Thursday, October 21, 2010


Contract favors Turner Gill


Antsy fans of Kansas University football already dreaming of a coaching change won’t like the reality of Turner Gill’s contract. It’s as one-sided in Gill’s favor as the recent outcomes have been for KU’s opponents.

If Gill were asked to leave at season’s end, the athletic department would have to come up with $8 million, within 90 days, to send him on his way. His five-year, $10 million contract does not include a buyout.

With big-time bucks already going to former coach Mark Mangino and former athletic director Lew Perkins, KU simply is not in a position to eat that kind of cash.

Not all Big 12 coaches have it so one-sided in their favor.

A review of nine other Big 12 coaches’ contracts — as a private institution Baylor is not required to release such information and the contract of Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville was not available as of Wednesday — showed that most coaches would suffer a financial penalty for terminating the contract. Texas A&M; coach Mike Sherman, for example, would owe the Aggies $1.8 million (his annual salary) for leaving before his contract expires, just as Gill did when he had to pay the University of Buffalo $200,000 for taking the job at Kansas. KU Athletics paid that. Gill’s current contract does not include such a penalty.

Of the nine contracts available for this column, six were written with language more favorable to the university than Gill’s. Not surprisingly, the University of Texas and Oklahoma University stand to save the most via buyouts should they ever elect to dump football coaches Mack Brown or Bob Stoops before the end of their contracts. In addition, Oklahoma State would save 25 percent of its contract with coach Mike Gundy should OSU can Gundy without cause and Iowa State would save nearly 50 percent if the Cyclones hand Paul Rhoads his walking papers.

Why Gill’s contract was written in such a one-sided manner is puzzling, especially given he was making less than $500,000 a year at Buffalo. Optimists would say Perkins was so convinced Gill would upgrade the football program that he did not see the need to include language that is pretty standard in college coaching contracts.

Pessimists would question the competence of KU athletics, which just went through a messy divorce with Mangino. Because there was no buyout in place, Perkins had to launch an investigation into Mangino’s coaching tactics in order to scare the coach into thinking KU could fire him with cause. That put Mangino in the mood to negotiate and led to a $3 million settlement.

Burned once by not having a buyout clause, wouldn’t you think KU officials would’ve learned from their mistake and made sure to include one for Gill?

There’s a lot more than Gill’s salary to consider when talking about something as serious as firing a man who has not yet been given a fair chance to prove he’s a Big 12-caliber head coach. For one, he hasn’t been able to recruit players who fit his style. For another, Gill’s assistants make a combined salary of more than $2 million annually. Those are guaranteed for two years apiece, three in the cases of coordinators Chuck Long and Carl Torbush, who each make $350,000 a year.


truefan 11 years, 7 months ago

We shouldn't fire him after just one season anyway. It's rediculous, not only because of the money, but because of how it would make it next to impossible to bring in another coach. We are bad right now, I get it, but it's year 1 with Gill and we have to wait a couple of more years before we can pass true judgement on his career at Kansas.

Some good news: Darrian Miller and Iowa have parted ways. Miller is visiting this week. I know many of you don't want to go to the game because of the last two performances, however, if we have any chance at Gill succeeding then we need to have fans in the stands to help his recruiting.

Also: Ben Heeney is visiting this weekend as well. He's a stud LB out of Hutch High. He's a big KU fan and we would be lucky to have him. Again, we need fans in the stands.

Even if you don't want Gill to succeed, then at least you can root for him to succeed in recruiting so in 3 years or so when we change coaches the new coach will have some talent to work with when he gets here. However, if you truly don't want Gill to succeed then you aren't much of a fan anyway.

Swallow your pride and get to the game, if not for Gill, then for the future of Kansas Football. Show you are a true fan and not just a bandwagon jumper this weekend. And just to end any speculation on my fan status. Yes I was at the game last week. No, I was not happy about the result. Yes, I did stay through the fourth quarter and waived the wheat when Quigley ran in a touchdown in garbage time.

Scott Oswalt 11 years, 7 months ago

Ben Heeney played LB last year. He now is the RB for the Salthawks. He would be a solid recruit for KU. It's truly embarrassing to sit in the stands at the football games this year, but I'll do it anyway. Since I live 3 hrs. away, it's hard to get motivated to make the drive to Larryville to see them get blown out.

truefan 11 years, 7 months ago

I know he's playing RB this year and he looks a lot like Brandon Bourbon in his film. But he's being recruited as a LB because he's a monster at that position. Size, speed and a nose for the football.

youowethehawks 11 years, 7 months ago

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hawk316 11 years, 7 months ago

I'm in agreement with these first few posts. I know the negative ones will follow, but I'm glad that we have some fans who understand the process of building a winning program.

noisyboyz 11 years, 6 months ago

The only problem is Gill has NEVER built a winning program.!!!!!

David Robinett 11 years, 7 months ago

I'm glad TG has the protection of the long term contract, so he will be given time. This is a tough conference, and recruiting the only way to compete -- and that takes time.

If it were up to some fans, we'd fire 20 coaches in a row who started with losing records, thus ensuring that KU Football would never improve.

Things will get a lot better, starting next year (and maybe this weekend).

AKDavis08 11 years, 6 months ago

The point of the article is to point out that KU is behind the power curve in contract "intelligence" when compared to the rest of the BIG 12. Even worse the lack of intelligence can be linked even to the chancellor BGL. Every B12 school includes a buyout and not for more than the coachs annual salary. Ladies and gents, Lew and BGL are idiots in the same rowboat. Who in their right mind makes a contract without a "buyout" or "early termination clause", on a coach with a losing record, and he made the mistake twice. The buyout is an insurance policy and is the standard.

IF BGL doesn't hire a seasoned director from a BCS school with a semi-respectable FB program then she needs to go back to UNC. With the near break up of the B12 in June and KU standing idly by, she stands there before the cameras to make statements to the KU nation trembling, inexperienced, and noticably unsure about what her job really. Don't forget that she had dinner in Lawrence with the chancellor of CU the eve before they announced their departure to the PAC 10. How could she be surprise and unprepared, didn't she realize what was going on... oh wait she's not into athletics, she's just a scholar, so what if athletics bring in a portion of revenue and national publicity for KU.

100 11 years, 7 months ago

Truefan: You sound like most of the KU fans I know.

The Internet is a bad place to get a real taste of anything real when it comes to "fan opinions".

None of us are happy with the last two games.

But Gill isn't coaching offense & defense. We have completely new players in a brand new system that lost some complete studs a year ago (& still lost their last 7).

I was as big of a Mangino fan as any, but he's gone now.

Gill will succeed. He will land some big time recruits here; that's why he's here folks.

Not coaching. He has a fantastic offensive & defensive coordinator for that. Gill will bring in speed we've never seen before.

And size.

But we all must simply take a few lumps this year.

These growing pains will hurt, but the rewards will be very fruitful.

I've said it once & I'll say it again...

Those who know college athletics know:

"it's not the X's and O's, it's the Jimmy & Joes."

Sorry guys...

We're going to get beat this year, because Gill's staff needs speed & size to do what they need to do.

The great news for us is: Gill's system only does well in a big conference with 4 & 5 star studs.

phoggytoast 11 years, 7 months ago

This is so laughable "The great news for us is: Gill's system only does well in a big conference with 4 & 5 star studs." In five years, we won't be able to land Terry Allen as a coach because he will be so OUT OF OUR LEAGUE after Gill continues to sink any hopes of building a competitive program. Like we are going to land 4 & 5 start studs! We would be fortunate under a winning season scenario to land but a couple 4 star recruits in a year with a five star recruit once every 2-3 years. Now, with a great coach like Gill, excuse me for a moment since I can't stop laughing, we are going to land a plethora of 4 & 5 star studs. The administration has wasted so many boosters and ticket holders money in addition to robbing the trust of KU faithful with their mismanagement. This contract reaps of desperation, ignorance or both. KSU fans must be giddy over our adminstration's folly in comparison to their Prince situation.

treidy 11 years, 7 months ago

Best comments in a long time! Wake up people. Turner Gill couldn't even coach pee wee football. In less than half a season, he completely destroyed everything we worked hard for: high attendance, competing hard, winning games, winning game that matter, going to bowl games, winning bowl games, winning BCS bowl games, national rankings, recruits, facilities and most importantly support from KU fans. Before Mark Mangino KU football was just another wine and cheese socialvent for Johnson Countians. Mangino made it matter and now cares nor will give him credit for it.


Geekinout 11 years, 7 months ago

Couldn't agree more! Btw, if you wonder why we are making such amateur moves as an athletic program take a look at our chancellor. Biggest mistake any business (university) could ever make with that hiring. We will have to live with her and won't be able to fire her for a very long time. Just keeping it real!

Alan Williams 11 years, 7 months ago

I don't know that I would call Chuck "3rd and" Long a fantastic anything. He's terrible.

100 11 years, 7 months ago

No one is saying Chuck 3rd & long's stuff looks great this year.

I agree we need to play to get the first down in the first down or two, not rely on the 3rd down desperation play.


We are very young and need more skill to get done what you & I both would like to see.

Give it some time. Again, I cannot say this enough:

This is about recruiting. Not coaching.

We don't have the players right now!

Why do you think we lost our last 7 games last year!

Gill has access to recruits front doors that we've only seen in national championship games.

Give him some time.

truefan 11 years, 7 months ago

Chuck Long still has the record for highest scoring offense ever when he was at Oklahoma. His offense looks fine, it's our young QB missing the receivers and Webb will get better with time.

treidy 11 years, 7 months ago

You don't understand: We had a hard enough time recruiting when we were winning. We will definitely have an even harder time now with his sorry ass as our coach.

Who is their right mind will want to come play for a coach who can't prepare his team, who can't get his team to play with energy or effort and who can't give answers to the fans and media after we wonder why we got our ass beat by Baylor and KState?

Aaron Carpenter 11 years, 7 months ago

I do believe it's actually Chuck "4th and" Long.

KU_Alumn_2000 11 years, 7 months ago

Good posts truefan and 100. We need to give gill a good 3-5 years to get the program going in the right direction.

I also was upset about mangino getting fired...but now that gill is here...I'm gonna support the guy.

truefan 11 years, 7 months ago

I agree. I was upset that Mangino got fired, but I was in school at that time and took some classes with some of the football players. They weren't happy and some were saying the team was in shambles and this was months before the news broke about player abuse.

I wish Mangino was a nicer guy so he could hire a legit defensive coordinator and keep other coaches around him. I wish he had been hard-nosed, but not abusive to his players, but he failed to do that as well.

Gill is here to stay, and we have no choice but to support him while he's here. There is hope as well. Gill didn't just sit around at Buffalo when things weren't going well. He fired 2 or 3 guys from his staff there to make improvements, one of which was a Strength and Conditioning coach. He can make changes and get this team back on track, but we'd never know if we fired him after one season.

treidy 11 years, 7 months ago

Turner Gill did SH*T at Buffalo. He was 20-31 in the MAAC for Christ sake. In his four years there, he only had one overall winning season and only two winning seasons in conference! His best record was 8-6!

truefan 11 years, 7 months ago

Way to dig deep into your research and pull out some info I've never heard before. Wow, if I'd known all of that juicy info I may not have made my comment at all...

I can tell by all of your "insider information" that you must be an ESPN analyst or something. Look everyone, we've got a celebrity on the board!

Eric Williams 11 years, 7 months ago

You're a regular Sherlock Holmes eh?

Please tell me how many wins Buffalo had in the 4 years prior to Gill arriving there?

The answer? 5 wins. Gill had 20 in 4 seasons there. Also Buffalo was ranked in the BOTTOM 10 of all Division 1 schools when Gill took over, and he took them to a bowl game in his 3rd season.

hawk316 11 years, 7 months ago

truefan, very enlightening comments from the football players under Mangino. Thanks for sharing that. It confirms once more that a change was absolutely necessary.

Roy Scherff 11 years, 7 months ago

  1. things will start to improve in 2012. HCTG will be okay. No need to fire anybody. stay the course.

Edward Daub 11 years, 7 months ago

It will be interesting to see if Mangino gets hired by Minnesota, now that Brewster was fired. Tony Dungy already said no. Mangino's first year at KU was also a struggle. We have to be patient and give HCTG the time to build his program.

sava12 11 years, 7 months ago

Rumors point to Gary Barnett as Minnesota's top choice.

Chris Bruning 11 years, 7 months ago

F Mangino, he was running this program downhill ever since his orange bowl victory and this year (his players) are proving that. Recruiting would have been hard when parents know the fat man was mentally, verbally abusing the players. Thank god he's gone.....turner Gill is the right man for the job, in my mind he is doing a good job. Look at the list of recruits he already has goin. Some have impressive list of schools to choose from, and they chose KU. it takes TIME!!!! hopefully sooner than later

aviebs51 11 years, 7 months ago

Its funny....when your winning Orange Bowls your a 'blue collared, hard working, intense coach' however when you lose signs change to 'abusive, overweight, angry, harassing....' Funny how things/opinions change.

Geekinout 11 years, 7 months ago

"The mob is fickle brother. Give him time and he will be forgotten about."

Ashwin Rao 11 years, 7 months ago

Given the facts, I guess Coach Gill is like a family now... we need to learn to deal with the quirks, and make the best of it! Thanks for clarifying all the questions around the contract, Tait!

I don't like the one-sided nature of the contract, but I guess it will end up being good in the long run because it brings stability into the situation (don't want too many changes in the Head Coaching job in reaction to quick fixes). I can feel that Coach is over his head right now, but with time, he can learn from mistakes & from experience and can start handling issues like what is expected from a Big 12 coach. He was after all a Heisman caliber QB, so FB smarts ought to be there!

Coach, you have my full support for now!

truefan 11 years, 7 months ago

Good for you, I hope to see you in the stand Saturday.

Ashwin Rao 11 years, 6 months ago

Can't! :-( I live in Dayton, OH. Have been back only once since I left Lawrence in 1989! I "still" miss it so much! Love the place!

KU_FanSince75 11 years, 7 months ago

All good posts, especially Truefan------by the way, I have seen Ben Heeney from Hutch. He is a stud running back for the Salthawks. Our HS team was ahead at the end of the 1st Quarter and he took over the 2nd Quarter and killed us. The game was called at halftime due to lightning, a victory for Hutch. Truefan, you are challenging Jayhawk Nation to be "true fans." Well, you can count on me----nothing more I would love to see than for the Jayhawks succeed in football. Rock Chalk!

truefan 11 years, 7 months ago

Thanks, I hope to see you in the stands Saturday! Heeney is a stud RB but I personally want to see him at LB. Either way, I want to see him in a KU uniform.

KU_FanSince75 11 years, 7 months ago

It will be interesting to see if Mangino gets hired at Minnesota. Didn't Mangino go to High School in Pennsylvania or Ohio? Anyway, Minnesota is one of those programs in the Big 10 that tend to be forgotten---kind of hiding in the bushes. A lot of ESPN analysts said Mangino would never be hired again as a head coach. It will indeed, be interesting to see if Minnesota invites Mangino for a former interview!

truefan 11 years, 7 months ago

That is scary. All Mangino would have to do is tone it down a few notches and he would be doing fine. If nothing else, he could be a good coordinator hire. After all, OU hasn't won a championship since he left.

klineisanazi 11 years, 7 months ago

Don't get sidetracked with yet ANOTHER discussion of GIll and this team's "talent". It doesn't matter if KU was undefeated at this juncture, this was a terrible contract from KU's standpoint. Why no "buyout" clause? In this day and age you never know what can happen with a coach. The school should always have a way out.

Dyrk Dugan 11 years, 7 months ago

no buyout deal is not good. it just goes to show how senile Perkins became at the end of his tenure. He was like Roy Williams was when there were no checks and balances....he ruled the basketball program, and that meant he ruled KU athletics....(everyone understands it was Roy's influence that got Terry Allen hired?)

Turner Gill was the coach i supported in hiring....but his contract is not a benefit to KU, and with all the rules and now 114-14 in two league games to non league powers, he now has to show me something. We have to win a football game.

of course he has to be able to bring his kids in...absolutely. but so far, we don't have much to "believe" would be good to start this weekend.

average 11 years, 7 months ago

Gill may or may not have it on the field. But, I'd want him at a business negotiating table apparently. How the hell did a guy with a losing record in the MAC, coming off a losing year, manage to pull this kind of sweetheart deal? Did Lew think we had to give away the store to get any coach after the Mangino mess? Did Lew set it up to stick it to KU on his way out the door?

Marc Frey 11 years, 7 months ago

Just go back to 2002 and look how we did there. I believe that was Mangino's first year. We lost to KSU and NU back to back, 109-7 in points. Let's give HCTG 3 years to see what he can do. If after 4 years, we are still playing like we are, then KU will go back and hire another hard-ass coach. That seems to be the pattern with football coaches here are KU.

jcsmith 11 years, 7 months ago

So if I slack off on my mortgage for three years and then start paying it on time again, I'll still have good credit?

Thats what this is all about. Saving face. This school actually had some credibility for once in the football world. Why should we all be expected to accept a step backwards? There are coaches that impact teams instantly. Turner Gill is not one of them, nor was he ever going to be. Thats why I dont understand why the University "Settled" for Gill.

At this very moment, I have seen nothing that tells me anything other than the University "Settled" for Gill.

I think Perkins had other plans in mind, but when his plans fell through, Kansas got left with a mediocre coach.

Bob Culwell 11 years, 7 months ago

The cupboard is hardly as full as most posters seem to believe. This is, in my opinion, a team nearly bereft of speed. On defense, there is no speed whatsoever. That's why these 50-point beatdowns are happening.

However, the one thing that the "Fire Gill" has right is that the total lack of speed is all his fault. Everybody knows that guys run faster if you haven't taken their cell phones away the night before. It's science.

Michael Leiker 11 years, 7 months ago

Obviously cell phones have nothing to do with the speed on the field...but who you hire as your training coach definitely does and it sounds like the plan was to bulk everyone up from the get go. If you don't see any speed on the field this year, 50% of that at a minimum rests on Gill.

Aligned 11 years, 7 months ago

Actually there is another explanation, but it would be untoward to suggest it…

jcsmith 11 years, 7 months ago

Its funny because you always hear the excuse, "Give him time to get his kids on campus". With performances like we've seen several times this year, who the hell would want to play for him? He'll never get a chance to get the kind of kids he wants if we keep looking like we do.

Every coach wants 4 & 5 star players on their team. But you have to be able to coach and develop the 2 stars before you can land the 5 stars. It doesnt matter if he has "his kids" or not, you still have the responsibility to coach the players you have. And i'm sorry, at some point, you just have to question the coaching staff.

If a player misses A block, yea, its on him. If a player misses A assignment, yea, its on him. If a player misses A snap count, yea, its on him. But when these problems persist and seem to only worsen, you absolutely must question the coaching.

New regime or not, KU Football is making basic mistakes that are tought in peewee leagues. These are college players, we shouldnt have to expect a "Square one" performance.

khummel60 11 years, 7 months ago

Maybe Perkins actually understood how far behind our football program really was, and that we were almost certainly looking at a long-term rebuilding process. Maybe he also had some inkling of how KU fans would react to a rebuilding year or two or three, and how they would be calling for the coaches head after 6 games. Maybe he wanted to ensure that whomever he brought in had the security and commitment necessary to build a perennial winner, long-term, even if that meant starting a bunch of Freshmen the first year.

I think its great that KU fans are angry, because that means they care. They didn't always care. I just wish they would give Gill the same chance every other coach gets with a new program, which is 2 or 3 years minimum.

Gill's contract is unusual, to be sure, but we have unusual circumstances at KU. I'll grant that Perkins took a huge gamble on Gill, but you don't accomplish big things in life without taking big risks. Maybe, just maybe Lew actually cared about KU, and wanted to break the cycle of football mediocrity once and for all, and saw something special in Gill. If his gamble works, and Gill turns this program into a perennial winner, then Lew will go down in history as a hero. If not, then Lew will go down as the man who sealed our fate in the Mountain West Conference.

kureader 11 years, 7 months ago

It was a bad contract. And it was a questionable decision to hire a $400,000 coach when we had $2,000,000 to work with. There were a number of more experienced coaches available at the time. Hopefully the gamble on Gill will pay off. He needs to be given a chance. But don't try to "spin" this contract into a "visionary" move by Perkins.

khummel60 11 years, 7 months ago

Your right - I was trying to spin this into something good, but I don't know any other way to explain it. I can't accept the conspiracy theories and I can't believe Lew was really that incompetent or corrupt. He had to have his reasons for doing what he did. Unfortunately all we and the writers can do is hypothesize and let our imaginations wander. I'm simply trying to offer an explanation that isn't all gloom and doom, but I really don't know (notice I used the word "maybe" allot).

Boise_JHawk 11 years, 7 months ago

Good thoughts, I agree with you. As to the contract, things are done for a reason.

rockemchalkemrobots 11 years, 7 months ago

Perhaps, but that does not mean the reason is is a good one.

bigtex 11 years, 7 months ago

Gill's agent is laughing all the way to the bank. Lew definitely dropped the ball on this contract. Even if Gill was a good hire this is a lousy contract for the athletic department. Did Lew do this contract all by himself or did he have legal counsel as an advisor for this contract. Extremely poor business decisions were made by the previous sports administrator of the year.

jcsmith 11 years, 7 months ago

I too thught Lew cared once upon a time.

Ironically, I was right.

But I thought he cared about the University, not just lining his pockets.

ahpersecoachingexperience 11 years, 7 months ago

If life is made miserable for him maybe he would take a buyout and resign.

If not, pay a player a couple hundred grand to put his hands on a hot stove then say he burnt them while forced to crawl on the field turf. Then he could be fired with cause

alsharpton 11 years, 7 months ago

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Orangedog87 11 years, 7 months ago

When most of us take a new job, we have to work with the people who are there...we dont get a few years to wait around for some "star" people to show up before producing .......and we do that at very low pay compared to what Gill is making. Gill knew the quality of the team when he signed up.....he needs to do his and win games. Really tired of people taking big money and not producing for what ever reason.........After what happened last summer with the Big 12 ...KU is in a very bad place and people were horrified that KU's top ten BB program would end up in the "sisters of the poor" conference with KSU, ISU and Mooo. Shaping up the football program is bigger and more important than Gill and the admin of the Univ needs to recognize and act on that and it cant take years. Didnt we learn with T Allen that nice guys who cant coach did not get us any where...except I did get free FB tickets from buying some item at Dillon's supermarket every Saturday .....then left the game early to hit Mass street which was a lot more fun than watching KU FB. Didnt we learn this time that we need some intelligent people to draft contracts at KU...dont we have a law school????

Maracas 11 years, 7 months ago

There's nothing puzzling about Gill's contract being written the way it is. The answer is that Gill and Perkins are dirty.

kcglowboy 11 years, 7 months ago

Any question of just how deep-seeded fan dissatisfaction really is should be easily answerable after two more home games: just count the empty seats. If fans keep coming, that should prove the mass hysteria on internet boards isn't representative of the only fans who matter in the decision-making at KUAD: the ones who spend the most money. But if we have 10,000 empty seats the next two games, then Turner Gill, despite the $9million buyout, could be in trouble. Just do the math:

  1. In a year we go from 48,000 people per game to having 10,000-plus empty seats. With an alarming number of season tickets still available for basketball under the BEST circumstances, imagine what it will be like selling season tickets for football next year coming off a 2-10 season. Simply put, if Turner's teams don't show improvement quickly, we could be facing a return to 15,000 empty seats per game. That's a lot of money.
  2. TV appearances account for a big chunk of our conference payout. If the networks lose interest in us, we lose roughly $1 million a year.
  3. With 500 unsold BB season tickets, we know that fan apathy or anger (ticket scandal) DOES have a direct correlation to income. I would imagine that will spill over big time into the Williams Fund. If the football team continues to suck, that's probably another $1 million a year lost from the Williams Fund.

Yeah, $9 million is obscene. But keep Turner around another year (or two) could also prove to be very expensive for KU.

And that's not taking into account the next wave of conference realignment (maybe 5 years down the road). Last year nobody wanted us and we were coming off of four strong years, complete with sellouts and lots of TV (coupled with a national Top 5 BB program). Can't imagine how bad we'll look five years down the road if Turner Gill really is every bit as bad as the media seems to think he is. All of a sudden, interest from the WAC might start to look good (once Texas and friends start shopping around again).

Jetson 11 years, 7 months ago

Hey, maybe we could compete in the WAC.....

shimjhawk 11 years, 7 months ago

Good post^. The reason we have been on TV so much this year is because even though our record last year was not good, we were competitive which makes for good TV. Our 2 conference losses were blowouts this year, no reason to put those on TV again. Mangino was not great but he kept the players motivated and the games competitve. In Gill's first 2 tries in the Big 12 the players were unmotivated, uninspired and not at all competitive. You can talk all you want about not having enough speed on the team, but Gill could've had the players motivated and playing at a competitive level against KSU. We were absolutely dominated in every phase of the game by a mediocre KSU team. That folks is the difference in coaching, because Gill had 12 days to prepare. Thanks Lew for the sweetheart deal for Gill, we are stuck with him now for the long haul. Sure hope he gets it right quickly because if not, it can only get worse, once the TV networks stop covering our games and people stop going to the games.

OldOldHawk 11 years, 7 months ago

The last paragraph of KCGLOWBOY's post is exactly right, except that I predict it will be less than five years. We better hope that Mountain West gets BCS status because that will probably be the best realistic deal for us.

Hawk007 11 years, 7 months ago

This is the absolute worst contract I have ever seen. F Perkins, he better get out of Lawrence as fast as he can. The man has pretty much destroyed KU athletics.

khummel60 11 years, 7 months ago

I'm very disappointed that so many are trying to make this about race. Don't you have enough other stuff to criticize? Isn't this situation already charged-up enough? Why go there?

William James 11 years, 7 months ago

What Maxhawk is talking about isn't pleasant, but today in the world of college football coaches, race is a very big deal. The media keeps a constant tally on black coaches at this level. Did anyone see how the analyst on ESPN reacted a couple years back when Ron Prince was fired. Whether anyone likes it or not, race is an issue right now.

truefan 11 years, 7 months ago

Terry Allen sucked, got 5 years, and was white...please tell me how race matters in this decision?

sevenyearhawk 11 years, 7 months ago

Because, somehow, Terry Allen managed to beat Mizzou a couple times ... that's discussed in the MetroSports Border War documentary that that probably earned him at least a couple more seasons than he should've had!

FreddyinLA 11 years, 7 months ago

Many more perks besides $2M/year. Country club membership, 50 tickets per FB game, 6 season tickets for Bball, spouse and kids travel to away games on university dime, buyout was trued up so actually was for $355K, two high-end cars, scholarship suite at games.

All good though because contract signed by Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little and General Counsel James P. Pottorff, Jr.

I should have went to Emporia St.

FreddyinLA 11 years, 7 months ago

Sory bout that. Also didn't spell out basketball and football and proble should have capatalized Scolarship

rockemchalkemrobots 11 years, 7 months ago

"I should have went to Emporia St."

You may want to come up with a safety school before you start filling out applications.

Mark Lindrud 11 years, 7 months ago

Let's forget race and the fact the contract stinks. It is what it is and Gill will be here for 5 years. If the fans can support the program and help out in whatever way possible then hopefully the program will turn itself around. There are a few bright spots and the fact the team is rather young means we have lots of growing pains to overcome. This year will be mostly painful and we can only hope that this year's experience helps make us stronger and better for years to come.

kureader 11 years, 7 months ago

Matt, again a good article. Many of us, regardless of our opinions about Gill, want to understand KU's options. You validated what most of us thought about the contract, and you made valid observations about Perkins. The article was timely, and it included very good information about other Big 12 coaches. Nice job as usual.

You gotta wonder what Perkins was thinking. Had we hooked a 2 million dollar coach, maybe we would have needed a long term contract with liberal terms to close the deal. But this was a $425,000 coach. We asked him to leave beautiful Buffalo, New York and move to a town back in the midwest a few hundred miles from his wife's aging parents and to the school that his own daughter would attend. Though KU isn't USC or Texas, it's also NOT Buffalo. We had won the Orange Bowl just a year prior, and we had just completed new football facilities that dwarfed anything Gill would ever have at Buffalo. As you implied, Perkins apparently didn't learn a thing about contracts during the Mangino debacle. I'll never agree with those who continue to claim that Perkins was one of the country's finest AD's. He had his strengths, but he was most certainly over rated.

It's entirely possible that in the next couple years, KU will have paid two football coaches and Lew Perkins himself a total of 8 or 9 million dollars to NOT work at KU. For those of us who love KU and who make modest contributions to help pay for scholarships and facilities, etc., this is really discouraging.

vmwskywalk 11 years, 7 months ago

Face it, Perkins knew that there would be a large contingent of anti-Gill people no matter what happened the first couple of years he coached. Lew set the contract up so KU could NOT get rid of him. Lew knew that it would do more damage to fire a coach in the early years of his contract w/o giving him a chance. Ku would never be able to hire a decent coach if the trigger was pulled this early.

I don't like the way things have gone so far, but I also don't think this season is a true picture of Gill and his staff. We'll just have to wait and see. Fact is, Lew did us a favor. Gill too.

Maracas 11 years, 7 months ago

I don't buy that. A good coach (one who is actually worth $2M per year) would know that if the trigger was pulled it was because the coach failed big time. What happened is that Lew was astute enough to see that we got a $10.00 coach for $10M. Anyone with an ounce of sense would have covered their organization's rear end with an escape/buyout clause.

People aren't angry because we're losing. We expected that. What we didn't expect was to be getting blown out like we didn't belong in the same stadium with a couple of mediocre programs, under a coach who is paid a ridiculous amount under an ironclad contract, and who has imposed crazy rules.

I don't see how Lew did anyone a favor except for Gill.

vmwskywalk 11 years, 7 months ago

Look up "cut off your nose to spite your face".

As a fan you will never have a guarantee that your coach will be successful. You can however, guarantee that your coach has a chance to be successful. That's what Perkins did, like it or not.

vmwskywalk 11 years, 7 months ago

You've never been a true KU fan anyway. I assume you will now go away for good?

Eric Williams 11 years, 7 months ago

yes the English is pathetic, but that couldn't be his fault, i mean after all he was just a student.

I say we fire all the KU English teachers because I will not stand for this grammar. Is this the kind of students that we're releasing into the real world?

It's all Gray-Little's fault. Ever since she arrived, academic fortitude has been decreasing and the students shouldn't have to shoulder any responsibility.

READ: Sarcasm. If the players don't want to play hard, Gill's crop of recruits coming in will have no challenge to win a starting spot.

Jaminrawk 11 years, 7 months ago

Like him or not, there is no excuse to not include a buyout. The guy makes 3X what he made in Buffalo now. Either Lew was trying to stick it to KU before he left or Gill has the greatest manager/lawyers in the world. I have no clue how a guy, that was not really on a lot of final lists to fill the other teams with vacancies, garnered a $10 million contract with no buyout. That is just crazy to me.

caribhawk 11 years, 7 months ago

Lots of misinformed bloggers that think TG is bringing in a great recruiting class - - you are reading KU's press releases & not objective sources. has KU 10th out of the Big 12 in 2011 recruiting, K-State is ranked 6th and has two 4-star recruits and KU has 0 4-star TG's recruiting efforts aren't that great so far. Perkins knee-jerk contract with TG was merely to spite Mangino by paying TG the same as Mangino and even sweeten the deal by having no buyout clause. Lew was fast and loose with KU's $$, this typifies Lew's out-of-control ego. Hard to believe something this stupid could happen on the heels of the K-State Ron Prince/Bob Krause/Jon Wefald fiasco...KU learned NOTHING from that, so much for being an institution of higher learning! If TG does not perform, KU deserves to be the laughing stock of the Big 12. This probably impairs KU's ability to get a top flight AD because who wants to operate under the shackles of a bad coach with a $10 m guaranteed contract! Same poor athletic administration impaired KU's ability to get a top football coach. Who wants to come to a school that fired a coach 2 wins away from the most winning coach of all time because of a few former disgruntled players (mostly players that didn't start), and a KU administration that rewarded Mangino just 1 and 2 years earlier with significant raises in his contract (if there were problems, then KU indirectly endorsed them via contract raises - - or KU was guilty of having its head so far up its arse that it was completely incompetent, neither option is good). Given the ticket scandal, pending ethics violation, and outragious travel costs of Lew, any Mangino shortcomings pale in comparison to Lew's legal, ethical, and administrative violations/incompetence.

Danny Hernandez 11 years, 7 months ago

The contract may be one-sided but Gill deserves at mnimum, 3 years so in year 4, if he isn't doing so hot, he's gone and we have, one year remaining on the contract that Kansas would have to eat.

I believe with Gill's recruits, you'll see a faster and stronger Kansas squad....He's got offensive recruits that if they work out, will be the cornerstone of one hell of an offensive line....I'm patient and don't like losing but I'm smart enough to know it's going to happen.

I'm in Gill's corner....

Maracas 11 years, 7 months ago

So what is it about Gill's resume that convinces you he is the answer? He couldn't even get a whiff at any other schools he applied at.

kureader 11 years, 7 months ago

I'm not in or out of Gill's corner. I hope his recruiting abilities are "as advertised". I'm only opposed to the contract authored by Perkins. I don't care who the coach is, unless the coach was a top tier coach, this was a really poor and unnecessary business arrangement ... too much money, and no way out. Examples given by Tait in this article of the other Big 12 schools bear this out.

Matt Tait 11 years, 7 months ago

We are looking into it. We've got a long list of guys to contact and are doing some checking around every day to make sure that the list we proceed with is solid.

I'd imagine Bohn will be on the final list, though I don't know what his chances of ending up at KU are. I'm sure you're right in that he would have some interest in at least hearing about the opportunity.

Stay tuned...

teddibear 11 years, 7 months ago

A struggling corporation hires a new CEO. He evaluates his situation, and begins to make changes, but it takes time. Turner Gill is the right coach, at the right time, with the potential to be the all time best football coach at the University of Kansas. He can't coach speed, quickness, or skills, but he is making very good progress recruiting speed, quickness, and skills. Get off his back, and give him the support that he needs and deserves. My hope is that he keeps his head down, focuses on his objectives, has confidence in his program, and doesn't read some of the stupid comments that show up on these comments sections, or what some journalists write, like that idiot with the KC Star.

bcf8400 11 years, 7 months ago

What is the point of this article??? Maybe you should publish this dribble after three full seasons have transpired... Lets recount: 1. Gill has a completely different system that require certain types of players to run, IE: FB, HB, TE. 2. Gill came in LESS THAN 1 year ago with the cupboards not as full as one would hoped including our best receiver/playmaker leaving school early only to be drafted in the 6th round (great decision, Dez!). 3. Not one coach who was associated with the program is now associated with it (with the exception of a graduate defensive assistant). 4. New strength and conditioning program that stresses a completely different philosophy than the last. 5. How soon you all forget...Mangino did go 2-10 his first year.

The point of this rehashing of events is to make it clear, there is a plan in place and you can't expect miracles overnight. The program whether many of you believe it or not, was in complete disarray by the end of last year. Gill brings a fresh presence and creates a new base to build from as a person and as a coach. All this BS about firing him is a bunch of crap. Give him the 3 years he deserves to execute the plan and we will prosper.


kureader 11 years, 7 months ago

It sounds like you're being critical of Matt Tait for writing this article. I thought it was a very good article. Matt didn't call for Gill's termination. He didn't even criticize Gill. He did ask some obvious questions about why Perkins would author such a one-sided deal for a relatively unheralded coach.

Matt provided information in response to the comments of OTHERS that Gill's job at KU should be cut short. He made it clear that this is easier said than done given the contract that's in place.

Other sports writers might "pile on" right now and try to stir things up thinking they'll attract more readers, Tait should be commended for taking time to find and publish information that's not generally available to the rest of us. No offense, but reread the article. Criticize those who don't like Gill if you want to ... but Tait's OK in my book.

FLJHK 11 years, 7 months ago

Three major schools dismissed their football coaches last year in pretty ugly circumstances: T. Tech, South Florida and KU. All have suffered a major dip in performance with their new coaches. Tech has gone from good to mediocre, USF from pretty good to pretty bad, KU from pretty bad to lousy. But there was sufficient reason for each of the firings and hirings and I think that in time each school (maybe not Tech) will benefit.

This season has been a big disappointment, but Coach Gill deserves time and our support to get things right. I think and certainly hope that he will.

HawkInAL 11 years, 7 months ago

When Auburn hired Gene Chizik down here, they kept going on and on about his 5-19 record at ISU, blah blah blah. Fact is, he had recruiting ties to the southeast and now we're seeing the fruits of that labor. Mike Dyer (#1 RB commitment) and Cam Newton (Blinn CC in TX, former Florida backup). Oh, and their OL has been together about 3 years.

Last year, Auburn struggled with depth on defense and lost games because they were gassed in the 2nd half.

We have NO DEPTH on either line or LBs!!!

Did people expect a New Year's Day bowl game?

Maybe if we were in the ACC...

khummel60 11 years, 7 months ago

Man, the Haters are out in force today. Maybe they smell blood and are going in for the kill. Jayhawkinnebr is conducting his own one-person campaign to pollute as many blogs as possible with his Gill-hate ("I'm taking my big bag of money to K-State now - you with me? Anyone?"). It wasn't enough for some folks to say Gill isn't qualified. On today's blog I get to read insinuations about him being corrupt, or that he and Perkins have some sort of "dirty" deal (presumably with a kick-back of some sort?), or that Perkins like totally destroyed KU Athletics on purpose because he secretly always hated KU (has anyone notified HCBS by the way?), or my personal favorite conspiracy theory - that Perkins intentionally hired the worst coach he could possibly find and gave him a huge contract just to spite Mangino. Of course, let's not forget the not-so-subtle references to race, and how the Chancellor herself probably had a hand in this deal because - well - you know. And if that's not bad enough, we supposedly couldn't get rid of the sorry sack of potato's if we wanted to because then we'd all be called racists. If I didn't know better I would think this was a blog for Hillbilly U. Keep it up folks and we'll never find a qualified Athletic Director - after all, what AD in his/her right mind would want to be involved with this sorry circus? You people have truly gone off the deep-end.

kureader 11 years, 7 months ago

Yes, as you say, there are some crazy posts this week. I guess a 59-7 loss to K-State gets people excited. I wouldn't expect ANY KU coach to get a bunch of compliments this week, would you? Let's hope the Texas A&M game is a better one.

But regarding the new AD, who would want to be associated with this mess? I'd wager there have NEVER been as many top notch, qualified applicants for the KU Athletic Director position as there are right now. And, they're still collecting names. I'm looking forward to an announcment. I have a feeling we'll be pleased.

khummel60 11 years, 7 months ago

I wouldn't expect ANY KU coach to get a bunch of compliments this week, would you? Absolutely not. I've been critical myself. The team has not been well coached so far - that seems irrefutable to me. But when a critical mass of people start pulling theories out of their tail pipes I get worried.

Like you, I hope the A&M is a much better showing, but I honestly don't expect KU to win.

And I hope your right about the AD search. Every school has their crazies (exhibit A - alsharpton's latest posting below), and I'm sure any candidate will take that into account. Like I said above, the fact that folks are angry is a good thing in my opinion, but the anger should be based on something real (like the fact they haven't been well coached, and that Gill hasn't earned his huge pay check so far, etc., etc.).

jmsuther 11 years, 7 months ago

I can still not fathom Lew’s actions at the end of his tenure at KU. Running out one of the best coaches ever, the incredibly one sided contract to an unproven coach who would have probably taken the job for half the price, and then the mysterious retirement suddenly. I think there is more to the story of Lew that will unfold in the future. I will add that I am not giving up on Gill and no one else should either. This is a very disappointing year but once we can get a line that will support Gill and Longs offense I think they team will be much improved.

JayhawkBigXII 11 years, 7 months ago

teddibear & bcf8400 .... Make us all believers that this contract came from a higher power. I want to believe... do you guys really have crytal balls?

Show me the speedy 4 and 5 star recruits you speak of. Or are you conjecturing the future based on Gill's solid credientials at Buffalo?

In that case, at least show me his proven credentials you base this on. I obviosly do not have access to them. Please share them so can understand and also share in your optimism.

In reality, the only thing we really have is hope... along with a 3 year sentence without parole. We may as well accept it. We certainly can't change it.

Since I'm are doing 3 years, I have a song and a harmonica. ..."Nobody knows, the trouble I've seen". Feel free to join in...

alsharpton 11 years, 7 months ago

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

tommac44 11 years, 7 months ago

The recent article of Matt Tait caused me to sign up and offer my comments.

Matt you are whats wrong with college athletics. Your right out of the me first and what has someone done for me today generation. To build a big time athletic department and football program you have to bring in quality people with character and then recruit student athletes with athletic ability and intelligence. That takes time. Articles like the one you just wrote is a cancer to building a program that will be able to sustain itself. I think the fans should take a look at your contract and see if you can be terminated and sent packing. No wonder Kansas has had problems in building any sport requiring more than 5 people on the field at once.

rockemchalkemrobots 11 years, 7 months ago

Thank you for the offer, but you may keep your comments. The article was well written and insightful. Tait is not offering his opinion on whether Gill is or will be a good coach, only reporting that the contract does not have a buyout, and that the wisdom behind such an omission is questionable at best.

kureader 11 years, 7 months ago

You should take a deep breath and reread Matt's article. It was a good one.

Larry Ewart 11 years, 7 months ago

Right ON! Phoggytoast. At least there is someone else out there that has a clue of what is happening right now and that it will be years before we recover from a season such as this. We do have outstanding facilities now that helps but to think we can recruit a 4 or 5 star athlete here to play football, well, ain't going to happen. Especially, if we get smoked in the remaining games on the schedule. Baylor and KSU are not powerhouses and look what happened to us. I had read the contract here while back and could not believe what i was reading. I told a few friends while tailgating and they thought "no way" the university would never do that. WRONG! To give this guy that kind of money is a travesty. 20 and 30 while at Buffalo give me a break!

jayhawk2062 11 years, 7 months ago

There is a difference between the MAC and the Big 12. It's called recruiting and overall talent. I'm sure there are coaches that are more than capable of coaching at a high level in the MAC. Recruiting is a different story.

If he gets WAY better recruits than Mangino did they have a chance of being a .500 team and reaching a bowl nearly every year.

If he gets the same talent or just a little better talent......the coaching just isn't there from what I've seen to take the program higher.

He isn't a good enough coach to squeeze the best out of so so players like Mangino did. At least he isn't right now. He can learn and it starts with getting rid of these 1950's rules for social conduct and to get in someone's face every now and again and let them know that they screwed up. If not him, it needs to be some assistants that gets on the kids to wake them up out there.

Did anyone else see the temper tantrum that D.J. Beshears threw right in Coach Gill's face on the sideline against K-State? He continued to argue with him and throw a fit when Coach was trying to explain that he was wrong. I think these guys don't take him seriously, and they don't take his policies and what he is selling seriously. I feel that maybe Coach Mangino wasn't the most likeable guy in the world, but he was taken seriously.

Geekinout 11 years, 7 months ago

No surprise, settling for mediocracy will only get you mediocre results. I completely understand that KU isn't as big time a football program like Nebraska. BUT, look how Nebraska was able to bounce back after the terrible Bill Callahan era. Pelini was able to jump start that team with in his first year. He had SEC ties and I'm wondering why KU wouldn't hire a coach with similar background (Tommy Tuberville). Instead, we really are stuck with the unproven. The day that Boise St. is able to be a national top tier competitive football program, there's no excuses for KU. KU fans and alums have to be sick of shelling out money that's not being spent wisely (or pocketed). RCJH!

Geekinout 11 years, 7 months ago

I also remember when Mangino went to his "bag of trick" to get KU's first win against K-State in a very long time. You could tell how hard he and the players worked and prepared for that game. Just not seeing that type of desire from this staff or players.

alsharpton 11 years, 7 months ago

Why will no one discuss the circumstances of Gill's hiring? The staff at LJW runs around with blinders on. Deleting any controversial comment posted.

Viggo3003 11 years, 7 months ago

The article serves a useful purpose. I can't imagine any desirable AD would sign a contract without having full authority to replace the football coach when they desired. Might as well publish the ramifications now.

If the new AD would not have selected Turner Gill as their coach there is no reason to give TG two more years as that would put the program 4 years behind and we all know the timeline for success is not that far out.

The new AD should make swift and decisive action to right the ship and bring in a new head coach that is their hire with full support.

Ben Kliewer 11 years, 7 months ago

If anybody's been following my posts...and who hasn't? I mean, you guys don't have anything better to do than keep track of my posts, right? (Sarcasm) Anyway, I was a Gill lover, and then after I saw him coach, I'm leaning more to the "get rid of him" side. But my ultimate message has been the same. Show me what you can do. So far, he's shown me that he has no ability to motivate these young men. Not only are they not playing well, but they look completely lackluster and passionless. That's Gill's job ultimately. Beyond coordinating the team as a whole, his job is to make these young men truly want to win for him. So far, I haven't seen that. If that continues, get him out. However, he doesn't have to win another game this year if he can prove to me/us that he can at least motivate these young men to play something that looks like competitive FBS football. (For more than just the GaTech game, specifically in conference play, more specifically against KSU/MU) If he can do that, then I will feel better about keeping him around. (And no, I don't just mean that if we beat KSU and MU and lose to everyone else it will all be ok. But those games often tend to be higher stakes emotionally. We can't just be KSU and base our entire season around beating KU)

Ben Kliewer 11 years, 7 months ago

Lemme clarify. I mean to say that we can't just be like KSU, who appears often times to base their entire season (Football/Basketball) around beating us/their rival.

DocBean 11 years, 7 months ago

I was a big fan of Lew Perkins until I saw this contract. This football hire will RUIN the future of KU football for at least a decade.

Gill and his staff are horrible, they don't know how to coach kids how to play college level football. I don't care who they recruit, they could bring in the top 20 high school kids and still wouldn't win at this level because football is the ultimate team sport, and these kids aren't being taught how to play like a team.

DocBean 11 years, 7 months ago

I know how we could get out of this horrible contract. Force the football team to give back their scholarships, and pay their own way. That should save us quite a bit.

This team is fat, slow, lazy, and stupid. They don't deserve a free ride. Next time I see one of these idiot kids standing on the sidelines and waving at his family rather then paying attention to the game, I'm going to puke. Oh wait never mind, I won't be going to the games anymore so I won't have to see it.

ZDKC 11 years, 7 months ago

Good article, Matt. Thanks for finding this info and writing about it. Although, it's exactly what I didn't what to hear, it's very informative and brings facts to light.

Mark Lindrud 11 years, 7 months ago

Matt Tait, I will say you cut right to the chase in your articles and you don't pull any punches. It is easy for all of us to be critical because we don't see the results we want. As a KU alum I want a great football program(basketball rocks) and I know we had success under MM but he is gone. When Gill was hired he said all the right things and had the right attitude to win people over.

Only thing is he is not producing like we hoped. He seems like a man of good character and that is what the KU people wanted, but winning has not happened and losing by a lot has.

We have Gill for a few years so either way we are stuck. I am not happy with the product, but I plan to watch every game I can so I can see glimpses of a bright future. We have a lot of work to do and yes I have been down on the team, but it is because I want a winning program in Lawrence. It is hard to be patient knowing the team is not going to be what we want this year so I need to remind myself this season will be a wash. Next year should be the year we see what kind of coach Gill really is. For now I will take the good and probably most of the bad while hoping there are bright spots in each game so I know things will get better. I don't want to keep saying well basketball season starts soon which I am excited for, but I will do my best to enjoy what I can with football. This season is what it is and the best we can do is be supportive and hope things will improve. Either way: Rock Chalk Jayhawk KU!

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