Saturday, November 3, 2018

Notebook: Dineen disappointed by Cyclone-heavy crowd

Kansas linebacker Joe Dineen Jr. calls out to the ref after pleading for a fumble call late in the game versus TCU, on Oct. 27, 2018.

Kansas linebacker Joe Dineen Jr. calls out to the ref after pleading for a fumble call late in the game versus TCU, on Oct. 27, 2018.


During his four-plus years as a member of the ever-struggling Kansas football program, redshirt senior Joe Dineen has experienced his share of low moments and played in more sparsely attended home games than he would care to remember.

But Saturday’s 27-3 loss to Iowa State at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium represented a different kind of disillusionment for the linebacker.

On a day KU announced its attendance as 15,543, it appeared more than half of the fans in the stands were there in support of the Cyclones.

“It was definitely an Iowa State home game,” Dineen said afterward. “You know, it’s kind of disappointing. Before I get into that, though, I want to say thank you to everyone that does show up. There’s a handful of fans that are through and through, no matter what happens. Really good. But that’s pretty disappointing when we come out here at Memorial Stadium and there’s more Iowa State fans than KU fans.”

Clearly frustrated and emotional during his postgame interview about the turnout, Dineen said he expected more KU fans to be at the game after the Jayhawks defeated TCU a week earlier, in front of an announced crowd of 15,069.

“I understand our record and stuff like that is not what it should be, but no matter what the reason is, I know for me personally and for everyone else on the team we bust our ass every offseason and every practice and stuff, just like everyone else does,” Dineen said. “And then when we come out here and, I mean, there’s more Iowa State fans, it’s disheartening for sure. But, I mean, that’s not going to affect how we play. We’re going to go out and play hard every game, but, you know, it sucks.”

The ISU support seemed clear from the game’s opening minutes, when perhaps the loudest roar of the day accompanied an 83-yard touchdown pass from Cyclones quarterback Brock Purdy to Hakeem Butler.

“Every big moment, just times throughout the game when we need our fans to be there it’s just not as loud,” Dineen said. “Just a little bit disappointing.”

A team captain and Lawrence native, Dineen led KU with 13 tackles, finishing in double digits for the seventh time this season.

New number for Hempstead

Playing for the first time since his brother, Michael A. Edwards, was shot and killed in Libson, Ark., almost a week ago, KU junior cornerback Elmore Hempstead decided to change his jersey number.

In order to honor Edwards, Hempstead wore No. 3 against Iowa State, instead of his typical No. 23. Hempstead will continue to play in No. 3 for the remainder of the season.

“I don't know how many guys,” KU head coach David Beaty said, “I’ve ever coached could really do what he had to do today, or what he did today. He'll be leaving pretty quickly here to attend the funeral. But was really proud of him. We had that number available. It was a way for us to be able to honor his brother and his family.”

Hempstead made two solo tackles versus Iowa State.

Snappy Bowl

Family and friends of KU long snapper John Wirtel and his brother, Iowa State long snapper Steve Wirtel, showed up to Saturday’s Big 12 matchup to support both of the opposing siblings.

Sporting T-shirts that read “Snappy Bowl 3.0” and “The final chapter” on the front, the Wirtel brothers’ fan club got to watch KU redshirt senior John and ISU junior Steve square off for a final time.

Both Wirtels wear No. 39, so the backs of the T-shirts included their last name and shared jersey number split down the middle in terms of team colors. The left side — the 3 and “Wir” — were in crimson and blue, while the right side — the 9 and “tel” — were in cardinal and gold.

Battle of Travis High teammates

One-time teammates at Houston’s Travis High, KU’s Steven Sims Jr. and ISU’s Hakeem Butler entered Saturday as the leading receivers on their respective teams.

A 6-foot-6, 225-pound junior, Butler dominated at times, finishing with five receptions for 164 yards and a pair of first-quarter TDs.

A 5-10, 176-pound senior, Sims led Kansas with seven receptions for 71 yards.

Lee returns to starting lineup

After coming off the bench in KU’s win against TCU, junior Mike Lee returned to his former spot as a starting safety against Iowa State.

Lee finished with seven total tackles but also was on the coverage when Butler scored an 83-yard TD.

He and the rest of KU’s defensive backs, Lee said, were “very” responsible for KU’s quick 14-0 deficit.

“Gave up two big plays for touchdowns,” Lee said. “As a secondary we can’t do that, because that’ll really hurt our team. I feel like we shut that down a little bit in the second half. And they weren’t catching no more deep balls.”

Allen back in Lawrence

ISU’s roster includes a significant KU tie. Backup tight end Chase Allen is the son of former Jayhawks football coach, Terry Allen.

From 1997-2001, Allen’s Kansas teams went 20-33.

Playing in the stadium where his father once coached, Chase, a 6-8 redshirt sophomore, did not record any statistics off the bench.


Bill Kackley 3 years, 9 months ago

I agree with Joe, we have a ot of spoiled, so called fans. No matter what you feel about the coach, if the kids put out the effort, and these kids do, they should be supported bt the fans.

Phil Leister 3 years, 9 months ago

This has been a decade of futility. Put a good product on the field and people will show up. I’m pretty damn impressed that 15,000 people do show up. Put wins on the board and the stands will gradually fill. It doesn’t work in the reverse order, sorry.

Dane Pratt 3 years, 9 months ago

And that is the definition of a fair weather fan.

Dane Pratt 3 years, 9 months ago

20-33 doesn't sound quite so bad anymore.

David Kemp 3 years, 9 months ago

Time to reignite the base. Beaty is out!

Chris Condren 3 years, 9 months ago

I appreciate and understand the player’s comments but his disappointment is misplaced. Fans have been abused as have the players. The villains here are the administrators of the KUAD who have run the football program into the ground. Nine years of losing has cost the program 35,000 fans per game who will not come to Lawrence to watch football.

Al Martin 3 years, 9 months ago

Agree, although I definitely feel for him. They did win at home last week. It's not unreasonable to expect a better turnout the next week.

Marcus Balzer 3 years, 9 months ago

Coach is a great guy. No one will argue that. He cared but he couldn’t get it done. He made a lot of money for very little production and will get a coordinator job after he gets let go.

I feel bad for this group of seniors. Busted their asses and have very little to show for it.

Michael Leiker 3 years, 9 months ago

Dineen is correct, and the ISU game is the perfect game to bring it up after. Those fans have ALWAYS showed up in Ames. Whether they're going through years of 2-3 win seasons or not, they have 30k at their home games. The football fan base at KU is the majority of what is wrong with the program, in the long run. Rutgers game, up by a bunch at half, probably a third of the fans there in the first half come back in for the second. Long and co and the next coach should come into this situation eyes wide open.

Bryson Stricker 3 years, 9 months ago

Coaches may suck but players deserve fan support, especially coming off a win

Steven Haag 3 years, 9 months ago

Agree Michael. Our magical season we had the masses. Other than that, our fans don’t support the team. I am in that group as well. I just don’t have the money and time to travel to every home game......if I did, would I? Maybe. But one thing I do know for certain. I wouldn’t stay away just because of a coach. Is it really the coach? If we get a new coach that wins 5 games a season will the fan base come out? Most likely not. These so called “fans” sound like politicians and tell partial truths. Just tell us the want a new coach and a guaranteed 9 wins a year....THEN you will come to the games. The new AD and coach definitely need to come into this with eyes wide open. It just may be that Many schools in the Big XII aren’t that excited about football. K-State had some empty seats last time they played at home. Did anybody watch the TCU K-Statevgame on TV yesterday. It was at TCU and it looked like it was around 1/2 full of fans.

Andy Godwin 3 years, 9 months ago

First, Joe Dineen is what is good about KU football. At one point during the game, the stadium announcer called is name on three or four consecutive plays for making tackles and two of those tackles were on down field receivers. The guy has an unbelievable motor and a heart that deserves more recognition. This kid along with Torneden, Loneker, etc. stayed home to trying and help rebuild a downtrodden program and KU fans can't rally around the effort these and other student-athletes make to represent our school on the football field.

Second, face it, KU has fare weather fans, even in basketball. In the last days of Ted Owens the field house was far from filled. I have to agree with a previous statement that ISU has a fan base that sticks with their team in good times and bad and they travel. They take over the Power and Light district in KC for the Big 12 basketball tournament. KU alum and KU students should be embarrassed that ISU took over the stadium yesterday and it is not the first time. Growing up in Lawrence, I remember going to games and having to endure Nebraska fans taking over the town and stadium. We (alumni and students collectively) show up when things are going well. Since returning to the Kansas area, I have attended all of Gil's, Weis, and Beaty (except for one game when at the Maui classic and we still had a KU football watch party) and have watched some pretty bad football. Some will say that staying away is a fan's way of protesting. That might cut it for professional sports, but athletics is a part of a University's culture and identity, and the role of alumni and students is to support our student athletes. Walking to the game and seeing only a few of the loyal tailgaters and fans enjoying the campus is shameful. Having the KU student athletes run onto the field to a 1/3 filled stadium with half wearing ISU gear does not motivate the players and clearly does not entice 3/4/5 star players to come to our school. Clearly KU must win for KU students to get out of bed and alumni to overpay for tickets. Hiring a new big named coach will not magically fill the seats, because it is clear that at KU, only winning will get fans to jump onto the bandwagon.

Gavin Fritton 3 years, 9 months ago

I wonder how many KU women's basketball games Joe Dineen has attended? No reason. Just curious. I'm not calling him a fair weather fan or anything like that.

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