David Beaty was answering a recruiting question when his tone changed abruptly.
The Kansas football coach — sitting at 1-5 in his third season — was talking about renderings of KU’s $350 million fundraising project when he appeared to shift his message to fans.
“I never said this is a three-year deal. Never said that,” Beaty said during his weekly press conference Tuesday. “I said this thing is going to be a process, not an event.”
The statement was a contrast from earlier quotes, with Beaty perhaps adjusting the program’s goal posts following a disappointing start.
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The coach seemed to have higher standards when talking about his team at Big 12 media days.
“We said long ago that Year 3 should be a year where we start seeing dividends,” Beaty said on July 17, “because of the amount of time that we’ve had with our guys to develop them.”
When asked specifically about what “dividends” meant then, Beaty responded by saying victories.
“It’s about winning and losing in college football. Dividends are reflected in wins,” Beaty said. “We have to win football games. That’s a requirement for programs to survive in this day and age.”
Beaty and his staff have faced increased criticism the last two weeks following a 65-19 home loss to Texas Tech and 45-0 defeat at Iowa State while failing to show consistent signs of progress. Consider this: KU’s average result has been 14.2 points worse than the Vegas sports betting line each week — a number that ranks last among all 130 Division I teams, according to Team Rankings.
In other words … no one has been worse against its own individual standard than KU this year.
“We’re upset that we’re not better than we are right now, but we are certainly on the right track in my mind,” Beaty said. “I know we’re where we need to be in terms of our program. You can change culture quick; it’s turning the program around sometimes when your numbers aren’t right, it takes a little bit longer, right?
“But part of that is continuing to have vision about what you need.”
That type of outlook is why Beaty glowingly spoke about KU’s future construction Tuesday. Those plans include an indoor practice facility and also a dramatic facelift for Memorial Stadium.
“The (high school) coaches have been like, ‘Wow, that is exactly what you guys need, right? It’s the investment that you guys needed,’ ” Beaty said. “You don’t get something for nothing in this game. The ones that are able to get it turned, they do it because of their investment — the investment is there in all areas.
“And that takes time.”