University of Kansas chancellor Douglas Girod on Monday reiterated support for football coach David Beaty and athletic director Sheahon Zenger amid the team’s 1-9 season.
In a message titled “Football and Our National Aspirations,” sent to faculty and students and posted on the school’s website, Girod wrote, “Nobody denies the challenges we are having on the field, but I maintain my belief that Sheahon and Coach Beaty have the right long-term vision and are doing things the right way. Our focus now is empowering them with the tools they need to fulfill their vision.”
Much of the message addressed the major football fundraising initiative Kansas announced in September, which included a $50 million gift from alum David Booth. The “Raise the Chant” project includes a new $26 million indoor practice facility that will be funded by private donations, and aims to raise $350 million during the next five years to upgrade Memorial Stadium and other facilities.
Beaty is 3-31 at Kansas and 1-24 in Big 12 play, with the lone league win coming last season against Texas. Kansas has been outscored 319-109 in Big 12 play this season and produced just 21 total yards — a Big 12 record low — in a loss to TCU. Zenger hired both Beaty and his predecessor Charlie Weis, who went 6-22 (1-18 in the Big 12) before being fired four games into the 2014 season.
In December, Kansas gave Beaty a two-year contract extension through the 2021 season and a raise to $1.6 million for the 2017 season. The contract included incentives like $50,000 for every win over an FBS opponent and $100,000 for every week over a Power 5 foe.
“A competitive football program benefits the entire university and our academic mission,” Girod wrote. “We need to remain a strong member of the Big 12, and football is key to that.”