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Charlie Weis' 'pile of crap' comment still the talk of Big 12 media days

KU football coach Charlie Weis at Monday's Big 12 media days in Dallas.

KU football coach Charlie Weis at Monday's Big 12 media days in Dallas. by Matt Tait

Dallas — Charlie Weis stole the show.

That's the prevailing thought from Day 1 of the 2013 Big 12 media days at the Omni Hotel as Day 2 gets going with five new teams stepping to the podium today. And, in a sense, Weis' Monday comments about enticing potential recruits to join the Kansas University project by asking them if they've “seen that pile of crap out there” has become the line to beat at the always interesting couple of days that kickoff each football season.

A quick Google search of the words “Charlie Weis pile of crap” produced more than 100 different links that in some way referenced or reacted to the comments that created a laugh in the Omni Ballroom and sent Twitter into a frenzy.

As has become fairly common, national media members lined up to take their shots at Weis for being his comments.

From Deadspin, which led with a fairly straightforward play-by-play of the popular quote:

“This is Charlie Weis we're talking about. He'll be back to bullying student reporters again before the end of September.”

From The Big Lead, which seemed a little more snarky in its reaction:

"Typical. Not coincidentally, that’s the exact same pitch undoubtedly deployed by coaches recruiting against Charlie Weis. Since, you know, this is college football and the coach is kind of responsible for the output on the field. Kansas State has brought in a lower ranked recruiting class than Kansas four of the past five years. They just won the nation’s second best league, with an even less touted “pile of crap.””

And from Yahoo, which evidently did not ask any of the four KU players in attendance how they felt about Weis' comments:

“What do Weis' current players think of this pitch? I can't imagine they're pleased with it, but I'm sure their coach's response would be "Stop playing like a pile of crap." Of course, the players might suggest the coaching improve a bit as well.”

By night's end Monday, Weis' comments had made their way to several national web sites and Twitter feeds. And that's to say nothing of the usual group of Big 12 scribes who chimed in on the soundbite — 475 media members were credentialed for this thing and dozens more kept an eye on it from a distance — or the fact that Weis' words made it to ESPN's SportsCenter by the end of the day.

Not bad for a Kansas football team that finished 1-11 in 2012 and can't do anything about erasing that for another six weeks.

And therein lies the motive for Weis' words. He was not trashing his team nor being unnecessarily cocky or crude. He was being honest, he was saying something he had told his team and local media members multiple times before Monday and he wasn't going to apologize for either.

"If people just listen to what you're saying, they usually don't misconstrue it,” said Weis, referring to the fact that the comments came after a stretch in which he had just pinpointed some of the good things KU has going for it. “Too many times — and let's not get into the Charlie Weis story, let's talk about Kansas, but let's be clear — too many times people have an impression without ever having met you. Never talk to you once in your life. I used that comment — 'Have you seen this pile of crap?' — and then someone out there has already written that I've given up on my team for this year. They've already put that out there. I mean, were you paying attention to a word I said? Why would you say something like that if you were paying attention at all?"

It's a fair question and one that Weis has gotten used to asking.

The part about this whole thing that people have yet to figure out is that he really doesn't care. Say what you will about Weis or his tactics or his personality or his brutal honesty, but don't mistake any of it for an act. Weis is who he is and, for the most players, his players love it.

That goes for most of his players from the past and that goes for the current KU players, too. None of the four in attendance Monday — Jake Heaps, Ben Heeney, Cassius Sendish, James Sims — had any issue at all about Weis' comments. In fact, each of them even went as far as to say they agreed and understood the point.

If the comments don't bother the players who they're made about, why do they bother everyone else?

Comments

klineisanazi 1 year, 4 months ago

Time to win some games . Rest doesn't matter. Period.

Matt Tait 1 year, 4 months ago

Very good point. I don't think you're the only one who believes that to be true.

kudzutexas 1 year, 4 months ago

Like him or not, HCCW is a great interview. He doesn't pull any punches and says what's on his mind and I like it a lot. I really root for the guy.

David A. Smith 1 year, 4 months ago

Good points, and great stuff as usual, Matt. I completely agree. What he said, he said in respect to 1) the product, and 2) the past that we are looking to break free from. There were no shots taken at individuals or the expectations at the upcoming season. But, the responses reflect, as coach pointed out, preconceived notions and hostile ears. What he said and meant was clear: the product was lousy, and the fact that it was should give recruits cause to believe that their chances to play immediately are good. Honesty-good. Poliltically correct coach speak- bad.

Brett McCabe 1 year, 4 months ago

Weis has a record of pulling in good recruits - no one can dispute that. His personality absolutely gets the interest of players and their families. And he doesn't waste time on guys who "can't handle the truth".

The question is: can he coach them to success?

Having watched every game last year, I am convinced: yes. I felt like he out-coached most of the teams we played but he simply did not have the horses to compete. This year, the returners will be better, the incoming talent will be better and the team will be better.

Failure can be a liberating experience. I think that we are about to watch Weis build Kansas into a top-notch football program.

Steve Corder 1 year, 4 months ago

I would agree to the extent of how much better the QB position will be.

KGphoto 1 year, 4 months ago

I agree he can coach, and that he "out X-and-O’d" many of his adversaries last year. But developing players and scheming game plans are different. Bill Snyder develops players and schemes at the highest level.

I think that’s one of the things Weis learned at ND, (that he’s not as good at developing a player as he is at scheming.) and he’s surrounded himself with guys who can help him with that part.

Grunny for the OL has the NFL experience to teach what it takes to play not only at the college level, but at the next level. He kept Reggie Mitchell, who in my opinion is the best RB coach and recruiter in the country. Dave Campo is an extremely successful talent developer, both in college and the NFL. Scott Holsopple is putting his developmental stamp on the team. I Can’t speak for all the other coaches, but I do think we’ll see development in excess of what he achieved at ND.

OceanStateJayhawk 1 year, 4 months ago

What happened at ND? What happened at Florida? What happened with KC? THE GUY CANT COACH UNLESS HE HAS A GREAT COACH LEADING THE WAY!

ArgyleJayhawks 1 year, 4 months ago

You really expect the players to say they were offended by the comments? How would that go over with Weis and the fan base? Of course they said they were cool with it.

ArgyleJayhawks 1 year, 4 months ago

Also, the comments "bother everyone else" because it is bad public relations for KU, the athletic department, and the football team. It isn't a commendable thing to be on ESPN for calling past teams a "pile of crap."

CrystalJones 1 year, 4 months ago

Exactly, Argyle. I mean, are the players really going to publicly take issue with what their head coach is saying, especially at media days? Of course they're not going to say a word in disagreement. Do you really think they're that stupid, Matt?

This kind of assertion reminds me of the time Roy Williams issued a public challenge about his incessant crying after NCAA losses. (Paraphrasing): "I know people say there's ol' Roy up there cryin' again. But I'd like to see them say that to my face."

What the hell was he talking about? People weren't going to say that to his face because they have more class than to do something like that. They were already embarrassed by the annual flood of tears, and they certainly weren't going to stoop that low. They simply had more class than Roy did when is issued that hollow challenge.

In both cases, we have false premises.

rockchalk_dpu 1 year, 4 months ago

There's no talking to the people that are living in the ultra PC world where everything should be rainbows and puppy dogs rather than talking about the reality of the situation. This comment has been beat to death by people that think Weis was out of line for making the statement and no amount of convincing will change their view of it.

Me, I totally love that he said it because he doesn't try to hide behind coach speak and paint a pretty picture of a 1-11 season. The fans were disappointed and so was he, no reason to make it seem like we won the national championship as Gill did with his positive stats each week. As you said, there were huge talent gaps between us and other teams that he has tried to correct in the short term with Juco players as well as the long term with high school recruits that he thinks can be built into contributors by their respective position coaches.

Bob Bailey 1 year, 4 months ago

Weis can recruit, and coach Offense.

He. and most other coaches, doesn't recognize "well coached Defense".

Brian Skelly 1 year, 4 months ago

Look... I think we all agree that CW's ability to work a room and deal with the media is phenomenal. It really is. I cant recall a KU football coach who comes close.

That said, I think its fair to wonder about his actual ability to be a head coach. He was given the keys to a Ferrari (Notre Dame) and really only won with the previous guys players. That didnt work -- except for him, several gigs later he's still getting paid -- but he's still clearly a smart football mind who attracted attention both in the NFL ranks (Chiefs) and College (Florida).

And I love hearing him talk about KU and the program he wants to become. I watched, read, posted, and thought more about KU football last year than I can recall in recent memory. Im all in emotionally. But it's hard to argue he's a good head coach when he's really never shown that.

The attention for KU he brings is great, even if the "crap" line probably was more than a little overboard. The fact that people actually talk about KU football beyond the borders of Kansas is an accomplishment. It's fair to question his ability to be the HC though however until he proves otherwise. I think we all think and hope he can be. Im just not wholly convinced of it.

Bryce Landon 1 year, 4 months ago

The problem is, people don't talk about Jayhawk football except with snickering and snarking, and that won't change until KU starts winning some games, especially conference games.

Kevin Kelly 1 year, 4 months ago

That comment was spot on. The truly mean comment was the one he made when explaining what he says to a recruit who asks him 'coach what's your depth chart like?' He said, 'I tell them...don't ever say that...what you are saying is you can't compete.'

Does HCCW do any preperation for gameday? If he watches film on the opposing team is he saying he dosn't believe in his coaching ability?

What this says is, "Don't ask me questions, kid. It makes you look weak. Now listen to me talk." I'm just not sure how much HCCW realized how much of a jerk he sounded like right there.

"What's your depth chart" and he turns it into a teaching lesson. Life's a shell game kid. Don't let them know how little you know and how little ability you have.

Jonathan Allison 1 year, 4 months ago

So what would be the best way to rephrase that question?

1) Who's going to be my backup if I join your team?

2) Who do I have to beat to claim the starting spot?

3) How many games would you have won last year if I had been on your team?

4) Do you consider me an upgrade in talent at my position?

5) How many snaps am I gonna get next season?

KGphoto 1 year, 4 months ago

1) Yes. That’s confidence.

2) No. Why do you care?

3) Maybe. But it’s not going to get you an answer.

4) No. You know you’re an upgrade. And if not, you’ll become one.

5) No. You will get every snap because you will earn it.

He wants the guy who expects to start. Not a guy who’s constantly trying to find out how much work he’s gotta do to play.

And to NEHawk, I don’t think that’s disrespectful at all. It IS a teaching opportunity. It’s about a kid’s mindset. Why would he ask about the depth chart if he already expects to compete? All a coach wants to hear is that he’s going to do his best. That’s it!

Weis is the teacher, the recruit is the student. You can’t compare game-planning another team, to going all-out to make first team. All-out is the only option. There is no “how hard do I have to work?”. That’s so weak!

Kevin Kelly 1 year, 4 months ago

A no its a simple question and, while it probably isn't a huge deal, it comes off like the answers to questions asked of someone selling me a car. Beware of anyone who answers your question by telling you something about the question that was asked....its a sales tactic used by telemarketers and is anything but being a 'straight shooter' like everyone says he is.

Results are what matters. All luck to HCCW if he can get results but If I'm buying a car I ask, 'what's the millage' I expect a response with numbers and preferably only one comma. Not a story about the types of people who ask about millage.

KGphoto 1 year, 4 months ago

I’m sure Nick Saban sounds like a jerk too. What’s the problem?

You think if Nick gets that question he goes into a long explanation of who he has to beat out and how good a chance he thinks the kid has? You think he holds that kid’s hand? NO EFFIN WAY! Nick probably walks out of the room if he hears that.

asilva94 1 year, 4 months ago

Charlie Weis is a good guy. There's no way around it. He's honest and sincerely wants the team to do well. But the most important thing about Charlie is what he does for KU off the field. He holds his team accountable academically. He's not afraid to cut important players who do not conduct themselves well. He generally cares about the student body. (Remember when he bought tickets for the students to a game last year?) He goes to other sporting events. Hell, he even visited the Marching Jayhawks last season, TWICE.

He's a classy guy. And on top of that, with an admitted "pile of crap" we took several road games to overtime last year and managed to hang in almost every game. Very few true blowouts. Losing by 7 only seems like a blowout when there are no wins in the mix.

OceanStateJayhawk 1 year, 4 months ago

classy guy? ask any ND alum with pull in south bend how classy he really is. the guy is not a head coach.

Thomas Sr. 1 year, 4 months ago

Seriously.... this pile of crepe? Who gives a shift? Line em up, knock em down put some W's in the ledger and move along. Nothing to see here.

OceanStateJayhawk 1 year, 4 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Bob Bailey 1 year, 4 months ago

ralster Weis is a good coach! But he seems lacking in Defense.

Campo has some reputation. But last year's first four games and this year's spring game seemed to show neither he, nor Bowen, could teach tackling or coverage. We may have to cover that problem with incoming talent. With a long, studious history in sports, the skills are pretty basic -- but they have to be taught. Check out ice hockey for the Belt Buckle Rule.

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