KU gambling Beaty is the right coach

By Steve Sell
December 13, 2016

David Beaty did not win a game in his first year as Kansas football coach in 2015.

This season he won two games.

For what at times was a gruesome season to watch if you’re a Jayhawk fan, Beaty’s salary was doubled on Monday.

He goes from $800,000 a year to id="mce_marker".6 million. He’s also had his contract extended through 2021 to give him a semblance of security. However, even with his double-up, he’s still easily the lowest-paid coach in the Big 12.

How desperate is KU to win games? One of the provisions of his new contract is that he receives $50,000 for every win over an FBS team. And it’s id="mce_marker"00,00 a game for every win over a BCS/Power 5 Conference team. Get KU in a bowl game and he makes another $200,000 and if the Jayhawks win that game, tack on another id="mce_marker"00,000.

KU’s brass is banking on Beaty reviving this program from the ashes. He has been hamstrung by limited numbers in his first two years, not to mention the Jayhawks are light-years behind the upper-division teams, including in-state rival Kansas State.

The good news is the Jayhawks actually won a Big 12 game, which cost Texas coach Charlie Strong his job. The bad news is two or three wins is probably the norm until the Jayhawks can finally get their numbers and talent level up.

I love Beaty’s enthusiasm, and commitment to the program and his players. He wears his emotions on his sleeve and you can tell losses just wrench the man’s gut. I thought the Jayhawks were much better this season, but the bar was barely off the ground and almost anything would have been an improvement.

But he’s also made some head-scratching in-game decisions in two years and has undertaken far too many tasks, such as naming himself offensive coordinator. I know a head coach should have total control, but sometimes it appears he spreads himself too thin. That’s why you need good assistants around you.

KU was at least competitive in games this year. It probably should have won against TCU and Iowa State and it was right there against Texas Tech before the lack of depth kicked in. I would feel much better about Beaty’s financial windfall had KU been coming off a 4-8 season instead of a 2-10.

I would just like to see the Jayhawks more athletic. They just don’t have any physicality in the offensive line, which means they have to finesse teams. Their offense became predictable as they lived and died by the bubble screen and very seldom could they move the ball on the ground.

The defense was markedly better, but graduation is going to hit this area hard. I haven’t seen a lot on the incoming recruits to get my pulse racing, so KU figures to give up a lot of points again next year.

As they always say, it’s a process. Unfortunately, this one’s moving along at a snail’s pace.