Advertisement

Advertisement

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Charlie Weis kicks backsides, returns names

Kansas head football coach Charlie Weis talks with media members on Monday, Jan. 16, 2012 at the Anderson Family Football Complex. Weis introduced new members of his football team and also announced players that have left the program.

Kansas head football coach Charlie Weis talks with media members on Monday, Jan. 16, 2012 at the Anderson Family Football Complex. Weis introduced new members of his football team and also announced players that have left the program.

Advertisement

For the first time since being introduced as the new Kansas University football coach on Dec. 9, Charlie Weis spoke with the media Monday, partly to offer a state-of-the-program address and partly to introduce quarterbacks Dayne Crist and Jake Heaps and wide receiver Justin McCay.

Before getting to the meat of the news conference, Weis answered the one question that has captivated KU fans since learning of Turner Gill’s firing.

“Let’s get the biggest question answered right off the bat,” Weis said. “Yes, we’re gonna put the names on the back of the jerseys. Can we put that one to bed now?”

Weis’ request to move past the uniform issue became easier with each sentence he uttered. During the 35-minute question-and-answer session, Weis delivered hard news, a few philosophical beliefs and a healthy dose of comic relief. In short, he nearly gave up as much information in a half hour than Gill gave during his entire time in charge of the Jayhawks.

Weis announced 10 former players, many of whom played significant snaps during the 2011 season, had been dismissed from the program. Those players were dismissed for everything from academic and behavioral issues to a desire to continue their careers elsewhere. Weis said he could not go into great detail about the dismissals.

Six — JaQwaylin Arps, Dexter McDonald, Darrian Miller, Adonis Saunders, Brock Berglund and Keeston Terry — simply were released by the program. Three others — Jordan Webb, Tyrone Sellers and Tom Mabry — will no longer be a part of the program but will remain enrolled at KU for the spring semester and may consider playing elsewhere in the future.

“They’re in school,” Weis said. “But they’re not part of our football team, mutually decided.”

And Travis Bodenstein informed Weis that he would transfer to another school.

“In addition to that, there are several guys on walk-on status that have been dismissed from the team,” Weis said. “And all of those guys have been dismissed academically. I think that walk-ons should be treated the same as scholarship players.”

By announcing the moves, Weis made clear to the media what he already had made clear to his team — this will be a no-nonsense program.

“I don’t care who they are,” said Weis when asked for his reaction to the prominence of several of the names. “I don’t care if they were all starters; it doesn’t make a difference. There’s a right and a wrong way of doing things, and we’re gonna do it the right way. That’s all there is to it.”

He continued: “You can’t make decisions, especially coming into a program, based on how good (players) are. You have to make decisions based on them doing the right thing. Because if you don’t, as a coach, you’re a hypocrite.”

Miller, Terry and Webb all were starters during 2011. Berglund drew more ink than any of them.

Berglund, whose highly publicized legal battle in Colorado kept him away from the program for nearly all of the 2011 season, called the Journal-World on Monday evening and said he learned of his dismissal via Twitter. The freshman quarterback who said he will pursue playing options at other schools said he planned to return to Kansas as recently as a week ago but had softened on the idea after learning that his request to contact others to discuss his future had been denied. KU officials said Berglund sent an email to several people in the KU athletic department at 3:08 p.m. Sunday. In the email, officials said Berglund requested his transfer release and informed them that he would not be at a mandatory 5 p.m. Sunday team meeting. The fact he missed it was enough for Weis to make the decision for him.

“He was considered dismissed from the team for not attending the mandatory team meeting,” a KU spokesperson said of Berglund.

The departure of these 10 players opens the door for Weis to sign up to the maximum allowance of 25 players in this year’s recruiting class. He may come close.

“I know exactly where the number’s sitting right now, and I know where I can go to,” Weis said. “We’ll be in the 20s. Originally when I got here, we were around 14 or so, and I told you the number would be higher. Well, it’s higher.”

KU has 12 players in the Class of 2012 committed, plus Crist, Heaps and McCay already on campus.

“All three of these guys I recruited when I was previously a head coach at another institution,” said Weis, referring to his five years at Notre Dame. “I tried to get all three of them. I got one of ’em, and now I’m fortunate enough to have all three of them as part of my team.”

In addition to the transfers and high school players, Weis emphasized he would continue to look to the junior-college ranks to help bolster KU’s roster.

“There’s three different avenues that we’re exhausting to try to get together the strongest recruiting class we possibly can,” he said. “And I think things are moving in the right direction. I have a bunch of guys that know what they’re doing in recruiting. We have a good plan, and I think by Feb. 1 things are going to fall into place fairly nicely for us.”

McCay’s status uncertain

Weis said the eligibility of McCay, who came to KU from Oklahoma, was still up in the air. Normally, a player who transfers is forced to sit out a season before playing — that will be the case with Heaps — but McCay could be eligible immediately because of a hardship waiver he and KU are applying for with the NCAA.

“We are going to file a letter to the NCAA because he was released by Oklahoma on a hardship to Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri,” Weis said. “We will try to get that this year, where he’s alive and ready to go. Usually, with the NCAA, if you have a viable case, they’re not afraid to be open-minded on something like this.”

Asked how the uncertainty had affected him, McCay did not seem too bothered.

“It was hard going into it,” McCay said. “But being close to home makes it a little bit easier. Hopefully I can play right away. It’s not finalized yet, so we don’t know, but hopefully I can.”

Weis talks Dave Campo

Asked how long new defensive coordinator Dave Campo had been on his radar, Weis talked about the process having to play out before everything fell into place.

Campo, hired by KU last Friday, was released by the Dallas Cowboys a few days earlier. That’s when Weis put on the hard sell that ultimately led to Campo saying yes to the job.

“I was really concerned to make sure that I did things the right way,” Weis said. “I was very slow and meticulous to make sure I got a defensive coordinator that fit what I described the last time we talked.”

Asked what that was, Weis said, “Somebody who talks the same language as me, and (Campo) certainly talks the same language as me.”

Hip, hip, hooray

Though nobody took the time to ask, Weis, who seemed to move around much better than he did the day he was introduced, gave a quick update on his recovery from the hip replacement surgery he had in mid-December.

“I feel wonderful, thanks for asking,” he joked. “First time since I got wiped out on the sideline in 2008, in September, that I feel good. First time. It’s unbelievable. I highly recommend it to anyone thinking about that. By the way, hips are a lot easier than knees.”

Spring dates announced

Weis said Monday that spring practices would begin on March 27 and that the spring game would take place on Saturday, April 28. No time was announced.

Crist the student

Because he already has graduated from Notre Dame, Crist must enroll in nine hours of graduate school classes at KU to be eligible.

He said Monday he was looking into sports management.

“I’m excited to start my classes and go from there,” he said. “It’s something that was very interesting to me, and I didn’t want to just blow off academics. I took them very seriously at Notre Dame, (and) I wanted to be able to take something away from here as well.”

Heaps eager to learn

The fact that he’ll have to sit out his first season at Kansas has done nothing to Heaps’ excitement level.

“It’s a great opportunity for me,” he said. “I’m just going to be a sponge soaking up all of this stuff. I have the opportunity to learn from Coach Weis and (quarterbacks) coach (Ron) Powlus, and also take advantage of the time I have with Dayne here. I’ll be learning from all of these guys and watching how it’s supposed to be done.”

Comments

Ben Kliewer 2 years, 8 months ago

Tait...these articles are making it more and more difficult for me to be critical and pessimistic in the face of rampant optimism...

0

Dirk Medema 2 years, 8 months ago

Careful Kleave. You might get jumped again.

0

Dirk Medema 2 years, 8 months ago

Careful Kleave. You might get jumped again.

0

Ben Kliewer 2 years, 8 months ago

Wait...you're on the side of reason? Nevermind. I'm switching back.

0

Cmill1221 2 years, 8 months ago

I was hoping for another TEABOW article after this weekend, but this will do. Exciting time for KU football. I'll be interested to see who ends up being #2 at QB.

0

NebraskaJayhawk 2 years, 8 months ago

No doubt in my mind it will be Cummings. I'm extremely excited about this kid's upside.

0

Ted Toulouse 2 years, 8 months ago

But isn't he a dual-threat (aka running) QB? I see a position change in his future and a soon-to-be-signed recruit at the #2

0

NebraskaJayhawk 2 years, 8 months ago

Yes, he's a dual threat, but he can throw the ball as well. Have you watched his h.s. videos on youtube? I don't think any coach in their right mind would be against having the best of both worlds. I will say he's a little shorter than the typical Weis QB, but don't count him out because of his size. i.e. Todd Reesing / Doug Flutie

You could be right though, who knows. Just saying we aren't without talent at the position.

0

ozzzy 2 years, 8 months ago

Jablonski didn't fit Gill's style of QB, but he will definately fit Weis'. The kid can throw the ball. I think he is all the time leading HS passer in the state of KS. I will be interested to see how he does in the Spring Game.

0

Dirk Medema 2 years, 8 months ago

CW talked about Jake not being as tall as Crist either?

0

Cmill1221 2 years, 8 months ago

I was hoping for another TEABOW article after this weekend, but this will do. Exciting time for KU football. I'll be interested to see who ends up being #2 at QB.

0

haps 2 years, 8 months ago

Excited for the year and excited for the new coaching staff/players, but I have to be honest that the outright dismissal and 'no longer playing' status of several starters has me confused at best and disappointed at worst. I'm really curious as to why several, including Miller and Terry, were outright dismissed. Plus, what's the story with Webb? I hope it truly was mutual. Crist, for all his promise, is still just promise and he's shown a propensity to injure. If he goes down, then what? I'm sure (really more hope) there are legit reasons for the dismissals and not a 'I'll show them who's boss' moment as the players committed and stood by their commitments to KU, they deserve the same in return.

0

Ben Kliewer 2 years, 8 months ago

Shhhhh. Don't say things like that. I'm just warning you, you might get airtight arguments like "you're a stupid idiot" and "you don't know anything about football" thrown at you.

0

april28 2 years, 8 months ago

Tried to give you room, but opening your mouth and inserting foot seems to be your modus operandi.

So..the starting quarterback is gone. What would we have done this season if Webb had been hurt? There are quarterbacks in the system, Webb has been replaced as the starter, we have roughly 12 scholarships left and Weis has stated that he will be taking on more "graduated players" in May.

We are heavy at the RB position - I hate losing Darian but I love the fact that Weis says - that's the way it is. The Berglund story is perfect - do you know what mandatory means, young man? Have you learned anything during your trials?

Kleave hasn't. He thinks that Weis is going to show up this fall and go to count the quarterbacks only to find out he doesn't have any.

0

NebraskaJayhawk 2 years, 8 months ago

Agree totally. I like the discipline Weis is bringing. This no-nonsense attitude is what's going to drive our current and new players toward championships.

We are deep at the QB position. Thank you Jordan Webb for your hard work, but we will be better served in near and distant future with a nice stable of talented QBs. And I'm not just talking Crist & Heaps. We have a RS freshman and true freshman at QB that have huge upsides. Running back...as much as I like Miller and hate to see him leave, RB is probably our most talented position with Sims, Bourbon, & Pierson. I will say that Terry is the one that I hate to see leave the program. He's going to be playing on Sundays and I wish he was going to continue playing his Saturdays in Lawrence.

0

Ben Kliewer 2 years, 8 months ago

Again, people fail to read my comments and then make stuff up. Pathetic.

0

Dirk Medema 2 years, 8 months ago

Really amazed with you. Some don't understand sarcasm.

0

Michael Pannacciulli 2 years, 8 months ago

If you do your job in the classroom and are a role model in the locker room you would not be on such a list. He knows this year will be a rebuild year but would rather not take some other coaches baggage into battle. Gotta hand it to him...so far he is walking the walk...

0

Dirk Medema 2 years, 8 months ago

The full transcript is at www.rockchalktalk.com.

CW doesn't get into specifics per individual, but gives plenty of examples: repeated dorm violations, not going to class, ..., missing mandatory team meetings.

0

Cmill1221 2 years, 8 months ago

I'm also glad Burglund is finally off the team. Always excuses and Drama with him. He couldn't make it to the team meeting?!?! What is he doing back in Colorado that is so important that he couldn't get back to campus? He made it back to get his picture taken for the media guide! That wasn't a problem. Glad CW didn't put up with that anymore.

0

april28 2 years, 8 months ago

Keegan was right about the attitude. I think that the kid seriously thought people were going to bow down. He should head to SMU with that head case receiver from South Bend.

0

NebraskaJayhawk 2 years, 8 months ago

We'll never know what Berglund could have been. But not sure it's that important.

0

GoHawks1 2 years, 8 months ago

Forget SMU. He needs to go to Liberty with Turner "the Enabler" Gill. He would be right at home there.

0

Ted Toulouse 2 years, 8 months ago

The kid thought he was Brett Favre - didn't have to go through camp to make the team. I'm sure there was a bit of boundry testing going on and he got called on it. But, you know, I'm sure HE'S the victim here. HE called the LJW to state that he was dismissed via Twitter??? seriously dude, grow a spine and stop living your life through the media.

0

STL_Jayhawk 2 years, 8 months ago

Completely agree. Most players find out they have been cut in person versus via Twitter. But then again, most players (especially QB's) are actually on-campus and attending mandatory meetings less than 48 hours before classes start for a semester.

Not sure when the team was informed of the mandatory meeting. But Burgland is (1) trying to compete as a starting QB, (2) has a whole new coaching staff, and (3) has a reputation for coming up with excuses for why he was not with the team. Given those factors, KU should only give scholarships to kids that would be motivated to prove how sincere they are about being the best they can be. Most of us in that same situation would show up early and be leading by example. Burgland was sending e-mails saying he wasn't going to be able to make the meeting. At a minimum, he could have called one of the coaches. I'm sure if he had the guts to call CW before the meeting, he would have at least found out he was being released over the phone versus via Twitter. Good riddance.

0

littlerichard 2 years, 8 months ago

Mangino would have made him "bear walk" across hot asphalt before releasing him! Seriously, the guy could have spoken to the coaches in person by showing up to the mandatory meeting or by calling to explain why he couldn't be there. Since he didn't bother to do either, screw him. The same thing would have happened if he were working a job washing dishes and didn't bother to show up when expected or call with a valid excuse. Good luck with whatever lies in your future, Brock.

0

jhox 2 years, 8 months ago

I hate losing Miller and Terry, but you have to respect Weis for taking a stand and sticking to it, no matter who the player is.

I feel a little sorry for Webb. I hope he was given the option to stay on scholarship, and fight for the back up role. While he wasn't the most talented QB we've ever had, you can't question the kid's heart. He got the crap beat out of him the last two seasons, and played through injuries. He deserved the right to remain on scholarship, if he would have preferred to do so. I hope Weis gave him that option. The ugly side of college football is when kids are forced out against their will. If a kid accepts a scholarship to a program, and does all that's asked of him, they should not be forced out. I know that sort of thing happens at big time programs. The SEC is famous for running off kids.

0

vd 2 years, 8 months ago

Name one, two year starter Self has released. The Morris twins?

0

ca_hawk06 2 years, 8 months ago

jr giddens deserved to be shunned and run off. assuming that's to whom you are referring.

0

Brak 2 years, 8 months ago

You are right that they should not be forced out if they are doing all that is being asked of them but it is clear that none of these players were. It was a well known fact that Terry has been talking about transfering even before HCCW got here and Miller isn't passing any of his classes if he's even going to class. I have a feelilng most of the dismissals are academic related as its been rumored Gill did't really monitor their grades towards the end.

0

Ted Toulouse 2 years, 8 months ago

I don't think Gill was monitoring much of anything toward the end...

0

Joseph Kuebel 2 years, 8 months ago

The end being the fall semester, as well as football season!

0

jhox 2 years, 8 months ago

Webb was mentioned in the group that wasn't dismissed from the team, so his situation was different. I have no problem with a coach being frank and telling a kid that he doesn't see him getting playing time, and telling the kid he wouldn't blame him if he leaves. I just hate to see kids forced out who may want to stay and finish their education at KU, and remain on scholarship (again, provided they do what is expected of them like showing up at practice, the weight room, maintaining grades, etc.)

I hope Weis had that kind of conversation with Webb, and it wasn't a situtation where he said his scholarship was revoked. Like I said, he took a beating for 2 years for this program, and deserved to keep his scholarship, if he chose to do so.

As for the players dismissed for cause, I have no problems with the handling of those situations and I'm glad to see some accountability come back into the program.

0

Andy Tweedy 2 years, 8 months ago

Jordan Webb graduated early from HS, redshirted and then played two years at KU. That means after the spring semester, he will have been on the Hill for 3 1/2 years, and for all I know took some classes in the summer. If he can finish his degree, he'll be one of those dudes like Crist who can suit up for someone else for a couple seasons. Good luck to Jordan in his future endeavors.

0

Dirk Medema 2 years, 8 months ago

Didn't Miller tweet that he had a 3 something last semester? There were plenty of other issues mentioned besides grades.

0

jayhawkdon 2 years, 8 months ago

Brock - that is an idiotic statement. Southern Cal doesn't have names on their jerseys and I suppose they have no game?!

0

Rick Arnoldy 2 years, 8 months ago

I bitch about it because I only get to root for them a couple times a year on TV. I want to know is performing and who isn't. Why shouldn't players be held accountable? We're paying for their scholarships.

0

blackhawkjayhawk 2 years, 8 months ago

Agreed. No names was fine with me. Works other places. I'm guessing most people know who wore number 21 and who wore number 48.

0

shelleysue 2 years, 8 months ago

I don't know that there was constant bitching. It's just one of the many things fans have an opinion on. There is no right or wrong, just a preference. As I said, most college teams, even some high school teams and of course the NFL, have names on the jerseys. It's the standard, so when the names aren't there, people want to know what the logical reason is. In my opinion, when they are left off it is the coaches way of pulling rank and telling the players it is a team sport and not about one player. Which in my opinion is ridiculous. With the exception of an occasional arrogant player, most athletes realize and respect the fact that they are part of something bigger and that their purpose is to help make the team better. Players want to see their names on the jerseys. It's about pride and recognition. Gill left the names off. Now I'm not saying that it is responsible for that horrible two years, but tell me even one good thing it accomplished. Same goes for Ron Prince at KSU.

0

danmoore 2 years, 8 months ago

Thank god my prayers have been answered.

0

Ben Kliewer 2 years, 8 months ago

Wait...we can use the word bitch now?

0

littlerichard 2 years, 8 months ago

The coaches will be swearing more and the fans will be swearing less.

0

always_correct 2 years, 8 months ago

A lot of recruits want the recognition that comes with names on the back of jerseys. Every little bit helps, especially at Kansas.

From a fan's perspective, I think we're just lazy and it's easier than memorizing numbers. Additionally, if you know a players name, it is more likely you will be emotionally vested in their performance.

I vote they use twitter handles instead of last names.

0

Ted Toulouse 2 years, 8 months ago

was it just me or did the presser yesterday feel like one of our basketball ones?

-Glib, honest, funny coach being frank, candid and did I mention funny? -Intelligent, talented, well-spoken players that know what's going on and know what to expect. And expect to win.

It FELT familiar but didn't LOOK familiar.

It's a great time to be a Jayhawk...

0

bville_hawk 2 years, 8 months ago

Reminded me of Larry Brown's press conference. Always interesting and entertaining.

0

hawk316 2 years, 8 months ago

“I don’t care who they are,” said Weis when asked for his reaction to the prominence of several of the names. “I don’t care if they were all starters; it doesn’t make a difference. There’s a right and a wrong way of doing things, and we’re gonna do it the right way. That’s all there is to it.”

He continued: “You can’t make decisions, especially coming into a program, based on how good (players) are. You have to make decisions based on them doing the right thing. Because if you don’t, as a coach, you’re a hypocrite.”

Charley scored points with me with these comments.

0

kureader 2 years, 8 months ago

No issues with Weis at all here. Every new coach experiences turnover. 10 players isn't a big number. Weis waited several weeks and announced the departures all at once. Several of them were "mutual". And, he didn't say anything to embarrass players or single out those who weren't meeting academic requirements. I'm sure some of these guys will follow Gill, others will transfer or "hang it up". For KU, it provides a much needed opportunity for Weis to recruit his own guys, several of whom will come from junior colleges. I'm excited about the direction of the program, and I like Weis's direct approach to things. I also like the staff that's coming together. 3 months ago, most of us weren't so optimistic.

0

Matt Kenton 2 years, 8 months ago

Listening to the press conference, I believe Weis said that there are players at other schools who will be graduating this spring with eligibility left. He can't talk about them and the only downside is that they won't play in the Spring Game, but they can play next season, like Crist.

Along with JuCo transfers, I'm excited to see what we can do next season. Turner who? Already a distant memory.

0

kujayhox 2 years, 8 months ago

having a coach that is willing to come in and get rid (he didnt get rid of webb, but you know what i mean) three starters to change the mindset of a team and school. mangino didnt come in with this much bravado or willingness to shake up the program. he was just trying to prove that he could do the job, but HCCW is coming in and trying to prove that he can turn ku into a consistent bowl team. different mind set. i like it.

0

jayhawkintexas 2 years, 8 months ago

No doubt in my mind who is running the program. Go get 'em Coach Weis!!

0

Matthew Pritchard 2 years, 8 months ago

If the players that were dismissed do not share the same vision of the coaching staff then good by! Weis gave them another chance to shape up and they decided to do otherwise. I am glad they are gone since they are obviously above the team rules. Miller had a lot of talent but was wasting it by not taking class serious. I love the fact that Weis is laying down some rules, that is how good teams are built. Cox is a solid back and will push Bourbon, Pierson, and Sims. It does not make since to waste scholarships on players who don't care about school and team first. Can't wait for the spring game! RCJH!

0

Matthew Pritchard 2 years, 8 months ago

If the players that were dismissed do not share the same vision of the coaching staff then good by! Weis gave them another chance to shape up and they decided to do otherwise. I am glad they are gone since they are obviously above the team rules. Miller had a lot of talent but was wasting it by not taking class serious. I love the fact that Weis is laying down some rules, that is how good teams are built. Cox is a solid back and will push Bourbon, Pierson, and Sims. It does not make since to waste scholarships on players who don't care about school and team first. Can't wait for the spring game! RCJH!

0

rockemchalkemrobots 2 years, 8 months ago

Willing to give credit where it is due. This is the best headline this site has written in a good, long, time. Kudos.

0

Dan Harris 2 years, 8 months ago

Anybody know what kind of hardship McCay is applying for?

0

GridironHawk 2 years, 8 months ago

It's for personal reasons and I think we should all respect his privacy. Weis even asked the media not to question him about it.

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.