Thursday, November 30, 2017

Tom Keegan: Kansas AD Sheahon Zenger explains thinking behind retaining football coach David Beaty

Kansas University chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, left, shakes hands with new head football coach David Beaty, right, after an introductory press conference Monday, Dec. 8, 2014, at the Anderson Family Football Complex at KU in Lawrence, Kan. Beaty, the wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator at Texas A&M, was hired by KU Friday. At center is Sheahon Zenger, KU director of athletics.

Kansas University chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, left, shakes hands with new head football coach David Beaty, right, after an introductory press conference Monday, Dec. 8, 2014, at the Anderson Family Football Complex at KU in Lawrence, Kan. Beaty, the wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator at Texas A&M, was hired by KU Friday. At center is Sheahon Zenger, KU director of athletics.


The man sitting across the desk in his office was hired to succeed Lew Perkins as athletic director at the University of Kansas, in large part because of his football-heavy background.

Sheahon Zenger played the sport at Fort Hays State and MidAmerica Nazarene. He also served as football recruiting coordinator at Kansas State, South Florida and Wyoming before taking a turn toward the administrative side of athletics in 2001 at K-State.

The AD’s background hasn’t translated to on-field success for the Kansas football program.

KU recently finished its sixth season under football coaches hired by Zenger with the worst six-year record in program history (10-62), which also is the worst record among 128 Football Bowl Subdivision programs that have competed in each of those six seasons. University of Massachusetts (14-58) has the next-worse record.

First-year chancellor Douglas Girod decided to stay with Zenger and take the AD’s recommendation to keep the football coach for a fourth season.

David Beaty has gone 3-33 in three seasons, giving KU the worst record in the FBS during that span. Charlotte (7-29) has the next-worst mark.

Zenger, who had released a statement announcing that Beaty would stay as head coach as soon as the 1-11 season ended with a 58-17 loss Saturday to Oklahoma State in Stillwater, agreed to sit down for a one-on-one interview about the KU football program with the Journal-World.

“When we hired David, we hired him to recruit, to rebuild the unity with the team and the stakeholders and to build those relationships with stakeholders. And he’s done that,” Zenger said. “We also handed him the shortest roster in the history of this school and one of the shortest ever in the history of D-I football. We knew that. We knew he was in a deep hole, maybe in as deep a hole as any coach has ever started.”

Three years into his tenure, Beaty hasn’t made significant progress from his 0-12 debut season. Five of this season’s nine Big 12 losses came by margins of 38 points or greater, and all nine were by double digits.

In 2011, Zenger fired Turner Gill, hired by Perkins, with a 5-19 record and a buyout of $6 million that had to be paid within 90 days. Zenger replaced Gill with Charlie Weis and then fired him with a 6-22 record and about $6.6 million remaining on his salary, which was paid off at the end of Weis’ five-year, $12.5-million contract.

Beaty had a significantly worse record and a less painful buyout of $3 million, which begs the question of why Beaty didn’t meet the same fate as Gill and Weis.

Does winning mean less now than it did then, or is the financial situation of the department worse now than then?

“I would say it’s neither,” Zenger said. “It’s just time to put the stake in the ground and stop the rotation every 2 1/2 years. We can’t keep doing this to the program. The program needs some room to breathe, to bring in four recruiting classes back-to-back-to-back-to-back.”

Several months after giving Beaty a contract extension and doubling his salary to $1.6 million in the wake of a 2-10 2016 season, Zenger received an extension and raise to an annual salary of $700,000 in the 11th-hour of former chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little’s administration.

It’s uncommon for an athletic director to have a chance to hire another football coach after firing his own hire; virtually unheard of for an AD to be allowed to make a third hire after firing the first two.

Might Zenger have recommended keeping Beaty, knowing he would not receive an opportunity to make another hire and thereby would be ending his own tenure once he ended Beaty’s?

“One, that’s not up to me to decide whether that would be the case,” Zenger said, referencing the belief that he wouldn’t be allowed to make another hire. “That had nothing to do with it. It had to do with we’ve got to stop the merry-go-round. We’ve got to let it breathe. We’ve got to let another recruiting class in here.”

Looking for a quick fix and aiming for a bowl bid in his third season, Weis recruited an exorbitant number of junior-college and four-year transfers from the start of his short stay in Lawrence. Most didn’t pan out. The shortage of high school recruits led to Beaty inheriting a shortage of scholarship players on the roster.

Beaty also has had trouble resisting the temptation of taking recruiting shortcuts. In his first three recruiting classes, Beaty gave scholarships to an estimated 45 high school players and 29 transfers.

“Every coach comes in with the intention (of recruiting) nothing but high school seniors in the perfect world, maybe a couple of transfers to shore up some holes,” Zenger said. “You start feeling the urge to address holes because you want to compete. And then you go through the first year and you don’t have success in wins and you feel the pressure and you take a couple of more of those transfers. That’s just the reality of what happens. It’s been a pattern here.”

Zenger said he will not put a limit on the number of scholarships Beaty uses on junior college players in this 20-deep recruiting class, but said he and Beaty “are aware of” the down side of recruiting too many.

Zenger said he wanted Beaty to have a senior class of his own recruits.

“We’ve got to let this coach have more than eight seniors on the field,” Zenger said.

And whether it be Beaty or his successor, KU’s football coach in 2021 deserves the same senior depth. That won’t be possible if Beaty loads up on too many junior college recruits this season.

“Good point,” Zenger said.

The AD said he didn’t have any problem with the football coach saying, “It’s a great time to be at KU,” after the season-ending Oklahoma State loss.

“David’s one of the most positive individuals you’re ever going to meet,” Zenger said before making it clear that expectations on him are ramping up. “I would say with regard to the support that we have from central administration, donors, the facilities we’re able to bring in, it is a great time.

“Again, going back to the unity that he has created, that’s good. Now we’re at the point where we all know that needs to translate into wins, right? That’s reality.”


Jeff Coffman 4 years, 7 months ago

Hey could you post the interview from 2017...this seems like the interview from 2016.

Frederick Heckel 4 years, 7 months ago

So much bullsh*t spewed from his mouth that it completely filled the room before the end of that interview. Girod should have kicked both of the morons to the curb as soon as the Okie St game ended but was too scared or too dumb to do it. Now KU football is doomed to go 0-12 next year and hope there is one decent AD and Coach that will still take the job after the program is officially dead.

Brian Wilson 4 years, 7 months ago

IMO, everybody spewing against Beatty will be eating crow. IMO we will win 3 next year only because..Next year's Seniors will still suck for the most part, but the Junior class is big and there is some talent there. Plus, we redshirted 12 Freshmen, add the 8 new ones coming in means all Beatty really needs to do the reach full roster is recruits 5 more freshmen to have 25 players with 4 years eligibility. After that he fill holes with transfers all he wants. Just saying.....its pretty sad when so many can't read the roster and understand the numbers and the situation.

Jeff Coffman 4 years, 7 months ago

3 wins was the minimum we should have won this year if there isn't 6 wins, he should be gone. You can't keep lowering the standard because the goal wasn't met. Remember he was the one talking bowl game at the beginning of the season, don't hold him less accountable.

Mike Hart 4 years, 7 months ago

Actually, 90% of the advocation for Beaty's removal NOW.. that the program isn't improving.. the team isn't getting better.. .and the wins are going backwards. But now, you are saying he needs to win 6 next year? What's the basis for that? If the team wins 3,4,5 games.. then clearly the team IS improving, and the foundation arguments for Beaty's dismissal... crumbles. The #1 complaint is the view that the program cannot be resurrected under Beaty. Clearly, 3-4-5 or more wins would show that life is being breathed into the program. Perhaps it is just best that you continue to root for 0-1 wins next year, which is your hope... so that Beaty can and will be fired. You had better HOPE he doesn't win 3-4 games next year, or the rally cry for firing Beaty will lose its justification... and rightly so. If they do win 0-1 games.. and get blown out again by Big 12... he's gone.. .and this is a moot argument.

Jeff Coffman 4 years, 6 months ago

You don't lower the bar.

If your investments lose 15%, you don't say give me 15% to break even. You want more. If Beaty wins 3 games, like he was supposed to this year, he is still behind his expectations. You don't get ahead by trying to get even.

Brian Wilson 4 years, 6 months ago

Disagree totally.....With this Senior and Junior Class, No way any coach would of had 3 under these circumstances. KU had less than 25 Seniors and Juniors returning when Beaty was hired and most of those 25 were left overs scrubs. Plus the good players for the most part quit, transferred, or was run off by Weiss.

Further, we had about 50 scholarship players on the roster. We could only sign 18 scholarships because Weiss had already burned 67. Beaty had to divide between the Freshman and filling holes in order to field a team that first year.

It is truly sad how so many in these blogs can't even comprehend how bad of shape we were in. And, I so and so did it in two years....ta da dee da.......but I haven't seen any coach do it with a low count in upper classmen with a scholarship limit.

Barry Weiss 4 years, 6 months ago

try again, beaty himself said we would be bowling this year. he himself said this, his third year, should show big improvement. what you got now? beaty is clueless, ok, I agree with you on that.

Frederick Heckel 4 years, 7 months ago

Those juniors and seniors you're counting on are about to jump ship or aren't as good as you think they are. 3 wins won't be enough to save his job even if they all came back. KU will lose all 12 games and that will finally be enough to get the morons removed. Dana Anderson won't be able to protect them again.

4 years, 7 months ago

we probably wont even win the spring game! #tie

Jeff Coffman 4 years, 7 months ago

I think from this interview, Dr. Girod appears to be the one that looks the most incompetent.

Jeff Coffman 4 years, 7 months ago

Questions omitted?

Will Kansas continue to sell season tickets this year and what is the likely number of season tickets the athletic department expects to sell?

In an incentive laden contract which you constructed with the coach, why did none of these incentives drive a better product or the results that we anticipated seeing?

Why was a prepared memo issued immediately after the game, rather than an evaluation of the team, its product, its results, and the coach's performance?

Immediately after the season you issued a statement that stated the results were unacceptable; however, everything else displays a perfect acceptance of everything on and off the field; how come there are no repercussions to a coach that has not been acceptable even by your terms?

Having been a football guy and involved in several programs, what makes you think that Coach Beaty will begin the development of players, even since he has not been able to do so in the first three years of his coaching?

The goal was to be bowl eligible according to Coach Beaty; however, based on the results we are not even close to that mark; is the expectation to win one game again next year or zero as many people are expecting?

I'm sure you can produce some better questions than me.

Robert Brock 4 years, 7 months ago

KU has beaten ONE FBS (Division 1) school - Texas - in the last three seasons. The stands will be empty in 2018.

Kevin Robert Fest 4 years, 7 months ago

Question. If KU goes 0-12 1-11 or 2-10 and Coach Clueless is let go this statement “It’s just time to put the stake in the ground and stop the rotation every 2 1/2 years. We can’t keep doing this to the program. The program needs some room to breathe, to bring in four recruiting classes back-to-back-to-back-to-back.” will ring so hollow and the program will be another year behind everyone else. To those on this board who think keeping him is a good idea what will you say after next years season, they are going 0-12 1-11 or 2-10. PU Football is DEADLAST DEADLAST! in wins behind UMASS and Charlotte!! Thats embarrassing.

Waylon Cook 4 years, 7 months ago

Girod is a cuck. Zenger is a cuck. Beaty is a cuck.

Gordon Penny 4 years, 7 months ago

Incorrect use of "beg the question" by the way. But, to the point of the article, I have been arguing this same point all along: coach needs his own seniors who have competed against other FBS talent for four years. No other coach will be able to deliver without that. I don't care what magic wand you think that coach has.

Stephen Burtin 4 years, 7 months ago

Agreed. The other thing this does is send a message to other coaches that we are willing to give them a chance to build their own team. If we keep firing coaches after 2 years, no one will want this job.

Kevin Robert Fest 4 years, 7 months ago

If Kansas recruits a player l always check to see who else is offering, sometimes its McNeese St, or Prairie View A&M or just some interest in the player but no offer. No other power 5 or Div I offers. There is no way to bring in a kid who is maybe talented enough to play for those teams, conferences, division they should be expected to be able to play against players with 40 offers from the top power 5 programs. Im sorry the proof is in the pudding.

Kevin Robert Fest 4 years, 7 months ago

No Beaty is just clueless. He's not even a coach "Just a walk around guy"

Mike Hart 4 years, 7 months ago

Kevin, I appreciate your keen insight and inside knowledge as to how Beaty and staff operates. Your time spent on the sideline observing his methods probably formulated your conclusion. It's a shame that you are able to pick up on what a lousy coach he is... while the players themselves, who like you... are there 24/7 around the football program... seemingly don't have the ability / perception to assess coach and reach the same conclusions as you have. Thanks for alerting us. The real question is how do we help our players who are clearly brainwashed by this coaching staff? ;)

Kevin Robert Fest 4 years, 7 months ago

You believe what you want to Mike that is your right.

Kevin Robert Fest 4 years, 7 months ago

He called himself that last year l didn't make it up.

Gary Wirsig 4 years, 6 months ago

Actually, Beaty called his former offensive coordinator that when Beaty replaced him.

Jeff Coffman 4 years, 6 months ago

Beaty hired him...clear indicator of a problem at coach.

[''] 4 years, 7 months ago

KU football needs to be kicked out of the Big 12. They don't belong. Beaty's teams would get dominated in the MAC, AAC or Mountain West. KU is rated 155 in Sagarin. Mercer would beat KU. This AD & coach would not be tolerated at any other D1 school. Power 5 is waaaay above what these two are qualified for.

Kevin Robert Fest 4 years, 7 months ago

What is with everybody and this 4 years stuff so we can watch the seniors still miss tackles still drop passes still have false starts still making the mistakes they made when they first came into the program. This 4 years stuff has got to go these kids Dorance Armstrong in particular didn't get better his numbers decrease this year so what's with this if everybody stays 4 years they magically all going to be better you gotta be kidding me.

Lawrence McGlinn 4 years, 7 months ago

Exactly the point I have been making here. It is not the lack of bodies and experience. It is the lack of preparation and awareness that I see in the players on game day. It is poor coaching. I think the big money guys are just tired of throwing money down a hole with this program.

Gordon Penny 4 years, 7 months ago

We have a bunch of players who have no business playing D1 ball, but they have to play because of the roster situation. The "Four Year" number that is relevant here signifies the point at which we will have D1 talent who have been here for four years. Our players are playing bad because they are bad players, or at least not the caliber you want. We will get high-caliber players playing as seniors, and that will be good.

Lawrence McGlinn 4 years, 7 months ago

I agree that we don't have Big 12 talent, but we got blown out by Ohio and Central Michigan. Our athletes are equal to or better than theirs. There's an old guy in Manhattan who gets his 2 and 3 star guys prepared.

Mike Hart 4 years, 7 months ago

Kevin, you never cease to amaze with your shrewd analysis. Let's ignore the fact that Dorance Armstrong came out of nowhere in 2016.. and that in 2017, opposing coaches gameplan against him. If you watched the games and read any of the comments from Armstrong himself.. he is playing a different role this year, not just lining up and attacking the QB every play. It is BECAUSE of Dorance Armstrong and opponents' focus on him... that Daniel Wise emerged in 2017 vs 2016. With a defensive backfield that saw 4-5 starters leave graduate from 2016 to 2017... Armstrong was not able to go balls out after the QB every play.. because he had mostly a bunch of fresh/sophomores/red-shirt sophomores in defensive backfield... who were not too green compared to the seniors in 2016.

Kevin Robert Fest 4 years, 7 months ago

So you are telling me that the defense preseason pick could not get a sack against SEMO. I understand that other teams prepared for him, but come on all l hear on this board is the players are getting better, good players find a way do you think that the players voted either to first team or end of the year player didn't have the other team prepare for them? Nothing but excuses on this board.

Kevin Robert Fest 4 years, 7 months ago

All l hear on this board is how the players get better year after year Wise stats improved. I know he was a preseason choice as well. I realize that Armstrong was injured but if you tell me that he couldn't make a difference against SEMO Ohio or CM not one sack against SEMO? Come on too many excuses on this board. You don't think that the defensive player of the year this year didn't have the other team focused on him or double team him? But yet he was voted defensive player of the year. You don't get voted preseason def player then make 2nd team that's not progress. Progress is actual achievement not excuses. It's not all on Armstrong the COACHES didn't scheme ways to negate what the other team was trying to do.

Kevin Robert Fest 4 years, 7 months ago

Armstrong was not able to go balls out after the QB every play.. because he had mostly a bunch of fresh/sophomores/red-shirt sophomores in defensive backfield... who were not too green compared to the seniors in 2016 So you are telling me that Armstrong going balls out pressuring the other teams qb into bad throws rushed progressions make him scramble and just be generally uncomfortable knowing that he is there wouldn't help the dbs? A good pass rush HELPS the dbs, according to your logic why didn't Wise hold back as well it would've helped the dbs right? So Armstrong was the only one told not to go balls out? If Armstrong doesn't go balls out it actually helps the other qb and hurts the dbs

Bill Pitcher 4 years, 7 months ago

I'd rather stick with Beaty another two years before assessing the program than go through another reset and have to read another negative Keegan column three years from now about the lack of progress with the next guy, giving him a chance vs. buyout, blah, blah, blah. Nobody ever won a battle with a negative attitude like Keegan's. There aren't many choices, but there's little downside to keeping Beaty another two years and I like positive attitudes. I agree with Zenger.

Doug Weston 4 years, 7 months ago

No downside to keeping Beaty another two years?!! How about two more 1-11 seasons (or worse)? That's a downside! Putting off hiring a competent coach for another two years. That's a downside. Continuing to have the worst program in college football. That's a downside. Not being able to recruit AT ALL. That's a downside. An empty stadium on game days. That's a downside. I can think of a lot more downsides.

Mike Hart 4 years, 7 months ago

Some fair points, Doug. However: Not able to recruit at all? Point me to a class in the past 10 years that had this many 3 star, 4 star and a 5 star recruit coming in? The point made by many here.. .is that the recruiting Beaty has done program to date.. .is over 2.5 years... with his first true class being sophomores this year. Look how many sophomores (and a couple of true freshmen sprinkled in)... that we have starting on both sides of the ball. The crime... the embarrassment.. the shame.. .is that lack of Seniors we had on the roster (inherited by Beaty)... that weren't good enough to take the field. We had a 8-12 seniors on the roster.. .but only 1 started (Ben Johnson).. and Zach Hannon (O-line) was the other part-time starter. That, my friend.. is the travesty. No senior talent on this roster.. .and those seniors are Weiss holdovers. So the point of the "at least 4 years".. .is to judge the program by the talent Beaty and staff recruits... and has a few years to develop. You all are screaming and hollering about a sophomore laden team. With influx of recruits on this year's class, added to a 3rd year in the program (the sophomores who played/started this year)... we can assess in 2018 on a much more factual vs speculative basis if there is any hope for the program under Beaty. No improvement in 2018? Beaty will be gone....

Jeff Coffman 4 years, 7 months ago

Two years? I can't even believe this. Please help me understand your thought process. He has not won against MAC schools, why would you think he would start magically doing that? What makes you think he can coach, please enlighten us.

Dorance Armstrong with amazing talent, has regressed significantly. He can't even get 5 star players on the field.


Mike Hart 4 years, 7 months ago

What? Dorance Armstrong has regressed? If I have to explain why that is the perception... your complaining has overridden your ability to watch and analyze the games... or read anything from the coaches and the player himself. "He can't even get 5 star players on the field". What are you even talking about? The Alabama players? Ah.. the ones who couldn't make their mark on Alabama to begin with... and hence felt the need to transfer in the first place? Remind me of our wealth of history in attracting 5 star players to KU football to make comparisons with earlier coaches?

Suzi Marshall 4 years, 7 months ago

Keegan ran a continuous story for the prior two years named...Say Something Nice About the Football Team. He only turned negative this season, right after the CMU game, when he saw a dramatic regression from an already low point.

Brett McCabe 4 years, 7 months ago

That's a very important point for those who are trying to call him out for calling out a 3 and whatever coach and and O'fer A.D.

I heavily criticized the Beaty candidacy, right up to the point they hired him, then I said "Okay, he's the coach, time to root for him". My patience wore out last season with the QB debacle, the O.C. debacle, the Punt Return debacle, and other things. However, I regrouped in the off-season, re-upped my season tickets went to every game, left every game disappointed and angry and then, then came Baylor.

We all have our tipping points. It's Keegan's job to call bulls*t on this clown show. Thank goodness he's done his job. If only Girod would do his.

Adam Engelbrecht 4 years, 7 months ago

Except KU continuing to win zero to two games a year, losing out on high school recruits, and Beaty trying to shore things up with JUCOs and transfers. Y'know, no big deal.

Doug Weston 4 years, 7 months ago

A positive attitude ain't worth squat if you can't coach, can't recruit, can't motivate and develop the players you do get, and let your players publically embarrass you and the university with stupid, ill-advised stunts because you don't have control of the program.

Mike Hart 4 years, 7 months ago

One of the more moronic posts I have read... start to finish. At least it was succinct...

[''] 4 years, 7 months ago

The home opener will draw 24,000. The rest of the season will average 17,000 fans. How's that for positive attitude? See if that draws fans in 2018.

Frederick Heckel 4 years, 7 months ago

I'm sure 24,000 will be the announced attendance. The real attendance will be closer to 10,000/

Doug Weston 4 years, 7 months ago

I understand giving a coach a 3-4 years to get to .500. But to show absolutely no progress and go backwards, that's unacceptable. What's even more unacceptable is that he won two games last year and double his salary. I guess if we had gone 3-10 Zenger would have tripled Beaty's salary. Why should a football coach get 3,4, or more years to show progress in their job? How many other jobs can you perform that poorly and still stay employed.

Say I'm a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman. I get hired, and tell my new boss that in the first two years, my sales are going to suck. But in year three, he'll really see some progress. In the first year, I sell one vacuum. The second year, I sell two vacuums (and my boss doubles my salary...yeah, right). In year three, I once again only sell one vacuum. But, I've got some great leads and I'm trying to sell vacuums "the right way." I'm knocking on doors, building relationships with potential customers, and somehow convince my boss that I'll turn things around in year four, because I'm building a foundation for the future and I have a positive attitude. And, I tell him that by year six, we'll be winning sales awards! How many bosses do you think would buy that sack of bull and let me keep my job?!!

Jeff Coffman 4 years, 7 months ago

in your example which is correct...the boss and usually the boss that thinks that is acceptable wouldn't make it past year 1.

Your illustration shows Zenger should be fired also, and Girod should be on the hot seat.

Mike Hart 4 years, 7 months ago

Your analogy to salesmen.. .doesn't translate at all.. not one bit. If you sell vacuums and are being compared to other vacuum salesmen.. that's LEGIT. YOU ARE WORKING WITH/SELLING THE EXACT SAME PRODUCT. When you go start selling vacuums... you are on the exact same, level playing field as your peers... in going door to door and selling the same product. Beaty taking over for Weiss at KU... is not like Lincoln Riley taking over for Bob Stoops at OU. You can't compare their coaching... because the product, the history, the reputation are all different. An absolutely ridiculous analogy.

Doug Weston 4 years, 6 months ago

Yes, Mike, the point of the analogy was that coaching college football is just like selling vacuum cleaners. Brilliant! No, the point is that whether you're selling vacuum cleaners or coaching college football, you should show success after three years or at least some progress, or be canned. No excuses, no whining about "the previous guy," no "but I've got a positive attitude." Produce or hit the road.

Jeff Coffman 4 years, 7 months ago

Recruit - tenth in the Big XII consistently - Nope

Stakeholders - I'm assuming the fan base - 55k to 20k in three years, only one primetime game, which was the lowest rated primetime game in the history of the BXII - Nope

Build team unity - I would say no, teams win together

How about: Catching a football, not jumping offsides, covering your gap assignment, remembering your zone assignment, blitz coverage matchups, punt coverage, play calling (besides run, run, pass, punt). route running, stunt blocks, and more. I'm not a football coach, and I'm not an expert on how to improve the team; however, I don't think the current coach knows either.

Oh and WIN...minimum expectation is to win DII and non P-5 games. We start 0-3, 1-2, or 2-1 the coach should be fired before BXII play.

Blake Phillips 4 years, 7 months ago

Everyone needs to relax.

I've just recently made a profile on this thread, and I've been reading "comments & articles" since the early 2000's !! (I had to for the sake of being a KU alumni)

  1. Tom Keegan is without a doubt on of the BEST sports columnist in all of college sports landscape. This man actually gives you thourough stat analysis, concern, opinion, and FACTS -- weeks after week. It seems like everyone on this thread likes to bash Tom..... TRUST ME WHEN I SAY THIS... Tom is an exceptional sorts columist and we are lucky to have someone who actually cares and gives us real opinion on what's happening in the KU program.

  2. Zenger has failed - no doubt about it. However, the women's basketball program seems to be excelling..... 6-0 currently but....(horrible the first 2 seasons) I personally always thought Brandon Schneider was an exceptional/smart hire..... but he seemed to be a failure in his first two seasons, yet......... look at his resume beforehand:(sweet 16 (3x) elight eight (2X) national championship division 2 (1x) ---- my point being is that this guy was a proven winner who was young and loved the State of Kansas... hard to fault Sheahon Zenger for that hire and it seems to be paying off. And, financially....i think it ultimately willl pay GREAT dividends in terms of wins/losses x financial cost in the kong run.

  3. David Beaty has failed - no doubt about it. HOWEVER - he has managed to assemble potentially the FIRST 5 STAR play to ever be recruited out of high school..... in Devonta Jason.... plus, another handfull of exceptional LA state highschool players who I truly believe to be ground-breaking players for the university of Kansas. (let's skip the Tony Hull dialogue and hand him all the credit -- which is ultimately deserved...... but, lets not forget Kansas fans........ David Beats was able to finagle Tony getting an associate head-coach title. (this shows David Beaty's willingness to be a team player for the sake of Kansas)!

  4. TOM KEEGAN - I love him, MATT TAIT - i love him, BOBBY NIGHTENGALE - I love him, BENTON SMITH - I love him.

  5. The fact of the matter is this......... football could have easily been resurected next year by a new coach in (Dave Doereen or someone else) HOWEVER...... i think everyone who is a fan of Kansas knew that this program really needed one more year with Beaty to see if he is the right guy. FACT IS -- us Kansans are selfish ad want immediate results..... David Beaty will get his final shot his senior year in 2018 & so will Zenger.......... we willl see. If Beaty can win 5+ gaes he will ultimatelly be our coach for years to come.... which I think could be a positive. If he doesnt & fails like most expect...... he'll be fired..... kansas basketball will be coming off a final4 with Graham & Svi.... and hopefuly a solid run by the Womens Volleyball team & we'll be in line to hire a great coach.


John Fitzgerald 4 years, 7 months ago

I agree with you about the KU Sports Writers. Keegan, Benton, Tait, Chasen, Nightengale, all bright guys and I enjoy reading their articles.

Bville Hawk 4 years, 7 months ago

Couldn't agree more with you, Blake. The easiest course for a sports reporter in a small market like Lawrence is to never be too critical and remain "buddies" with the coaches so they will occasionally throw you a good story. Keegan has taken the more difficult path. He is shouting "the king has no clothes" from the rooftops and some are hearing him, some are not, and sadly many just don't care anymore.

Blake Phillips 4 years, 6 months ago

you said it, Bville! Lucky to have Tom no doubt about it.

Gary Wilson 4 years, 7 months ago

Zero progress. In fact, regression. This would be unacceptable if this institution really took football seriously. These results say everything.

Tony Bandle 4 years, 7 months ago

".....put a stake in the ground and stop the rotation." If my physics book is still correct, a stake being a fixed point in a plane of a forward moving force will actually cause rotation around that point thus inscribing the circumference with the said radius thus eliminating all forward motion.

A truer statement would have been to say "put a stake in the heart of KU fandom and kill the football program once and for all!!!"

Edward Daub 4 years, 7 months ago

And Pi is an irrational number (approx 3.1416) originally defined as the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, you lost me somewhere.

Hey! I do have a great idea. Copy what Iowa State did, hire the head coach at Toledo. His Name is Jason Candle!

Brad Avery 4 years, 7 months ago

"The AD said he didn’t have any problem with the football coach saying, “It’s a great time to be at KU,” after the season-ending Oklahoma State loss." I guess if one enjoys watching bad football and a badly coached team, he's right. There has never been a better time than the present. But for a small minority of us, 2008 was a lot more fun.

Joe Norgay 4 years, 7 months ago

There has never been anything more obvious, in the history of obvious things, than the fact that Sheahon Zenger is simply in over his head and does not have the skills required for this job. I understand he's a nice guy and wish him well doing whatever other thing he wants, god knows he's financially set, but he'll never be an athletic director at this level again and that's all the evidence in the world.

Brian Skelly 4 years, 7 months ago

+1 and millions more. The odds of Zenger being an AD at a D-1, much less a P5 school again is less than the odds of KU football having a winning record next year.

Dennis Mahorney 4 years, 7 months ago

"It's a great time to be at KU", because there is no expectation of success. Getting 1.6 million per win... heck yeah it's a great time for him.

Brett McCabe 4 years, 7 months ago

Zenger has created a problem for himself. Kudos to Tom for securing the interview, but Zenger would have been better off in the bunker.

Every comment he made is going to be picked apart today on talk radio, and most of the comments are indefensible. But the biggest problem will be the two conflicting statements he made.

One, Beaty inherited a short roster. Two, Zenger won't hold Beaty accountable for not doing the same thing to the roster.

Maybe Girod was given something that even golf aficionado Keegan couldn't haven't imagined: a second mulligan. Jayhawk fans everywhere should pray to the Golf Gods for such benevolence.

Kevin Robert Fest 4 years, 7 months ago

I have a question. How is Beatty going to get anybody to listen to him on his Kansas Blitz next year? This guy should just walk out there with a cane top hat and tails like those old Carnival barkers this guy makes himself look foolish with the things that he says compared to the product on the field. I can't imagine that anybody at this point is going to listen to what he has to say about the team, their improvement or whether they're going to go to a bowl game. After the first two games next year you'll really be able to see if they've made any progress which sadly after losing the Central Michigan again will be very apparent that they have not.

Step right up folks come see the amazing losing college football team smashing records All Over America. There's the incredible disappearing defense now you see them now you don't will the other team score 100 points nobody knows come and find out. Come and see the most potently bad offense you've ever seen your life where after four quarters the offense only gained 21 yards what a sight to see bring the kids.

4 years, 7 months ago

agreed. "young team?" excuses? “The thing that really sticks out for us is the experience we finally have coming back,” Beaty said. “We didn’t have that luxury very much either of the last two years, but now we do. I think that in itself makes it exciting.” “I think we’re going to be a way more explosive team, more flexible. I think that’s going to help us win a lot of games.” “Everybody can’t wait to see what we’re going to do,” Sims said. “It’s fun and we know that, so that’s why we work so hard. Our coaches and everybody on the team is hard working and we’re going to prove everybody wrong.” “We expect to go to a bowl game,” Beaty said. “That’s big talk but we have to go do it.” This is just sad to go back and read. totally. delusional. ku football = comedy of errors. every time. here's to hoping for improvement. this time. rcjh

Kevin Robert Fest 4 years, 7 months ago

Improvement would be be competitive in half of our Big 12 games. Win the 3 noncons, win a few surprise games, if they lost on a last second field goal to OK then that might be viewed as progress. But winning one game getting blown out in the rest even if individual players stats improve is not progress. Neither is keeping it close til halftime. Geez ld be happy with no false starts continually in the red zone or just being able to have the players put one foot in front of the other at this point.

John Fitzgerald 4 years, 7 months ago

I know I've been against Beaty and Zenger since the loss to CMU but at the end of the day I just want the football program to be successful and win some games. This has been the worst stretch of football I've seen at any program, which Tom highlights above. I do hope Beaty is successful and I'm praying there is a turn around next year, but the odds are stacked up against him. My concern is what happens if we go 0-12? And what will roster numbers look like with the JUCO's and transfer players he's recruited? To me, that's worst case scenario if we go 0-12 but the most likely scenario. And if that were to happen and he is let go, we could lose a lot of those guys he recruited and the next coach will still be in a hole when he gets here. Also, the buyout is the same this year as it will be next year. Either way, the pressure is on Beaty and he needs to start winning games for himself, the program, and especially Zenger as he's to blame for the Weis mess. The sad part is if he wins 3 games, I think he gets a 5th year. But in my mind, I'm looking for 5-6.

Aaron Paisley 4 years, 6 months ago

John, ask yourself why Beaty ended up.being the best candidate for the job in 2015 in the first place.

I fully believe having a history of not even giving coaches the chance to have a senior class graduate has always hurt KU's ability to lure any up and coming coach here. That's almost always left KU in the position of hiring assistant coaches that couldn't get any other D1 HC job or a retread who had failed elsewhere.

Giving Beaty 4-5 years shows other potential candidates that they will at least get a senior class to graduate to prove themselves.

At this point, I firmly believe every move KU needs to make now needs to be with the long term picture in mind rather than a win now approach. It'll absolutely suck for the time being, but showing future coaches they'll actually get an opportunity to have a senior class graduate will help with the quality of coaches KU can hire in the future. The other thing keeping Beaty does is it allows him to bring the true scholarship numbers in line. Beaty may be forced to go a little more JuCo heavy than he'd like to, but he's getting a lot of JuCo's with 3 years of eligibility, arrive in January, and have actually contributed on the field. This will also give a future coach a much better foundation to build upon than the one Beaty inherited.

These moves are not with the immediate future in mind, but rather the long term which is building a much more stable future for Kansas football than continuing to go through coaches every 3 years will do.

Jeff Coffman 4 years, 6 months ago

He wasn't the best candidate, see the list that Keegan provided a week ago. He was the candidate that Zenger could close the deal with. This is why Zenger should be fired, in both cases of hiring there were several options and in both cases he chose the incorrect coaches.

Brian Wilson 4 years, 6 months ago

Your kidding right. Beaty was the only coach other than Bowen that would accept. Bowen didn't get the job because Ku wouldn't do that to one of it's own.

. Beaty is brought in to do one thing......get this rebuild the roster.

Robert Brock 4 years, 7 months ago

This would be a great time to completely demolish Memorial Stadium and build a new one. With little or no fan interest the Jayhawks could rent Haskell Stadium for two or three years.

Brett McCabe 4 years, 7 months ago

Though you are being sarcastic, a slight alteration of your idea is actually not that far-fetched. Sporting Park would jump at the chance to host KU's games next season. It's a great facility, seats around 18,000, and is an easy drive from Lawrence.

Right now, Memorial Stadium just has bad memories for most people. A fresh venue would actually breathe in some life to the program.

Kevin Robert Fest 4 years, 7 months ago

Im not trying to be argumentative John please tell me where the 5 comes from?

John Fitzgerald 4 years, 7 months ago

Not saying we’ll win 5 or have a chance, I’m just saying it’ll take 5-6 wins next year for me to believe in Beaty. No way do I see us getting 5 wins next year though.

Kevin Robert Fest 4 years, 7 months ago

Lol l was going to sayonly way we get five wins Other team forfeits, other team has the flu (the whole team) lock other team in hotel.

Adam Engelbrecht 4 years, 7 months ago

Do you know how to use the Reply function, Kevin?

Ryan Shelton 4 years, 7 months ago

Depending on the device, there's not always a reply.

Barry Weiss 4 years, 7 months ago

other coaches have turned around programs within 3 years. I'm sick of this "he needs more time". There is NOTHING that he has done in his first three years to suggest next year will not be another one win, at most season. And quit throwing the players under the bus as if they are all dog meat. Heck, Beaty brought on a few, granted his recruiting skills are terrible, like his coaching, but he's had his chance and has failed at every metric. End this nonsense for the sake of the University. This problem is bigger than just the football program. It is hurting the whole university. Does our administration even care anymore?

John Kelley 4 years, 7 months ago

There's nothing like have high standards.

Thomas Green 4 years, 7 months ago

Good interview, but it’s obvious Zenger is intrinsically tied to Beaty, so the reason for his support is obvious. I still would like Girod to man-up and give an interview to explain his thought process and how or why he has arrived at the decision to retain Zenger. Nobody ever said the job was going to be easy. Time to put on your big boy pants and answer a few questions. Quit evading and lead!

[''] 4 years, 7 months ago

Lawrence businesses stand to lose millions each Saturday. Millions more than they have already lost. Lawrence business owners should be stampeding into Girod's office. An empty stadium hurts Lawrence & is a disgrace to the Big12 conference.

David Kemp 4 years, 6 months ago

Half full stadium costs program 25 mil per year and Lawrence business about 12 mil per year based on 6 games

Lloyd Kinnison 4 years, 7 months ago

Enough has been written about our concerns. We have an AD and FB coach for next year. Now is the time to place the pressure and expectations for 2018. We expect that he AD and FB coach will win more games,! How many is realistic. Three non conference and 2 (?) conference games?. If this goal is not achieved our AD and FB coach will resign with NO Compensation?

Jeff Coffman 4 years, 6 months ago

They have buyouts...if we had fired him after game 3 this year, like he should have been...we would have saved $1.2 MM dollars.

If we had not signed him to an extension BGL should be sued for that, it would have been $1.6 MM less than his buyout.

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