Originally published July 22, 2013 at 05:09p.m., updated July 22, 2013 at 11:19p.m.

Notebook: Charlie Weis draws attention for ‘pile of crap’ comment; Marcus Jenkins-Moore has knee surgery

Kansas football coach Charlie Weis answers questions from the media during the Big 12 Conference Football Media Days Monday, July 22, 2013 in Dallas.

Kansas football coach Charlie Weis answers questions from the media during the Big 12 Conference Football Media Days Monday, July 22, 2013 in Dallas.


— It may have been unexpected, but the Kansas University football program captured the media’s attention on Monday, the opening day of Big 12 media days at the Omni Hotel.

Despite his team being picked to finish last in the Big 12 preseason media poll yet again, second-year KU coach Charlie Weis had the room buzzing during his 20 minutes on the podium that kicked off KU’s question-and-answer sessions.

Weis was the fourth Big 12 coach to speak Monday morning and the first to get any type of measurable reaction from the 200 media members who packed the ballroom.

Asked how he was able to sell so many talented junior-college prospects on a place like Kansas, Weis flashed his brutal honesty and reiterated something local media members heard months ago.

“Everyone wants to play,” he said. “There’s no one that wants to not play. I said, ‘Have you looked at that pile of crap out there? If you don’t think you can play here, where do you think you can play?’ It’s a pretty simple approach.”

The comment sent the room into fits of laughter and Twitter into a frenzy.

Later, when asked to clarify his remarks, Weis did not back down and said the declaration was nothing new to his players.

“They wouldn’t be shocked,” Weis said. “They’d expect it. Let me just get one thing straight. I’m talking about what they saw last year. We have yet to play this year. And we have 12 games, at least, for them to change that impression. Hopefully I can’t use that this year.”

Added junior quarterback Jake Heaps: “That’s what we love as players; we love how candid he is. We know exactly where we stand with him. We don’t have to worry about him sugar-coating it and him playing mind games with us. It’s all about honesty. And it pushes you to get better. At least you know where you stand.”

Jenkins-Moore injured

A summer’s worth of speculation gained clarity Monday afternoon when Weis confirmed that junior-college linebacker Marcus Jenkins-Moore had “tweaked a knee” and has since had surgery on the injured knee.

Weis said he did not know how long Jenkins-Moore would be sidelined but also did not rule him out for the entire season. The fact that Jenkins-Moore has three years to play out his two remaining seasons of eligibility helped Weis and Jenkins-Moore decide that surgery was the best option.

No news on Harwell

Asked for the latest update on Miami (Ohio) transfer Nick Harwell, a wide receiver who, if eligible, would almost certainly be pencilled into the starting lineup, Weis referenced a once-popular soap opera.

“As the world turns,” he said with a laugh. “It’s really nothing that we can control. It’s between him and his former university. Here’s the one thing I do know: He’ll be coming to us in August and he’s got two years to play one. If he comes here and can’t play this year, it’ll be the best red-shirt year that anyone could ever have because there’s some things that I can help him with off the field if he wants to play on Sundays.”

Weis on team fashion

Earlier this summer, KU unveiled new-look helmets and said new uniforms were on the way. Weis talked about the new duds for the first time Monday.

“Let me first say we’re not Oregon,” he said, referencing the Ducks’ seemingly endless supply of Nike uniform combinations. “Sometime this year, there’ll be a combination of uniform that we put out there that people will complain more about the uniform than the game. I don’t know what game that’ll be, but mark it down now, it’ll happen.”

As for why KU decided to go with new uniforms, Weis did not shy away from the answer.

“I think it’s great for recruiting,” he said. “Because the recruits love that stuff. So if it gives you an opportunity to get more players and could help you win, that’s what you want to do. On the flip side, you don’t want to get all of the loyal supporters of Kansas for decades, you don’t want to get them upset with you at the same time.”

Slater on schedule?

One of the bigger surprises of KU’s 2013 recruiting class came earlier this summer when Pearce Slater, a 6-foot-7, 340-pound offensive tackle from El Camino Community College, joined the program a year earlier than anyone expected.

“If he’s 340, I’m 150,” Weis said. “I think he’s a big, big man and I think one thing we’ll have to have him do is not be as big.”

Slater, who was believed to be in the Class of 2014 but jumped to 2013 after being cleared academically, has signed a financial-aid agreement with KU and is expected to arrive in Lawrence the second week of August. However, a report surfaced this week that Slater recently made a visit to Oklahoma.

Slater confirmed to the Jon Kirby of on Monday afternoon that he took the visit to OU but did not say anything about a change of plans.

“His last exam is like Aug. 8, and we report on the 7th, so we’re talking a matter of days,” Weis said.


Tim Orel 9 years ago

I'm enjoying his tenure much more than Turner Gill. I think he's doing better, but we'll have to see how the season goes before I'm certain. He is a breath of fresh air and he certainly seems focused on the players in the ways we need. His helping Harwell to be able to play on Sundays is a great motivation for current and future Jayhawks.

Mark Lindrud 9 years ago

If players don't want sugar coating, then Weis is friggin amazing. Love it

KGphoto 9 years ago

"If he comes here and can't play this year, it'll be the best red-shirt year that anyone could ever have because there's some things that I can help him with off the field if he wants to play on Sundays.”

Gotta admit, not a lot of college coaches can play that card.

Just like the alternate jerseys will attract recruits, so will making headlines at Big 12 media day, and blowing up Twitter.

Nice hire, Zenger.

Jay Hawkinson 9 years ago

Sounds like Charlie took a page from Bill Self's playbook - call out his players through the media. I love it, it works well for Bill.

irvan moore 9 years ago

it's great to have a old school football coach

Randy Bombardier 9 years ago

It seems like Big M used a lot of ridicule from what I've read and that just doesn't work.

actorman 9 years ago

There's a HUGE difference between referring to the entire team as a pile of crap and calling out individual players in front of all the others and making fun of where they're from, what their home life is like, etc. Mangino went WAY over the line, and I seriously doubt that Weis would do that. (And that doesn't even get into Mangino being nasty to his assistants, the secretarial staff, etc.)

NebraskaJayhawk 9 years ago

Uh, I don't have insider information or anything, but it would not surprise me if players aren't called out in front of their peers much in the same manner Mangino did. I bet if Weis was asked publicly about how he thought the Mangino situation was handled he would probably just laugh in their face.

Matt Bowers 9 years ago

Sorry. Not impressed. This is not the kind of thing you say about your team when they are down. HCBS can do this because he has a roster full of NBA hopefuls and is dealing with different types of expectations.

Kansas is attempting to build a program and this will be used against us on the recruiting trail. It would be different if Kansas had a winning tradition in football and we were coming off a down year...were not!

Maybe next time HCCW should try to get the program some positive publicity by doing what he was hired to do and stop passing the buck. In other words. Build the team and start winning.

Rock Chalk

ArgyleJayhawks 9 years ago

Yes. Also, you think this "age" of recruits appreciates hearing a head coach call out his players like that? They want to be told how great they are. Also, it is horrible, horrible public relations for the team and athletic department and is going to get us killed (again) nationally because of Weis.

texashawk10 9 years ago

Why would KU want a football player who wants to be coddled and constantly told how great he is? Players with that mentality are mentally weak and will never be great teammates or football players for that matter. If you think what KU put on the field was anything but a pile crap, then you have a highly inflated view of what KU football is right now.

David Leathers 9 years ago

What do you say when your team is down? I don't think there is an exact formula, but I do know this: a college football team should be a reflection of their head coach, and if Charlie is an honest, straight forward, go-getter, then I would expect the rest of the team to be so as well.

If you are on the team and you can't handle a "pile of crap" comment, then you don't really deserve to be on the team. 11 losses is a pile of crap, so to speak. The coach is recruiting the way he know how, and the wins will start to pile up before you know it.

David Leathers 9 years ago

PS - Nick Saban couldn't have done any better last year.

Jayhawker111 9 years ago

Yea right--- Nick Saban would have kept playing Crist all season long --NOT!

Cmill1221 9 years ago

C'mon..... I prefer a realist any day!! That positive approach only gets you so far. Like when Gill would open press conferences w/ positive stats, one time he opened by saying "We are first in the big 12 in net punting average" staying positive wile ignoring being blown out by 60+. HCCW Keepin it Real!

CrystalJones 9 years ago

I know what Charlie meant. But the problem is that our head coach himself was on the field for every game last year and therefore seemingly part of "that pile of crap out there." It was a poor choice of words. If I were a recruit I might think, "Yeah, you're right. Why did you have a pile a crap and why would I want to join it?"

I dunno. I still think we are blessed with one of the best coaching talents in the country. But sometimes Charlie's remarks make me wonder if he's really a pro coach trying to adapt to the college game...and having kind of a hard time doing it. I'm not sure publicly calling your players a "pile of crap" is as appropriate for college as it might be for the pros.

Randy Bombardier 9 years ago

I don't agree. The telling line is, "If you can't play here, where can you play?" The pile of crap comment just sets up the line that counts. Don't you think his players know that? Does he really think last year's players were a pile of crap? Seems naive to believe so. They may have played like crap at times but I think it is a great sales job. Others talk about you are going to join a rising (or winning) program but Weiss is using our losing record as for us instead of against us. Pretty smart in my book.

rockchalk_dpu 9 years ago

Totally disagree with your assessment of the statement and your opinion that Weis was 'passing the buck.' The telling part is that his players agreed with the statement and like his candor and openness. We can talk about how close we were in several games, but the end record still was 1-11 and for where we want to get as a program, that is a pile of crap. He didn't single out players, and didn't talk about how perfect he was as a coach and that they couldn't get his system down, his comments since he took over have been nothing but honest. He knows that this is a process and that things don't get better in the first season when you try to totally change a program. He is building the team as you requested, but going out and getting top Juco players to fit needs now and adding high school seniors he thinks will develop down the line. The players love him, and from what I can tell in the media, would be willing to fight for him which is great considering our last coaches have had the team quit on them.

We'll know a lot more after this season, and hopefully it'll be good news. Right now though, our program is on the level of the surprises you'd find in a Manhattan field and there's no reason to lie about it to make everyone feel good. I have faith he'll turn it around, maybe you should too.

Jack Jones 9 years ago

Strong and Argyle ~ I'm all for the being positive thing. However, in this instance you both are wrong. If the players say "that's what we love as players" ~ and, "we love how candid he is" ~ "we know exactly where we stand with him" ~ and, "it's all about honesty - it pushes you to get better" ~ then, he's right and your wrong + HCCW has been coaching a bit more than you. And, Argyle ~ you stepped off the deep end with your "horrible, horrible public relations" ~ "going to get us killed" crazies. Easy on the 5-Hr. energy hits.

rockchalk_dpu 9 years ago

Totally agree. I want players that hear these kinds of things and get motivated to not let it happen again, not hear how great they were when the team gets trounced by 60. The best athletes will respond to their failures, both individual and team, and push harder to never let it happen again. Those are the guys I want on our football team.

jaymar74 9 years ago

Charlie has already said that he starts out by saying he is the leader of that piece of crap so he includes himself in needing to get better and is not throwing his team under the bus.

Phil Leister 9 years ago

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

Mark Lindrud 9 years ago

Weis was the coach of crap last year, crappy crap crap. He was positive during the season, but in hindsight he knew it was c r a p. Admission now means more devotion to no more c r a p. Signs in the stands can say, " just say no to crap". With the new unis we will hopefully look like less crap. If we win 4-6 games next year he can say we aren't such a pile of crap. If he ever gets knighted, he can be Sir Charlie of Crap. I wonder if he goes to Vegas, if he plays craps, if so if he loses his money, Sir Charlie of Crap, crapped out

Jack Jones 9 years ago

Actually, Baldy ~ Your blather rant is the far bigger load of C-R-A-P than anything else on this subject. You, Strong and Argyle make a real dandy trio. I'm sorry ~ someone must have hurt you real bad. Get over it.

Mark Lindrud 9 years ago

It's called sarcasm, I had no problem with what Weis said. Obviously you've never coached, sometimes players need brutal truth, not hand holding. As someone in our nations military I don't want sugar coated, and don't have time for it. Not to mention when we did something well, it would be duly noted and obviously stated just as well as criticism. So it is you who needs to rethink, not the rest of us.

actorman 9 years ago

There's a GIGANTIC difference (not literally, but you know what I mean) between Weis and Mangino! See my comment above.

BTW, for those who are saying the players might be upset about Weis's comments, remember that he ran off a lot of players, so the ones who remained are probably the ones who can handle honest criticism. (Notice that I said "honest criticism," not personal insults that demean a player's background, family, friends, etc.)

Randy Bombardier 9 years ago

I understand what you are saying. If you ever read Band of Brothers you know that most of E Company hated Capt. Sobel. But, there was one guy who said it the way it is, that Sobel made E Co. He was a real chicken!@#!. Good way to prepare the mind for battle. Unfortunately, KU does not own these players like the military owns you. Not everyone responds well to an SOB boss. I don't think Mangino was that bad, it is just that he was ineffective at winning the hearts and minds and that can blow things up, as in fact it did. I disagree that the coaches are the same. I think Weiss has a better way. You can have a hard line w/o being a hard a$$.

Michael Sillman 9 years ago

I hope that Slater visit to Oklahoma is not bad news. Kids that big don't come along every day. Hopefully he foresees more playing time at KU.

Andy Godwin 9 years ago

Why would a recruit who committed to your school take another recruiting visit? Because he is looking to go elsewhere. Last visit tends to be the place he will wind up. I am sure this has Weis and staff scrambling.

BringBackMark 9 years ago

Nice job again Charlie! If we look at "that pile of crap" last year, the biggest dookie was the quarterback you hand picked and brought in from Notre Dame! It's time to stop being a smart %$^ and start winning.

Jonathan Allison 9 years ago

My guess is that coach Weiss doesn't really believe that the team from last year was a pile of crap. More like the team last year was very close to being an average team. But a few position groups were the proverbial "turd in the punch bowl". I usually hate using a bunch of stupid cliche's but just like the saying "one rotten apple spoils the whole bunch", an average team with a couple of abysmal skill position groups ends up looking a lot like a pile of crap with a 1-11 record, but Weiss knows that we coulda, shoulda, woulda had 3 or 5 more wins last year if we'd have gotten any kinda of passing game going whatsoever.

Mark Lindrud 9 years ago

Watching the video he said his remarks in jest. When you have high expectations to win then yes last year was a pile of crap, but it's nothing to dwell on. You look back and say that's what it was, but the staff and players are working hard to make sure it never happens again.


fan4kufootball 9 years ago

Hey Charlie - i love the fact that you keep it real and do not allow the players to live in some fantasy world. Can't wait to see the entire team on 9/7.

Come on everyone - buy a ticket and fill the stadium!

NebraskaJayhawk 9 years ago

If we don't win at our first three games, I think our team should have to wear plain brown jersey the rest of the season.

Jayhawker111 9 years ago

Last years "Pile of Crap" was created by Weis.

Weis ran QB Jordan Webb out of town and brought in Crist.

Wies touted Crist as a bigtime player.

What a disaster.

Wies cannot blame Turner Gill for Crist --that is all on Wies and it was painful to watch!

NebraskaJayhawk 9 years ago

What are you talking about? We wouldn't have been any better with Webb behind center. Not much anyway... He thought Crist could come in and help and it didn't pan out. How was Weis blaming Gill for Crist? Get a grip.

Jack Jones 9 years ago

Your first sentence eliminates any cred you might think you deserve. What a croc! My suggestion ~ Please Don't Watch!!

BayPark 9 years ago

The proof is in the pudding. If we win 3-4 games, then we're on the right track and none of this matters. 1-11 or 2-10 . . . his comments will sadly come to define his short tenure at KU.

kellerman411 9 years ago

You people wanting 3-4 wins are pathetic. Heck, it was an act of god that we didn't have 3 wins last year... Did you see the Northern Illinois game? Texas game? Are you kidding me? Those wins were in the bag and we had chances to win other games. I'm not saying you win every close game but we were in enough games last year to say that we were a good enough team to win 3 games.

If we win 3 games this year, that is not improvement whatsoever. I want to see 3 conference wins and at least 5 wins total. I think that would indicate improvement if you are into the whole wins/losses thing.

NebraskaJayhawk 9 years ago

I agree totally. My comment was that if we don't win our first three games we are basically a sad football team again. We should definitely win at least 5 games this season.

jgkojak 9 years ago

If we had a kicking game we win 2-3 more last year. Texas and N Illinois for sure, probably TCU as well.

Robin Smith 9 years ago

KU Football is not good enough for fans to be impatient with a head coach.

Weis is the best shot KU has at getting out of the pile of crap.

John Lomas 9 years ago

So i guess we have the design for the new T-Shirt.

KU Football with a picture of a pile of crap. Lovely........

Commenting has been disabled for this item.