Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Media darling: Charlie Weis witty, pointed at gathering

Kansas coach Charlie Weis speaks during the Big 12 college football media days on Tuesday, July 24, 2012, in Dallas.

Kansas coach Charlie Weis speaks during the Big 12 college football media days on Tuesday, July 24, 2012, in Dallas.



Final thoughts from KU's time at Big 12 media days

Additional Big 12 media days coverage

• Check out Tuesday's live blog from Dallas, which includes videos, photos and updates from the Jayhawks' appearance in Dallas.

— After spending the offseason cobbling together a roster he believes can compete in the Big 12, first-year Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis is looking for more.

With just a week remaining before fall camp opens, Weis said Tuesday at Big 12 media days that he had explored the idea of adding a Penn State player or two that might now be available because of the powerful punishment levied against PSU in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

As outlined in the NCAA’s ruling, any Penn State player interested in transferring is free to do so without having to sit out a season.

Such language almost seems tailor-made for Weis, whose first squad at KU is filled with guys looking for a second chance.

Asked if he had glanced at the Penn State roster, Weis answered with a single word: Yes.

He then elaborated and, in doing so, demonstrated that he was not letting his potential to profit cloud his feelings about the tragedy at Penn State.

“First of all, you have to be respectful to (PSU) coach (Bill) O’Brien and the people who are trying to make good of a bad situation,” Weis said. “But, at the same time, the rules are the rules. When the dust settles, I think there will be several players that entertain the thought of going somewhere else, especially the way it was presented to them. So I think that any program that didn’t do homework prior to this decision coming out was behind on that one.”

As was the case with the eight Big 12 football coaches who spoke before him this week, Weis shared his thoughts about the Penn State mess. Unlike the others, Weis got into it before he was asked.

“My feelings on that is that no one wins,” Weis said in his opening statement. “Everyone loses. There’s no winner in that situation. So I prefer not to take any further than that.”

That was the last time Tuesday that Weis’ words carried any kind of heavy-hearted tone. From that point on, Weis, who wore a dark suit with a blue tie and a Jayhawk pin on his jacket, was the jovial, sarcastic, honest and cunning coach he has shown himself to be since taking over the KU program last December. It’s something his new players have come to expect, and something many believe will expedite the rebuilding process at Kansas.

“Same guy he was when he called me on the phone the first time in high school,” senior quarterback Dayne Crist said. “He’s always got bounce in his step. He’s always got a plan.”

If there were any difference in Weis’ demeanor Tuesday, senior co-captain Toben Opurum said was his coach’s tone.

“He was a lot nicer today than he usually is,” Opurum said.

Could that be chalked up to Weis’ wife, Maura, being in Dallas with him?

“That might be why,” Opurum said.

Following their coach’s lead, the Jayhawks dressed more sharply, talked more proudly and captured more attention at this year’s media days than in previous years. It was a little weird coming from a program that had just endured two of the worst seasons in school history. Then again, it was exactly what is expected from a club led by Weis.

Ever the realist, Weis cautioned about reading too much into anything that was said or gleaned from this week, even while admitting that the outside world now seems to have a much different opinion about KU football today than it did eight months ago.

“Yeah, they do,” Weis said. “But we haven’t played a game yet. I brought some credibility, (defensive coordinator Dave) Campo brought some credibility, Dayne brought some credibility. But it still comes down to playing the game.”

While Tuesday’s funny stories, free smiles and smooth confidence changed the way the Jayhawks were treated at media day, that internal optimism did little to alter the end-all, be-all of where the Jayhawks stand in the world of college football. Weis was fine with that.

“I know where we are in this whole pecking order,” he said. “I know that everyone sees, ‘Here’s the good teams,’ and then they work their way down to Kansas at the bottom. But we’re not gonna be one of those teams where you’re just gonna roll into Lawrence and say, ‘OK, we got an easy W, let’s go whup up on the Jayhawks and go on to the next one.’”

From being on top of the world after Super Bowl victories to being under an intense microscope at Notre Dame, Weis has been in just about every conceivable situation, many of them much bigger than Big 12 media days. But he’s at Kansas now, and, even though his image might have undergone a transformation, Weis is not about to scrap the way he does business.

“You might say the expectations are different,” Weis said. “But everyone wants the same thing.”

The Jayhawks are scheduled to report to camp a week from today, and fall practice will begin Thursday.


Brak 9 years, 9 months ago

So I was curious what Frist meant so I looked it up:

v. To give an opinion that one is not fully qualified to give.

So yea that was very appropriate for you to post since that sums up everything you type.

Eric Mitchell 9 years, 9 months ago

First Sorry, I couldn't help myself. It was just right there.

Jeffery Barrett 9 years, 9 months ago

Come on, any player that stays at PSU isn't supporting child rape. They may have some misguided loyalty but that's it.

KGphoto 9 years, 9 months ago

Staying certainly doesn't mean you are supporting child rape. That's going way too far. However, it would be difficult to use that locker room, especially the showers, after all of this has surfaced.

On that note, it would be a great idea if the boosters ponied up, had the old facility torn down, and built a new one in it's place. Exorcise the awful demons and get a fresh start with a modern facility to show you are serious about moving forward and building football back up. If I saw that happen, as a player, I might consider staying.

jhox 9 years, 9 months ago

Does anyone know how many remaining available scholarships he would have for late transfers? I have to assume (given that he's looking) that we must have one or more available.

James Kiernan 9 years, 9 months ago

The NCAA is waiving the 85 scholarship limit for programs that are full and accept Penn State transfers, for the upcoming school year. NCAA stipulates said school must meet 85 roster limits for the 2013 season.

troutsee 9 years, 9 months ago

We will be a lot better this year. No blow out losses and a few more wins that the pundits think. Think about it. With just a break here and there wer could have won a couple of more games last year. We are going to surprise some teams this year. All teams better be ready to play Kansas. This team and coaching staff have a chip on their shoulders and something to prove, and that is a dangerous situation for the favorites.

KGphoto 9 years, 9 months ago

Totally agree. The blowouts clouded that fact that we were actually in enough games to have been bowl eligible with said breaks. Baylor, Iowa St. TTech and Misery. That's 6 wins, and we "woulda, coulda" in each one. I know people hate those words and I'm not saying we were a bowl team, because we DID lose those games, but I never thought it was as bad as it has snowballed to be on a national, or even local scale.

If you had only replaced Gill, Webb and Long with Weis and Crist, in those games, we probably "woulda". This team is plenty talented.

texashawk10 9 years, 9 months ago

Had KU managed to get to 5 or 6 wins last year with Gill, there likely wouldn't be the issues of mental toughness, lack of organization, and conditioning. Just remember that Gill's name will be in KU's record book for the largest comeback in school history when KU beat Colorado in 2010 and got Dan Hawkins fired.

jhox 9 years, 9 months ago

Rumor was that opposing Big 12 coaches were talking among each other last year about how KU's talent was much better than they were showing in thier performances. Coaching was a big problem, no question about it, especially on the defensive side of the ball. That being said, this conference is going to be killer this year. Anything more than 4 or maybe 5 wins would be nothing short of a miracle. People talk about the trouble Missery is going to have in the SEC, but I'd rather play a SEC schedule than a Big 12 schedule. The SEC may have a couple of teams at the top better than any in the Big 12, but from number 3 down, the Big 12 is better.

HAWKTOPIA 9 years, 9 months ago

In Charlie there is an unrelenting desire to manifest a winning strategy in every situation. This trait on the Kansas sideline is worth a few wins per year. Rock Chalk!

Fototherapist 9 years, 9 months ago

I love it. I hope Weis gets fatter and meaner every year!

Kevin Crook 9 years, 9 months ago

A really talented QB and a coach who both have a chip on their shoulder, feeling like they have something to prove can be very dangerous for a team that nobody likes. Everyone who plays us will have the pressure on their sideline. We are expected to lose. If we can embrace this and play with reckless abandon we could shock some teams and steal a few Ws.

Robert Brown 9 years, 9 months ago

Not sure why making a good impression at Media Days is that critical. Give me dour Bill Snyder or colorless Bob Stoops who consistently win over someone who is more entertaining to the media.

John Boyle 9 years, 9 months ago

If I recall the media liked Turner Gill at first as well.

littlerichard 9 years, 9 months ago

I tried to be optimistic about Gill, but from day one the fact that he could not utter a coherent sentence scared me. Coaching requires intelligence, along with other talents. There is no comparison between Gill and Weis.

texashawk10 9 years, 9 months ago

The reason it's important for a new coach to give a good impression at media days is because it makes the media want to cover your school in a positive light early on. The positive publicity will help out with recruiting and the coach getting high profile interviews or profiles on major networks which again puts a positive light on the school and program and hopefully translates into landing higher quality players. When a coach has been around and had as much success as Snyder or Stoops, they don't have to worry about what the media thinks because their on-field success speaks for itself.

machinegun 9 years, 9 months ago

Coach Weis nailed it!

"Recruiting is the lifeline of every program. Right? All right. So it's a Saturday afternoon in January. And you're going out on the fieldhouse with about 20 recruits you're bringing in. The place is rocking and rolling. The decibel level is well over 100. You've got one of the best basketball teams in the country with arguably the best coach on an annual basis playing, and the fans are going bananas. And what you're saying to these players coming in, saying: That's what we want -- that's what we want Memorial Stadium to become like. You've got to come here and give them a reason to be that way. I mean, they're already seeing evidence of what the people are willing to do. But you have to help become part of it."

Robert Brown 9 years, 9 months ago

I was skeptical when Weis was hired but he has done and said all the right things and has me excited for this season. I would like to believe we can win two conference games and not be viewed as an easy win.

jgkojak 9 years, 9 months ago

A lot of reports have many of the top Penn St players (RB Silas Redd) staying.

texashawk10 9 years, 9 months ago

The upperclassman who are starters or will get significant playing time aren't the players that are likely to leave. Those players ultimate goal is to make it to the NFL and Bill O'Brien is someone who has coached in the NFL for awhile and can get those kids to the NFL. It's the backups looking for more playing time and the young kids who want to play in bowl games and don't necessarily have the attachment to PSU that the leaders of the team have that are likely to transfer out.

cool_beans 9 years, 9 months ago

I will be happy if the teams wins four games.

VaJay 9 years, 9 months ago

I will be happy if this team shows fight each and every game, we show progress throughout the season, we don't get blown out due to opposing coaches "out-adjusting" us at halftime (I really got tired of that one), & we surprise the heck out of some teams that don't expect much trouble from us.

Kyle Sybesma 9 years, 9 months ago

Never under estimate someone who is motivated. HCCW is motivated to redeem his time at Notre Dame. I loved when he questioned why KSU was successful and KU wasn't. K-State has no tradition. Coach Snyder came in and created a winning atmosphere. Coach Weis can do the same. Will do the same.

KemDooKU 9 years, 9 months ago

  • I have never been this excited about KU football to begin. He may not win the Big 12 title this year but he has already won a place in my heart- ......I need a tissue!

jgkojak 9 years, 9 months ago

Wins: South Dakota Rice Northern Illinois Iowa State

In the game with a chance: KSU Texas Tech TCU(!)

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 9 months ago

No Baylor...without the heisman trophy winner, we might have a chance to actually finish the game.

machinegun 9 years, 9 months ago

Beating the crap out of Texas counts as two wins!

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