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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Beaty fires up KU football fan base

Kansas University football coach David Beaty meets with fans during the team's Football in February event at Sporting Park, in Kansas City, Kansas, on Thursday evening, February 19, 2015.

Kansas University football coach David Beaty meets with fans during the team's Football in February event at Sporting Park, in Kansas City, Kansas, on Thursday evening, February 19, 2015.

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— No, February doesn’t really qualify as football season. But new Kansas University football coach David Beaty and his staff certainly don’t care. They already have made stops in Hays, Hutchinson and Topeka this month as they tour the Sunflower State for a series of meet-and-greets designed to introduce the new coaches to the KU fan base.

Their latest engagement brought them to Sporting Park Thursday evening, and while schmoozing and posing for photos all came with the territory, so did an open conversation between the new man in charge and a long-suffering fan base.

Beaty, who asked those attending to support the team and help bring some enjoyment back to Memorial Stadium, didn’t just talk at the fans, he opened the floor for questions, city hall style. He didn’t even mind talking quarterbacks and playing time when someone wondered if incumbent starting QB Michael Cummings could be a starter in KU’s new offense, under coordinator Rob Likens.

“In the system,” Beaty said of the uptempo spread, “sometimes that can change the direction of a guy’s career.”

As proof, the former Texas A&M; assistant pointed to a QB from the Lone Star State who benefited from a change in scheme: TCU’s Trevone Boykin, who received votes in the Heisman Trophy race after a breakout season.

Not about to make any promises or predictions, though, Beaty answered: “Can Michael do it? That’s yet to be seen.”

Far from over, Beaty described the race to become KU’s 2015 starting quarterback as “wide open,” in the midst of mentioning returning Jayhawks Montell Cozart and T.J. Millweard and alluding to recently signed recruits Carter Stanley (Vero Beach, Florida) and Ryan Willis (Bishop Miege).

“We’re gonna go with a guy who can move our team and take care of the football and manage the game,” Beaty said. “And then we’re gonna train them like crazy to make the right decisions.”

One thing he did make clear: KU won’t utilize a two-QB offense.

Asked soon after about Likens’ offense, Beaty said KU has the talent to run it.

“It allows us a little bit of flexibility that I think we have to have in a game,” he explained, “which is to be able to use misdirection to confuse players and take away a little bit of their athletic ability by slowing them down, and then using option football.”

Plus, the coach added, blocking issues can be remedied by scheming and running the option out of the uptempo, quick-hitting system.

Beaty said he enjoys the format of these “Football in February” events — KU has another scheduled for this coming Thursday in Wichita — because of the interaction with the fans.

“I think sharing the vision with them is very important. And understanding also that we’re here to earn their support,” the first-year head coach said. “That’s kind of the thing that we’re standing on right now, which is: What’s gonna make us different?”

As he put it, Beaty is in a “huggy/lovey” stage right now, but he knows that won’t last forever, and his staff aims to turn the downtrodden program around over time.

“We have to prove it to ’em,” Beaty said. “At the same time, once we lay the vision out and we talk to them about the blueprint and how we plan on doing it, it’s a big deal for us to ask them to try and partner with us, to make it their program and something they can be proud of.”

Comments

Joe Ross 6 years, 11 months ago

Like it or not, most fans judge the success of a coaching regime by wins and losses. By all accounts, Beaty's first year appears to be a difficult one in which success should instead be judged by improvement on the field. Fans looking for "W's" are likely to be disappointed and prematurely judge Beaty a failure as the win/loss tally on paper could end up looking very similar to those produced Gill and Weis. How does Beaty help fans manage expectations to help them see that building a program is a process, while at the same time making the most of the wave of enthusiasm of a fan base who just welcomes change?

Bryce Landon 6 years, 11 months ago

Agreed. Gill and Weis left this program in such disrepair that Beaty might need at least until 2018 to get the team to a bowl game. I for one expect nothing of the 2015 team. Regardless of the win-loss record, Beaty gets a pass this season.

Andy Tweedy 6 years, 11 months ago

I was a junior when Glen Mason took over. The wins didn't come in year 1, but the product on the field was so obviously improved that Mason had us from the start. He proved to be a good coach and was given time for the wins to reflect. I'm hopeful this will be much like that. In fact, I think Beaty has more to work with than Mason did that year, so maybe wins will come quicker.

Joseph Kuebel 6 years, 11 months ago

Fans are gonna be dissapointed and thats a shame, but thats how it is and thats how it is going to be for the next couple years. As much as I hate to use the reference, "keep sawing wood", keep trying and making strides we'll get there eventually. By the time we do I just hope the league hasn't fallen apart.

Gerry Butler 6 years, 11 months ago

Agree with everything you said Joe. people just HAVE to understand this is going to take time, this program is so far down and what little bit we did have last year we lost a lot of that. People have to be able to sit back and look at the broad scheme, like you stated, look at progress how microscopic it is. I know it s a classic phrase but we need to acknowledge that we have to crawl before we walk. W's are going to be far an few in between this upcoming year. things we have to look for are things simple as such Offensive line, blocking, if I understand maybe I do maybe I don't but think there will be a lot of movement from the

Gerry Butler 6 years, 11 months ago

sorry my friends not sure how that happened. posted before I was done lol maybe the sport God's got tired of listening to me blow wind lol. but like I was saying think there will be a lot of movement from the QB roll outs, he is going to try anyways for wide open air we shall see. a lot is going to depend on the quality of wide outs we have again going to take time. I will say this what I did notice from the recruits of the wide outs and such we have length taller 6'4 in that range which is good . still would be interested to see what kind of walk-on numbers we are going to be looking at. I know he was wanting to work that area, the othe thing is and again its going to take time is I like how he has given every recruiter a piece of Kansas to hit I can't believe how we have neglected this state obviously if you can develop a player at all the talent is here in THIS STATE to play at this level, the proof is right down the road in Manhattan. but again the key is PATIENCE, PATIENCE, PATIENCE we can't continue to turnover coaches every 2-3 yrs you will never develop any continuity by doin that GO HAWKS

Michael Lorraine 6 years, 11 months ago

I’ve told myself I won’t judge this team on wins and losses but how well they play and the effort they put forth. I can put up with losing if I know we have the right coaching staff in place and winning is only a matter of time. Is Beaty the answer or is he going to fail like his previous two predecessors? I just hope I see enough signs that indicate we are on the correct path.

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 11 months ago

Saw this little nugget today, http://www.chron.com/local/education/campus-chronicles/article/UH-should-be-in-Big-12-board-chair-says-6089909.php

It's an article that the president of the UH BoR wants to force legislature within the state that forces the Big 12 to admit Houston into the league. I doubt anything happens with it because UH adds nothing to the league, but it should worth monitoring to see how far it gets. Selfishly, I wouldn't mind UH in the Big 12 so I'm not driving 2.5 hours to Austin or Waco to see KU play, but I know it won't happen.

Joe Ross 6 years, 11 months ago

Youre right, it wont happen. I DO have a problem with UH in the Big 12. Firstly, it dilutes the revenue, not just from TV but also any conference revenue sharing that comes as reward for post-season play. Secondly, Houston does not increase our level of competition. If we didn't seek to add Louisville and Rutgers when we had the chance, we're certainly not going to kowtow to UH. Negatory! Third, I'd reject Houston just on principle for trying to force the State Legislature to put pressure on other Texas schools. It's bad form to try to do business that way. Good article. Interesting.

Bobby Oviemena Birhiray 6 years, 11 months ago

The original inception of the Big 12 included U of H not Baylor. Until Governor Ann Richards `manage to get the Big 12 to swap U of H for Baylor. What school did she go to hmm... Yep Baylor. At least that the rumor here in Texas. I agree it could dilutes the "Revenue" or does it with a Market like Houston.This could be a bargaining chip to renegotiate a new TV deal that includes markets like Houston, Austin, Dallas, Pittsburg(WVU), OKC, and KC. Something to think about.

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 11 months ago

It wasn't Ann Richards, it was David Silbey who was a state senator at the time and part of the finance committee and Lt. Governor Bob Bullock that got Texas Tech and Baylor into the Big 12. Silbey was a Baylor alum and Bullock was an alum of both Baylor and Texas Tech. The original plan was for Texas and BYU to join the Big 8, Texas A&M to go to the SEC and the rest of the conference to find their own homes.

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 11 months ago

Like I said, only reason I would be pro Houston is because it's a 30-45 drive to their campus for me and that's more appealing than the 2.5 hours to Austin or Waco. That rules out weekday games for me although I was able to take a couple of days to go to Waco this year. I miss A&M being in the league because College Station was an hour drive for me and I could go to the weeknight games without taking a day off of work to do so.

I agree 100% that UH makes no financial sense whatsoever and there's no way UT would go for it either and they have much more political power than UH does. I know quite a few UH fans, but it's because they went there and they are also fans of other teams moreso. II'm not holding my breath on this gaining any traction and if it does, KU needs to be begging the B1G to be admitted.

Joseph Kuebel 6 years, 11 months ago

The last thing I could stand is watching KU fall into irrelevance like UCONN, CINCI, or Memphis, yes they both have football teams, but this article below of adding Houston when we had a chance at Louisville is absolutely absurd. If we add Houston, our time as a power 5 conference will come to screaching halt when the TV deals reset in a year and a half. Over half the conference in Texas? It would be called the Texas conference not the Jayhawk conference. It would officially kill the conference.

Bryce Landon 6 years, 11 months ago

If we add anyone to the Big 12, one team that should be added is Louisiana Tech. From one standpoint, they are academically sound; they are called "The Harvard of the Bayou". From another standpoint, it gives the Big 12 a TV market in a state that is dominated by LSU and the SEC.

Joe Ross 6 years, 11 months ago

Youre right, it wont happen. I DO have a problem with UH in the Big 12. Firstly, it dilutes the revenue, not just from TV but also any conference revenue sharing that comes as reward for post-season play. Secondly, Houston does not increase our level of competition. If we didn't seek to add Louisville and Rutgers when we had the chance, we're certainly not going to kowtow to UH. Negatory! Third, I'd reject Houston just on principle for trying to force the State Legislature to put pressure on other Texas schools. It's bad form to try to do business that way. Good article. Interesting.

Micky Baker 6 years, 11 months ago

I read the article on Houston too. It was ridiculous to even think about trying to coerce the league. It made sense to invite TCU into the league and that is paying dividends to the league with their success. Houston is not even close to being like TCU.

I would have rather seen us invite teams like Louisville, Maryland, and maybe even put a feeler out to Arkansas. I wouldn't mind if BYU joined the league. We could have invited Syracuse as well. Houston isn't even on my radar.

Bobby Oviemena Birhiray 6 years, 11 months ago

The original inception of the Big 12 included U of H not Baylor. Until Governor Ann Richards `manage to get the Big 12 to swap U of H for Baylor. What school did she go to hmm... Yep Baylor. At least that the rumor here in Texas. I agree it could dilutes the "Revenue" or does it with a Market like Houston.This could be a bargaining chip to renegotiate a new TV deal that includes markets like Houston, Austin, Dallas, Pittsburg(WVU), OKC, and KC. Something to think about.

Micky Baker 6 years, 11 months ago

There are always rumors, but that's all they are.

It certainly would dilute the revenues because neither Rice or Houston have huge fan bases. Houston has big enrollment figures, but that does not equate to fan base. They can't get a deal without getting the viewers. Rice has bad fan following as well. If Texas A&M hadn't left, then Houston might make more sense, but might doesn't mean much, because A&M has a huge following in Houston and in rural Texas. I also took into consideration the LongHorn network. It's not all that successful in Texas. If you have Directv, which has the 2nd largest number of subscribers, you can't get the LongHorn Network on it and that is the statewide system. Texas A&M is also the state's agricultural college that has far reaches throughout the state. Texas Tech makes sense. Now, it would be a tossup, if we went back to 1995 and 1996 when the deal was struck between Baylor and Houston. But now, Baylor certainly has proven it belongs with football success and a recent national championship in women's basketball, plus it draws from the DFW area because it's only about 45 mile south of the suburban metro. TCU didn't take long to prove they belong.

Terry N Tom Denner 6 years, 11 months ago

I'd rather add HU to the Big 12 along with Cincy to bring it up to 12 rather than stay at a Pissy 10 we got. As long as the Idiot Commish insist the league stays at 10 teams the Big 12 will never be involved in any big bowls. I would bet if any Big 12 team goes undefeated they still will be passed over for some other powerhouse team in their place. NO Divisional Playoff No invites to the National Championship Game PERIOD !!! Tom

Joe Ross 6 years, 11 months ago

I learn so much from the comments section here.

Michael Lorraine 6 years, 11 months ago

Seems like adding Houston would dilute the Texas market. If the plan is to get back to 12 teams there are not many schools left to choose from. I can’t see how we could poach from the SEC, Big 10 or Pac 12. If four 16 team conferences are inevitable it will come down to us and the ACC.

Mark Lindrud 6 years, 11 months ago

I really wished we had gone after Louisville when it was looking and should have tried to get Notre Dame to play here rather than games in the ACC. If not Notre Dame then I would have said Pittsburgh because it is a natural rival for West Virginia, and Pennsylvania is a nice recruiting area for football.

Michael Lorraine 6 years, 11 months ago

Louisville would have been a great pickup. At this point there is not really much to choose from to grow the conference. Cincinnati? Memphis? I’m really surprised Uconn was not picked up. Thought they were destined for the ACC.

Michael Lorraine 6 years, 11 months ago

Thought West Virginia would also end up in the ACC.

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 11 months ago

UConn only happens if ND becomes a full member and the ACC needs a 16th team.

Michael Lorraine 6 years, 11 months ago

They’ve only been playing D1 football for 15 years but in that time have been to 5 bowls including a loss to Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. One would think 4 national titles in 15 years on the basketball side would be worth something.

Terry N Tom Denner 6 years, 11 months ago

Answer to that is ---- BLAME TEXAS AD at the time. Oh we want Notre Dame for I am good friends with AD of Notre Dame. Well guess what Big12 --- Notre Dame threw you under the bus like the Bowl Selection Buttheads did. UNI has 90% alumni in the Chicago area with a huge amount of money and TV market and would be a good addition to the Big12 along with Cincy.

Erich Hartmann 6 years, 11 months ago

Tom, really? Your schtick is getting old. Why play the role of the old guy that just blurts out something every so often? What does that do? Never agree with anything you say, gosh, on matter of form anymore...

I wonder if talking in person would be as non-enlightening, or just merely entertaining in a 1-sided sort of way...I guess a good chuckle isnt exactly a bad thing...

Terry N Tom Denner 6 years, 11 months ago

Erich Hartmann, My Schtick is getting old ? By who's standards ? Yours only ? I stated last season the same thing about Texas and Notre Dame and the Big 12 getting thrown under the bus by Notre Dame jumping to the ACC instead of the Big 12 along with the other power conferences for the 4 team playoff and GUESS WHAT !!! The BIG 12 got thrown under the bus. I was right !!! Until the Commish gets 2 more teams to join the BIG 12 they will continue to be a pissy conference at 10 teams.

Erich Hartmann 6 years, 11 months ago

Will we ever start to get 4star and 5star kids? What I want to distance ourselves from is that old snyder guy, that after 30+yrs of trying, still has no NC, never played in one, and still doesnt know how to land 5star talent. Oh, but he's good enough for a school nobody cares about outside of KS. They even named a stadium after him. After 30yrs of coaching his cornfed 2star kids, how'd they do against an SEC team? Oh ya, Auburn, in Manhattan. Like the KeystoneMildkats. Missed how many FGs they miss at home, while the Auburn kicker was unaffected by that Kansas wind? And did I see their best star player (oh, sorry, "3star" I mean) Lockett bounce a sure TD off his shoulder pad in the endzone?

Yes, sadly, I see the old fossil routinely get beat by the big boys. He's running out of time. Dont think he can learn a new trick on how to get to a NC or get 5star guys to compete with the Bigs. Maybe they can find some prince of a replacement, to keep their middling success going? I was going to say keep their streak going, but cant think what kind of 'streak' it could be.

So why would we want to emulate 'middling'? I realize rebuilds take years, so my whole point is more about big-picture, ultimate performance target. Not about next 1-2 years, which will still be uphill struggles.

Terry N Tom Denner 6 years, 11 months ago

Well now Erich Hartmann, I will have to agree with you on this post. But don't worry I'm not trying to butter up to you on you last post disrespecting me. My thoughts are as long as the Big 12 stays at 10 teams KST, KU, will never see any 4 or 5 star players wanting to play for them. But if the Big 12 continues to think they will be excepted into the playoff system with a 10 team conference it will be the death of the conference in the next two or three years. Just saying. Tom

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