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Originally published April 8, 2012 at 11:43p.m., updated April 9, 2012 at 09:58a.m.

Keegan

Charlie Weis focused on improving grades

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The most alarming statistic from the atrocious 2011 Kansas University football season wasn’t that the 59 points surrendered in a loss to Kansas State ranked as the fourth-most allowed, rather another number that starts with five.

The football team, late in the academic year, reportedly was headed for more than 50 “F’s” in the classroom. Bad numbers on the scoreboard and classroom tend to keep company. The words that make up the term student-athlete are linked inextricably by one word: discipline. You don’t have it in the classroom, you’re not going to have it on the football field.

Nobody needs to inform first-year Kansas football coach Charlie Weis of that. He’s using more than the university’s accomplished academic-support staff headed by perennial best-supporting actor Paul Buskirk to drive home that link.

“I can tell you with a smile on my face that coming into the Friday before spring break we had not missed five classes from the entire team,” Weis said the last time he addressed the media. “Every time somebody missed, it was horrible. And I’m known to use peer pressure as well. So to have all your teammates there and be totally embarrassed for blowing off class, it’s a very good teaching tool.”

Public humiliation hurts on the inside. Private, one-on-one sessions with new strength-and-conditioning coach Scott Holsopple hurt everywhere.

“You really don’t want to do that,” Weis said. “Holsopple, Saturday morning, 6 o’clock, that’s all I can say. You really don’t want that one. You really don’t. You don’t want to be there. I don’t want to be around Holsopple any time, but at 6 o’clock Saturday morning, when he doesn’t have to be here, it’s really not good.”

Weis makes avoiding those sessions sound uncomplicated.

“Everyone knows that when you go to college, there are two major things that have to happen,” he said. “ You have to go to class, and you have to use academic support. If you do those two things, you should be able to thrive in college. So if you don’t do those two things, OK, then there’s a chance that something bad can happen. ... I’m expecting that to show huge benefits come middle of May.”

Improved discipline in the classroom tends to carry onto the field. But Weis isn’t testing his new hip with back flips inspired by his players’ improved classroom attendance.

“I would be discouraged at myself if the first part didn’t happen,” Weis said. “... It’s far from perfect now. Let me just say we don’t have a bunch of tin soldiers that everything is perfect. I’ve already had to get on them about this class, starting to drowse off and things like that. I get all those reports, and they’re all addressed. ... But I’m looking at a direct correlation, if we can get (academic performance) fixed, then we can get (football performance) fixed.”

Comments

Osceola 2 years ago

The only important thing that our guys failed at was: -blocking -tackling -passing -punting -running -kicking ...and last but not least SCORING. Keep it real Charlie!!!!

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Randy Bombardier 2 years ago

Oh my. Well, I sure hope we learned our lesson. We need to get the ship righted and keep it that way and do everything in our power to get a system in place that will be stable. If HCCW choses not to stay for the entire decade, fine, but hopefully he would set up the successor, keep everything else rolling.

On another note, anybody read about this Swedish kid turning heads in LA? Hope we make a pitch for him. I think considering his Dad's initiative he sees a pro career and that speaks Charlie Weiss.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/highschool/03/05/kevin.dillman.recruiting/index.html?sct=cf_bf3_a8

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jgkojak 2 years ago

This could also explain some tension between football and basketball- if the perception is the basketball players actually have to study/go to class/are monitored and the football players are getting off easy.

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IlBastardo 2 years ago

Conspicuously absent from these discussions are all the Gill apologists who suffocated the board during the last football season, apparently replaced by Johnny-come-lately discipline junkies. Let's try to keep in mind the great spiritual expense which will pay for any transient success on the gridiron. Without the football sabbath, and motherly safety and encouragement, we may win a few games more but ten, fifteen years down the effect of plucking these kids off the vine too soon will rear its ugly head. Remember, they are only college students, formative and impressionable. Incessant pressure to perform on the field and in the classroom breeds latent, repressed frustration and skewed morals and priorities in vulnerable young men which will later be manifested who knows where? Wives, children, coworkers, Columbine? Gill brought a fresh perspective to coaching that the world just wasn't ready for yet, but the coddled men who emerged from his program will pay larger dividends not just to their future families, or our community, but to society in general. You say spare the rod, spoil the child. I say spare the rod, spare the repercussions.

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Kevin Long 2 years ago

Good god people! It was obvious reading the first few words of the article what Keegan meant by his headline.

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Paul R Getto 2 years ago

Good move, Coach. If they don't perform in class, keep them off the field and in study hall. The KU BBall team had good academic scores (national championship as I recall.) The football team should aspire to the same.

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Travis Shinkle 2 years ago

Look at all very successful football teams, they usually have one thing in common: a "crazyman" head coach who demands discipline.

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2 years ago

“The football team, late in the academic year, reportedly was headed for more than 50 “F’s” in the classroom. Bad numbers on the scoreboard and classroom tend to keep company. The words that make up the term student-athlete are linked inextricably by one word: discipline. You don’t have it in the classroom, you’re not going to have it on the football field.”

The more I hear about Gill’s efforts (or lack thereof) while leading our football program, the more disappointed I am that I supported his hire. Had he truly loved his players as he professed, he would have cared about their academics and would have also disciplined them.

“Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.” – Proverbs 13:24

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tortfeasers 2 years ago

Gill was a mistake of epic proportions. We should have all known better, Lew - you most of all, when Osborne wouldn't even interview him at Nebraska. He knew and we were too stupid and bought in. Seemed like Lew was doing us proud - turns out he was screwing us in so many ways. What a joke.

I am the first to admit I questioned the hiring of Weis - seemed as sensational as Keegan's headline was intended to be. Have found myself quite pleased with the news coming out of the football offices. Keep it up Charlie - I love the positivity. And than you for not telling us like some idiotic robot that you are "trying to win championships" when everyone in the sporting world can see your football team is one of the worst ever!!! Gill's press conferences are surreal in hindsight - and they made me want to kill someone at the time. In retrospect - absolutely unreal.

Whether it is 2 years or 5 years from now - when Weis has left - can we please all remember that we like discipline and stop this cycle of hiring a whimpy ninny of a coach after having a disciplinarian for a coach (read Valesente, Allen, Gill).

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KEITHMILES05 2 years ago

When Gill was let go this was one of the top rumors there were many, many of the players flunking out. Now, the cat is out of the bag.

As much as I admired Gill as a person he sure did screw up the program royally. How a man of God can have no responsiblity for academics of those underneath him is beyond comprehension. I've been told by somebody close to major boosters Gill said it wasn't his job to get them to class but to coach football. He won't accomplish anything in life by stealing millions of dollars and not accepting responsiblity for earning said money.

Thanks Lew Perkins for the biggest mistake in Ks. football history.

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OonlyBonly 2 years ago

He is a formidable coach!

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John Boyle 2 years ago

The headline was not this evil plot against KU that most of you make it out to be. It was just an attention grabber. I knew what the article was going to be about before I read it, because had it really been about "fixing" grades, you would have seen it on ESPN before it ever got to this Website.

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Jayhawk1958 2 years ago

Good way to get my first heart attack with that headline.

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april28 2 years ago

You so-called journalists sound like you attended K-State. The headline came with a wink....any dolt who couldn't pick that up should go get a powercat license plate.

Now....on to football....

Weis' link of academic discipline to discipline on the field is interesting - I love it. You send a message to the men that this is about all-around commitment to excellence. Keep it up Charlie!

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Sean Rodger 2 years ago

So...What did Turner Gill do exactly for his 2 million a year? Seems like a lot of smoke and mirrors from the TG era, Charlie Weis doin' work!

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Dyrk Dugan 2 years ago

wow, 50 plus Fs....that is despicable. after this information, SZ had no choice but getting rid of TG. the football was bad, and the academics were bad....i mean, c'mon?!

HCCW breaks things down very simply.....i don't think anyone should have an issue with him. You do your job...go to class, use the support, work hard on the football field and in the weight room....you won't have a problem with him. It's not hard.

the problem is, it sounds too refreshing.....we obviously did not have this kind of standard, with the previous coaching staff. and that's fairly embarrassing.

but it's full speed ahead. Go Coach Weis! and Go Jayhawks!

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Tony Bandle 2 years ago

I thought maybe Charlie got a job with an excavating company and was driving a big road grader to smooth out a steely graded hill...........not!!!! :)

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flyingfinn 2 years ago

I'm going to bite my tongue and not dwell on the past and only say that this is refreshing news for the football program from a refreshing new coach. Keep it going Coach Weiss!!!!

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Keith Hummel 2 years ago

"The football team, late in the academic year, reportedly was headed for more than 50 “F’s” in the classroom. "

Was there anything Gill did well? Good Grief!

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Shawn Otrimble 2 years ago

It's time for Keegan to move on. Maybe you could you could work for 810 and the "Purple Power" show.

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Martin Rosenblum 2 years ago

I fix Keegan's grade to A+.

As we've suspected and have been told by some posters, the headline is not written by the reporter, but probably an editor or other persons. Responsibility for content of the article is originally that of the writer. But, an Editor can do just what the title implies, edit.

I stand by Keegan here for the content of the article. Charlie Weis is probably not personally jumping up and down (as if he could!) about the sophomric attempt at humor regarding the headline. But, he has to be happy that he is being recognized for doing the right thing for his players.

LJW, as I have always said: "..please avoid the Enquirer style "grabber" headlines, you're insulting us and embarrasing yourselves."

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newmedia 2 years ago

Now that is something you can add to your resume along with W's and L's. Wonder how that kind of academic discipline will play at Liberty? Hmmmm.

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master16 2 years ago

wow nice headline.. i've seen some pretty misleading headlines on KUsports recently. i wonder if they do that on purpose to get more views :P

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patkindle 2 years ago

great headline keegan, you can be sure everyone (including non sports fans) will read this article thats how we roll

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Keith Hummel 2 years ago

Nice article except for the headline. Pretty sure Keegan picked it precisely for the reason we all hate it. Unfortunately, sensationalism sells.

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midwest_muser 2 years ago

Idiotic headline. What is Keegan thinking? Is he an eight year old?

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Bob Forer 2 years ago

I appreciate a clever headline. But this one falls flat on its face.

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hitme 2 years ago

Keegan,

The next time you make up a headline, remember it compiles for Google searches. I'd prefer that a "Charlie Weis" search not return a "Charlie Weis fixing grades" result.

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Bangkok_Jayhawk 2 years ago

A date with Holsopple... Sounds painful.

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Ralster Jayhawk 2 years ago

Ya, the bad headline made me think of what Darrell Arthur went thru at Dallas' Oak Cliffe high school...(Memphis fans still gripe about that issue and Shady-eligibility...).

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741hawk 2 years ago

THANK GOODNESS our AD pulled the plug on TG. What a fraud. What a waste. Things WILL get better under HCCW's leadership

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ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years ago

“Holsopple, Saturday morning, 6 o’clock, that’s all I can say. You really don’t want that one. You really don’t. You don’t want to be there. I don’t want to be around Holsopple any time, but at 6 o’clock Saturday morning, when he doesn’t have to be here, it’s really not good.”

I love Charlie!

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gerald_bostock 2 years ago

scared me for a second. alarmist headline

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Jack Rivers 2 years ago

Good article, horrible headline.

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