Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Weis seeking solutions, not silver linings at KU


Last Sunday, as part of KSHB 41 Action News’ weekly Sunday Night Sports Report series, Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis sat down with Jack Harry and talked about all things Jayhawks.

From the reasons he took the job to how far the Jayhawks have to go, Weis offered a candid look at both himself and the program during the brief interview. Although Weis and Harry shared a few laughs and tackled some lighter topics, one theme stood out and provided further proof that Weis came to KU to work hard and get things headed in the right direction.

“When you walk into a place that’s 2-10, you’re not looking for a silver lining,” Weis told Harry. “You’re looking, ‘OK, what are the problems, how are we gonna fix ’em?’ You really just gotta take a grind mentality, a workmanlike approach and say, ‘OK, what do we have to do, on and off the field, to fix the problems?’ And you just start fixing the problems.”

In a little more than six months, Weis has done a lot of that. From weeding out guys who did not fit his philosophies to dramatic improvements in the classroom, Weis has made his presence felt at KU. He also has made quite an impact with KU fans and done more than his share of the meet-and-greet type of stuff in communities large and small.

“Whether you like it or not, I think it’s a necessity. I really do,” he said. “Especially in a program that’s been down here for the last few years. Your fans are hungry for change and they want to see the change in a positive direction. (The fans) recognize who Charlie Weis is but they don’t know who Charlie Weis is. They’re two different things. So I think that going out there and them getting to know you and what you stand for and what your beliefs are kind of energizes them.”

Although Weis has admitted multiple times that there remains a long way to go, he reminded Harry last Sunday that there was concrete evidence out there that you can win at KU.

“It wasn’t like it was 20 years ago that this program won now,” Weis said. “It was a short time ago when they were winning back-to-back bowl games.”

Here are a few other highlights from the show:

Weis on KC quarterback Matt Cassel: “They got Matt Cassel and they got my boy Brady Quinn, too, now. Forget about (second-year pro Ricky) Stanzi for a second, because I don’t really know him, but two of my favorite quarterbacks are on the Chiefs. I’m a big fan of Matt Cassel. ... We won plenty of games with Matt at quarterback, and I believe the Chiefs can win plenty of games with Matt at quarterback again.”

On new Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning: “Peyton Manning hasn’t done too well against (Chiefs coach) Romeo (Crennel) now. I’m just saying. If there’s one guy in this league, other than Bill Belichick, who’s really done a nice job against Peyton Manning, it’s that Crennel guy.”

On hearing from KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger last December about the KU opening: “My wife and son and I kind of had the same reaction that everyone else had when you got that phone call from Dr. Zenger — ‘Kansas?’ It’s just like when I call a recruit and they say, ‘Where are you coach,’ and I say, ‘Kansas.’ (They go), ‘Kansas?’”

On where his largely negative national public image comes from: “It came from being from New Jersey. I blame everything on my parents. You know, you’re brought up in a certain spot and you get (stereotyped). But it’s not really important where it came from. The fact is, it is what it is. And I think that when (people) get to know you a little different, it really kind of opens their eyes, saying, ‘Hey, maybe we got something here.’”

On his health, after a long recovery from an incident that took place in September of 2008, when Weis was wiped out on the Notre Dame sideline during a game against Michigan: “I’ve never watched it, but I lost both my knees and my left hip. Now, I’m the bionic man; I’ve got all metal in me, but I haven’t felt this good in a long, long time.”


ukanjhox 10 years ago

I hate the phrase "it is what it is" more than anything in this world. But, it is what it is.

That being said, I wish Weis would have punched Jack Harry in the face. I'm not sure why anyone associated with KU would agree to talk to that guy. Jack must love KU football since we've been so bad recently.

omng392 10 years ago

Jack has been in the KC news going on 30 years or more. I for one think it's an excellent opportunity to speak to the KU alum who aren't quite yet buying into KU football. It also gives Weis an opportunity to put his face in front of every metro area high school football athletes parents and sell the program.

Smart move, steal as many football players in the KC area from Mizzou and build the base for donors in the KC area all at one time

Jeff Coffman 10 years ago

What about..."more than anything in this world" or "That being said".

Those have to be right up there with "it is what it is".

okiedave 10 years ago

It all depends on what the definitions of what "is" is.

april28 10 years ago

"coach 'em up" and "eye test" are the two sports phrases that drive me nuts. Agreed....Jack Harry ("KU will finish no higher than 5th in the league in basketball") certainly qualifies as one of the most annoying Tiggers of all time.

I've got to say this about Weis: he seems to have a very clear plan on fixing this program. Now, with this guy, I can truly BELIEVE.

jhox 10 years ago

I like Jack Harry. At least he doesn't hide where his alegences lie. Besides, who does a better job of motivating our players? Recall his comments early last basketball season on where we would finish?

He is a misguided guy who really doesn't have a great understanding of sports, but he makes things interesting with his controversial comments and predictions. Besides, how sweet is it when our guys prove him wrong, again and again? That's why I enjoy watching him more than any other local sportscaster.

JayHok 10 years ago

Good point. Sorry to hear about the cocaine bust in the Mizzou hotel though---during breakfasttime of the day Mizzou would play Norfolk. I guess he would have been right there during the bust. Interesting how he didn't report on it.

Scott Smetana 10 years ago

Never heard of that! Do you have a post? Sure it was Meth?

Ron Prichard 10 years ago

I wonder if Jack introduced Charlie Weis as the new coach of the Beakers? I can't stand that guy.

Mat Davis 10 years ago

I was reluctant to like Coach Weis when he was originally hired, but he has turned me into a fan of his. From the staff he has hired to his candid assessments, I like what he has done so far. I think his time at ND may have given him a bit of humility, and has also made him hungry to prove the doubters wrong. KU is an underdog program with a coach with something to prove, and that is a powerful recipe for success.

KGphoto 10 years ago

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

Weis is our Coreleone!

Matt Kenton 10 years ago

C'mon, Jack Harry is just another media pawn (and also a very short man if you have ever seen him in person). His "Jack's Smack" segment is a weak attempt at taking an old guy and making him seem fresh and edgy. Probably just an effort by the station to boost ratings, and I guess it worked if we are still talking about it six months later.

Tony Bandle 10 years ago

Max needs to Jack out into the parking lot and beat the crap out of him!!! :}

I'd pay good money to see that fight, as opposed to last week's travesty!!

kureader 10 years ago

You're exactly right. Apparently Jack comes from the school of sportscasting that teaches: being outspoken and saying outlandish and stupid things will increase viewership. If I have accidentally turned to Channel 5, I immediately change the channel when his ugly mug appears. He's awful.

number1jayhawker 10 years ago

Jack Smack is on channel 41, not 5.

This interview can be viewed on 41's website.

baldwinjhawk 10 years ago

Any guy who would go and rally the troops in Dodge and Garden has my vote. My cousins live "Out West" as we call it... Anything past Topeka is out west to me... But they said he was dynamic and funny and had great turnouts for our alums out there. Go Charlie!

Terry N Tom Denner 10 years ago

Okay, what are the problems ?? #1 Turner Gile was the biggest problem and now he is gone.

2 Some dirty laundry that can't cut the mustard has packed up and left the Ball Club.

Miles Nease 10 years ago

What does this have to do with football?

JayHok 10 years ago

Well the University of Kansas---like Duke, Kentucky and UNC---have had a couple embarrassing 3rd round---2nd round under the old system--- losses and one second round loss---first under the old system.

Mizzou has had too many early embarrassing losses in its history to count and in fact often in its history doesn't make the NCAA tournament. Butler in the last three years has made it to the final 4 twice. Mizzou in its history has never made the final 4.

The good thing about the University of Kansas, Duke, Kentucky and UNC have in common that Mizzou doesn't in its loss to Norfolk State is the following.

Cocaine didn't factor into it.

Bville Hawk 10 years ago

"Cocaine didn't factor into it."

And how do you know that?

JayHok 10 years ago

Sorry my sentences are jumbled. Re-read and I think you'll get the meaning. UNC, Kansas, Duke, Kentucky can proudly declare no one from the team flight that was a friend of the players was busted for cocaine the morning of a game.

Scott Smetana 10 years ago

Get a clue... VCU was in the Elite 8 and a very good team. UNI was not in the first round. Where in the heck do you get there with "Right up there"?!

flyingfinn 10 years ago

We all including myself focus on won-loss records and while I know that this football team will be better it will take a while to reach the levels we all hope for. What really impresses me on Coach Weis so far is the installation of discipline and the complete turn around in the classroom of the football team. Weis is a no nonsense guy and that compared to the last 2 years is really refreshing.

danmoore 10 years ago

A year ago I didn't know who Jack Harry was. Now I'm his biggest fan. I wish someone would assemble a video montage of all his KU predictions from last years basketball season. Priceless.

machinegun 10 years ago

Jack Harry? Clown in the Circus!

vd 10 years ago

Amazing (on a football article) no one remembers Harry picked the Hawks to go 11-1 in football in 08. They only remember his BB prediction last year.

Don Everett 10 years ago

Prove it with a link of some sort. Otherwise, shut the hell up.

machinegun 10 years ago

Some of us remember more than others! Here are a couple of quotes from Harry's rant calling for Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little to do away with our football program:

"I'm calling on the Chancellor at Kansas to do everything in her power to drop football."

"Just do away with the sport and all the embarrassment it has brought to the University."

danmoore 10 years ago

Here are some quotes from some anonymous employees at KSHB.

“I’m calling on the Station Manager to do everything in his power to drop Jack Harry.”

“Just do away with his program and all the embarrassment it has brought to KSHB.”

danmoore 10 years ago

It’s his conviction that I find so hilarious. Most people who are wrong as often as Jack are unemployed.

texashawk10 10 years ago

I think Charlie Weis should regularly do interviews with Jack Harry. It could be his way of participating in the Border War since he likely won't get the chance to do so on the field.

Norm Jennings 10 years ago

I can't understand criticizing the quality of discourse from sports journalists/reporters/broadcasters; however they prefer to be described.


Were you expecting Edward R. Murrow or the second coming of William Shakespeare?

Complaining about some facet of sports journalistic prowess as if it were a PBS documentary or a report on international affairs of state is darn near at the level of cliche itself. is attacking the quality of others posts on a sports thread,

but then, I LOVE cliches!

Steve Brown 10 years ago

Jack is the arse that shoved a microphone into Nick COllison's face right before championship final four game asking, "hey what's your comment on the breaking news a moment ago that it is now official your coach is leaving you guys after today?"

He was pawn of Tar Heel forces that submarined our boys with a premature release as they knew what UCLA learned that if Roy or (Larry in '88) won it all they would reverse their comitment to come and coach, as long as it was kept quiet until the finals were conlcuded. Tar Heels got nervous started leaking the news. Jack is not a sportsreporter he is a tiger tool, I will not watch any TV station that pays him and next year will ban all TV stations covering SEC football. I may have to drop all local news shows. Ban SEC from KC networks.

Proud of HCCW for facing the dragon.

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