Saturday, November 21, 2009


Meier mature, classy


— With all the mud-slinging flying through the eight years of Mark Mangino’s soon-to-end reign as coach of the Kansas University football team hogging the headlines, it ought to come as no surprise that one man standing above the fray is a guy who always has managed to sound a voice of reason and conduct himself with class and maturity.

Fifth-year senior Kerry Meier, recruited as a savior of the program, a golden boy of a quarterback blessed with the sort of frame and feet that make NFL scouts want to see more of his arm, battled injuries and expected ups and downs of a first-year field general when he was KU’s starting quarterback as a red-shirt freshman.

Meier lost the starting job to Todd Reesing in training camp the following summer, reason enough for Meier to hold a grudge against Mangino, except that he never did. He found another way to contribute, shifting to receiver. A part of him, the silent part, still believes he is a quarterback at heart and a very capable one.

During his career at Kansas, Meier, a strong running threat, has completed 61.2 percent of his passes, has thrown 17 touchdowns and been intercepted 10 times. He also has a not great, but respectable, yards-per-pass average of 7.3.

When Reesing, playing hurt and unable to avoid turnovers, unable to lead the offense into the end zone, faltered so badly for a stretch it became evident putting Meier under center could have been just the spark the team needed to reverse its tailspin, Mangino decided to remain loyal to Reesing. Again, Meier never questioned his coach, never stopped believing in his teammate.

He’s a great receiver, a better teammate, a coach’s dream, a most welcome one for a coach living a nightmare. The movement to change the name of a stretch of Missouri Street in honor of Don Fambrough never got off the ground. At this point, with Mangino being investigated by the athletic department, Elm Street might be a more appropriate name.

Through all the chaos, Meier remains calm, serenely embracing all the responsibilities that come with accepting a scholarship to play football at KU.

Meier didn’t duck any questions when he addressed the press after Wednesday’s practice, and he didn’t take a pass on backing his coach.

“I sure was,” Meier said when asked if he had been surprised by the investigation. “The one thing that surprised me the most was the timing of it. I’m sitting here in my senior season, two games left in the season, we’ve got a little problem. That’s one thing that kind of jumped out the most, just the timing of the situation.”

He said he can’t blame Mangino for being upset.

“He’s taken this program to new and great heights that I don’t think anybody ever imagined,” Meier said. “And if they’re looking to bring somebody in to try to turn this program around again, it’s going to be a tough, tough challenge to try to find somebody to do that.”

Who knows what NFL scouts desire in a football player, but here’s hoping Meier is either fast enough to play wide receiver or can pack on enough pounds to play tight end to earn himself a lot of money in the most rare of all gridiron clubs, the NFL.


Roy Scherff 10 years, 7 months ago

Good luck to the KU football team and especially Kerry Meier. We can beat Texas. Now would be a good time to take a win out of Austin.

KU_Alumn_2000 10 years, 7 months ago

Kerry...thanks for the leadership you brought into this program. I have a ten year old little brother and he loves will always be our favorite ku football player. We're also southeast Kansas guys...and grew up on a farm between Pitt and parsons. I really appreciate you showing unselfishness when reesing was named starting qb. It took a real man to handle that situation as well as you did.

KU_Alumn_2000 10 years, 7 months ago

And by the way...good luck to coach mangino. Let's get a win this weekend !!!!

bpjhawk 10 years, 7 months ago

"... it became evident putting Meier under center could have been just the spark the team needed to reverse its tailspin, ..."

"(I)t may have been possible that putting Meier ..." It was never "evident."

Kerry, thanks for all you have given to KU. I'm sure you are a very capable quarterback, and in a different situation, would have been. Unfortunately, Todd proved to be a better one. I hope your football career continues. Some professional football team is going to get a very valuable performer.

Michael Leiker 10 years, 7 months ago

I just hope I get a chance to run into this kid in Lawrence, or slap his hand after the team walks around the field at a bowl game to tell him thanks for all the great memories the last 4 years. It's been great.

59Jayhawk 10 years, 7 months ago

Kerry Meier is sure a class guy. He does his job along with Reesing. If you want to do well you put every ounce of effort into the game. Players that think more about themselves, usually blame others for their problems. If Mangino is a problem, He can blame no-one but himself. I hope for Mangino's sake and KU's that this can be cleared up quickly. If not we will see a decline again in KU football.

troutsee 10 years, 7 months ago

Meier is a heck of a guy and a very good player. He will play at the next level.

Phaedrus Cj 10 years, 7 months ago

wow! keegan already knows the results of the investigation as he states without qualification that magino is nearing the end of his eight year reign. Meier has more class than Keegan thats for sure even if he can't retain possession of the ball in a crucial situation.

Philip Bowman 10 years, 7 months ago

"the eight years of Mark Mangino’s soon-to-end reign as coach of the Kansas University football team"

This says it all. Keegan knows because he has been told by those in the know that Perkins wants to fire Mangino. The investigation is only a cover-up story to back up what he has wished he could do but couldn't because the team was winning. Now that it is suffering--one season--its time to pile on.

I was disappointed to see the Chancellor is also piling on stating she has full confidence in Perkins; in other words it is okay with her if Perkins wants to fire the Coach. I wish she had to take a pee in the restrooms for the great unwashed of us in the upper part of the west side stands or try to get a coke at half time.

jhokfan 10 years, 7 months ago

Kerry is one of my all time favorites and I hope he gets a chance at the NFL. He's fast enough but I'm not sure if he is quick enough.

kansasfb 10 years, 7 months ago

Good Luck in the NFL, Kerry!!! You are a great football player and a fantastic human being! You deserved a much better year than this one has turned out to be!! You are a "bigger" person than lots of stayed with KU after being removed as QB and contributed so much wherever you were asked to play. I would love to see you take just one snap from center against Missouri..just for old times sake! Some people don't realize that it's not only the QB who makes the pass play but also the receiver!! Thanks for being a "class act" I have enjoyed watching you play for KU and will follow you to the NFL

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