LAWRENCE — David Beaty’s lawsuit against his former employer will move forward.

Federal Judge Kathryn Vratil ruled Thursday that the lawsuit brought forward by Beaty, the former Kansas football head coach seeking an unpaid $3 million buyout from Kansas Athletics Inc. following his November firing, can proceed, rejecting a university motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

KU, which fired Beaty without cause midway through his fourth season, is withholding the payment to the former head coach, contending it discovered potential rules violations that would void Beaty’s contractually obligated buyout, though it says the possible infractions weren’t discovered until postseason exit interviews. KU in May filed its motion to have the lawsuit dismissed on the basis that the Kansas Wage Payments Act doesn’t cover liquidated damages.

Filed in March, Beaty’s lawsuit against Kansas Athletics Inc. labeled the university’s claims “an excuse,” stating the act of withholding payment has hindered Beaty’s ability to find a new job. It alleged athletic department employees suggested shortly after Beaty’s firing that KU officials “need to find ‘a dead hooker ... in [Coach Beaty’s] closet’ to provide leverage in resolving their $3 million payment problem.”

“Kansas Athletics continues to move the goal posts to avoid its contractual obligations that it acknowledged publicly, privately, orally, and in writing many times before using a self-initiated investigation as a shield to delay or attempt to avoid them,” the lawsuit states.

KU countered by denying that conversation ever took place, stating Beaty’s filing is “full of false claims and factual misstatements.”

“Immediately following the end of the season, Kansas Athletics staff conducted standard exit interviews of all football coaches and staff, and through that process we learned of possible NCAA violations allegedly committed by Beaty,” former associate athletics director Jim Marchiony said in the statement in March. “KU contacted the NCAA and the Big 12 Conference and began an investigation into the matter. Beaty refused to cooperate with the KU review and, ultimately, the NCAA took the lead in the still-ongoing investigation.”

Beaty says he was interviewed as part of the NCAA investigation on Feb. 27 and has cooperated with KU, denying knowledge of any infractions committed by members of his coaching staff. Beaty compiled a 6-42 record with the Jayhawks.