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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Weis taps Scott Holsopple as KU football’s strength and conditioning coach

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The past connections continue to roll in to shape Charlie Weis' future at Kansas University.

Wednesday, one day after naming former Notre Dame assistant Rob Ianello as KU's wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator, Weis hired Scott Holsopple to lead KU's strength and conditioning program.

Holsopple comes to KU after spending 5 seasons as the assistant director of strength and conditioning at Florida, where Weis was the offensive coordinator during the 2011 season.

At UF, Holsopple worked under Mickey Marotti, who recently departed his position as Director of Strength and Conditioning with the Gators to serve in the same capacity at Ohio State.

During Holsopple’s time at Florida, the Gators won the 2008 national championship and SEC title, and finished with a 50-17 record. Florida appeared in five bowl games (two BCS bowls) and went 4-1. Holsopple helped mentor 18 athletes who went on to be drafted into the NFL, including six first-round picks.

Holsopple joined the Florida staff in May 2007, after spending the 2006-07 season with the University of Kentucky men's basketball team. Prior to Kentucky, he was at Marquette for six seasons.

A native of Happy Valley, Pa., Holsopple earned All-America honors as a boxer at Penn State. He graduated from PSU in 2000 with a bachelor's degree in kinesiology.

Current members of Weis' coaching staff:

• Reggie Mitchell, running backs

• Buddy Wyatt, defensive line

• Tim Grunhard, offensive line

• Rob Ianello, wide receivers

• Ron Powlus, quarterbacks

• Scott Holsopple, strength and conditioning

Comments

middleoftheroader 8 years, 5 months ago

Looks good so far...with one piece of the puzzle missing. Leavitt? Crennel? or other?

JayHok 8 years, 5 months ago

First meal for the new recruits.

Peppered Stakes.

RCJ Weis!

Ben Kliewer 8 years, 5 months ago

Stakes? Like what you pitch a tent with? Or murder a vampire with? I'd rather eat a peppered steak...

kellerman411 8 years, 5 months ago

Hahaha!! I love sarcastic spell checks!!!

SeaJHawk 8 years, 5 months ago

Nice Weis!! Now we've got a Mickey Goldmill to train the fellas, cue "Gonna Fly Now." RCJH!!

rwhawk 8 years, 5 months ago

A S&C coach with a boxing background...I like it!

middleoftheroader 8 years, 5 months ago

They're gonna eat lightning and crap thunder, right after they obtain speed demon speed greasy fast speed.

Mark Lindrud 8 years, 5 months ago

Can't wait to see video of them chasing chickens!

shelleysue 8 years, 5 months ago

I agree - wish we had that staff as well. One of the biggest casualties of that whole mess. Stupid Lew.

Displayhawk 8 years, 5 months ago

I agree also! I have always maintained that one of the biggest mistakes was to fire Chris Dawson, and let him go to the Little Apple. He was also responsible (IMHO) for a lot of the success that we enjoyed during the Orange Bowl season. I really hated to see him leave!

Joel Hood 8 years, 5 months ago

Before all the Lew bashing starts.... who was responsible for getting our football facilities built?? It wasn't Dr. Bob... it wasn't "crush me like a dove" Al.. it was Lew Perkins.
Having said that, Lew made lots of mistakes during his tenure, but without the football facilities he built, Weis would have never come to KU. Give credit where credit is due.

flyingfinn 8 years, 5 months ago

Still question retaining Buddy Wyatt from a defense that could not stop any one.

Brandon Pope 8 years, 5 months ago

I agree. That is the one spot in this staff so far that I am not thrilled with. Wyatt is known as a solid recruiter, but if you look as his history as a DL coach, it isn't all that impressive. Talk to people familiar with his time at aTm and you will hear the same thing. Great recruiter, mediocre job with the line as a coach.

For a team whose defense was so completely inadequate last year I imagined the entire defensive staff would be let go without a second thought. I guess Weis sees something in Wyatt, but I hope it is more than just his recruiting ability because we have a lot of great recruiters already on staff and the defense is going to need the better coaches in the short term.

Mike Barnhart 8 years, 5 months ago

Doesn't Charlie's history tell us his staffs recruit really great athletes and coach them poorly? I thought he had learned his lesson!

Seth Nesmith 8 years, 5 months ago

Wyatt was able to recruit even when there was no KU head coach announced. That is why he is still there. If he's not doing his job then the defensive coordinator will take care of it. Under Gill even the coaches weren't afraid of failing. The fire has been lit at KU!

PJ Karasek 8 years, 5 months ago

Remember, we have commitments from 2 juco DLineman that committed under Wyatt. Being PAINFULLY thin on the DLine, maybe Weis thinks we can't afford to risk losing those two recruits if he doesn't retain Wyatt? Just my $0.02

Eric Williams 8 years, 5 months ago

Who do you think was responsible for making Opurum a solid DE?

KU_Alumn_2000 8 years, 5 months ago

How is Operum a solid DE ? Did you watch a single game last season ?

I'm with Jaybate and a few others with this one. Keeping Wyatt left me scratching my head...but again...Weis may know something we don't.

Ron Prichard 8 years, 5 months ago

I definitely think Oporum has the tools to be a solid DE, but he was out of position more often than not if you watched him closely. I wrote about this after the KSU game, but I remember watching him bite on the read option and chase the running back all the way to the other side of the line only to find out the QB had kept the ball and ran right through the hole Oporum left when he bit on the fake. Whether it was Oporum not listening to his coaches or the coaches not doing a very good job of preparing him, I couldn't say, but I wasn't overly impressed for as physically imposing as he appears to be.

KGphoto 8 years, 5 months ago

Honestly KSU had that play so dialed in it was a crap shoot on whether the QB or RB had it. He was absolutely perfect on reading the defense right up to the last moment, before yanking the ball out and running with it. I wouldn't say it was Opurum's fault as much as the LBs who were supposed to take the other guy. Opurum was almost always the first guy through and absolutely exploded on the RB several times only to have the LBs let the QB run wild.

texashawk10 8 years, 5 months ago

We don't know whether or not Oporum's assignment on that play was the RB or QB. I know he played mostly in the DE spot, but he was technically a LB last year and on option plays the LB is responsible for the RB and the DE is responsible for QB. If Oporum had the responsibilities of a LB, then he made the right play, but if he had the responsibilities of a DE, then he did screw up and not play his assignment.

hawk316 8 years, 5 months ago

Though it may seem obvious, it is still (apparently) necessary to reiterate that the coaches who succeed usually have at their disposal the players who make their success possible. Before the season began, according to numerous publicized reports, the D-line was thin and certainly not considered one of the strengths of the team, Why then lay the final results at the coaches door? As poor as the D-line's performance may have been at times, could it be that Wyatt's coaching actually helped them to reach and even at times surpass their potential?

Brandon Pope 8 years, 5 months ago

I guess it remains to be seen. I don't think he is a bad coach, and I know he gets the recruits which is what we need the most at DL right now, but I just wish he had shown more success elsewhere when he had more talent.

That being said, I like the guy a lot. He seemed to be the only coach showing fire and passion on the sideline last year and I hope now that he has more talent and (hopefully) a great DC to work with it will all fall into place for him and KU football.

tical523 8 years, 5 months ago

. . . .I just wish that D. Beaty could remain on staff but it does not look like it will happen.

paducahawk 8 years, 5 months ago

was kinda hoping for Anna Kournikova in this role after leaving the Biggest Loser. She has a tennis background, sort of.

blackhawkjayhawk 8 years, 5 months ago

I've been hoping for Anna Kournikova for most of the last 5 years.

rockchalk_dpu 8 years, 5 months ago

Love the idea of bringing in someone who has seen the team speed of the SEC and knows how to build strong, but extremely fast players. This could very well become the football version of Hudy, which would be great. Weis continues to bring in big names that will attract recruits and have a proven track record. Just waiting patiently for that big d-coordinator announcement to complete all of this.

RCJGKU

Ron Prichard 8 years, 5 months ago

Matt, My one question about keeping Wyatt on as D-Line coach is how that might effect the DC hire, if at all. One of the big incentives we keep hearing about for a new DC is that they would basically be able to run their own ship, so to speak. If they aren't allowed to pick each of their coaches, how will that impact prospective candidates' desire to come here? I'm hoping there is already something or someone in place that we don't know about yet, and that is why the announcement on Wyatt was made recently, but if not, would potential candidates possibly be turned off because they can't pick all of their staff?

blackhawkjayhawk 8 years, 5 months ago

I keep assuming that the DC is on board and approved of Wyatt. It's hard to imagine hiring/retaining a defensive coach without your DC's okay. Because I like to imagine things, I'm leaning towards Leavitt as the DC, working behind the scenes until SF finishes the playoffs.

Brandon Pope 8 years, 5 months ago

I had that same thought. I have a hard time believing that HCCW picked a defensive assistant without having run it by our future DC. I still don't think Leavitt is the guy, but I do think the guy will come from the NFL, has probably already agreed and is just waiting for his team to finish the season.

The only other alternative is that Weis decided Wyatt's recruiting was so crucial that he had to stay. I don't think that is as likely.

ahpersecoachingexperience 8 years, 5 months ago

Dear 5 star QB recruits. Come to ku where you will become a Brady/Tebow hybrid!

Eric Bernauer 8 years, 5 months ago

Don't you remember that we already have a recruit who claims to be a Brady/Tebow/Manning hybrid? Maybe you just don't like the Manning component.

Micky Baker 8 years, 5 months ago

Weis seems to be putting together a strong staff from high profile programs. I also agree with 1_Jaydoc_1, that Weis has a guy that as a DC for an NFL team in the playoffs, and I think it's a former head coach of a team Kansas has played recently from Florida.

Within the past few weeks I saw someone mention that this guy might be the eventual head coach when Weis retires and his name is Jim Leavitt.

I like Jim Leavitt a lot. I didn't like him much when we were playing against him but look at what he did as head coach with a school nobody knew much about until he arrived.

Hey, I could be wrong about that, but it makes sense. Jim Leavitt is a great coach, and is certainly capable of handling DC responsibilities at the University of Kansas. Look for recruiting on defense to see 4 stars and maybe a five star or two. Jim Leavitt with Weis's offensive expertise could bring the University of Kansas a BCS Championship, then TExas might want to name the Longhorn network to the Jayhawk Network(but we already have one).

It could be very exciting in the next 4 or 5 seasons ladies and gentlemen. I have to hand it to Zenger. I haven't felt this good about KU Football since Glen Mason and company finished for a 3 way tie for 2nd place in the Big 8 in 1995, particularly when Glen Mason said he was staying. (At that time I thought it would be longer than for just one year). I felt really good about this time in January, 2008 about KU Football, but I feel even better about it now. This is a chance to build a long term tradition at Kansas winning in football.

Wouldn't it be something that in 3 or 4 seasons the pundits say, "Big 12 Football Championship goes through Lawrence, Ks"? Or that in 2015 or 2016 a new banner is put up in Memorial Stadium that says "National Champions" and the signs along I70 say, "Home of the 2016 NCAA Football National Champions"?

I have one request for the fans that are in the area that can go to the games. Be loud, be very loud, and fill up that stadium and that hill. Give the donors a reason to build a new stadium that can hold 70,000 or more. There is a location along Highway 10 and Iowa that it can be built (at least the last time I was there). It should not be acceptable that the noise level is below 105 decibels on opening day 2012.

shelleysue 8 years, 5 months ago

I do my best with the being loud part. However it was pretty difficult when the KU fans sitting behind me constantly told me to sit down and shut up. Thank goodness they apparently requested different seats. The people behind us now aren't much better. The haven't told me that in so many words, but make it clear they're annoyed. I don't understand why people like that go to football games. It's FOOTBALL. If you want to sit and sip tea and gossip, stay HOME. Thank you.

741hawk 8 years, 5 months ago

I had an USHER tell me to sit down!!!! (I reported him to Lew, for whatever good that did.) We have a long way to go.

shelleysue 8 years, 5 months ago

I emailed the ticket office because wanted to make sure I wasn't in the wrong. I received a nice email back that said that anyone attending a game needs to understand that they might have to stand during part or all of the game. He also said he was printing the email to take to the locker room so the players could see what great fans they have!

Jeff Coffman 8 years, 5 months ago

I think you are probably the most optimistic Jayhawk fan out there.

National Championships, the Big XII powerhouse, those are impressive goals.

I think we should take a notch down first, let's get a win in the Big XII and maybe a couple of bowl games. Another BCS bowl game would be great.

I'm not saying it wouldn't be nice, but your optimism is really impressive.

troutsee 8 years, 5 months ago

Disagree!!..We must have the long term goal to win the B12 championship and the national championship. To set lower goals is prescription for mediocrity.

ahpersecoachingexperience 8 years, 5 months ago

ksu just announced a $75million stadium overhaul.

Remove the track! Now! SheahoRn!

danmoore 8 years, 5 months ago

Won't matter, it's still an ugly stadium. Looks like high school bleachers from street level and it's not even on campus.

Ron Prichard 8 years, 5 months ago

What do you mean it's not on campus? It's on the north side, but it's definitely on campus. If you put that stadium anywhere else it would be a travesty. With not even a huge investment you can change the entire look of the stadium. Take out the bleachers and put in seats everywhere except the Student sections. Take out the track and lower the field, adding 5-7K more seats (I have seen both estimates). Finally, replace the chain link fence with wrought iron and limestone. (*These ideas were mentioned by another poster previously, but I can't remember exactly who).

You would immediately have a beautiful stadium with much more intimacy while keeping the traditions and beauty of the hill, etc. With the field lowered and seats closer, the atmosphere should improve. You could also add additional premium seating on the south end. Down the road, if the fans actually filled the stadium, you could add additional seating in the bowl or above the student section.

We don't need to change the stadium, we need to change the mindset of the fans and get them to fill the stadium and not leave at halftime.

Kevin Kelly 8 years, 5 months ago

Rich....he's clearly talking about the original topic....the KSU stadium improvements.

Jeff Coffman 8 years, 5 months ago

I believe he is talking about the KSU Stadium, not KU's stadium.

danmoore 8 years, 5 months ago

Yep, I'm pretty sure he was talking about KSU's stadium.

Ron Prichard 8 years, 5 months ago

Okay...clearly my bad. I still like my suggestions!!

danmoore 8 years, 5 months ago

The best thing about memorial is its location but the stadium could use a little streeet appeal improvement.

If they just want to add seats why not close in the north end upper deck.

FSUJHAWK 8 years, 5 months ago

I saw that KSU announcement also. Regardless of how ugly the stadium looks today the point is that KSU is willing to invest $75mil in making it look better, i.e. Snyder and gang knows that it needs to invest long term and big time in football facilities to maintain their success and land on their feet in the event of realignment.

Zenger, do your thang and remove the track or get us a new stadium!

RCJHGKU!!!

ahpersecoachingexperience 8 years, 5 months ago

It might tell us a little more. 1) Snyder isn't going to retire for a long time. 2) Conference realignment may finally be dead. No way would a school undertake such a project if things were uncertain.

Mat Davis 8 years, 5 months ago

The S&C Coach looks like a bad@$$. He's the most important hire that Weis has made. Especially at KU, where you don't usually get the best athletes, it is imperative that you get someone who can develop them and build that mental toughness. I'm sure he'll kill them in workouts, but when you're in great shape and been through tremendous conditioning, it breeds great confidence that you can handle playing in a hostile road environment. As for the track, who cares? The people that complain that it impacts recruiting are ridiculous. Recruits pick schools based on relationships, schemes, and opportunities. The track is the least of our concerns.

FSUJHAWK 8 years, 5 months ago

RE the track, you are right on the point of "who cares". Not many football folks care for the track - in the stadium. And yes, it is ridiculous that the track impacts recruiting, in a negative way that is. That track is used against us many a days. Lastly, the track highlights the administration's commitment to football or lack thereof AND KU's football culture, or lack thereof.

Find me one big time or even remotely successful BCS or none BCS program that has a track in its stadium, for starters see TCU, Boise State, Baylor, Iowa State, etc, football stadiums. KSU, TCU and others in the conference have recently announced major renovations to entirely new stadiums for the coming years. I don’t think this is happenstance and moreover, I don’t think the track is an irrelevant issue. It must go - exclamation!

RCJHGKU!!!

Mat Davis 8 years, 5 months ago

The track has nothing to do with recruiting. Those that think it does know nothing about what goes on in Division I recruiting. As someone who was recruited by MM and Clint Bowen, the track or lack thereof has no impact on choosing KU. We won the Orange Bowl without the facilities we have now. It's overrated by far. Sure other schools don't have tracks, but they also don't have the historic Kansas Relays at their school either. Winning football games is the priority, not the aestetics of Memorial Stadium.

FSUJHAWK 8 years, 5 months ago

The historic Kansas Relays are indeed historic but they don't pay the bills. Further, as someone who knows about what goes on in Division I recruiting please explain why we have not landed top recruits out of high school, statewide or otherwise. Lastly, as you pointed out, we won the Orange Bowl without the facilities that we have now. Does this mean that MM and CB did an incredible job at coaching up lesser talent or that our high school recruits were severly underrated? I think it's mostly the former. Now just imagine if we got higher tier talent coming out of high school and coaching them Joe's up. We'd be able to build and maintian a successful program and not a flash in the pan as MM so clearly did. Facilities do count sir, directly and indirectly in FBS recruiting.

The track must go I say again.

PS, thanks for your insight.

RCJHGKU!!!

Mat Davis 8 years, 5 months ago

Why KU football hasn't been consistently good is an enigma. Great town, great facilities, and a great conference. The issue I think is the lack of interest by the student body. As players, we were an afterthought. Even when we were winning, the students would leave in the 3rd quarter. That doesn't look good to recruits who are on a campus visit. I visited KSU, and even though I didn't care for the school, their fans were into the game and their students helped create a festive atmosphere. I think the OB year was the perfect storm of overachievers and a schedule that was conducive to winning, since we didn't play OU or UT. I do like the Weis hire because his ND experience created a national persona that can open some doors for KU.

Phoghorn 8 years, 5 months ago

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have been trying to hint that the track is not nearly the issue that some think it is. We could move our home games to Svenway Park (ie, the LHS stadium) and get 5 star recruits if we had an elite football program with elite coaches.

The Kansas Relays is why I want to see the track retained. Keep 'em in Memorial Stadium and build them back up so they are attracting 30-40K people. Having a major track event of national importance would be a selling point when (not if) conference realignment comes up again. The Kansas Relays differentiates Memorial Stadium from every other CFB venue.

Jason Renfrow 8 years, 5 months ago

If you think for one second that a Track Event will have ANY bearing on conference realignment....you weren't paying attention.

Phoghorn 8 years, 5 months ago

Township, yes I was paying very close attention. I was on the phone with AD Zenger every day during the re-alignment mess. (okay I just made that line up). What I can assure you is if the relays can be built back up to their glory days, that could have a positive effect on where KU will go, especially if KU was willing to share some revenue. No, it will not compete with having an elite FB program, and it will never eclipse the Men's BB team in recognition, but it will certainly not hurt us. We have the venue, we have the track, we have this great event, and we need to promote it. Hey, if we could get 30K in the stadium for a Paper, Rock, Scissors tourney, we could brag on that too.

troutsee 8 years, 5 months ago

We either think big time or we think small time. We nostalgically hang onto a track for the KU Relays, no longer a the event it used to be, and we hang onto the sacrad view of the "hill" and the campanile instead of turning our stadium into a bowl. We have got to think big time or we are going to get left out. The Big 12 is far from being a solid conference. We definitely need to update and enlarge our stadium.

texashawk10 8 years, 5 months ago

Sadly, having a track around the field does hurt recruiting because of how image conscious recruits are these days. There was an article a couple of days ago (I can't find it right now) about kids getting pretty ticked off because they did get "their" number at the Army All-American Bowl. People from older generations may not think having a track is a big deal or matter, but that is no longer the case in this day and age of football.

There is a much cheaper way to add permanent seating to Memorial Stadium with spending the extra millions of dollars to lower the field. Tear the track up, move the field further into the bowl to get the fans closer and build some bleachers at the south end of the stadium. The new video board already blocks just about any view of the field from the hill anyway, so new seating at the south end doesn't really do any more to ruin that and allows for an actual tunnel for KU to come out onto the field from and do something cool to get the crowd riled up before kickoff.

kugrad93 8 years, 5 months ago

Man, I am sick of the debate about the track. Yes, having seats close to the field would make the stadium a more hostile environment. But until the team improves significantly there is no need for additional seats. Do you want recruits and TV audiences to see MORE empty seats? It is not an "if you build it they will come" scenario. There is no demand for more seats yet.

KU paid off Mangino and Gill to go away. Now you want to spend millions more to build a new track facility (where are you going to put it?) and do costly alterations to Memorial? Where is the money going to come from?

I've had multiple conversations with KU AD staff members -- including different ADs -- on this topic over the last 20+ years and the reoccurring answer is that removing the track and lowering the field -- not even counting the cost of constructing a new track facility -- is cost prohibitive. I don't remember if it is the type of rock under the field or what, but the bottom line is that it would be difficult/expensive from an engineering/construction standpoint.

All the people complaining about this issue are going to have to start writing checks and get someone like Dana Anderson on board.

FSUJHAWK 8 years, 5 months ago

I do write checks sir, not as big as Dana of course. My only point is that we need to create the right football culture and environment to consistently recruit and be successful on the field. I do acknowledge coaching relationships, schemes, etc play a role in successful recruiting, however facilities do as well and directly related to facilities is the overall pride and culture of a program.

As for the cost prohibitiveness of removing the track or building a new stadium - that can always be overcome, particularly when you have a football guy in charge. A suitable stadium is an investment that will pay off in the short run with better recruits and aid in developing culture while in the long run it will pay off by bringing in mo'e money. As for the empty seats, who said we have to put seats in the area of the removed track. That area can be a combination of hedges, amenities, equipment, etc. I'm sure there is an architect out there who could develop an ingenious plan.

I've heard the rock/substrate issue before. Since I'm out of state I say we have the LNJ go "dig" into this matter and try to acquire some facts.

RCJHGKU!!!

shelleysue 8 years, 5 months ago

Amen. No one is going to convince me that the track hurts recruiting. I find it quite ridiculous. If KU offers an athlete everything they're looking for in an opportunity, they will choose KU. If they choose a different school, KU wasn't the opportunity that was best for them. Removing the track and getting fans closer to the field is not going to create a more hostile environment. At least not as long as a third of the crowd leaves at halftime. Or when fans spend more time looking at their smart phones than they do the game. Or when people spend more time yelling at other fans to sit down and shut up than they spend cheering for their team. The fans need to create the hostile environment. Not the track or lack of it.

Andy Tweedy 8 years, 5 months ago

I can't speak for everyone, but for me the track needs to go, but it's not because of recruiting. It's about being taken seriously as a football school, especially in the day of conference realignment when basketball obviously has very little pull. I believe I read somewhere that TWO BCS schools still have tracks. Everyone else commits their stadium to football only. And as far as not building a complex for other sports...well, maybe that has something to do with the fact that all our other sports are TERRIBLE!!! Saying let's get good before we invest in those sports is nonsense IMHO.

Mike Barnhart 8 years, 5 months ago

The Kansas Relays peaked almost 40 years ago in 1972! Current attendance is in the 10,000 to 15,000 range with tickets selling for next to nothing. It's time to build a track on West Campus, erect 5000 bleacher seats (high school football sytle) and move the track events.

Then, KU could lower the field at Memorial Stadium. Ohio U lowered their field about ten years ago and added several rows of bleachers where the track used to be. It looks fine empty (lookup Peden Stadium) and great with fans.

KU needs to give up the grand "fancy suite and chair backed" plan in favor of an Ohio U type solution. By the way, total cost of Ohio U's renovation in 2001: $2.8 million! Sure, Memorial is bigger than Peden and would surly cost at least double $2.8 million. But c'mon, Dana Anderson has that money between the cushions of his couch!!!

orbiter 8 years, 5 months ago

I would love the track removed, and have another track built (5,000 seats is not near enough though), but lowering the field is not that easy. Just because they did it at Ohio U. doesn't mean they can do it here for a similar price. Hell, if Memorial stadium was 500ft from where it is now would affect the price. The geology of a site (among numerous other factors) affects everything.

*Our football fans are a way bigger problem than the track.

JayhawkinNE 8 years, 5 months ago

I agree, as a graduate and a long time fan, the track issue is ridiculous. I think the single biggest issue turning away possible recruits is the negative posts on this site. I think the LJW should eliminate this feature immediately.

ahpersecoachingexperience 8 years, 5 months ago

I guess my first question would be if the track around the field is not that big of a deal then why are we the only school with one?

texashawk10 8 years, 5 months ago

KU isn't even the only BCS school with a track, but the other two (one and a half probably at this point) are Washington and Duke and Washington is in the process of removing theirs this offseason which means KU and Duke will be the only BCS conference schools with a track.

JayHawkFanToo 8 years, 5 months ago

Just because a stadium no longer has a track around the field it does not mean that the seats are any closer to the field, which I believe is the jest of this discussion. As an example, Google Faurot Field, i.e. University of Missouri and look at an aerial photo of the stadium. You will see that a track can easily fit around the field, and the seats are no closer to the field than those at KU. Look up other stadiums and you will see that most have the same or greater distance between the seats and the field. If you dislike the track at Memorial Stadium so much, just cover it with astroturf on game days and it will look just like many other stadiums. If you want more capacity, the most efficient approach would be to complete the upper tier of the horseshoe section; that will create at least 15,000 additional seats. Lowering the field (from an engineering perspective) is the least feasible approach.

741hawk 8 years, 5 months ago

Actually, now that Washington is rebuilding their stadium without a track, KU shares the "track in a football stadium" experience with one other BCS school -- Duke. Don't ya just love to be associated with Duke . . . FOOTBALL!

texashawk10 8 years, 5 months ago

What is the impression do most people who have never been to KU have about the football program? It is what they see on TV and what is seen on TV is a half empty stadium and a track around the stadium. I'm in my mid 20's and I've had friends who have never been to Lawrence and don't know about the quality of facilities KU has comment to me and say, "Wow, KU still has a track around the field?!?!" and that's the impression they have of KU football, complete apathy within the athletic department towards football and until less than 10 years ago, that really was the case.

Just think about how much the world and recruiting has changed in the past 5 years. 5 years ago, Facebook was just becoming relevant and Twitter was less than a year old and not very relevant and now that's how many recruits announce their decisions instead of press conferences or faxing their decision to a coach. How many of you started following Gehrig Dieter on twitter to see his announcement and then unfollow him after he chose SMU. It's almost unbelievable how image conscious HS kids are these days and if they watch a KU game on TV and see the track around the stadium, it can and does put a negative image of the school in their mind and make it much more difficult to recruit that kid. It's very sad and pathetic that our society has gotten to that point, but that is the cold, hard truth and removing the track would put a better image of KU into a recruits mind and help set KU up to have sustained success in the future.

Kevin Heath 8 years, 5 months ago

Regarding the track:

I do not believe it will be going anywhere because of the engineering problems presented by the design of the stadium. A very high ranking athletic department administrator (from pre-Perkins days) explained it to me this way once:

The rise of the stadium is not consistent. The lower rows are relatively flat (say only 6 inches of rise from one row to the next) with a gradual increase in rise so that by the top of the stadium there is greater height from one row to the next (say 10 inches of rise between rows). As such, removing the track and adding seats expanding downward would mean the sight lines from the top of the stadium would be obscured so the top rows wouldn't be able to see the sides of the field (because of the way the lower rows "flatten" out). They can't just add rows straight out because they would all be flat and obscure the view from the top. They can't lower the field of play to add rows for the same reason. They did look into eliminating the track 15 years ago, but there is nothing that can be done with the space. Can they get rid of the track? Absolutely, but then they just will have to build a new track and field facility while adding nothing but more green sideline to the football stadium. Is that an option? Again, of course. I can just assure you the reason the track isn't already gone is because removing the track will not add seats to the stadium (which would be the primary reason from a revenue point to remove it). On the other hand, if Weis comes in and says he is absolutely losing 5 star recruits because of the track then things may change.

texashawk10 8 years, 5 months ago

KU has tried several times to build a new track faculty over at the old football practice fields next to the soccer field. As for Memorial Stadium itself, there is a viable solution getting fans closer without lowering the field and that is to move the field closer to the north end of the stadium and do some work at the south end of the stadium.

Ron Prichard 8 years, 5 months ago

Interesting idea about shifting the field, although with the placement of the pressbox, etc, I'm not sure that would be viable. Still, an interesting idea.

ahpersecoachingexperience 8 years, 5 months ago

I'm at the point now where I'd take a hd camera in AFH over the removal of the track

Ron Prichard 8 years, 5 months ago

Amen to that! I can't stand watching these Big XII or Jayhawk Network broadcast games that look all blurry now that I'm used to HD. You would think the Big XII Network would have it's own HD cameras by now.

Kansashawk 8 years, 5 months ago

Let's get one complete season of 50,000+ for all home games with 40,000+ staying for the duration

Then we'll talk

blackhawkjayhawk 8 years, 5 months ago

Captain Obvious here....Looking at the staff, it's clear that Weis is emphasizing recruiting. Call me Shirley but I think that we may be a powerhouse in 2 years.

Also, please attach a $200 donation with every mention of digging up the field.

Bville Hawk 8 years, 5 months ago

Hey blackhawkjay aka Captain Obvious: maybe not powerhouse but certainly in the mix for conference champion.

And +1 on the $200 donation for every mention of digging up the field. This subject is belabored way too much to my way of thinking. As others have posted, fill the stadium for a couple seasons with crowds that are loud and stay til the end, THEN we'll talk. It is fun, though, to spend someone else's money.

kellerman411 8 years, 5 months ago

Now wait just a second... If we remove the track, where will the 50 yell leaders and cheerleaders perform??? They are athletes too!!! What a joke.

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