Monday, November 19, 2012


Opinion: Dayne Crist can still help KU


Dayne Crist obviously fell short of his billing as the short-term savior of the downtrodden Kansas University football program, but that doesn’t mean he can’t help KU in the long term. In fact, he already does every time he opens his mouth.

Nobody sells Charlie Weis with more passion than Crist, the Notre Dame graduate who lost his KU starting quarterback job to red-shirt freshman Michael Cummings midway through the season.

Before stating why he thinks the coach who recruited him to ND and KU will reverse the fortunes of the only school of the six so-called BCS Conferences without a conference victory the past two seasons combined, Crist offered a qualifier.

“I’m obviously very biased in my feelings for Coach Weis,” Crist said.

He meant biased in favor of him. Crist left his two-school coach no choice but to demote him.

“He does nothing for show,” Crist said of Weis, in danger of becoming the first KU coach in history to lose 11 games in a season. “Everything he does is from the heart. As players, we just felt great that he cared enough about us to make this week about the seniors when he didn’t have to do things like buy the extra seats. That just speaks volumes about the type of guy he is and the type of commitment he has to his players.”

So far, the football program’s most tangible sign of progress under Weis has come in the classroom, where the team GPA bounced from 2.46 to 3.0 in the first semester under the new coach. Players receive punishments — such as being left off the travel squad — for tardiness to class and/or tutoring sessions.

“He’s no hypocrite about academics,” Crist said. “Never has been. Never will be. Sure, the demands are higher than maybe people expected, but that’s too bad. That’s what’s there. At the end of the day, it’s for the best, and football is what we do, it’s not who we are. I think the academic part of it and the emphasis he places upon that, as an older guy stepping back, you realize how important that is.”

As a captain, Crist doesn’t keep that perspective to himself.

“The young guys kind of whine a little bit about how things are tough,” Crist said. “Some of the older guys have been there to help steer them along and help them realize the value of their education.”

Crist said he “couldn’t think of a better head coach to get this thing turned around.”

He also said he believes Weis will upgrade recruiting. Those gains will take time. Already, Crist said he has seen a new culture taking root.

“The mentality he has been able to instill I think sometimes goes unnoticed in terms of toughness,” Crist said. “That’s where I can see a huge evolution, even in the short time I’ve been here.”

In Crist, Kansas has an unofficial recruiter for as long as Weis is coach.


MoralVictory 9 years, 7 months ago

I'd like to see Crist stay on as a GA next year.

hawk316 9 years, 7 months ago

Both of these men, Crist and Weis, impress me as high quality individuals. Adversity has a way of revealing one's true character. Win/loss record aside, the KU football program took a big step forward this year because of these two.

yates33333 9 years, 7 months ago

Great Idea. Is he interested? A MoralVictory

DrGraydog 9 years, 7 months ago

maybe he will be drafted by the Chiefs.....they could use a quarterback

jhox 9 years, 7 months ago

He meets all of the Chiefs QB qualifications...good guy, inaccurate arm, tough to win with under center.

Seriously, I suspect he will make a good coach some day. He is a natural leader. If only he could throw an accurate pass...

Jeffery Barrett 9 years, 7 months ago

He can throw an accurate pass - just not 2 in a row.

Zstegs 9 years, 7 months ago

No, he throws a good, accurate pass, but our receivers can't catch them. He throws a laser every time and the receivers drop them. Cough cough OMIGIE cough cough

yates33333 9 years, 7 months ago

To be critical of any one player on this team is NUTS!

CardHawkFan 9 years, 7 months ago

Actually in all fairness, he didn't look too bad on Saturday and his throws weren't the problem in the passing game. There were still way too many dropped balls and a couple of the completed passes to Mundine weren't passes an average QB completes. We just don't have receivers that can create separation except Pierson, and he isn't a reciever. Maybe it's route running. Maybe it's not seeing the holes in coverage...something both Briscoe and Meier were exceptional at. Not blaming the receivers for everything, but Crist wasn't the problem. Hopefully, we at least have a decent showing against West Virginia. Going to be rough, but Tech did trounce them.

Robert Brock 9 years, 7 months ago

He made the big mistake of hitting our receivers right in the hands.

jhox 9 years, 7 months ago

I agree, he our QB's don't get a lot of help from our receivers. Pick has great hands but seems to have trouble getting open. The guys who get open seem to have a hard time holding on to the ball. And, while our offensive like is very good at run blocking, they are not good at pass blocking and especially at picking up the blitz.

JayViking 9 years, 7 months ago

CardHawk beat me to it. I was just about to say, to be fair to Dayne, his passes Saturday were fine. The receivers couldn't catch them despite the ball hitting them in both hands.

Steve Reigle 9 years, 7 months ago

Although Dayne Crist did not work out well on the field, he's been a truly class act in the locker room and generally as an ambassador for the University of Kansas. My hat is off to him for all he has done despite seeing his personal football dream go down in flames. I hope KU is able to keep him around in some capacity.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 7 months ago

In all sincerity, Dayne may be an example of addition by subtraction.

In other words, with his personality, dedication to Charlie and Kansas and general "good guy' attitude, in the long run, he may prove more valuable to Kansas as an ex-player rather than a starter.

His personal experieince as a Jayhawk, though falling far short of anticipated returns on the field, may still net long-term returns off the field by coaching, recruiting and acting as a Jayhawk ambassador.

ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years, 7 months ago

TK off his meds again. One week he hates Crist and the next..,

Savion Havon 9 years, 7 months ago

Under pressure is where you see the difference

David Klamm 9 years, 7 months ago

Crist clearly was not the answer on the field that KU fans hoped he would be, but he has been everything described otherwise. He actually threw the ball Saturday better than all season. Crist didn't say it, but in the words of the infamous Elvis Grbac, "I can't throw it and catch it." I do think there is some talent at WR but it's still pretty raw. As bad as the record is, this is a far better version of KU football than what we saw a year ago and if KU can make the same jump in improvement going into next year this team will start winning games.

W Keith Swinehart II 9 years, 7 months ago

Good positive article and outlook. Crist is a terrific ambassador. He didn't accomplish what any of us hoped for (including his own expectations), but he showed the other players a glimpse of the offensive system and served as a mentor and an example of a great attitude for others to follow. We do, by the way, have a much improved football team in terms of coaches, expectations, attitude, fitness and player development. Rebuilding a program will take time. Wins and losses will come. Crist will help that in intangible ways.

Steve Reigle 9 years, 7 months ago

I have not heard anything about Crist's post-season plans but I sure hope Charlie can find a place for him and that he will stick around to help this team develop. If not, I still want to say "thank you" to Dayne Crist for everything he has tried to do for KU. Class guy.

troutsee 9 years, 7 months ago

I am sorry that things did not work out for Dayne the way he and Charlie wanted them to. He is a nice guy and a class act.

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