Sands, Beshears to sit Saturday
Kansas University football coach Turner Gill announced Tuesday that red-shirt freshman running back Deshaun Sands and sophomore wide receiver D.J. Beshears both would miss Saturday’s game at Iowa State to serve a one-week suspension for violating team rules.
Gill did not get into the specifics of what caused each player’s suspension, but, for Sands at least, it likely stems from last week’s arrest for failing to appear in municipal traffic court.
Because Sands has spent most of the season as the Jayhawks’ third-string running back, Gill wasn’t too worried about his absence impacting the game.
“We have (Angus) Quigley and we have (James) Sims,” Gill said. “We have two running backs who can handle the ball. Those guys have played quite a bit already, so it just means that they’re going to get more touches.”
As for the loss of Beshears, the team’s second-leading rusher (177 yards on 40 carries) and the team leader in all-purpose yards (765, including 556 on kickoff returns), Gill said Bradley McDougald and Isiah Barfield would fill that role. He added that he expected Beshears to learn from the setback.
“It’s always disappointing when you tell a young man that he’s not going to be playing a football game,” Gill said. “They all want to play and we understand that, but you just gotta adjust and we gotta move on from there. I don’t think it’ll be an issue. We just gotta keep the student-athletes accountable. He’ll learn from it and he’ll move on.”
Gill addresses fans
Not one to read the papers or listen to talk radio, Gill opened Tuesday’s news conference with a message for KU football fans that included a plea for patience and confirmation of his belief that he and his staff would get things turned around.
“I want to start off today by really speaking to our fans,” he said. “I want our fans to know that we’re going through some ups and downs in our football program and part of that is the transition as a new staff and our players getting to know us in a better way. I can tell you one thing, our staff is doing a pretty good job of getting our guys to know our system. You gotta teach them our offensive system, you gotta teach them our defensive system the way we want it to be done, and, through that transition phase, what that means is it takes time for our guys to understand how we need to do it and why we need to do it the way we want everything to be done.”
Gill continued: “As we continue to build this football program, our fans are going to see speed, they’re going to see athleticism, they’re also going to see people playing with a great passion. We are very, very confident that we will come through here and have a winning program on a consistent basis, year after year. That’s why we all chose to come here. We still feel very confident that it will be done.”
Harris not surprised by empty seats
Senior safety Chris Harris said Tuesday that he was not surprised to see so many KU fans head to the exits early during the past couple of home games.
“It’s definitely hard to see,” Harris said. “But (former coach Mark) Mangino always said, ‘They’re gonna be here when we’re winnin’ and they’re gonna be gone when we’re losin’, so he kind of prepared us for it. It’s a basketball school, so we expect the fans to leave if we’re not doing well. We definitely know we need a win if we’re gonna get ’em back. But it’s just something that fans have to be patient with coach Gill.”
Terry done for season
Freshman safety Keeston Terry has been out since the second half of the Southern Miss game with a knee injury. Gill said Tuesday that Terry would remain out this week and likely would miss the rest of the year.
“We have decided that we are going to go for a medical hardship for him,” Gill said. “Hopefully we can get this year back because of his medical situation that he has.”
Terry played in KU’s first three games of the season, recording 10 tackles, including 2.5 for loss. NCAA rules state that a player is eligible to apply for a medical hardship if: “In team sports, the injury or illness occurs when the student-athlete has not participated in more than three contests or 30 percent (whichever number is greater) of the institution’s scheduled or completed contests.”
If he’s shut down for the rest of the season, Terry will have played in just 25 percent (3 of 12) of KU’s games.
KU quarterbacks Jordan Webb (doubtful with a shoulder injury) and Kale Pick (out with a concussion) are unlikely to play this week, which means junior Quinn Mecham is expected to get the start. In other injury news, defensive tackle Patrick Dorsey (concussion) is listed as questionable.