Friday, August 23, 2013

KU coach Charlie Weis says he doesn’t know when, if juco OL Pearce Slater will return to campus

A close-up of KU offensive lineman Pearce Slater at Saturday's practice. Photo courtesy of Jeff Jacobsen, Kansas Athletics.

A close-up of KU offensive lineman Pearce Slater at Saturday's practice. Photo courtesy of Jeff Jacobsen, Kansas Athletics.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Charlie Weis

Kansas coach Charlie Weis talks to reporters during a press conference on Friday, Aug. 23, 2013.

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Kansas coach Charlie Weis opened his Friday press conference by addressing the status of junior-college offensive lineman Pearce Slater, who left the team Saturday to attend a family emergency.

The coach provided a timeline of events. He said at 6 a.m. Saturday he met with the 6-foot-8, 340-pound Slater in the football offices, with the offensive lineman telling him he'd received a call at 4 a.m. alerting him of a family medical emergency. Slater then went to the airport to fly home, and Weis said the sophomore called once he arrived in California to alert the coach he'd made it safely.

When the two communicated, Weis told Slater it'd be best — if everything turned out OK — for him to return by Friday for the team picture or at the latest by Sunday so he could be ready for Monday's first day of school.

"As of now, I have no idea if and when he'll get here," Weis said.

Weis said he texted Slater again Friday morning.

"I have not heard from him," Weis said. "I'm taking him for his word (that he'll return)."

Since Slater's departure, some reports have surfaced about the lineman's potential interest in OU — a school he visited after committing to KU. On Monday, The Oklahoman reported that Slater wasn't joining the OU football team and also that he wasn't enrolled at the university.


Phil Leister 8 years, 1 month ago

See ya!!!!! When the head coach says "if", he's as good as gone.

Max Ledom 8 years, 1 month ago

I am disturbed by your comment. A possible family emergency or death to a KU football player's family and all you have to say is "See ya" like he was kicked off the team for doing drugs or something? Class.

Phil Leister 8 years, 1 month ago

I say "see ya" because despite family emergency of ANY sort, all it takes is a simple text message to his head coach saying, "I'll be there as soon as I can coach. Nothing's figured out yet." Under no circumstance should your head coach be able to say to the media, "if or when". Especially when you're the guy who took a recruiting visit to OU after you committed to KU and people have had reason to question your allegiance for a while.

Dennis Marshall 8 years, 1 month ago

has anyone heard any news on Slaters situation. As far as i know coach hasn't said anything.

HAWKS1 8 years, 1 month ago

Doesn't sound good for KU. I just hope for the best for this young man. He obviously is in a troubled state right now. We hope to see you back in Lawrence but you have to do what is best for you and your family. Good luck Pearce. Rock Chalk!

Jim Jackson 8 years, 1 month ago

Fondal was offered scholarships by Texas Tech and Arkansas, he should be a viable starter.

gorilla10 8 years, 1 month ago

That sounds like terrible communication with a player if you ask me....On the players side of course

ahpersecoachingexperience 8 years, 1 month ago

Why am I (off all people) giving this kid the benefit of the doubt. A phone call @ 4am usually isn't the best of news. Something tells me this isn't a love/homesick stricken rich kid from Colorado crying in his pillow at night because he isn't getting his way but something more serious.

Steve Reigle 8 years, 1 month ago

Classy comment. Thanks.

I agree the situation may well be nothing more than a family situation that has him involved and probably stressed. He's a young man, a kid, basically. I'll be very surprised if he doesn't make it back to KU.

Andy Godwin 8 years, 1 month ago

First give the young man a break. No one commenting on this blog knows the severity of the family emergency. Secondly, if he wants to play football this year other than KU, he could only do it at the JUCO level. Since he suited up and practiced albeit for a week, he is in eligible to play D1 this year. Lastly, if we would enroll at another Big XII school (e.g., Oklahoma) he would have to sit out two seasons. Let the young man resolve his personal life before attacking him.

gchawk 8 years, 1 month ago

I didn't really think that Ok. Sooner was attacking Pearce, only my perception. BTW, if no one has told you lately, you have one of best avatars ever.

ahpersecoachingexperience 8 years, 1 month ago

I thought a 4am phone call for a squirrel in your radiator was good news in OK. It means a warm breakfast!

Phil Leister 8 years, 1 month ago

This is a guy whose level of commitment to KU has been in question for a while, who actually took a trip to Norman after committing to KU. So, when he unexpectedly leaves Lawrence, why would he not return calls to his head coach? All it would take is one text to HCCW saying, "Hey, still taking care of family business here. I'll keep you in the loop." Something like that wouldn't warrant an "if" coming from Weis.

Randy Bombardier 8 years, 1 month ago

Exactly. I wish him well and hope that his family is pulling together and through. Hopefully soon his family will be there for him as he has been there for his family. I think the redshirt idea is a good one anyway. Get him all built up for next year and explode onto the scene. Increases his chances for the NFL.

Cmill1221 8 years, 1 month ago

4am=2am west coast. Nothing good happens 30min after last call.

Rivethead 8 years, 1 month ago

Even if he did make it back....he's not beating Fondal out of the starting job at this point. I wish Pearce the best of luck in whatever he's dealing with and whatever he decides to do.

gchawk 8 years, 1 month ago

A myriad of thoughts going on, unfortunately most of them aren't positive in regards to Pearce's return. I was wondering how he was taking to D1 practice, I know from experience that it's an entirely different level of practice than Juco and a lot of young athletes just don't acclimate to the tougher regiment of D1 practice. I hope for the best for Pearce and his family, but the fact that he isn't making contact with Coach Weis isn't a good sign for his return. Also, thanks for the classy comments OklahomaSooners, it is appreciated.

Gavin Fritton 8 years, 1 month ago

How is it that no one asked Weis "Coach, is there any chance that Pearce Slater will not rejoin the team at all, and as a follow up, is it possible he might join a different team?"

Mark Lindrud 8 years, 1 month ago

At this point he's behind in practice anyway. Let him do what he's got to do. If it's that serious his mind would've not been on football. If and when he returned he's ready for next year. We seem fairly talented and maybe deeper than we realize for this season. Either way we're improving. Let's hope Slaters family is ok.

Steve Jacob 8 years, 1 month ago

You build a team with Juco's and transfers, these things are going to happen.

Cmill1221 8 years, 1 month ago

Are Juco kids the only ones that have family/medical issues. if you are inplying that ot is something other than that then you should make a correction: you will have these things happen with 17-23 yr olds. Juco has zero to do w/ it. Just for a reference, BB was a HS athlete.

Jack Joiner 8 years, 1 month ago

Let's hope the best for Pearce and his family. These things can happen to any recruit.

Dennis Marshall 8 years, 1 month ago

Has anyone heard anything more on Slaters situation. I haven't seen anything at all about him. I know i would block him from transferring to a Big 12 school if he is thinking about transferring. I wouldn't sign a release for him at this time

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