Athletic director Jeff Long announced on Sunday that Kansas has decided to part ways with head coach David Beaty, but not quite yet. They still want him to coach the Jayhawk’s remaining three games.
Talk about awkward.
If they want Beaty to finish the season, why fire him now? To embarrass him? Imagine walking around trying to do your daily tasks at work while everyone there knows you have been fired for poor job performance.
Frankly, it doesn’t seem like a great idea for the Jayhawks, either. Why would an employer want a fired employee hanging around three more weeks spoiling the well?
If it’s to get a jump on the coaching carousel, which isn’t the worst idea for a program like Kansas, then make a clean break and name an interim head coach.
Now, I’m not saying there aren’t reasons to go in a different direction, because there are. Beaty has made decisions that have left the Jayhawk fan base scratching their heads more than once. Beaty fired offensive coordinator Rob Likens and took over the offensive play calling just to realize that it was probably a bad move. So, he brought in TCU’s co-offensive coordinator Doug Meacham. However, when the Jayhawks didn’t become world-beaters over night and they opened the 2018 season 2-4, Beaty fired Meacham. It was a move that many fans saw as an attempt to save his own job.
And then there’s the Jayhawk’s recruiting class. It’s hard to have much hope that things will turn around when a lot of the JUCO talent that was brought in to plug holes in the depth chart early, are running out of eligibility and there’s just one commit in the current recruiting class. Not to mention, early signing period is rapidly approaching. Recruiting class rankings aren’t everything, but it’s hard to ignore that over 40 Division II team’s classes currently rank ahead of the Jayhawk’s 2019 class.
Perhaps the most damming concern for the Jayhawks though, is that the team has looked simply lost at times under Beaty’s leadership. They have come out of timeouts with too many men on the field. Beaty also called a timeout just to decide to punt. Once, Kansas took a delay of game penalty on their first snap of the game.
As I said, there are reasons for the Kansas higher ups to make a change. However, you either fire someone mid-season and name an interim coach, or you wait until after the season. This “you’re fired, but uh, could you stick around because we kind of need you for a few more weeks” is just lunacy, and it’s quintessential Kansas.