What caught my eye at Wednesday's practice, complete with a mini-reaction to the recent KU-UDK showdown

KU running back went through Wednesday's practice with a bulky brace on his left elbow.

KU running back went through Wednesday's practice with a bulky brace on his left elbow. by Matt Tait

First thing’s first... Let me just tell you that there were two reporters from the University Daily Kansan present at today’s practice and, at least from where I stood, there did not appear to be too much bad blood floating around between them and the football program over the fiasco that has emerged regarding the Kansan’s KU football coverage and KU’s response to it.

I’m not going to get into it too much because it has nothing to do with me or the football team that I cover, but I will say that I think a little of the blame falls on both sides for the way this thing has been handled. And it seems certain to me that both sides are remorseful about that.

Do I think KU coach Charlie Weis is bullying UDK reporters? Absolutely not. Do I think things could have been handled better? You bet.

Whether the Kansan reporter in question was called aside by KU officials out of a courtesy to him or as an intimidation tactic, here’s hoping all parties involved — and even those not involved — learned a valuable lesson here and can move on without any ill feelings.

OK, back to practice...

Just a couple of quick things that caught my eye today and the most relevant of them all was the giant brace on Tony Pierson’s left elbow.

Weis has said all week that Pierson should play this weekend against Oklahoma State and it certainly looks like that will be the case. But I do think there’s at least some pain still associated with the elbow and that Pierson will have to overcome some potential pain to be effective. Fortunately for the Jayhawks, Pierson’s biggest weapon is his speed and a bum elbow does nothing to hurt that.

I noticed that Pierson was treated a little differently during some of the drills at practice today. For instance, in the drill where the other running backs bash the guy with the ball with pads as he runs through the line, Pierson ran through untouched. And when the rest of his teammates did cut blocking drills by diving on the turf, Pierson sat out.

It’s not a huge deal — likely more of a precaution than anything. But I think it’s safe to say that Tony won’t quite be 100 percent when KU takes on OSU this weekend. Oh well, though, right? Tony Pierson at 88% is still a lot better than most.

• Quickly, I kept a closer eye on back-up QB Michael Cummings today and a couple of things stood out. I focused mostly on his throwing motion, but it should be noted that what I watched came during warm-up drills and not live action. That said, aside from being more on the short side (he’s listed at 5-foot-10), Cummings appears to have a long wind-up and releases the ball a little later than most QBs. Most of what I watched came with Cummings lined up next to Jake Heaps, who went through the same drills at the same time. Heaps is a little taller than Cummings (6-1) but seems, overall, to have a more fluid throwing motion.

There’s a lot more that goes into the decision to put Cummings on the field than his throwing motion, with his understanding of the offense, experience and size all being relevant. But since what I watched today was a throwing drill, I figured I’d offer up my amateur critique of the way he wings it.

• Finally, the Coach Weis song of the day was “Bad Medicine” by Bon Jovi. Great song.



Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 6 months ago

But as journalists in a niche market with specific readers, I don't think it's too much to ask to show a little respect and be mindful of how your publicized opinion can effect people right outside your door.

I get it, we're taught unbiased, objective journalism, as well we should be. But just admit for one second that a little common sense was lacking on the part of the UDK editors.

And honestly, I fail to believe the full extent of the "bullying." I's not like the reporter was locked in a room, roughed-up, and forced to promise a thousand times that they would never again take the program's name in vain.

The losing mentality Weis talked about when he first got here is a direct result of students and fair-weather fans, and the UDK just enhanced that mentality. Don't report on KU athletics at all if you're going to shred our programs the day before a rivalry game. Say what you want, but if I were apart of the football program, I would be irrate with the UDK.

But you're right....good for UDK. And those facist football coaches should know better than to defend the integrity of their program. Shame on them..


HAWKS1 1 year, 6 months ago

"Emails came in asking for writers, designers and editors to be more supportive. Or to be fired.

That is a joke.

A journalists’ job is to be objective in every sense of the word. A journalist cannot cheer. A journalist cannot wear team colors. A journalist cannot show any bias whatsoever." Mike Vernon, UDK

I wonder which Journalism school the majority of the U.S mass media attended? Obviously, they weren't taught the same thing! That last comment is the biggest joke of all !!! (at least in the political arena). hahahaha!! Sorry to interject a political response, but that just struck me as hilarious!


ArgyleJayhawks 1 year, 6 months ago

Kudos to the UDK. Past evidence and current evidence suggests the majority of the blame lies with Weis and crew. Also, they are professionals, not students, and should act as such.


Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 6 months ago

I forgot to add...sorry for the bullying.

We're forever indebted to you. It won't happen again.


Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 6 months ago

Good job, UDK.

So glad you've exercised your First Amendment rights. Noble victory in the war against free speech condemnation. Real ground-breaking stuff.

And as a cherry on top, you've elevated the reputation of your university. Who cares if you've added on to the football program's already deteriorated national status, and aided in the continuing solidification of our permanent place in the laughing-stock section of every publication?

As long as your journalistic integrity is intact....nothing else should matter. Right?


Ryan Shelton 1 year, 6 months ago

So who broke this story, Woodward or Bernstein? Sorry, but all the UDK has done in publicizing this is given KSU and Mizzou (and ESPN's Bottom 10 perhaps) more reason to laugh at us. Wouldn't it be nice to make some good headlines in regards to the football program?


Sam Brockert 1 year, 6 months ago

Great, this news made the front page of Yahoo...


lama 1 year, 6 months ago

It's not the UDK's (or any news outlet's) job to promote KU football. The sooner Weis figures this out, the better. I seem to recall similar problems with the media at Notre Dame.


hammerhawk 1 year, 6 months ago

Blah, blah, blah. What I hated most from this fracas was the ammo given to the Jayhawk hater on the 810 radio afternoon show. He used it to spew his usual snide negative derogatory "comments" about the mighty Kansas Jayhawks!

Let's move on and pay some better football. Each team member has to a better job. Each coach, too.


osborn_2009 1 year, 6 months ago

i still cant believe everyone is talking about the UDK personally... just get over it everyone. its dead and gone.


AzHawk97 1 year, 6 months ago

Maybe with OSU coming to town it would be a good week to get J-School graduate and former editor of the UDK Jenni Carlson's take on the issue. I'm sure she has an opinion and interesting perspective on coaches bullying from the pulpit.


Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 6 months ago

I agree.

Weis had a good reason to be upset. When your university's own student-run publication mocks its football players before a game, what will that look like to recruits?

I'm not advocating water-boarding the reporter...but I do believe this needed to be addressed. First Amendment rights allow you to say what you want, but I believe there should be some degree of respect and foresight.

Classless move on the UDK's part, and mishandled by the football program.


Sam Brockert 1 year, 6 months ago

So the UDK creates a headline that openly mocks the KU football team BEFORE the game is played... Name one other form of media that would do that? Now AFTER the game is played, maybe, but before? I do no think so.


BrianCh 1 year, 6 months ago

Apparently, this isn't the first school where Charlie has been belligerent with the media:

Or how about this one:

"Al Hamnik, a journeyman reporter for The Times of Northwest Indiana, could have spoken for any number of incensed media regulars when he said to Greenstein, "It's Charlie's way or the closest you will get to Irish football is the car radio."


doolindalton 1 year, 6 months ago

First off, the song sucks. It's typical 80's garbage with no hook, no melody line, and consists one or two chords on the abused guitar and another guy pounding his bass drum. This is what happened to "music" after the Beatles broke up. Secondly, Coach Weis had no business turning his wrath on the UDK. The pain of another horrible football season is felt by and the student paper was only venting in its own way. If CW wants to get mad at someone, he should look in the mirror.


bulltown03 1 year, 6 months ago

KU might have a decent Journalism School but I haven't seen this kind of crap in 6 years of being a student, note Architectural Engineering (5 year program)... not dumb. When KU football was 9-0,10-0,11-0, I saw a front page spreads saying how great it was. Because the students WANTED to see that covered so in-depth. I am all for letting journalists do their jobs but there is no student, that actually likes KU, that WANTED to see this headline. I know the NY Times typical rhetoric of "All the news thats fit to print," but that doesn't have to mean completely BASHING our own football team. The players that go out there and try their hardest all week, despite being beaten pretty much every Saturday in front of 20,000 people in their own stadium.

In the instance that our basketball team had this bad of a start do you think that the UDK would run a bashing headline and graphic about them? IF they did would Bill Self's probably similar reaction to the bashing of his team would be welcomed with open arms by KU faithful and the student-journalist would be delegated to running down the Sudoku and Crossword puzzle everyday.

Finally, the UDK needs to realize its place and stay there. I would say 90% of the students skim the headlines, read the Free For All, and do the crossword/sudoku. Once basketball season arrives the UDK's main purpose is confetti to be thrown during the KU payer intros. If someone were to actually read any articles they would come to the conclusion that the whole thing should be labeled "Opinion" since that is all that is in there. Claiming that they had to put that disgraceful graphic on the front page because of their "Journalistic Duties" but the Presidential debate gets roughly 1/8th of a page the day after it happened. Is that not news thats fit to print?


Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 6 months ago

Would be rather irritating to have a student-reporter (read "novice"), ask the usual captain obvious type of question. Nobody likes to lose, especially competetive people. When you ask something so blatantly obvious, it can often come across in a "needling" way. Just human nature. And I bet nobody at UDK is breaking new & profound journalistic ground by asking cutting edge football questions. This is journalism students, not students armed with a plethora of football knowledge. Using a press conference to ask basic football questions may seem like Football 101, and I'm sure Weis would much rather go teach his football student-athletes rather than hold impromptu football class for student-reporters. I get the UDK students mission (speaking in general), but this is an emotionally charged environment...and if the UDK is responsible for dubois decision-making regarding some disparaging cartoon, then I got no sympathy for them, as they helped poison the mileiu that they are trying to operate in. How juvenile and short sighted. Weis is no stranger to press conferences, and by all accounts has been candid, informative, and witty. But something clearly pissed the bigman off, and that is the problem. I personally might have a "Bobby Knight at Indiana moment" if some student-reporter was practicing pushing my!


CO_Hawk 1 year, 6 months ago

With a one- or two-win season this year, the thing Weis needs the most are supporters. Once he alienates the students - of which 99% of their news consumption comes from a daily student newspaper in between class -- he's cooked....


oneeye_wilbur 1 year, 6 months ago

Weiss needs to spend less time with twitter and more time tweaking his team. I think Mangino would have laughed the matter off. The UDK is a learning newspaper and Weis is a whiner. Furthermore Zenger should speak out and not Weis. Go UDK. run something this Friday about ku and Oklahoma.

KU should have never gotten rid of Mangino. Does Weis really believe the front page cartoon is worse than his team?


The_Advantage 1 year, 6 months ago

Since the link that carterpatterson posted seems to have been deleted here is a response from the Kansan:

and I think this link includes part of what they are referencing, someone correct me or post the picture if not:


milehighhawk 1 year, 6 months ago

Matt: How are the actions by KU Athletics not bullying?

There's zero chance they would have hauled you, Keegan, someone from the KC Star or KC sports radio in a separate room to have a "discussion." To have 2 representatives of the university "caution" a student reporter about simply asking questions is absurd. It was clearly an attempt to intimidate him.

And even though the student reporter is clearly the victim here, it's worth noting that he didn't come up with the headline or graphics that drew Weis's ire last week.

I lost quite a bit of respect for Weis on this. He either condoned that action or is running a loose ship. I'm inclined to believe the former, and it's striking that something as petty as that is still on his mind with OSU coming up Saturday.

Question (that I may repost on the podcast) --> Who asked the question about making second-half adjustments this week? Weis's response sounded awkward, turning it around into "what would you do" -- just curious.


april28 1 year, 6 months ago

Matt - I believe that Baty is the second best (eligible) quarterback on the team and that Weis is purposely holding him out for next year to compete with and/or back-up Heaps. Have you seen much of Baty at practice? What do you think?


Keith Richards 1 year, 6 months ago

UDK claims 1st amendment then gets mad at KU athletics for stating their 1st amendment rights. Pretty stupid and petty all around if you ask me.


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