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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

David Beaty maintains vague stance regarding Pooka Williams’ availability past this week

Kansas running back Pooka Williams Jr. carries the ball against Central Michigan during a game Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, in Mount Pleasant, Mich. (Jim Lahde/The Morning Sun via AP)

Kansas running back Pooka Williams Jr. carries the ball against Central Michigan during a game Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, in Mount Pleasant, Mich. (Jim Lahde/The Morning Sun via AP)

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Yes, Kansas freshman running back Pooka Williams will play in the Jayhawks’ home football game Saturday against Rutgers.

But will Williams also play the following week at Baylor, and for the remainder of the schedule?

His head coach, David Beaty, would not say Tuesday whether the reigning Big 12 Newcomer of the Week has been permanently cleared for competition.

Asked to clarify whether the issue that led KU to sit Williams out in Week 1 is behind them or if the running back will have to be cleared on a weekly basis, Beaty replied vaguely at his press conference.

“He was withheld last week because of an eligibility issue,” Beaty said, referring to Williams not playing against Nicholls State due to what the team previously described as a nondisciplinary matter. “And we're just excited to have him back on the field for this week.”

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KU Sports Hour

The Pooka Williams Hour

Following the Kansas football team’s trip to Central Michigan, which included not only the end of the Jayhawks’ 46-game road losing streak but also the highly anticipated debut of freshman running back Pooka Williams, KU football beat reporter Benton Smith leads a discussion on how Williams’ 125-yard, two-touchdown performance shapes ...

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So is there no guarantee at this juncture that the freshman, whose 125 rushing yards and two touchdowns spearheaded KU’s road win at Central Michigan, will play the rest of the season?

“He was withheld because of an eligibility issue,” Beaty repeated, “and we're excited to have him back on the field this week.”

Pressed to illuminate whether the first-year back’s academic eligibility was at the heart of the matter, KU’s fourth-year coach responded: “That's all I can say now.”

With third-quarter touchdown runs of 20 and 41 yards in his college football debut, Williams, a 5-foot-10, 170-pound back from Marrero, La., gave Kansas (1-1) an explosive dynamic it lacked during a Week 1 loss to Nicholls State, when he watched from the sideline.

“You saw Pooka Williams, he’s a game-changer when he’s in there at tailback,” KU senior quarterback Peyton Bender said. “It’s just nice to be able to hand the ball off to a guy and let him do the work. You saw it (Saturday). He’s just an explosive back. He can do it all. He’s great in the run game but he can also do it in the passing game.”

Williams caught one pass for eight yards at CMU (0-2).

KU plays host to Rutgers at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium on Saturday (11 a.m. kickoff, FOX Sports Net).

Comments

Bryson Stricker 1 week, 6 days ago

Beaty trollin yall. At least gives you guys something to write about.

Hopefully 51,999 other people will show up saturday! Team needs everyones support!

[''] 1 week, 6 days ago

Eligibility as in he's not going to class here or as in his HS transcripts? Or - is it a Billy Preston issue?

Eric Eakins 1 week, 6 days ago

Whatever happened to Jacobi Lott? Chasing a rabbit but I don't know where else to ask the question so this seems appropriate since we are questioning players playing.

Joe Ross 1 week, 6 days ago

...now why in the world could Beaty not have divulged this earlier?

GEEZ!

Maddening. Absolutely maddening.

Brad Farha 1 week, 6 days ago

What kind of eligibility issue is intermittent?

It's there for week 1, it's gone in week 2 and 3, but it could come back for week 4.

Ray Winger 1 week, 6 days ago

Is he going to class? Is this what happened to Steven Baldwin?

Jason Venable 1 week, 5 days ago

KU is unsure of how to handle a situation in which a football player has paid the coach a sum of money to play football here. Quite the opposite from the BB program. LOL.

Jeff Coffman 1 week, 6 days ago

Is Beaty going to be available for coaching this week? I think that is a better week to week question.

Joe Ross 1 week, 6 days ago

You guys are ON it, today. This and the "intermittent eligibility of Pooka Williams"....

What is Beaty doing???

Steve Corder 1 week, 6 days ago

To me, intermittent eligibility means the issue is at KU and not with the NCAA, like Billy Preston. I can only think this is about Williams not making his classes. I would be surprised if there were not monitoring of scholarship players attending their classes. So, this may be about discipline after all, as in to be eligible to play each week a student athlete is required to make a prescribed % attendance in class or with assigned tutors. This might explain Beaty’s remarks and his reluctance to fully explain, which I can understand.

Brad Farha 1 week, 5 days ago

I think you've got the most likely explanation Steve -- thank you.

Jeff Coffman 1 week, 6 days ago

Come on Joe, do you really think that Beaty is going to last? You have to see the irony that we have a player that is week to week, and most of us are surprised we still have a coach...it's going to be week to week with Beaty as well.

Enjoy the fun.

John Myers 1 week, 6 days ago

It's totally conspiracy theory thinking on my part, but it almost feels like a last grasp at him trying to save his job, sort of a "Well, you can take the chance and play him if you want, but we're not sure what's up yet" type deal. I can't think of anything that would ever result in intermittent or maybe/maybe not eligibility. Either he's cleared or he's not.

Jim Stauffer 1 week, 5 days ago

I believe this John. That is my conclusion on the conspiracy. If you are Coach Beaty, why not take the chance while the NCAA fiddles.

Thomas Green 1 week, 6 days ago

I think Long should hold Beaty out, go with a no head coach strategy for the rest of the year! Could it really be any worse than having Beaty’s on the sidelines? I don’t think so!

Randy Bombardier 1 week, 6 days ago

Omg. I sure hope we don't have to vacate our only win of the season.

Randy Bombardier 1 week, 6 days ago

Omg. I sure hope we don't have to vacate our only win of the season.

Jason Venable 1 week, 5 days ago

Randy was joking with his comment. Joke went over your head.

Dirk Medema 1 week, 6 days ago

Beaty has only said he can't talk about it. Benton and you all are the ones making up junk about Pooka being intermittent. Even when the team plays well you all still have to find some reason to B&Moan.

Joe Ross 1 week, 5 days ago

RE: "Even when the team plays well..."

Well the sample size is pretty small on that one.

As far as our attitudes about playing well goes, I mean...it WAS Central Michigan and not, say, Kansas State or Iowa State. And quite to the opposite of your point, the typical Kansas fan has had to find reasons to be optimistic. This year, Pooka Williams provides that, and it seems to me that the level of fervor around this kid is higher than most...judging by comments under articles since the CM game. Last year it was Peyton Bender who provided the initial optimism. Yet somehow, some way KU fans have been very resourceful in finding threads of hope. Consistently we've been let down. We've had to peek through our fingers to watch our team in the face of historic losses and losing records for the last 10 years, so it seems pretty dubious to blame Kansas fans for moaning.

Micky Baker 1 week, 5 days ago

I have no problems with fans criticizing. There is a difference between constructive, civil discussion and irrational, emotionally-driven criticism. I know it's hard for some to swallow their pride. But is it really a rational argument to make that Kansas should be able to beat Kentucky sine Kentucky beat CMU by 15 at home and KU beat CMU by 24 on the road, which is kind of along the arguments you've been making based on margin of victory for the winner. The reason I say that, you make this argument that Tulane beat Nicholls by a good margin, which means Tulane should be able to beat KU. There aren't very many people on this forum that thought Kansas was going to win Saturday, and one of them was you. Instead of just saying, hey, wait a minute I was wrong, you're doubling down on it.

Joe Ross 1 week, 5 days ago

I thought Kansas was going to win Saturday. And I certainly have no qualms about admitting I was wrong when- and if ever that's the case.

"I predicted 4 wins. I'm now predicting 1, after the Nicholls State loss. Point is, you should be careful listening to prognostications from yours truly."

-Joe Ross, "Tom Keegan: David Beaty followed wrong recruiting blueprint"

I could show you where I predicted Rutgers to LOSE, which leaves only the Central Michigan game as a W. No doubling down here. I'm wondering if you'll do what you accuse others of and double down yourself. Time will tell, but maybe now is a good time to say, "Hey, wait a minute I was wrong." We'll see if you can take your own advice!

Joe Ross 1 week, 5 days ago

Correction (just to prove the point): *I could show you where I predicted we would lose to Rutgers

Titus Canby 1 week, 5 days ago

I have to believe that in this situation, all Beaty can tell us is what the administration lets him tell us. While I think he's not very good with the media, this time it doesn't seem to be his fault what he can and can't say. .

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