Kansas football coach David Beaty expressed remorse Monday for his captains’ actions before Saturday’s 41-3 loss to Oklahoma.
KU’s Joe Dineen, Dorance Armstrong and Daniel Wise refused to shake quarterback Baker Mayfield’s hand before the game while holding their arms behind their backs. Dineen later said it was done to fire up teammates and partly as an attempt to rattle the short-fused Mayfield.
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“First of all, that was absolutely unacceptable. I’ve had a conversation with (Oklahoma coach) Lincoln Riley, and I’ve apologized on behalf of myself and our team,” Beaty said during Monday’s Big 12 coaches’ teleconference. “I want to also apologize to really our stakeholders, our Jayhawk fans, Jayhawks currently and all of the ones before us, because it means more to be a Jayhawk. That was a situation where we needed to make a better decision there.”
It was a more stern tone than Beaty used after the game, when he said: “I’m proud of our guys for getting to a point, ‘We’re not going to take it anymore.’ You’re going to stick your feet in the ground. You’re going to defend your grass. I think we’ve got to display it better than that, honestly, but I get it. I understand where they’re coming from.”
Beaty said he had a discussion with athletic director Sheahon Zenger since Saturday.
“It’s my job to make sure (the players) understand the ripple effects that a decision like that can have,” Beaty said. “They’ll learn from this and continue to grow into successful productive men and great Jayhawks that the Jayhawk family can be proud of. It’s unfortunate, and I apologize to the Big 12 and really to college football, because it’s something that was absolutely unacceptable. But we’ll move forward.”
Beaty, who said he has since spoken to his team about the incident, said he was not aware before the game that his players were going to refuse handshakes.
“I wasn’t sure really what was going on, because it was a little bit unique,” Beaty said. “I saw one member of their team step forward and not another, and none of ours step forward. I think really before I could understand what was going on, it was over. At that point, you kind of understood what took place, and now it was time to deal with it.”
Beaty reiterated a few times that the three captains were men of character, saying if his daughter were to marry someone like them, “I’ll be pretty happy.”
“They made a mistake, and they’ll get better as a result,” Beaty said. “I just think it’s a competitive game, man. Football’s so much fun. It’s so much fun. There’s so many cool things that go into it when it comes to strategy and things like that.
“But you know, there’s things you’ve got to think about beyond just the moment, and that’s what we’re using as the teachable moment.”