Originally published November 21, 2017 at 05:34p.m., updated November 21, 2017 at 06:19p.m.

Jayhawks lose role as captains after spurning Baker Mayfield’s handshake

Kansas defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. (2), Kansas defensive tackle Daniel Wise (96) and Kansas linebacker Osaze Ogbebor (31) celebrate after Armstrong sacked Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) during the third quarter on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. (2), Kansas defensive tackle Daniel Wise (96) and Kansas linebacker Osaze Ogbebor (31) celebrate after Armstrong sacked Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) during the third quarter on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017 at Memorial Stadium.


When the Kansas football team’s captains decided to snub Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield during pre-game unpleasantries this past weekend, they had no idea of what fallout would come.

A day after their head coach, David Beaty, declared public apologies to numerous parties on their behalf, he announced at his Tuesday press conference Daniel Wise, Dorance Armstrong Jr., Joe Dineen and Jeremiah Booker will be deprived of their captain status for the upcoming season finale at No. 18 Oklahoma State.

Beaty said he visited with KU’s captains “on a couple of occasions” between Saturday and Monday and one of those sessions dealt with accountability.

“In visiting with those guys (Monday), we talked a little bit about what was going to take place, and it was good listening to their thoughts, as well. One of the things that they articulated before I talked about what we were going to do with them was the fact that they felt terrible about a lot of different things, one of which was Senior Day, and that those guys were not able to be really honored in the way that they wished they could have,” Beaty stated, referring to the final home game for KU’s seniors, a 41-3 loss to Oklahoma.

According to the Kansas coach, whose team is 1-10 overall, 0-8 in the Big 12 headed into its Saturday finale (11 a.m. kickoff, FOX Sports 1), the captains themselves ntroduced the idea of having seniors replace them in that role this week.

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Handshake snubs and f-bombs

On this episode of the KU Sports Hour, hosted by KU football beat writer Benton Smith, the staff discusses KU’s 41-3 loss to Oklahoma. Topics include: recapping OU-KU (open-8:10), the on-field antics (8:10-23:20), injuries and other leftovers (23:20-30:30), and the football mailbag — discipline, birthday presents and Mark ...

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Said redshirt junior captain Wise, who didn’t attend post-game interviews Saturday, following the blowout loss to OU: “We took the Senior Day away from the seniors. We took the attention away from the seniors with what we did and we kind of shifted gears and want to give the seniors an opportunity to bring light to the seniors again.”

The repercussions for the captains, Beaty said, won’t include losing their starting jobs or playing time versus the Cowboys (8-3, 5-3).

“There's a little bit more to it than that, but we're handling that,” Beaty said, alluding to some further punishment.

The Big 12 on Tuesday afternoon issued public reprimands of both Mayfield, for his inappropriate gestures and screamed profanities during the game, and the KU captains for violating the conference’s Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct Rules.

“The refusal of these student-athletes to shake an opponent’s hand during the pre-game ceremony is contrary to tradition and inconsistent with common courtesy,” league commissioner Bob Bowlsby stated in a release. “The pre-game handshake among team captains is symbolic of good sportsmanship. This breach of protocol is not in keeping with the standards of the Big 12 Conference. I am grateful for the work of the Kansas administration and coaches to resolve this matter.”

KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger released the following statement on the incident to the Journal-World: "We all understand that what happened Saturday was unacceptable, and we have apologized to the University of Oklahoma. These four captains have always been examples of competitiveness and outstanding sportsmanship. This was a one-time act based on emotion and the heat of the moment. After discussing the incident with these young men, we are confident that they have learned a valuable lesson and will continue to be good leaders going forward."

The whole non-handshake ordeal, according to Armstrong, who also didn’t attend a Saturday post-game media session, described it Tuesday as a “last-minute idea” by the captains.

“It wasn’t for any other reason than to just get our team excited, knowing that it was a big game we were going into, knowing that Baker was going to try to get his stats up for the Heisman,” Armstrong explained. “It was just something we took personal, knowing that that’s what he wanted to do. … We just tried to get our team pumped up and ready to play.”

Mayfield, who lost his captainship and starting duties for OU’s home finale, had not said publicly prior to the matchup with KU he planned to run up the score or anything of that nature.


Kansas linebacker Joe Dineen Jr. (29) walks away as Oklahoma players celebrate with Oklahoma wide receiver Jordan Smallwood (17) following Smallwood's touchdown during the second quarter on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017 at Memorial Stadium.

“It was just something obvious,” Armstrong clarified, of why he brought up Mayfield wanting to produce big numbers against the Jayhawks. “It wasn’t clear who was going to get the trophy. So you just figure that yourself.”

The captains declined to identify who came up with the idea to hold their hands behind their backs during the pre-game handshake, instead claiming it was their collective plan.

Junior receiver Booker, who suffered a season-ending injury and didn’t play against OU, was part of the group and attended Tuesday’s media interviews even though he wasn’t requested. Booker wanted to stand beside Wise, Armstrong and Dineen, who have encountered scrutiny via social media and beyond.

“I just felt like it wasn’t fair for everybody to be asking them questions, getting on them, talking about them, when I was out there, as well. Teammates voted me a captain, just like them, so I wanted to take full responsibility for this action, because it wasn’t just Joe, it wasn’t Dorance, it wasn’t just Daniel that decided that. I said that, as well. We all decided that,” Booker said, adding the group failed to think the whole concept through.

All of the captains expressed remorse.

Said Armstrong: “It’s kind of sad that we actually did that and now we’re losing our captains spots due to something that was pretty selfish. And I hope that whoever is the captains for this week is ready to fill in for those spots.”

Added Wise: “Hindsight is 20-20. Obviously it wasn’t the best decision. That’s not who we are really as captains. We (should) put sportsmanship over everything. Looking back on it we displayed bad sportsmanship for our team, and for Kansas fans we let them down, and obviously kids who are around.”

Defense to be punished for late hit

Although the Big 12 didn’t issue a punishment for the late hit Kansas cornerback Hasan Defense delivered on Mayfield in the second quarter of the Sooners’ victory, Beaty said his staff internally addressed the dangerous play.

“We also have a policy here if you're involved in a personal foul situation here, there's accountability for that,” Beaty said, “and we had one that Hasan Defense was involved in that, and we've handled his consequences, as well.”

The third-year KU coach said he was glad Defense’s potentially harmful action was the first this year he would characterize as a “dumb category situation” by one of his players on a personal foul.

“I can handle when you're hustling and you get there just a hair late, but when you make a selfish mistake, that's another thing altogether, and I know Hasan felt badly about it, because he knew he was a little bit later than what he thought,” Beaty said, “but there's still accountability that goes along with it. So we handled that, as well.”

Asked whether Defense’s starting job or playing time will be impacted as a result, Beaty replied: “No, it won't. He's fine.”

So is the unspecified punishment carried out at KU practice?

“Yep,” Beaty responded. “It's the policy.


Bill McGovern 5 years ago

Beaty is finally being tough on his players! They lack discipline!

David Kemp 5 years ago

Yawn! Just a knee jerk reaction by Beaty . Too little too late

Rob Chestnut 5 years ago

This situation was poorly handled from start to finish. The coaching staff lost me last weekend.

Jeff Coffman 5 years ago

After a few conversations and realizing this was actually a big deal, Beaty decided to have a third conversation to deliver a punishment. The team quickly thought to make senior celebration.

So again tell me how the captains are being punished? Beaty's shadow is casting a darker and darker shadow.

I know at this point all I am doing is piling on his coaching career. T-5 days.

Gary Wilson 5 years ago

The long national embarrassment continues. Heads (plural) must roll.

Bill Kackley 5 years ago

Jeff, it is none of your damn business, how they are being punished. Get over yourself.

Thomas Green 5 years ago

So, for those who believed such unsportsmanship behavior was/is no big deal, including a participant in an entire high school league that by accounts makes it a tradition to be unsportsmanlike, I say ha!

Opinion are important, we all have them on many issues. One of the reasons I have started participating here is partially due to my enjoyment of hearing others opinions. It’s especially intriguing when someone brings an opinion I hadn’t considered previous. An opinion that resonates and may even change the manner I look at a particular subject. I truly believe it expands my knowledge and thought. Good stuff!

All that said, when opinion surplants fact, that is just silly! Opinion is an important and necessary way to make decisions and view the world in absence of fact. If there are no facts, your gut is paramount. Go with it! If there are facts and one chooses opinion over them, that is simply foolish and stubborn! Usually such decisions or arguments don’t turn out well! I try to not form opinions that are contrary to facts. It’s a bad way to be in my opinion...see what I did there.

So, everyone can have their opinion as to the players decision to act unsportsmanlike, I read them all and considered many. Ultimately, I simply chose the facts as the basis for the need to punish these players for the behavior exhibited. The Big 12 has rules. The Big 12 says the players violated said rules. Specifically the rules pursuant to Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct. One can have opinion as to the validity or morality of the rules, but they are the present rules and they were broken. Punishment of some form is warranted and just in this situation. You know the rules, you know breaking them could result in sanctions, proceed at your own peril.

It’s important that these young men learn these things. Just like other areas of life, sports has always played a part in teaching young people certain lesson about how to conduct themselves. I don’t know these players personally, but I do know they are young and unfortunetly made an improper decision. I hope they truly learned from the mistake. Punishment assist in that process and is necessary. Lincoln Riley apparently knew such and David Beaty did not. Not until he was forced to administer the appropriate punishment by the Big 12 itself! My opinion says that is a fine example, among many, that he is not qualified for his current position! What say you???

Chris DeWeese 5 years ago

I've listened to some podcasts on this matter, and I'm a little disappointed with some reactions. Nick at KLWN is very dismissive of this stunt and makes it out to be no big deal. He sees it as an entertaining, fun reason to watch the game. I was really disappointed to hear him talk about sportsmanship as if it's an antiquated concept. Mike at RCST had a different opinion. He and his guests really hammered the point that it was a stupid move that only served to embolden the best player in college football. Why would you do that? Why would you throw your teammates under the bus and ostensibly create a more hostile environment for them to play in? Treat the other team with respect, if for no other reason than to discourage vengeance or hostility (especially when your team can't hold their own). A better strategy for this team is to lull other teams into a false sense of security, catch them sleeping, and hope a few plays go your way. The fact that good sportsmanship is simply the right thing to do should go without saying.

Len Shaffer 5 years ago

While I was embarrassed for the team that they would pull such an immature, unsportsmanlike stunt to start the game, I continue to maintain that Defense's cheap shot was a FAR more egregious issue, and I can't understand how that is treated as an afterthought and most of the focus is on the lack of a handshake.

As big of a jerk as Mayfield appears to be, he does not deserve to have his season (and possibly even his career) ruined by a cheap shot that goes wrong. That kind of a risk should be SEVERELY punished, and it's pitiful that Defense won't lose even a single minute of playing time from it. It's also yet another example of the complete failure of leadership by Beaty.

And in answer to Bill Kackley's opinion expressed above, we are fans, Bill. And part of being fans is expressing our opinions. We have every right to express them if we don't think a situation is being handled properly. If you have a problem with that, then don't come to this board.

Barry Weiss 5 years ago

"in the heat of the moment", hell the game had not even started. it just reflected sooooo poorly on Kansas University. Not only are we the worst team in FBS, but we have lousy attitudes and don't do it "right". Until we win games, we have no business acting like bad azzes. And it starts at the top. This coach is all about knee jerking something. He does not lead. This program is going in the wrong direction, no one can deny that.

Maria Ungaro 5 years ago

Not a good look. That's not us.... Good decision by Coach Beaty. Im glad he took his time to meet with the captains and help them understand this is unacceptable.

Time to move forward and lesson learned. We all have made a mistake or two so I forgive and I know these guys regret it. Losing your Captain spot hurts. Baker too.

Hopefully we can finish this season with a competitive game vs OSU and prepare for 2018.

We should have all Juniors back and we should be lock and loaded.... O- Line the highest priority , #2 QB , and three Special Teams.

Thomas Green 5 years ago

Len, I agree the cheap shot was more egregious. Intentionally physically hurting someone is absolutely not acceptable! Suspension was probably warranted. So many issues about what transpired Saturday and thereafter, it makes your head swim!

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