team wins the non-con, then you go into a slow-mo dead man walking vigil. In no way is that good for the players, the fans or the program.

Another scenario for an early action would be to use the phrase that Girod used in firing Zenger - a loss in confidence. If Long discovers that season tickets are way down, if the football financials are in bad shape, if he's heard from a number of donors, etc.

If Long does keep Beaty to start the season, I agree with Dirk's prediction, below. A .333 win percentage at any point of the season makes the move possible. Prior to that, it would take something embarrassing on the field to provide the leeway for a termination.

1 week, 1 day ago

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Dirk Medema

"scaling way back on recruiting high school football players and building the program in a way that made the scholarship situation worse, not better."

This is such an ignorant statement when you wrote an entire article on the scholarship situation, and according to your information Beaty had recruited a balanced roster (though not your erroneous conclusion). With 5 (?) JC players (Jrs) in the next class, there will be 20+ players in each class. (Yes, there would need to be a few JC's per class in the future, but most programs normally do this.)

That being said, it's just as ignorant as planning to lose. So pathetic.

But the answer is, At least twice as many as he wins.

1 week, 1 day ago

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Jerry Walker

"an ignorant statement"...correctamundo!!

1 week, 1 day ago

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Lance Meier

Dick,
Great POST!!! Where are the #'s on recruits??? Seems we have the same MSM reporting (lying) about KU FB and Our President... Beaty, has improved the #'s at KU every year. I agree, they need to start winning some games, the culture is "TOUGH", to change when U have lost for so long... RCJH GO KU!!!

1 week, 1 day ago

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Dirk Medema

Lance - I went back through the archived stories, and unfortunately can't find it now. I did pull up the spreadsheet that I've been updating for the past 3 years to see what my records say. The caveat though is a hat tip to Bryson, because I hwhole heartedly realize that there is plenty of info I am unaware of regarding recruiting. The other caveat to my numbers is that once a player has established himself as a starter or regular, such as Loneker or Mesa, I list them as scholarship players even though they weren't part of a traditional scholarships class.

IMO, that is a huge strength of Coach Beaty, and something he deserves a lot more respect for, because he has not limited himself to the traditional scholarship route. That includes players like Adeniji and others that are valuable contributors but not traditional recruiting class members.

Oh, another caveat, is that I deleted 5 players that I think recently left the program, though there maybe others, and there are others, Particularly on the OL that I'm not sure about. Long way of saying the numbers are ballpark.

My numbers are 77 scholarship of 110 total, with 61 on O and 45 on D. Sorry no split on scholi-players. The by class breakdown is 27 Seniors, 18 Juniors, 18 sophs, and 14 freshman. It's not perfect, but a far cry from where we were.

Next year will be basically status quo on the overall number, but hopefully we can make some more progress that next couple years. The real crucial numbers come when looking at the position groups - similar to last year when we had virtually a complete turnover in the DB's. This year to next the crucial recruiting is WR's (6-Srs & half the scholies) and DT's (3 of 4 and more than 1/2 of the total DL) with almost no Fr/So. 5 Sr LB's would be a concern, except that we have 6 Fr/So tho they'll need to grow-up a lot in the next year.

Again, far from perfect, but also so far from where we've been.

1 week ago

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Chris Spangenburg

He'll be gone after the Rutgers game or the TTU game.

1 week, 1 day ago

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Ashwin Rao

I believe that it is a waste of our time to contemplate Beaty's fate at this point. I am on the same boat of you all to see fresh blood have a go at it (and I am sure that even with 4-5 wins this year, there will be a change, because Long will like to bring his "imprint" on the program). But do let a man (Beaty) do his job!

Also, I was hoping for a more informed article from Tom, but seemed to ramble along. OK, OK, I will move on to the next article.

1 week, 1 day ago

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Jay Scott

Tom posts this stuff to give the crazies a chance to detonate and others a chance to mock them.

Your rational and coherent thoughts, while useful and admirable, have no place here. Save your wise thoughts for other forums and just enjoy the chaos.

1 week, 1 day ago

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Craig Carson

IKD, 4-5 wins might give me another year of life..5 wins would match the win total for the last 5 years

1 week ago

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Jay Scott

Are enough mental health providers out there to treat all those who would need care if Kansas football wins 6 games this year?

1 week, 1 day ago

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Aaron Paisley

KU plays 6 games, has a bye, plays 6 more games. Beaty has 6 games left, that gives the interim 2 weeks to adjust to his new role.

1 week, 1 day ago

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Brett McCabe

There is some logic to this for sure. If we go 2-1 in non-con, and then go 0-fer, the team would be 2-4 at the break. This gives plenty of time for the search and the extra week of prep for the next game, as you say.

1 week, 1 day ago

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Dennis Strick

Word on Jayhawk Blvd. is he doesn't even see the first kickoff against Nichols State from the home team sidelines. What date does Long start (Aug 1st)? That, + <7 is pink slip day. Meacham as interim. He has already hired his interim's replacement. That name is written down on a piece of paper in Long's pocket and a barely dry 5 year contract that ties to Long's tenure awaiting a signature. The Bataan Death March of KU Football is nearly over. We will soon hear the immortal words "I shall return ringing through Memorial Stadium"

1 week, 1 day ago

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Bryson Stricker

LMFAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

IF THIS ISN'T THE MOST WRONG THING IVE EVER SEEN.

1 week, 1 day ago

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['']

Meacham??? He hasn't proved squat. Hell I'd rather see Hull get it. At least he has done positive things for the team. Mecham's so called offensive prowess thus far has been - well, offensive.

1 week, 1 day ago

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John Fitzgerald

I won't say I know Beaty's fate but it can't be much longer. He's a great guy, just not a good football coach. The man he once worked under though, Mark Mangino, that was one heck of a coach. Hoping we find another guy like him because this program severely needs it.

I even wrote a little about my talk with Mangino and I'm telling you we need to hire a guy with his qualities. He's a true leader and a molder of men.

https://hawkjock.com/what-if-i-told-y...

1 week, 1 day ago

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Joe Black

What is he going to teach the young men? How to go into a restaurant in Lawrence and leave without paying for his meal because he is entitled?
I loved Mangino as a football coach not so much as a leader of young men.

1 week ago

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Craig Carson

the football standards are so low at KU that any coach who can win 5 games back to back years might bet a statue outside Memorial stadium..win 6 games and the statue might be put outside AFH LOL

1 week, 1 day ago

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Dillon Davis

It's just a matter of time before Beaty is gone. Doesn't really matter when it happens, this year is a waste.

What I'm more concerned about is retaining Tony Hull. The man can recruit and he can coach RBs. Have to find a way to keep Tony around with the next staff just like we did with Reggie Mitchell through different hires.

1 week, 1 day ago

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Steven Haag

Some of these posts crack me up. ANYBODY that thinks KU will EVER get 9 or 10 wins a season are delisional. The ONLY way that happens is Saban, and he ain’t coming. Anybody else, anybody and we are looking at 6 wins at best, maybe 7 in a lucky year. KU will NEVER compete for a Big XII title, ever. Any real talent will look at the BIG XII and see Oklahoma and Texas first. Next waves would include OK ST, TCU, etc. it’s the same in basketball. TCU spent MILLIONS in upgrading their basketball facilities, hired a really good coach, and has a nice program. Doesn’t matter, the good talent will always look at KU firstbbecause we ARE basketball. Go ahead, fire Beaty, spend millions on a new coach, but expect the best case scenario.......6 wins and the pinstripe bowl 😂😂😂

1 week, 1 day ago

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Jay Scott

Bill Snyder politely reminds you that similar statements were made about K-State.

Glen Mason and Mark Mangino are laughing at you.

1 week, 1 day ago

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Kevin Robert Fest

As compared to what now? O to 1 wins a national embarrassment. I say if we can compare to KSU 7-8 wins and is at least competitive in 80-90% of games with a surprise win over a power here and there. I'll take that. Is it harder to win at IST? They seem to be off to a good start with the right coach.

1 week, 1 day ago

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Craig Carson

@Kevin.ISU gives me hope..at least KU is a national brand..Iowa state really has no sport to hang its hat on...if a coach can go there and do good, then why not KU?

1 week ago

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Craig Carson

KSU was once as terrible as KU is now..Synder came in and changed everything..sure the big time FB recruits will look at everyone else before KU..but Snyder has never needed top recruits to win big..as far as the upgrades, you are dilusional if you think it wont help..KU has shown zero commitment to its FB program...most decent recruits see this...case in point Kentucky FB..they were terrible in FB for years..but then they hired a coach who could recruit and invested tons of cash in a new stadium..they have been much more competetive these last few years, landing some good recruits and even winning 7 games back to back years..KU winning 6-7 a year is doable and them winning 9+ games in a given season is achievable

1 week ago

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Titus Canby

I really want to see Beaty succeed. Unfortunately, I don't think he will. He's a great guy, and if winning, a great ambassador for the university. But, similar to Turner Gill, just seems like he's in over his head. I sincerely hope we have a great, winning season, and this "when do we we fire him" talk becomes a moot point.

1 week, 1 day ago

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Brett McCabe

Steven, both Glen Mason and Mark Mangino would like to have a word with you.

1 week, 1 day ago

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Titus Canby

+1

1 week, 1 day ago

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John Strayer

How much did the imbalanced football schedule help Mangino? IIRC...during the Orange Bowl year, KU didn't have to face OU or Texas. And add 4 non-con games to boot.

1 week, 1 day ago

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Craig Carson

@John..yes, the weak schedule worked in KU's favor..BUT, they beat the teams they were suppose to beat and they showed they can compete against good competition when it narrowly lost to MU and beat a good Vtech team....but then again, has being in the AFC East helped the Partiots? of course..but they've shown they are still good

1 week ago

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Steven Haag

Brett,

Look ar both of your coaches. Both BARELY had a .500 win percentage. That’s what the next coach......maybe......will have. Manginos “magical” year? Big XII north and heck, we couldn’t even win that. We didn’t face Oklahoma or Texas. Manginos second best year at KU? 7 and 5. Had he not pulled a rabbit out of his hat and beat Mizzery at Arrowhead, we would have been looking at 6-6. I am just being realistic. Everybody on here that hates Beaty with a passion makes it sound like the next coach is going to come in and take us to the promised land. Ain’t gonna happen, come back down to earth people

1 week, 1 day ago

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Craig Carson

ya know, in the 1980s KSU was horrible..they were as bad as KU is now...if you would have told OU and Nebraska fans (even Texas fans) that one day they would be competing for conference titles with KSU, even losing to them at times..they would have laughed in your face..but then Bill Snyder came in and changed everything for them..he has won 10 games multiple times and been to many many bowl games..and he didnt need a team full of top recruits to do it...why do people not think KU could do that very same thing? hell, MU football was terrible before Gary Pinkel..but then he changed them all around and had them ranked almost every year..why couldnt KU do that? what makes them different? we arent expecting the next coach to turn us into Alabama or OU..but why cant KU become another KSU? and as far as the 2008 Orange bowl season, yes, not facing OU and Texas helped..but they still won the games they were supposed to win..

1 week ago

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Denny Harrel

Since I believe allowing "fans" a public forum on which to comment was probably the worst thing to happen to college sports in several decades, this is my first time to comment and preferably my last. Obviously everyone becomes an expert on these sites but it still puzzles me why 95 % of commenters are constantly on the attack. AD's, coaches, athletes, recruits, no one is immune. I don't understand peoples purpose in commenting just to attack. Do they not realise they make any hope a "down" program has of rebuilding much more difficult? When they comment negatively about a potential recruit, do they not think 17 or 18 years old kids do not read and are not affected by that? Even if the complaint is true, what does it accomplish, other than heap more negative aura on a down program? Maybe I misunderstand the meaning of the term fan. Actually, this wasn't even my reason for commenting. I retired a couple of years ago from a coaching career in Football and Track, most of which was spent at the high school level, the exception being three years at the small college level. Over the years, I have known many, many sports writers. Some were annoying personalities and some were good friends, who I thought did a great job. But in my entire career, I never met a sportswriter who played any sport at the college level. I'm sure there must be some, but I've never met one. Lombardi said, "If I ever need a brain transplant, I want it to come from a sportswriter so I'll know it hasn't been used." I wouldn't go that far, but I do know this: Sportswriters get hired because of their ability to write, not because of their knowledge of sport. I feel very strongly that anytime a writer becomes so enamored with his own knowledge of a sport that he feels qualified to launch his own personal, two year campaign to get a coach fired, in my mind, he has lost all credibility, and does not deserve the opportunity to keep reporting on that program. I grew up in Kansas, and have followed the Jayhawks (hard) all my life. Lawrence has one such writer who is, I believe, an embarrassment to his profession.

1 week, 1 day ago

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Jay Scott

If these bitter kooks can't vent here they may beat their dogs. Nobody wants that...

1 week, 1 day ago

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Steven Haag

Amen Denny. I have posted very few comments ever. The hatred for this coach is beyond my comprehension. As you say, even if there comments are true, what good comes from it? Absolutely nothing. I read from our Senior, Daniel Wise, that coach Beaty made him a better player and a much better person. Somehow that gets lost in the shuffle. We have sold our souls to the almighty $$$$ and winning. Over 99% of all KU football players will not play in the NFL. I want them to be good, decent, outstanding men for their families and the community in which they live. I’m not happy with where the football program is right now. It may be a reality that Beaty is not P5 coach material. But, until the day that he either succeeds or is let go, I will support him and wish him and his fellow coaches and the team all the best wishes and success that I can.

1 week, 1 day ago

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Dane Pratt

Unless you want to give an interim coach a serious audition, what's the point in firing him mid-season?

1 week ago

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Jerry Ryan

Tom has his few minions. But any rational person can see his vendetta play out. He is a hypocrite and uses phony information to exact his revenge

1 week ago

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Dane Pratt

In defense of Tom and sportswriters in general, I don’t think it is their job to be the head cheerleader for the local teams. The LJW has written plenty of stories praising players and coaches but when a coach has managed three wins in three seasons, to question his ability is not only fair but appropriate.

1 week ago

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Lawrence McGlinn

I personally hate local sports writers who are complete "homers" because they get so much pressure from the community to only write positive drivel about the home team. More power to Keegan for being relatively objective about an historically bad football program. KU faculty, staff and support personnel have helped mold many young people into fine adults. The football coach gets paid 10X-plus others at the university to lead a team that is supposed to reflect well on the university. When the team is ill prepared for three consecutive years (plus several with previous coaches) it is ok to point out the incompetence. I think the timing of Beaty's fate is an interesting question. No Power 5 coach with a three-year record like his has ever gotten a 4th year. Will he get a chance? Is Long here to pull the plug before the season? Did Beaty load up on enough juco talent to be more respectable this year? More interesting than pretending the coaching staff just needs another year to get it right.

1 week ago

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Joe Black

"More power to Keegan for being relatively objective"
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

1 week ago

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Mike Greer

I attended a KU function when Beaty first started, he was the guest speaker, he talked a good game and talked a good plan, but he hasn't been able to execute. I don't know how long a coach should get to turn a football program around, but my guess is that Beaty's time is about to expire. He didn't have much to work with when he started, maybe less than at most programs, but in three years he hasn't shown much in the way of progress.

For those that doubt KU can ever be a championship program, I watched them beat a down and out Oklahoma team in Memorial Stadium. OU was in a horrible rut and had been for five or six years. Then they hired a 38 year old defensive coordinator as head coach. Turned out there was more talent on the roster than the record would have indicated, and in his second season, with a juco transfer quarterback, they won the championship. I'm not saying the next KU coach is going to be the second coming of Bob Stoops, but the next Bob Stoops is out there and it's not Beaty.

For all the great years KU basketball has had, there was a stretch that wasn't nearly as dominating as its been since Larry Brown arrived and set the stage for Roy Williams and Bill Self. And really, it's been the Coach Self era that has been so dominant in conference championships. It takes the right coach.

1 week ago

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Kenny George

Better question...How many more columns for Tom Keegan?

1 week ago

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Craig Carson

Id give him about 6 games..he has had a full 3 years to recruit and develop his own players..either they have to have at least 2-3 wins after 6 weeks or at least be show improvement and be competitive...if he cant do that then Long will get to his coaching search earlier than expected...

1 week ago

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John Joseph Gorski

After a Baylor Blowout loss.

1 week ago

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Thomas Green

There is no doubt Beaty will be fired. It’s a tough business, he has failed. He has been paid handsomely for his troubles. Universities have different expectations for their respective football programs and clearly KU has had damn low expectations. Even in the presence of such low expectations Beaty has failed! Nice guy or not he has to go! Goodbye and good riddance!

When that farewell occurs, I believe, depends on what Long has up his sleeve. Beaty’s walking papers depend on who Long wants and when he can get him! That said, if I were Long and I was confident an interim could handle the job, I’d want to get the stench of Beaty out of my university as soon as possible. My gut says one way or the other, Beaty doesn’t coach a single game.

6 days, 21 hours ago

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