I suppose I should start off by saying I am a fan of David Beaty’s attitude, the fact that he lets his assistants take their kids to school, that he has brought in some talent both via transfer and recruiting, and seems to have an eye for assistants. So with the Charlie Weis contract mercifully expiring, I shouldn’t be too shocked by this extension.
But I am. The guy has won 2 games in 2 years, and one was against one of the worst FCS programs in America. Kansas finished 115th in S&P this year, and the offense, which was supposed to be Beaty’s specialty, finished 113th. In particular the playcalling, which Beaty oversaw, was a disaster. (Unless you have stock in the tunnel screens industry, in which case you are now smoking cigars made of money after watching Kansas run 5,000 tunnel screens and sideline passes for a total of 3 yards.) Beaty also oversaw the punt return unit for part of the season, and hey they only finished last in the country in punt return yards and had a punt returner who couldn’t catch the ball so that’s not bad. Gold star.
That’s to say nothing of his insistence on punting on fourth and short from midfield or better. Granted there was no guarantee the offense would make it, but neglecting the smart play for the safe play isn’t what I want from a decision maker, especially when Kansas is going to need to take chances as an underdog to win games.
I am not anti a two-year extension, as he has shown the ability to get Power-5 talent into Lawrence, which will make the job more attractive for the next guy. But doubling his salary (effective next year) and giving him a $100,000 bonus for every Power-5 win is throwing money away. Spend that money hiring a top notch offensive coordinator or upgrading the facilities even more than they already have been. Giving it to a coach who isn’t going anywhere seems wasteful. (I don’t see a Power-5 team hiring him as head coach, he’s sure not leaving for a non-Power-5 job, and if he wants to go be a coordinator somewhere, then let him.)
So let’s call this what it is: a desperate attempt by Sheahon Zenger to save his job.
Zenger took a big fat swing-and-a-miss at Charlie Weis, and he knows he’s not getting a chance to hire a third football coach. So why not sign this one to an extension and hope he can keep him around as long as possible before the powers that be realize most of the good things occurring in Kansas athletics right now were set in motion before Zenger got here.
He deserves credit for Rock Chalk Park, but Zenger’s tenure has been a colossal failure overall, with Charlie Weis casting a shadow over the football program, taking the shovel left by Turner Gill and digging a few feet deeper. Maybe Beaty deserves a shot to be the guy to climb out, but it’s more likely the money could have been spent in better ways.