Saturday, December 10, 2011

Players welcome Charlie Weis’ idea of discipline

Kansas football players Toben Opurum, Kale Pick and Tanner Hawkinson gave their thoughts on the hiring of Charlie Weis as their new head football coach Friday, Dec. 9, 2011 at the Anderson Family Football Complex.


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Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Charlie Weis press conference

Charlie Weis was introduced as Kansas University's new head football coach Friday, Dec. 9, 2011 at the Anderson Family Football Complex.

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Charlie Weis introduced as Kansas head football coach

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Kansas University chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little and athletic director Sheahon Zenger introduced Charlie Weis as KU's new head football coach Friday, Dec. 9, 2011 at the Anderson Family Football Complex.

There will be puke buckets.

Kansas offensive tackle Tanner Hawkinson didn’t remember everything from Friday morning’s team meeting with new football coach Charlie Weis, but he did recall that detail, which was promised during winter conditioning.

“He said it as a joke,” Hawkinson said with a smile, “but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a joke.”

Hawkinson said a few players laughed about it. Others knew not to.

“I’m not surprised that’s what’s going to be going on,” Hawkinson said. “That’s how you build your program.”

After Weis’ introductory news conference Friday, KU football players seemed open to the new coach’s ideas and stricter style of coaching.

“He made it pretty clear to us that things were going to be tough,” KU outside linebacker Toben Opurum said. “It’s not going to be easy, and I fully expected that. You can’t go from 2-10 to being champions easily.”

In a subtle way, both Hawkinson and Opurum indicated that KU’s football program would benefit from Weis’ arrival.

Hawkinson was especially happy to hear Weis talk about discipline during his meeting with the team.

“I feel like we needed a little bit of change around here,” Hawkinson said. “Kind of like Dr. (Sheahon) Zenger and coach Weis were talking about, there’s some little things here and there discipline-wise. There was definitely a need for someone to put the foot down and just kind of say, ‘Hey, this is the way we’re going to do things.’”

Opurum said Weis’ strong record of graduating players at Notre Dame also stood out as a positive.

“It just helps a lot, knowing you have a coach who really cares about your academics,” Opurum said. “To have every student-athlete come through your door graduate, I feel like that’s really impressive. And a lot of guys here — to be honest — a lot of guys are struggling right now. And I feel like to have your head coach kind of on your back about that, it’ll help a lot.”

Coincidentally, Opurum was recruited by Notre Dame in high school while Weis was the head coach there.

The Richardson, Texas, native ended up selecting KU, but not before taking a campus visit to South Bend, Ind.

“He’s the same guy as I met a couple years ago,” Opurum said of Weis. “He’s straight-forward. He’s completely honest. He’ll tell you himself: He’ll probably never lie to you.”

During Weis’ meeting with KU’s players Friday, he started to get to know everyone while also setting the bar for his expectations.

“If there’s change, it means obviously something isn’t going right,” Opurum said. “So obviously, winning five games in the last two years is not something that anyone wants to do. It’s not something I wanted to do while I’ve been here.”

That lack of success is the reason that he isn’t fearing the hard work that’s coming.

Or the promise of puke buckets.

“It’s funny,” Opurum said, “until it actually becomes reality.”


jhawkjunkie 8 years, 10 months ago

“I feel like we needed a little bit of change around here,” Hawkinson said. “Kind of like Dr. (Sheahon) Zenger and coach Weis were talking about, there’s some little things here and there discipline-wise. There was definitely a need for someone to put the foot down and just kind of say, ‘Hey, this is the way we’re going to do things.’”

Sounds like there's a little jab about Gill's way of running things. Wonder if anyone else will come out with anything?

okiedave 8 years, 10 months ago

Okay, Charlie, lets see what you can do.

GraniteHawk 8 years, 10 months ago

Love the attitude and leadership displayed by Tanner and Toben! These are players who obviously want to win, know change is going to take a lot of pain and work, but are willing to do what is needed to put this program back on a winning path Welcome Charlie! Use these two leaders to help mold this team back into what they can be....Winners!

Jayhawk1116 8 years, 10 months ago

"He said it as a joke. But I'm pretty sure it wasn't a joke." Funniest quote ever.

Jayhawk1116 8 years, 10 months ago

"It's funny until it actually becomes reality." Second funniest quote ever. When even the players agree that they need more discipline you know something was wrong. I get the major vibe that the players aren't too sad to see Gill go.

I think the team will show immediate improvement. We have some talented guys on this team, they just weren't pushed hard enough. Quarterback is key. C'mon Crist!

Eric Williams 8 years, 10 months ago

The feeling I get is the players liked Gill and had the utmost respect. But, speaking for myself, I think what college athletes and athletes in general care most about is winning.

If puking in buckets translates into wins there will be no hard feelings. If puking in buckets stays at 2-10, i'm sure some of the players will not like Weis.

The bottom line is winning for the athletes.

jhawk2325 8 years, 10 months ago

In regards to player discipline, I've had classes with several football players and I'm surprised to see some of them show up unless there is a test that day. I mean, I assumed they dropped the class, but sure enough there they were on test day. I'm sure they were missing class because they were too busy preparing for their next game. NOT

I hope Weis and his staff are able to keep better track of their players than the last regime did.

Jeff Coffman 8 years, 10 months ago

I think it is interesting that all of the qualities that Turner Gill was supposedly had are coming to light when he leaves. I remember him saying we are working hard, we're getting the best out of our players the right way. Clearly, even these guys know they had it easy.

However, I know TG use to always say we are preparing people for life after football...clearly from this article there are some struggling in academics...that shows he wasn't even doing that. Personally, I know some football players will struggle with academics, but it seemed like his focus and he wasn't succeeding at that either.

Hammertoe 8 years, 10 months ago

Weis had gastric bypass surgery, knee replacements and now a hip replacment. All could be prevented by a healthy lifestyle. This is the face of KU Football? Leadership by example?
"Do as I say not do as I do" leadership may work in the professional ranks but will it work with student athletes...
"Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. We won't get............."

Rock_Chalk_NYC 8 years, 10 months ago

Seriously? We hired a coach, not a recruited player.

Did u ever see footage of Bill Parcels, yeah pretty fit. Jimmy Johnson was no stallion either. In basketball, there was Rick Majerus. He was successful. Lets not forget our National Coach of the Year Mark Mangino.

Maybe you belong out here in NY with the models... Or maybe you want to be attracted to the coach??? Thats your business...

As for me I'd prefer a solid, winning coach. I don't care what he looks like.

AaronLudy 8 years, 10 months ago

dude he was ran over by a professional football granted if he wasnt as heavy he coulda got out of the way but still....u just made yourself look like a jackass......all you haters get the f--k off here....sick of this crap

SaltLakeHawk 8 years, 10 months ago

G R E A T point.

I mean, just look at Bill Self! He has a 6-pack.

Oh wait...

(you're an idiot)

diegohawk 8 years, 10 months ago

cameltoe - yes he is overweight / obese / fat. call it what you want. the reality is that so is 70% of America. his knee and hip replacement while partially attributed to being overweight is also attributed to sports injuries and freak incidents. what this guy brings to the table is a bright offensive mind, charisma and respect by virtually all of his former players as well as high principles towards academics and hard work. i for one am excited by the hire. the jayhawk community is over 70% excited by the hire. another 20% are wait and see. do you really want to be in the pessimistic 10? you said something about a healthy lifestyle. this includes optimism for your passions.

Marcia Parsons 8 years, 10 months ago

The bypass surgery was by choice, maybe so people like you wouldn't be saying cruel things about his size. He had complications and nearly died. I guess you could say the hip and knees were caused by his lifestyle, his job--he got hit and severely injured on a sideline play while coaching. Much shame on you, Hammertoe.

ejlumus 8 years, 10 months ago

Shades of the Larry Brown hire .... MBB was also at all time low.

Everyone .... naysayers, negative Nancys, etc. need to get behind this guy.

This is our last chance!!!!!

bjejayhawk69 8 years, 10 months ago

Larry Brown is a close analog. A good coach who has been around, had many jobs and brought KU a national championship. Not saying Weis will do that but he will make KU relevant again. Most KU football fans would be thrilled with competing in the Big 12 and going bowling consistently and maybe challenge for a higher level or BCS bowl every now and then. But it will take all KU fans to get on board and go to games and support and be loud at games and not wait for basketball to roll around.

A competitive football funds all university sports and will keep KU in the mix with all the realignment stuff going on. We cannot afford not be competitive and relevant.

amatxjayhawk 8 years, 10 months ago

Support means both going to the games, and staying in the stands until the last whistle at every game no matter what the score or the weather. Those who leave before the game is over are not fans. Can you imagine anything more discouraging to a team than watching their "supporters" trail out of the stands before the game is over?

My grandson and I went to the KU/mu game. It was really cold and we were being beaten like a redheaded stepchild but we shivered through the last play for that very reason.

johnnyhrdwd 8 years, 10 months ago

Puke buckets are a good thing, Gill has no business coaching football at any level.

hawksince51 8 years, 10 months ago

I could care less how he looks, but am concerned about Weis health issues. Successful coaches have to be workaholics. Too that end it is also a concern that his family will not be in Lawrence supporting him and he will be taking frequent trips to Florida for personal reasons. All that said, he is now our guy and has my full support for at least 3 years, and hopefully longer. Tying in the personal trips to Florida with some successful recruiting from that state could be a big plus I suppose.

John Randall 8 years, 10 months ago

The way I read the arrangement on "unlimited use of private aircraft" was that wife and daughter will be in Lawrence most weekends – at least during the season.

Your idea on Florida recruits ... well, maybe one or two, but every little bit helps.

His knee and hip replacement situation probably is as much or more due to arthritic joints. I have never been overweight and still needed a hip – Kansas Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Topeka gets strong reviews from me (one), my mother (three) and brother-in-law (two).

texashawk10 8 years, 10 months ago

His knee and hip replacements are the result of getting taken out from behind by one of his players getting blocked out of bounds against Michigan in 2008. This is the play that has resulted in him needing new knees and a new hip.

KU_2014 8 years, 10 months ago

Great hire Zenger. Lets get it done out on the gridiron.

Steve Williams 8 years, 10 months ago

The comments of puke buckets, implies that there were no puke buckets before, which surprises the crap out of me, i played D2 ball, under 2 different coaching styles, and there were ALWAYS puke buckets during winter conditioning, and sometimes we ran until EVERYBODY puked, and i know training at Nebraska was the same way, so im really surprised to hear that GIll was so lax on it. Even when Gill was a coach at Nebraska, i was running stairs at that memorial stadium with Kyle Vandenbosch, and heard their horror stories. Puke buckets wont guarantee success, it will just put us on par with pretty much every college team out there

IowaNDFan 8 years, 10 months ago

Kansas just made a great hire. I am a loyal Notre Dame fan and a 1994 graduate of the university. I watched every Charlie Weis press conference during his tenure at Notre Dame, and I can tell you that he is not as arrogant as the media makes him out to be. He will work hard, recruit hard, and truly care about his players. If they are loyal to the team, he will be loyal to the players for the rest of their lives, and treat them like family. Coach Weis undoubtedly made some mistakes at Notre Dame, but he graduated players, treated players with dignity, and did a great deal of charity work for special needs children. As a side note, if you get Dayne Crist, you are getting an OUTSTANDING young man. Coach Kelly did not give him the chance he deserved, and I feel that he held it against him that Dayne was a Weis guy. Having stated that, I never heard of Dayne making one negative comment about the coach, university, or other players. He is also a better athlete than many pro style quarterbacks, and has a rocket for an arm. I hope he goes to Kansas and excels. It would make for a great story. Good luck to Coach Weis, Kansas, and Dayne! While I will still be cheering for ND, Kansas has a new football fan!

Laurence Cooley 8 years, 10 months ago

I think this hire will give kansas the booze they need! great job zenger!!

Laurence Cooley 8 years, 10 months ago

I meant boost. stupid phone. anyway ROCK CHALK!!!

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