Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Charlie Weis contract finalized

New KU football coach will make $2.5 million per year through 2016

Charlie Weis laughs at the podium as he addresses media members during a news conference in which Weis was announced as the new football coach for KU on Friday, Dec. 9, 2011 at the Anderson Family Football Complex.

Charlie Weis laughs at the podium as he addresses media members during a news conference in which Weis was announced as the new football coach for KU on Friday, Dec. 9, 2011 at the Anderson Family Football Complex.


The contract for newly named Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis has been finalized, and, like the one drawn up for former KU coach Turner Gill in 2009, it does not include a buyout for early termination.

Weis, who has signed on for 5 years, will make $2.5 million per year plus incentives. That’s $12.5 million, guaranteed, whether he coaches one game, one year or all five seasons. The only way Weis would be owed less would be if he were fired for cause.

According to KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger, such a contract is the price you pay for hiring a high-profile coach and is common throughout athletics. If anything, it further condemns the fact that the previous administration offered Gill a similar deal despite being an unproven head coach with a losing record.

“I’m fully aware that was an area of concern on the last contract," Zenger told the Journal-World. "It’s something we don't take lightly. It is typical in today’s world to guarantee the yearly income when dealing with higher profile coaches.”

Should Weis elect to terminate his contract prior to Dec. 31, 2014, he would owe the university $2.5 million. If he chooses to terminate the deal between Jan. 1, 2015 and Dec. 31, 2016 (the end of his contract), he would owe KU $1.5 million.

But Zenger does not foresee either side ending the relationship early and is willing to give Weis the time and resources he needs to make KU a winner. Included in the contract is a clause that makes available at least $2.1 million annually for assistant coaches.

“We believe that Charlie Weis is the right coach at the right time for the University of Kansas," Zenger added. "And we understand it’s going to take time to build this program in the right direction.”

While this kind of clause also is common, it was not written into former KU coach Turner Gill’s deal. Gill, who was fired on Nov. 27 after going 5-19 during his two seasons in Lawrence, signed on for 5 years at $2 million per year and will receive all that is owed to him within 90 days of being fired.

As for Weis, his incentives cover everything from Big 12 victories and bowl appearances to BCS title game appearances and national coach of the year honors.

Here's a look at the incentives included in the contract:

5 Big 12 conference game wins: $50,000

Each additional Big 12 win after 5 wins: $10,000 per game

Big 12 Regular Season Championship: $100,000

Bowl Game participation: $50,000

Bowl Game win: $25,000

BCS Bowl Game participation: $100,000

BCS Bowl Game win: $50,000

AP National Coach of the Year: $75,000

Big 12 Coach of the Year: $50,000

National Championship Game participation: $200,000

National Championship Game win: $100,000


kusportsdotcom 10 years, 11 months ago

Jeez, if we win a national championship, we should double his entire salary. I'll personally give him my life savings (which isn't very much for a recent college grad, so it's not a big deal). You have my word on that.

Ryan Sullivan 10 years, 11 months ago

  • 1 million dollars (with pinky finger in corner of mouth, ala Dr. Evil)

LAJayhawk 10 years, 11 months ago

Well let's add it up. National Championship win would mean:

Participation: $200k Win:$100k Likely 9 conference wins:$90k Big 12 Championship:$100k Likely Big 12 Coach of the Year:$50k Possibly AP COY:$75k

That would be $615,000 in bonuses for bringing KU it's first national championship.... Underpaid....

Add a couple more zero's and you'd be hitting the actual value, I think... ;-)

p 10 years, 11 months ago

Please refer to my post several down, it'd be closer to $840k. An NC is a BCS bowl and it is a bowl and it is a win in both cases (all three, actually). While $840 might seem a bit low for an NC at first glance, consider that you would almost certainly have to have 2-3 years of meaty bonus payout in front and back of that in addition to the nice 5x2.5MM contract.

justinryman 10 years, 11 months ago

Loft incentives, but then again they may just be what is needed to get performance out of a coach.

Ryan Sullivan 10 years, 11 months ago

Actually, Lofty = *Loft

Gosh, get it right.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 11 months ago

The whole National Championship win incentive seems a little off base. I mean, for a program like Kansas..................give the dude $500k-1M for winning the National Championship. 100K just does not seem to fit the bill IMO.

master16 10 years, 11 months ago

well, zenger must not be expecting weis to win a NC in the next 5 years. in fact, no one should :P

NJHAWK 10 years, 11 months ago

Kushaw, if KU wins national championship, he will be eligible for a lot of incentives on that list. My estimate is that he will get ~$695 K in incentives.

Sean O'Daniel 10 years, 11 months ago

If he were to win the national championship during this contract he would more than likely collect $705,000. Pretty much all the incentives minus the ones for alternative bowl games.

Ron Prichard 10 years, 11 months ago

Actually, if he won a national championship, it looks like his bonus would be $500K. The national championship game alone (with the win) would be $300K. Add in a perfect Big XII season and conf. championship, he's up to around $500K.

selfishhawk 10 years, 11 months ago

Obviously, you're kidding, but if you take the other incentives he would accrue in getting to the title and winning, it's a hefty. For just one example, we obviously would need to win all our conference games and the conference championship to even be in the game. That alone is $190k ($10k for every Big 12 win and $100k for the regular season championship). Plus, it's hard to believe he would get coach of the year and coach of the Big 12, worth another $125k.

p 10 years, 11 months ago

These posters are correct - the article should be more clear. If you read the contract sub-section B reads: "It is the intent of the parties that the amounts set forth in Subsection 5(A) shall be cumulative with any other section and with each other." It goes on to give an example similar to what the posters on here have given. By my math he'd get over $800k because let's be honest here, if you win a national championship in football for KANSAS, you're winning every major coaching award that year...

Dyrk Dugan 10 years, 11 months ago

he gets $2.5 million per year, guaranteed...and that is of course, all the radio and TV appearances...the equipment deal, the licensing... the whole nine yards. his base salary will probably be arond 200 grand a a state employee.

the buyouts are important. i am even more convinced now, that Lew Perkins had totally lost buyout in Gill's contract? so HE walks away...and we're owed nothing? simply unbelievable. i know Bill Self has a buyout in his contract.

all of these contracts are guaranteed can't sign someone to work year to year...wtih no guarantee of getting do you square that with recruits? "come to Kansas, and if you play well and are successful...then i'll be able to coach you all four years." that would not fly well at all....and what a boost to the negative recruiters.

we're also paying for the living legend Charlie Weis is. let's get real...if we would have hired Malzahn (who is going to Arkansas st.) or Doeren or even Brent Venables....most HS football players would have had to have been giving the introduction..."Hi. i'm so and so the new KU head football coach...." now it's "Hi, i'm...." "i know who you're Charlie Weis."

frankly, i really don't care how much we pay the head long as he produces. and that means some league wins, some bowl games, and competing with and regularly beating ISU, KSU, OSU and WVU. Go Jayhawks!

deepind 10 years, 11 months ago

Just fyi - none of the KU coaches are state employees. They are all employees of KU Athletics Inc. (a private entity). Only the Athletic Director is hired by KU and hence a state employee.

johnnyphoton 10 years, 11 months ago

I can't imagine being a recruit or a parent of a recruit and looking at those gaudy contract numbers. Wow!

Bville Hawk 10 years, 11 months ago

Yep. I'd say it's about time to sign him to a contract extension (didn't we do that with Mangino about 9 months before we fired him?).

ja3hawk 10 years, 11 months ago

wait... he was building a house in Lawrence?

Mangino_saurus 10 years, 11 months ago

I don't expect Weis to make such major improvements everyone is expecting. Sure the team will win a few more games, but I dont expect KU to finish better than 5th, maybe 4th, in Big 12 during Weis' time here. Just my thoughts.

ja3hawk 10 years, 11 months ago

It all will come down to the kind of recruits he ends up with. If we starting getting a good number of 4* recruits I could see us doing better than that. Much of this depends on the coordinator positions too. If Weis becomes somewhat successful, he might stay even longer. Guys like to hang around for a while when they are winning.

squawkhawk 10 years, 11 months ago

WRONG! It comes down to whether Weis and his staff can actually coach. You don't need 4 and 5 star studs to be successful. Compare UT and KSU for example. UT is full of 4 and 5 star talent but KSU has beat them 4 years running with 2 and 3 star talent. Coaching is the key and I doubt that KU will automatically begin recruiting any more 4 and 5 star kids because Weis is here. Ask any 16 year old who he is and most won't have a clue. Coaching kids up is the key.

LAJayhawk 10 years, 11 months ago

If he is consistently going 8 and 4 and finishing around 4th in the league, the fan base will be FAR more involved than they are, which is goal #1.

With that in place, it will be significantly easier to take the next step to legitimate program that always has a shot at the conference championship.

Increased fan support->Increased exposure->Increased Interest from Recruits->Increase in Success.

It will be a long journey. One step at a time.

texashawk10 10 years, 11 months ago

KU has only finished in the top half of the Big 12 standings ONCE in the 15 year history of the conference. I would gladly take finishing in the top half of the conference just about every year with the occasional challenge for a Big 12 title and the occasional stinker of a season if it means KU goes to a bowl game 8 out of 10 years. 4 or 5 Alamo or Holiday Bowl caliber games with a couple of Pinstripe caliber bowls and a couple of Cotton Bowl or better appearances would be amazing for KU football and I would take that in a heart beat.

Stan Unruh 10 years, 11 months ago

Now maybe he can afford to buy a comb and actually use it. What's up with his hair? I don't remember him looking like that. Great hire...who care about the hair?

hawksince51 10 years, 11 months ago

I agree I don't really care what his hair looks like, but when I saw the head shot I thought we had hired Nick Nolte. The full body shot removed all doubt.

dynamitehawk 10 years, 11 months ago

Dang it... They always get soft after they sign a big contract. <- fat joke :^)

Brak 10 years, 11 months ago

+1 for having Emmett the Otter as your avatar, used to love that movie when I was a kid.

Danny Hernandez 10 years, 11 months ago

9-3, 10-2 records are not out of the question...The right qb, the right defensive line, a great Dcoordinator and it is very well possible. Confidence breeds confidence my good friends...

start playing well, one game at a time....

Kent Kossoy 10 years, 11 months ago

Bug name coach?? Well if he brings ND success to KU then I will say good deal. What he did at ND would be acceptable at KU. However just to pay $12.5 mil for one game, one year or 5 is ridiculous. Texas is paying Mack $5.5 mil/yr and he may be gone in a year or two if things don't change. Anyway just saying. Big Mangino was already on a slide when he went out. So I am sort of getting used to mediocrity we call footbal at KU. I hope that I am wrong. We will see next year!! These last two years made pining for Sunday to begin.

jaybate 10 years, 11 months ago

"The Football Dunciad Continues..."

First, let's give a guy who hasn't recruited in the D1 ranks for four years $2M/yr for 5 years.

Second, let's talk about how stupid we were to give a coach a 5 year guarantied contract.

Third, let's run him after two season, by paying off his contract for $6M, so we lose a bunch of his players, and many of his incoming recruits.

Fourth, let's hire a guy who couldn't get it done at Notre Dame for $2.5M for 5 years.

See this way, we get to be $6M poorer all at once and $500K poorer each year for "upgrading" to a coach who couldn't get it done at ND.

This takes years of experience and lots and lots of savvy to pull off a deal this lousy.

jaybate 10 years, 11 months ago

"Football Dunciad: The Early Staff Adds"

Chollie has apparently decided that coaches from D1 programs are a secondary priority.

His first two hires are:

1) a high school coach from Bishop Miege, who used to be a sports announce and before that a line man for the Chiefs, and, yep, you guessed it, a player at ND;

2) an assistant from University of Akron who had privately participated in Chollie's run at mediocrity at, yep, you guessed it...ND.

Recent D1 major coaching experience and recruiting experience? We don't need no stinking D1 major coaching experience and recruiting experience!

Oh, Father Jenkins, BGL and Crayon Banger have started the Kanas Home for former Notre Damers. Will you please sign up to join the Big 12 now?

Ken Tomberlin 10 years, 11 months ago

While I don't always agree with you, I usually respect what you have to say, but have no idea why you are bagging on the new hires - unless you just have something against ND. I don't know much about Prowlus, but they say he got the max out of Clausen's ability who made all-american in college but never had the talent to go pro. I really like the Grunhard hire. Tim was a all pro center and played ten years in the NFL. He coached high school 6 years and took a mediocre team and turned it into a state champion. I can't think of anyone I would rather have coaching offensive line and he'll be a great recruiter for the KC area.

Gary Wirsig 10 years, 11 months ago

ahperse appears to have hijacked jaybate's name and avatar...geesh!

blackhawkjayhawk 10 years, 11 months ago

Actually, his first hire is Reggie who has lots of D1 experience, plus the OC who recently coached at Florida I think they count as D1 don't they? You might want to wait until the whole staff is hired before blasting his choices...he said that he'd build a strong, cooperative staff....let's give him a chance to do his job.

Lash 10 years, 11 months ago

I stopped watching O'Reilly when he got too big for his britches, about time to skip your posts.

Bangkok_Jayhawk 10 years, 11 months ago

What kind of coach do you see KU getting for discount cost? We have some things going for us, but the only way for us to make a splash is to do exactly what Zenger did. Would you have rather paid a no name 800k to coach? Maybe taking years to energize a fan base the way Weis did in 1 week? If Weis is good, he will be worth far more than 2.5 Million to the university.

LAJayhawk 10 years, 11 months ago


With all due respect (and I don't mean that in the dbaggy way that people usually say it... but with actual respect), you are talking about position coaches, not coordinators. It's fairly rare to see position coaches hired with a lot of D1 experience. That's where they gain the D1 experience and move on to coordinator positions, and then head coaching positions.

Usually you get a guy like the Miege coach who has had very significant success at the high school level (or someone who has been groomed up through the graduate assistant pipeline) as a position coach. Then they have a chance to acclimate to the D1 level without their learning curve having too large an impact on the outcome of games. A guy like Grunhard is the type of guy that Weis could be talking about as grooming for the OC position when he's ready to hand it over. Add to that Grunhard's recruiting ties to KC, and it makes a lot of sense. This is really a very common practice in NCAA football.

I can almost guarantee you that his DC will have pretty significant experience. But you don't see guys usually make lateral moves that often. As in any profession you change jobs for a promotion.

Also, as Weis said, he's looking for guys that will mold well with him. He said in his pressor that he wants "chemistry" with his coaches. So he wants good guys, but also those that he knows won't be a "clubhouse cancer" so to speak.

Thus far, his hires have made a lot of sense in my eyes.

texashawk10 10 years, 11 months ago

Jaybate, I normally love reading your stuff but I don't understand why you're so against the Weis hire. It's low risk-high reward situation for KU because if he fails it just continues the national reputation KU has as being a bad football school and nothing changes, but if Weis is successful KU becomes relevant in football every year and can attract big name coaches when Weis retires if there isn't already a coach in waiting named. Weis' hiring is already paying dividends for KU football because KU football is being discussed very heavily at KU in the middle of basketball season and is getting reported on by media outlets across the country which piques the curiosity of recruits, casual fans, and donors about KU football. KU is also now in the minds of some big name uncommitted recruits and while it's unlikely any come here (except for Crist), just to have KU in their minds as a viable destination is a victory for KU football to build on. This hire is much more risky for Charlie Weis than it is for KU because Weis runs the risk tarnishing his name while KU runs the risk of maintaining the status quo while although not good, doesn't do any damage to KU's reptutation in football.

redbull38 10 years, 11 months ago

Charlie's name is already tarnished. There is no risk if he fails it only reaffirms the opinion nearly everyone has already. Charlie just made 12.5 million. I can't think of a down side to that.

Jeff Soisson 10 years, 11 months ago

These incentives don't matter. $50k on $2.5M is 2%. If he won a national championship, he would get a huge raise and another multi-year contract. This deal probably makes him a top 30 paid coach.

If it takes him 5 years to win a national championship, then we paid him $12.5M for it-I call that even. No bonus needed.

This pay package is not about football, it is about the survival of KU long term. Schools that are competitive in football will be financially viable in the future because TV deals will supplement budgets. Those that are not will have big challenges going forward.

Jayhawk1958 10 years, 11 months ago

The only people that are really down on the hire are from opposition fans especially MU and KSU. They are in denial right now because they are afraid that KU will be a football school in addition to basketball.

squawkhawk 10 years, 11 months ago

99% if KU fans willingly admit that KU is first and formost a BB school and will never (outside of a few good years now and then) be a FB school. It's just the way it is.

hailtoku 10 years, 11 months ago

That's a lot of cheddar.

Can't we offer incentive based compensation? Starte with 1.5 million a year and add. Average 45,000+ in attendance make 500k more. Win 6 games or more make 500k more. Win a bowl game make 750k more. Win 10 games make 500k more. Win a BCS game make 1 million more the following year.

Otherwise I feel we are running into the same problem with Turner. We are paying Weis way more than he is worth.

Ray March 10 years, 11 months ago

I'm surprised they did another 5 year guarantee. I would never do that. You are guaranteed that $ if you do well. If you suck. You won't get paid that $.

I'd set it up for 2 years initially with an option to extend it.

Aside from that 5 year guarantee, $2.5 Million is too much. Pay less as a base with cash incentives for each win/bowl win/conference championship/BCS win/etc...

LeadTrader 10 years, 11 months ago

$208,333.33/month plus all the other benefits one gets from coaching at a major university? Come On. Stop throwing other peoples money around at people who have yet to have proven they are Nick Saban quality. I hope it all works out well, but to have $12.5 million guaranteed regardless of outcome is not good business in my opinion.

redbull38 10 years, 11 months ago

Exactly. Charlie has done nothing to show he deserve half of that 2.5 million. Let him earn it first. Also, what do you think that unlimited personal use of a private jet is worth?

Benjamin Piehler 10 years, 11 months ago

We could have offered Saban a million a month and he probably still wouldnt have taken our call.

Ervin O'Neal 10 years, 11 months ago

I think you are right. KU's donors and alumni already give everything they plan on donating to the school just so they can get better basketball seats. I can't imagine having a top-tier football program would bring in enough additional funds to cover the pay difference between Coach Weis and someone from with a similar resume to Coach Gill when he arrived. That would be asking the football program to generate an additional $500K in revenue over last year..

And since no one is going to give anymore money or buy additional tickets to the games, it would actually be rather embarrassing/humbling to have a Top 10 football team play in a 50K seat stadium. And last year, every seat was already sold for every home game at an average price appropriate for a top-tier program. So we can't rely on additional ticket revenue. I'm sure our marketing team wouldn't be able to find companies willing to pay more money for advertisements, etc. And our fans already buy enough KU clothing for basketball season.

Basketball is plenty large enough to carry our entire sports program/university. As proof, according to the Indy Star database, KU's b-ball program brings in around $12 million annually in revenue while football brings in around $10 million (around half from ticket sales and half from the conference/NCAA). By comparison, our b-ball program brings in just as much revenue as the Texas b-ball team. I mean sure, the UT football team ticket sales are over $16 million and the total revenue for football is over $53 million. But it would be very risky for KU to spend an extra $500K a year trying to tap into that additional football revenue.

I'm sure the school could use another $40 million annually, but what if the gamble didn't pay off? I mean what is really at stake. It's not like the Big 12 is unstable and other conferences will eventually be reviewing our efforts to be relevant in football.

How much does the coach at Lawrence High School make? Maybe we can hire him for say $100K per year. Come on people, join me in the land of hopelessness.

I really wish there was a sarcasm font on these boards.

It only takes Nick Saban 2 years to make $12.5 million. Gary Pinkel and Houston Nutt both made $2.5 million. And I'll take Charlie Weis over either one of them especially given we knew we would have to pay an elite coach a premium to take over our program in its current state.

Bville Hawk 10 years, 11 months ago

"Come on people, join me in the land of hopelessness."

Correction: should be "land of cluelessness."

Benjamin Piehler 10 years, 11 months ago

Skeptics need to chill out. We would have never attracted a guy like Weis without a sexy contract. KU is never going to improve at FB without taking some calculated risks. By calculated, I mean dont risk hiring a nobody.

Jeff Soisson 10 years, 11 months ago

+1, we could have a division II coach now, yikes.

blackhawkjayhawk 10 years, 11 months ago

Dr. Z is all-in on this one - and I don't blame him. We're as bad in football as we can be, we're on the brink of being without a conference because of it, enrollment is down, morale is down - he has decided to go for it. I also think that, through his research and his interview with Weiss, Zenger is absolutely convinced he's got the right guy.

I'm in, too. Let's go Charlie!

jaybate 10 years, 11 months ago

Texashawk10 et al,

There are one of two ways for KU to approach football now:

a) it doesn't matter that we are near the bottom of the football revenue generating list, because we are staying in the Big 12 no matter what for all sorts of political economic infrastructure reasons (the notion that I have always indicated); or

b) the Big 12 cannot hold together and so we must ramp up football in order for KU to be attractive to another BCS conference (an eventuality I highly doubt the Texas/Oklahoma/Kansas energy oligarchy) will ever permit for all sorts of political economic infrastructure reasons.

My problem with the Weis hire is that it satisfactorily addresses neither eventuality.

If a), then either don't squeeze the alumni for $6M, or squeeze them, while keeping Turner Gill and using the $6M to hire 2-3 defensive/recruiting coordinators from different top programs in the conference by giving them each huge $2M signing bonuses to bring in a huge rush of talent and skill, and so actually have gotten some real consideration for the $6M immediately (and if we had to spread Weis extra $500k/yr divided three ways in salary sweetener for the three new coordinators).

If b), then we really needed to open up the purse strings, pay some super coach $5M per year to come in and turn this thing around pronto, and start filling the stadium.

Either option would have been fine with me. Either one.

But Weis accomplishes neither.

He costs us waaaaay more than sticking with Gill, but is really just another guy emphasizing offensive sizzle the same as Gill promised.

Most KU football fans that have been hammering me for my strong opposition to what has happened were, prior to the Weis hire, advocated hiring a defensive coordinator, because they thought successful programs build the defense first and defensive coordinators would start with a well stocked pipeline of defensive recruits. How they can be happy with Weis, I do not know.

But I know this: if you want to build the offense first, then Gill was doing that, whether skillfully, or incompetently (Note: of course I think Gill was on time line for a full rebuild "the right way", but even if you disagree with me you have to say that Weis talking offense first just like Gill).

Next, because so many board rats view football as the only way to generate big dollars, I took a look at the D1 college athletic budget numbers for a number of schools available at:

These figures are dated, but that's because most athletic departments are loath to let out their numbers for fear of alienating people in the present.

tophawk87 10 years, 11 months ago

So why is Z now "willing to wait for the coach to build a program, this takes time...." He should tell that to Coach Gill, who was dumped after two years....

jaybate 10 years, 11 months ago

You just nailed the $1M question!

Great, great cut to the chase.

KGphoto 10 years, 11 months ago

That was my question too, and it's been swept under the rug by a glamourous hire.

Hey, I like the hire. I like Weis just fine and moving forward I will support him like I did Gill. But that doesn't change the fact that Gill was wronged, and that Zenger is a bit of a hypocrite for even saying something like that after what he did.

jaybate 10 years, 11 months ago

I distill the following from the the figures so far:

Successful football programs generate their big dollars by:

  1. Filling stadiums
  2. Charging big time for their tickets.
  3. Extracting huge annual "contributions" from their alumni
  4. An in rare cases (like Texas) generate huge advertising dollars from their own network.

Texas claims to have a huge operating surplus, but a third of the operating surplus (revenues less expenses) comes from $15M in "contributions" and $6M in "advertising revenues."

Now, those advertising revenues at Texas could easily be more massive contributions by advertisers effectively subsidizing Texas, rather than optimizing their advertising dollars.

Next, the figures at the Indianapolis newspaper I examined do not make clear the nature of infrastructure costs associated with the stadium, football athletic dormitories, and the practice facilities.

The probability is that the actual infrastructure cost is not charged as an expense at all in these numbers. The expenses related to infrastructure probably refer only to "operating expenses" like the electricity, water, maintenance and janitorial services racked up with each game and with usage of practice facilities and athletic dormitories.

So: vast cost of land and constructed improvements of the stadium and parking structure, the substantial construction costs of the practice facilities, and of the athletic dorms are left out of the income/expense information. These huge amounts of money would, if properly accounted for, substantially eat into a football programs "great revenue generation." In all probability, the huge infrastructure costs were subsidized the state and by alumi contributions.

So: football, even at the University of Texas, which is widely pointed to as one of the biggest money makers in college sports, is quite frankly a big subsidy sink, even if it is generating some healthy net surpluses in its income/expense pro forma.

jaybate 10 years, 11 months ago

Texas A&M nets $25 million surplus of revenues less expenses. And it generates an impressive $21M in ticket sales, but again, a big chunk of its "revenues" are really private subsidies. TAM gets $5.3M in contributions, plus $1.2M in advertisements and sponsorship (read private subsidy). Subtract $6.2M from the $25M it nets and its net falls to $19.8M, not chump change for sure.

But again, only the expense and not the cost of the infrastructure appears to be figured in.

And another very important thing to remember about Texas and Texas A&M "ticket sales" is the amount from corporate luxury boxes is not indicated. It may be that a rather large percentage of those "ticket sales" come from corporate subsidy of corporate boxes.

Where I am trying to get to here is that football may well not be the great revenue generator that it is cracked up to be.

Rather football may be the great private subsidy generator that no one likes to admit to.

The real question KU must ask itself before it takes the plunge into big time college football is this:

If KU invests heavily enough in coaches and recruiting and infrastructure expansion required to create a team capable of filling the stadium at a 75K expanded capacity, can it realistically expect to attract luxury box investment on a scale commensurate with Texas and TAM, plus $4-5M/yr in "contributions, plus $1M or so in "advertising and sponsorship," so that it can run on a similar model and expect similar profits?

The next step down in business model would be KSU. KSU operates with a small stadium, generates $10.6M in ticket sales, but needs $3.4M/yr in "contributions."

An interesting question arises when looking at all of these numbers.

Why if the programs generate these sizable operating surpluses do these programs require annual "contributions" of $3.4 at KSU to $5M at Texas? :-)

I cannot think of a single reason.

When I combine this mystery with the fact that the only way the Indianapolis newspaper was able to get these figures was by a massive Freedom of Information Act Request, I am left with the following hunch.

jaybate 10 years, 11 months ago

The athletic departments have developed a remarkable means of accounting that these numbers do not fully clarify. :-)

So: back to the Weis hire.

Let us say Chollie was the right guy, despite my doubts. We aren't talking about giving him the kind of annual "contributions" he would need to compete in this rarified atmosphere. We also are not talking about a massive stadium expansion...yet. And I have heard no one indicate that local corporations are crying out to massively subsidize luxury boxes vastly beyond what they are already doing.

It follows then that poor Chollie is probably doomed to fail for lack of resources, despite his raucous new offense and his genius for play calling.

Therefore, if we are determined to fail, why not fail as cheaply as possible with Turner Gill?

Why fail more expensively with Chollie?

I am open to suggestions.

Right now the only anomalies that catch my eye ar that it is rumored that the Big 12 would like to attract ND and the Big East, that Chollie and his assistants so far have ties to Notre Dame, and a gimp quarterback with a year eligibility remaining might be interested in playing QB for KU for a season.

If these dots don't hunt, then what does?

It seems odd that you can attract Chollie and his NDers for the money and 5 year term of contract Chollie got, but not a defensive coordinator from Okie State, OU, UT, or any of a number of big time D1 programs. Usually young defensive coordinators have to start somewhere humble. Why not KU?

What did all those DCs know about KU that we don't?

Mark Mangino turned KU around no problemo. He won a Rose Bowl and almost want a national championship. Had he gone to anger management and replaced his top recruiter (and lost a few pounds), chances are he would still be here.

Something in all of this does not add up. There seems to be some dark matter here in KU's football universe that is hidden, but exerting a force on outcomes of who is fired and who is hired.

All for now.

blackhawkjayhawk 10 years, 11 months ago

Hopefully that's all forever. Your post is what many refer to as a steaming pile of....

jaybate 10 years, 11 months ago

Why don't you just try to explain why hiring Weis makes sense?

And if you would specify which universe it makes sense in.

Your wielding of vulgates is unpersuasive. :-)

DevilHawk 10 years, 11 months ago

It wouldn't surprise me if he had already put together an idea of who he wanted on his staff and proposed that staff to Zenger during their meeting.

It seems quite clear that he had already put a fair amount of thought into what he was going to do and which he recruits he was going to target.

The amount that we are paying him is almost certainly ludicrous. There seems to be very little doubt about that. That said, the reason that Zenger is honoring Gill's contract (at least for the time being) is because it means that he doesn't need to deal with a lawsuit - which can be extremely expensive in terms of financial costs, time that would have been better spent doing other things / opportunity costs, and other potential costs that could reasonably result from such a lawsuit.

LAJayhawk 10 years, 11 months ago

Also, KU would clearly lose that lawsuit. The contract is pretty straight forward. Gill is owed that money.

"...the reason that Zenger is honoring Gill's contract (at least for the time being)..."

There is no "time being" about it. It's being honored. They must pay him the FULL 6 million within 90 days of termination. Once that's paid the contract has been fulfilled. There's no change of mind at that point. I suppose they could say "we're not paying you" between now and the 90 day window (assuming the check hasn't already been sent), but that will open up a lawsuit they would absolutely lose.

Daniel Kennamore 10 years, 11 months ago

Worth every penny.

A third of his yearly salary has come in the form of extra donations to the Williams Fund in the last week alone.

blackhawkjayhawk 10 years, 11 months ago

I think that it is wrong to be disrespectful to someone before they've even really started the job. Misspelling someone's name and exhibiting your superiority complex apparently takes a thousand words or more - thank goodness no one reads iy.

jaybate 10 years, 11 months ago

How's this for respect.

I respect the heck out of Chollie for bargaining $2.5M/yr for a guarantied 5 years, and getting KU to buy out Gill for $6M.

And what major college football program was Chollie going to be taking the head coaching reins at this season, if KU had not out competed them for his services?

I have no superiority complex whatsoever.

I am so dumb that none of this firing of Gill and hiring of Chollie makes any sense to me.

I am really struggling to connect the dots on the logic of this chain of events.

I want to be humbled by the brilliance of this firing/hiring scenario if someone would just explain what in heaven's name the reasoning was.

And don't tell me KU couldn't hire anyone else for this kind of money; that's goofy on its face.

Somebody at KU wanted Chollie, wanted him bad enough to quit looking for someone more qualified.

Was it BGL and Zenger?

Or someone else?

bad_dog 10 years, 11 months ago

"I am really struggling to connect the dots on the logic of this chain of events."

The Reader's Digest version...

Randy Bombardier 10 years, 11 months ago

I really don't get it either. It appears to be a complex conspiracy. It is too stupid to be by accident. No one can be this dumb. Of course committees can. The Club of Rome, Lawrence Chapter?

jaybate 10 years, 11 months ago

In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way. --Franklin D. Roosevelt

I hear universities are pretty political places. :-)

JayDocMD 10 years, 11 months ago

Recruiting update: Charlie Weiss, Ron Powlus, & Reggie Mitchell were in McPherson, KS Tuesday to recruit Tyler Matthews. According to Rivals, Matthews is a 4 star QB and is the 7th ranked pro style QB in the nation. He has an oral commitment to TCU, but also recently talked to Ok St. Reports are he's still happy with TCU but listened & said he'd talk to his parents.

JayHok 10 years, 11 months ago

Did he see his four super bowl rings and two BCS bowl rings?

Seems like it's not a bad clip for Weis: 5 out of the 15 NFL teams he was an assistant coach on played in a Super Bowl. 3 of them where he was OC won a superbowl championship ring. 2 of the 5 years he was a head college coach his team went to a BCS bowl. That's 40% at a school that had strict admissions standards. Through it all he had a #1 recruiting class, every one of his players graduated and several made it big in the NFL.

Oh and his new quarterback coach developed Clausen. Talk about a resume.

If the worst that can be said about Weis is he went 6-6 at Notre Dame his final year, a year after an injury ridden season depleted his roster, a year where he played a bunch of unproven freshmen, I'll take it.

He said chemistry is #1 thing he learned at ND. Judging from his hires, he's showing that he's very serious about this.


blackhawkjayhawk 10 years, 11 months ago

Great to hear we were in there taking our hacks....who knows? There is a lot of buzz out there, maybe the kid would like to be a home state hero.

William James 10 years, 11 months ago


Notre Dame had to pay Weis $6.6 million to go away. Will KU have to pay more? Zenger is a near clone of Perkins, only Perkins didn't have his own mistakes he could learn from. Zenger learned nothing from Perkins mistakes! Kansas Football should seriously be covered on Comedy Central. That is not a joke.

Jayhawk1958 10 years, 11 months ago

You don't know what you are talking about. You seem to think that Weis isn't any better then Gill. I suggest you do your homework.

bad_dog 10 years, 11 months ago

When considering the source, keep in mind his user name is "fabio".

jaybate 10 years, 11 months ago

Weis is more expensive than Gill.

Weis is not better than Gill, not yet.

blackhawkjayhawk 10 years, 11 months ago

Great news and thanks for the update. We've got some momentum going, let's hope that it keeps on rolling!

ParisHawk 10 years, 11 months ago

Is it possible there is a double-barrelled conspiracy going on? Zenger and Weis want to lower expectations, so they get the most articulate posters like jaybate to argue against the hire. Why double-barrelled? Because either it works and fans calm down, or it forces others to counter with expressions of support, which means they can't back down without losing face.

Like a true conspirator, jaybate will probably deny all this.

jaybate 10 years, 11 months ago

ParisHawk is a conspiracy theorist accusing others of being conspirators.

Clearly ParisHawk is part of a conspiracy accusing others of being conspirators.

Not to worry, ParisHawk, remember that legal conspiracy accounts for about 90 percent of what gets done in any committee in any part of our society.

The other ten percent?

I can't say for sure, but it seems reasonable, based on our Presidential administrations of the last 50 years that we can be pretty sure some part of that is illegal conspiracy. :-)

Conspiracy is not a bad word, like Neocon Republican, or oligarch, or central bank owner, or greedy bastards sucking the middle class dry. :-)

Conspiracy is just a word describing one sub group pursuing its agenda without telling everyone else about how they are doing it.

Conspiracy is a wonderful, useful word describing everyday behavior that goes on in all of our committees in every firm and government in the land, and people who use it wisely are to be praised, where as persons who use it for iSmearing, as you do, are to reviled and urinated upon even as they are forgiven in a good, clean Christian way. :-)

iSmearing for any reason is never a good thing.

iSmearing someone for something as wonderful as legal conspiracy is disgraceful and perhaps worthy of a second round of urination and forgiveness.

This is called paradoxing in the Psy-ops trade that developed the conspiracy smear.

FYI. :-)

Shawn Otrimble 10 years, 11 months ago

Since when has jaybate decided to take over Tom Keegan's position of doing crappy editorials???? His words are more numbing than me taking my 8 yr old daughter to school and having to listen to the "Vive 95.7"..... Jaybate in a perfect world I would only allow you 10 words per article or be punishable by death.

jaybate 10 years, 11 months ago

in a perfect world you would be mucus.

hawksince51 10 years, 11 months ago

Now that we have hired him for 5 years, Weis has my full support and I truly hope that he earns every dollar by being a great recruiter and coach. But, I have to question whether he is as proven a coach as many seem to feel. His best years at ND were with players his predecessor recruited. And the Super Bowl rings as an Assistant Coach have to be taken with a grain of salt. Coaching Brady under Belichick could make a lot of assistants look good. I offer Josh McDaniel, the Denver disaster, as an example. All that said, I realize one has to consider how hard it probably was to get a big-time FB coach to come to KU given our recent history. I hope Weis turns out to be the big-time coach that this contract suggests he is.

redbull38 10 years, 11 months ago

You would have to be fans of a basketball school to believe Weis is a good college head coach. Oh wait, Never mind.

KU is paying Weis more than Notre Dame did to start. The sad part is KU knows he is a bad head coach up front. Weis had 2 respecable seasons at ND and then wen 16-21 in his last 3 years with the player he signed. ND gets player by just bing ND. So either Weis is really bad at recruiting or really bad at coaching. Either way bad is bad.

You might say 16-21 is lots better than where we are at. With the athletes that KU can expect to sign that 16-21 turns into 5-32 pretty fast. Even if Weis is 16-21 in 3 years is 5 to 6 wins a season worth 2.5 million?

hawksince51 10 years, 11 months ago

While we share some of the same concerns, I would like to think the glass is half-full. Weis left ND under negative circumstances and there was a general feeling that arrogance was one of his biggest problems. Let us hope he has been humbled by being fired and his modest results as OC at Florida. He has to realize that this is his last shot so while his personality probably won't change, I would like to think his behavior will. After all, as your last paragraphs suggest, what's there to be arrogant about when you are FB coach at KU?

Tony Bandle 10 years, 11 months ago

Maybe we should make a matching offer to be split equally among the players as well.

Heck, that's what they do in the SEC and the Pac 12!!! [posted with heartfelt malice :)]

FreddyinLA 10 years, 11 months ago

Another bad contract. No way should CW be given 5 guaranteed years. Did we not learn anything?

Randy Bombardier 10 years, 11 months ago

Yes, we did. We is taking a correspondence course for sports management. I want to be an AD.

TKHAWK 10 years, 11 months ago

I'm old enough to remember how upset Patriot fans were when they hired Bilechick. This a great article. It only takes the right fit to be great. Yes, Weiss may fail, but there's just as good a chance, maybe better, that 10 years from now, no one even talks about Weiss the ND coach, they say Weiss, the Hall of Fame Coach from Kansas. I like listening to Weiss talk. Reminds me of Mangino, straight forward, no bs, tells it how it is. There' s no magic wand.

LAJayhawk 10 years, 11 months ago

Wow, great interview/article. Couple of quotes that jumped out at me:

"I've been offered multiple head coaching jobs since I left. Not one. Multiple. For really good money too. Didn't interview with any of them...

"Just didn't want to do it. Just really wasn't interested. Obviously when (Kansas) presented this, I talked to them. I thought somebody else was getting the job that night, from what everyone had told me. When (Florida coach Will) Muschamp and I talked in the morning, he said, 'So-and-so is going to get the job tonight, but if you want to talk to them, go talk to them.' That guy was waiting for that phone call when I was on a plane flying to Lawrence, I guess. That's really how it all went down. When I sat down to talk to Kansas, you didn't know where this was headed. And five and a half hours later, it was a totally different ballgame."


And this:

[With respect to coaching football at a "basketball school"] "I'm playing into that one hard, now. What do you think my best recruiting tool is going to be? Saturday afternoon at Allen Fieldhouse, are you kidding me? I had guys over there the other day for the Ohio State game, it was rocking and rolling. Why ignore that? Play into it. Play into that culture. This is what you want it to be like. To me, thank God for Bill Self and that basketball team. Other than the facilities and us, it's going to the best recruiting tool we've got."

Double Awesome.

Very good read. Thanks for the link.

Michael Leiker 10 years, 11 months ago

Not the way I would have preferred this whole coaching search to go down, but at least Weis is someone you can get behind. Looking forward to 2012. It will be exciting.

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