Big 12 media days blog: Jesse, Matt discuss Weis' 'pile of crap' controversy


9:00 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Here's a video wrap-up from Matt and me discussing the KU news of the day and the controversy that was Weis' "pile of crap" comment.

With that, we're going to sign off from Big 12 media days in Dallas. Be sure to check back Tuesday for the live blog as five other Big 12 schools step to the podium.

5:45 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Two more light-hearted videos ...

The guys talk about who was the best-dressed at media days — and quarterback Jake Heaps admits he helped one Jayhawk with tying his tie.

Also, KU linebacker Ben Heeney discusses his beard and says it might grow the whole season.

5:16 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Matt just posted his notebook that you can find here ...

Also, I've got a couple lighter videos coming to show more of these guys' personalities. Here I posed the question, "If the NCAA had no celebration penalties, what would your touchdown celebration be?"

4:44 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

And another video. The question this time: "Which KU players will surprise fans this season?"

4:29 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Quick video: I asked three of the Jayhawks, "What makes you optimistic about this season?"

Charlie Weis talks to reporters on Monday afternoon at media days.

Charlie Weis talks to reporters on Monday afternoon at media days. by Jesse Newell

4:02 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

I enjoyed talking to KU defensive back Cassius Sendish today, as he represented KU at Big 12 media days though he's yet to play a game for the Jayhawks as a juco transfer from Arizona Western CC.

You can learn more about Sendish in this Q-and-A podcast we recorded this afternoon.

3:26 p.m. update: By Matt Tait

Tweeted this out a while ago, but KU coach Charlie Weis said today that linebacker Marcus Jenkins-Moore, a juco transfer from Pierce College in Los Angeles, tweaked a knee on the first day of workouts and has since had a surgical procedure on the knee to fix the problem.

Weis said he did not yet know how long Jenkins-Moore would be sidelined and also did not rule him out for the entire season.

Since Jenkins-Moore has three years to play out his two years of eligibility, doing this does not hurt him in the long run. Weis said that was a big factor in them deciding how to proceed once the injury occurred.

At this point, it's a wait-and-see thing but the one thing Weis did confirm was that we should not expect to see Jenkins-Moore in action any time in the near future.

One other note of interest came in the saga of transfer wide receiver Nick Harwell, from Miami (Ohio) University. Weis said Harwell's status for 2013 was still unknown and he compared it to a soap opera, one which KU has no control over.

The only thing he could say definitively about Harwell was that he would be on campus in August and, if he was not eligible, he would be the best scout team receiver in the country.

I still think Harwell has a good shot of playing this year but any future updates will likely come from his lawyer, Don Jackson.

Stay tuned...

3:15 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Just finished with breakout interviews, and we'll have much more as we get content posted.

A few quick notes ...

KU running back James Sims said one personal goal was to beat his rushing yard total from last year (1,013). He said he was surprised he wasn't a first-team preseason all-league pick, but that might be because KU didn't win much last year.

He also said the NFL running backs he liked watching most were Pierre Thomas and Adrian Peterson, and if he could have one attribute from a running back teammate (that wasn't Tony Pierson's speed), he would take Darrian Miller's balance.

Defensive back Cassius Sendish said one of the biggest draws to playing at KU was the ability to show his abilities against pass-happy Big 12 offenses. He also said his juco (Arizona Western CC) is structured like a Div. I school, so the transition to KU was easier.

He said he'd never been to a media day before today. When asked his position, he also responded with defensive back, hinting perhaps that he could play cornerback or safety depending on the defensive matchup.

Quarterback Jake Heaps said watching last year's team without being able to help out was "excruciating." He said sitting out a year to learn the offense was the best and worst thing that could have happened to him. At the time, though, "It just felt horrible." He said he learned a lot from Dayne Crist last year, and complimented the former KU QB, saying he handled his struggles as well as anyone could have.

Heaps said it would be important to get a passing game going this year to "alleviate pressure from the running backs." He said the team's expectations are higher than any outside expectations, and he also believes this year will be different because winning and losing can both become habits, and the Jayhawks have had leaders emerge that have the mind-set that enough is enough.

Heaps also said receiver Justin McCay was playing with confidence, and his strong performance in the spring game helped that.

12:54 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Here's the full transcript of Weis' comments at the podium, in case you want to read them in their entirety.

A programming note: KU's players and Weis will be available from 1-3 p.m. here, so there might not be many updates from the blog in that time, as Matt and I work our hardest to get all the quotes we can.

After that, though, we'll come back to the blog to update with quotes, notes and also some video.

11:52 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Charlie Weis at podium.

Charlie Weis at podium. by Jesse Newell

Here is the Cliff's Notes version of Weis during his time at the podium today:

Weis started his time at the podium by saying last year KU was 1-11, that everyone had picked his team last in the Big 12, and he said he agreed with everyone believing that. "We've given you no evidence, no reason to be picked other than that."

Weis says he's going to group quarterback Jake Heaps and receiver Justin McCay together. He says the two established a rapport together on the practice field. KU had a solid running game, but it couldn't pass the ball and couldn't score points. Weis is counting on his team being more balanced this year, and Heaps and McCay should be a big part of that.

• Though KU wasn't good last year, Weis said his team had quality players at the running-back position. KU is even better at that position this year, so that has allowed Weis to use those guys more flexibly. If KU can get Tony Pierson more involved in space, it will open things up on offense.

The high number of juco players Weis took this year was a necessity. It's not a long-term plan. Weis believed his team needed to fill the holes right now. Most high-school kids need at least a year to develop. Weis needed guys that could play now, or otherwise, his team was going to be ranked 10th in the league every year.

Weis takes an honest and practical approach to recruiting. He says when he brings in recruits he tells them it's a great situation and that facilities are on par with everyone else. He says KU still needs work on the stadium, which is in the plans. Then, everyone wants to play. Weis tells recruits, 'Have you taken a look at that pile of crap out there (referring to last year's team)?' ... If you can't play here, where can you play?'

Dayne Crist and Jake Heaps' situations are totally different. Crist was coming off two ACL injuries. You can simulate a lot of things, but in training camp, you couldn't simulate players coming after him. Heaps had no physical issues. That's how it's different.

Weis says he didn't take much from the loss to Texas last season. He said he was happy for Texas coach Mack Brown but miserable for himself. Other than that, he didn't take much for the game.

Weis agreed with a media member that said his kicking game was atrocious. He said he believes one juco guy (Trevor Pardula) could handle all three responsibilities next year.

Weis believes running back James Sims might not have been put on the all-Big 12 first team because KU hasn't been winning. Weis said KU could potentially have the best stable of running backs in the Big 12, and you can't say that for the Jayhawks in many positions.

Bob Bowlsby.

Bob Bowlsby. by Jesse Newell

11:22 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Weis will be at the podium in eight minutes. Saw him chatting downstairs a few minutes ago with former NFL running back Eddie George, who now is a member of the media.

Be sure to check back for Cliff's Notes of what Weis says.

11:11 a.m. update: By Matt Tait

TCU coach Gary Patterson is on the podium now and he opened things up by answering questions about why he did not bring last year's opening-day starting QB Casey Pachall to Dallas with him this week.

Pachall, you may remember, went through all kinds of trouble last season off the field and ultimately was suspended for the remainder of the season, forcing the Horned Frogs to play the final half of the season without him.

He has since been reinstated, but Patterson stressed that he has not been handed his starting job back and that's one of the big reasons he's not here.

As Patterson put it:

  1. We don't know who our starting QB is yet. (Sophomore Trayvon Boykin, who filled in during 2012 is in the running)

  2. He told me this spring that he wanted to be a student and a football player so I'm trying to let him do his thing and keep some of the pressure of being back off of him.

Boykin can flat-out play and he's a different player than Pachall. Because of that, it sounds like the possibility exists that TCU could play two QBs this season.

Should be interesting to see how it plays out.

10:59 a.m. update: By Matt Tait

Given the recent success of the Oklahoma State football program, OSU coach Mike Gundy, an OSU alum, was asked during his time on the podium whether he had seriously entertained taking any of the other jobs to which his name has become attached in the past.

Gundy was very candid in his response and said he loved his current situation. He also said in order for the Cowboys to enjoy continued success, he had to avoid any uncertainty about his future at the school:

"From Day One when we took this over, our coaching staff going into nine years now, we felt like the most important thing that we could do for the players on our team is make a commitment to them, if they would buy in, that we would have a chance to have success.

"For me personally, I have to feel comfortable knowing there's a commitment to the young men on our team to give them the best opportunity for success in the classroom and on the football field, and if there's not, then it's hard for me to sell. So at times, whether we all like to admit it or not, there's a business aspect to this profession, probably more so than we would like to think. But I have to feel comfortable myself personally — and I don't use 'I' myself very often when we talk about Oklahoma State football — that there's a commitment in all different areas for our young men to have success.

"So when we go in those homes, the very most important thing we do is recruit young men who want to get a degree from Oklahoma State and be a part of that team, and that commitment has to be from both sides. So I'm comfortable with that. It doesn't mean I always agree with the decisions that are made, none of us do, but I do understand a chain of command, and at the end of the day, I say, yes, sir, and move forward."

10:50 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Kansas State coach Bill Snyder skipped the opening statement and went straight to questions. He's become a pro at talking without saying much.

A couple notes:

Snyder was asked about being picked sixth in the conference, and he said ranking teams is a difficult task. He even declined to participate in national coaches polls in the past because he thought it would be a tough chore.

When asked about his first assistant-coaching gig, Snyder said he made $6,000 a year in Gallatin, Mo. While there, he was an assistant coach for four sports, drove the bus and also taught four hours of Spanish.

10:20 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy just finished his time at the podium. Remember, the Cowboys were the media's preseason pick to win the league. Some notes:

No decision has been made on a starting quarterback.

Gundy thinks the Big 12 using an additional official to spot the ball is a good move. He believes it allows the other guys to give more attention to officiate the game.

10:03 a.m. update: By Matt Tait

Here's a just-posted story breaking down the key points that Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby talked about this morning ...

9:21 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Big 12 commish Bob Bowlsby just announced the conference would roll out a new logo starting next July. Didn't get my phone out quick enough, but you can check it out here.

9:11 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby is at the podium now, talking about how realignment has settled down. I think everyone's happy with that. We'll have some notes on what he says later.

In addition to the mannequins below, the Big 12 and Omni Hotel also have put up banners where each player and coach will sit during interviews this afternoon. These are all banners that are taller than me ... and I'm sure would be swiped up if more were printed off and available for sale.

Here's a look:


Heaps by Jesse Newell

Ben Heeney.

Ben Heeney. by Jesse Newell

Cassius Sendish.

Cassius Sendish. by Jesse Newell

James Sims.

James Sims. by Jesse Newell

Oh, and here's one more pic, this one of KU's blue-uniform mannequin.

Blue mannequin.

Blue mannequin. by Jesse Newell

Original post: By Jesse Newell

Dallas — Welcome to's live coverage of Big 12 football media days, live from the Omni Hotel in Dallas.

Today marks the first of two days here in Dallas. Oklahoma State, Kansas State, TCU, Kansas and Texas Tech will all have their own time at the podium today, with KU coach Charlie Weis stepping to the mic at 11:30 a.m.

The Big 12 switched locations for football media days this year, and one of the main features in the main interview room are the player mannequins that have been set up in each team's jersey. Here's a look at KU's.

KU mannequin.

KU mannequin. by Jesse Newell

Be sure to check back throughout the day, as KU football beat writer Matt Tait and I will be posting updates to the blog. which will include videos and photos. You can also follow our updates on Twitter at our handles @jessenewell and @mctait.


nuleafjhawk 9 years, 4 months ago

I don't know about hideous, but if you rotate it 90 deg clockwise, it looks like some sort of cartoon character.

Matt Tait 9 years, 4 months ago

Thanks for the ideas.... All of them were already on the list and we'll definitely get on it. I heard the Slater rumors the other day but I don't think there's much to them since he has already signed a grant-in-aid agreement with KU.

You never know, though. I'll do some asking around in the Oklahoma circle, too.

Steve Reigle 9 years, 4 months ago

Matt, is the grant-in-aid binding? In other words, if Slater changed his mind and went elsewhere, is that considered a transfer where he'd have to sit out a year at the other school?

Shawn Darius 9 years, 4 months ago

Let's not go overboard with these red helmets...We're KU, NOT Nebraska. Big 12 logo looks just fine. Moving on.

Jeff Braun 9 years, 4 months ago

Nebraska has WHITE helmets. The only time they had red ones was back in the last 1950s. They did have black ones for their games against Wisconsin last year, but that was a one game only. Just like this year's black jersey's to be worn against UCLA.

Shawn Darius 9 years, 4 months ago

Oh, excuse me, We're KU, NOT Florida. The red helmet and blue uni combo above looks straight up like Gator-knock offs. Gotta have the chops before we can pull that off. Otherwise, we look like Iowa St. trying to emulate of USC. Bad idea.

Jonathan Allison 9 years, 4 months ago

I love the red helmet. I think that it's a really cool branding idea to make the football uniform more resemble the Jayhawk logo (red head, blue body).

Also, I don't like t he new XII logo for the Big 12 Conference. First, they dropped the "BIG" from the logo, I assume to differentiate from the "B1G" of the Big 10 conf. But to me it makes the logo very boring by just being the "XII". Also, emphisizing only the "XII" in the logo seems pointless for a conference that is "twelve" in name only because of the 10 team membership.

Despite the obviously relationship to vitamins and bombers I would prefer a logo with "B12", or even just spell out "Big Twelve".

XII just seems pretty weak.

Jayhawk1127 9 years, 4 months ago

Winning will make any uniform look better. That said I think the best Jayhawk for the helmets are the WW2 angry Jayhawks. I would also love to see someone train a Redtailed hawk to fly around the stadium before and after the games. I know Auburn does it with an Eagle, but don't care. It is very exciting and gets the fans going. It would also be an incentive for fans to stay for the whole game.

blindrabbit 9 years, 4 months ago

KU has blue as it's "main" color and the team is known as "Big Blue", but the best looking KU football uniform was the one worn on several occasions during Mangino's time and also at the 2008 Orange Bowl. Blue helmet, Red Jersey, and White pants, classy looking, somewhat resembled one of the New York Giants packages.

While on the color of uniforms, I vote for going back to the 1950's-60's blue and neon pink track and field colors. I know some thought it was a "sissy" color and maybe "not manly enough" but boy did they stand out, and were easy to spot on a crowded field. If Nieder, Oerter, Salb and Santee all All-Americans could handle them why not now, especially with a more liberal approach to issues like "pink" for the male population.

justinryman 9 years, 4 months ago

Matt Tait getting a mention over at

Also like the all blue uni's with the red helmet, very sharp look. The all whites look like practice gear though. Go with blue pants or something, all white looks very Jr Highish.

Tom Keegan 9 years, 4 months ago

Totally agree on blue pants with white jerseys.

Ron Prichard 9 years, 4 months ago

Nice to see the mention from Ubben, but I do believe the article was written by Keegan.

Ron Prichard 9 years, 4 months ago

If you go to the Big XII roundup link provided by justinryman above, there's a link for an ISU article that has some great information at the end of it, including some charts that list athletic budgets for all of the BCS schools as well as more detailed info for each of the Big XII schools. Very cool.

Thanks for the link, justinryman.

KGphoto 9 years, 4 months ago

Let’s see if I can get this in before a Weis update. Real fast now...

Bob Bowlsby

Bob Bowlsby

Bob Bowlsby

Bob Bowlsby

Bob Bowlsby

Bob Bowlsby

Bob Bowlsby

Bob Bowlsby

Bob Bowlsby

Bob Bowlsby


clevelandjayhawker 9 years, 4 months ago

A "pile of crap"? love his honesty and not just the normal coach talk you hear from a HC

rockchalk_dpu 9 years, 4 months ago

Love his honesty and the way he doesn't beat around the bush with his answers. Very similar to Coach Self in that regard. Also, I love that he kinda took a shot at the media for not picking Sims for first team honors. The awards/accolades should go to the best players regardless of their overall team record, but somewhere along the way, these things got twisted into "who was the best player on the best team?"

Hope Sims wins several awards/recognitions this year because he totally deserves them for continuing to work hard and improve despite being one fo the few bright spots on the team each year.

texashawk10 9 years, 4 months ago

Not crazy about the new logo, but it could've been worse. I also agree that Jon Hubert did not deserve to be preseason first team over Sims. I got no problem with Seastrunk as first team because that guy is crazy talented and if Baylor has a good enough season, he'll be in New York. He'll also always be the symbolic face of the Oregon recruiting scandal as well though.

Geekinout 9 years, 4 months ago

... If you can't play here, where can you play?'

Same could be said about that coaching job...

Al Martin 9 years, 4 months ago

I don't get your point. KU is traditionally one of the hardest places for a coach to win...

texashawk10 9 years, 4 months ago

Imagine how different KU football would be perceived had Fielding Yost stayed at KU instead of going to Stanford then Michigan. KU could very easily have been a two sport blue blood if he chose to stay in Lawrence.

Ron Prichard 9 years, 4 months ago

I kind of like the new Big XII logo. I'm sure you will see it with the words "Conference" or "Big" above and "Conference" below or some iteration like that occasionally. Those things tend to get modified to fit the specific need or even public response.

I agree on the KU uniforms that the white needs to have blue pants. I do love the red helmets, though. As for anyone saying that blue is our primary color and red is not, I think that is just through design choice over the years and not really based on any sort of tradition. We are the "Crimson and Blue" aren't we? Also, as much as us "traditionalists" want the uniforms to stay the same, the players and recruits are really the ones that need to like them. To that end, I love that we will have several different options and combinations this year.

As good as Sims will be this year, I think his overall stats may be hurt by the other stud running backs we have. If you remember his sophomore year, he split carries with Miller. I think Miller has a chance to have quite a few carries this year. Same with Bourbon and even Cox. I don't know if there will be enough carries for Sims to have the statistical year he did last year. Please do not take this to mean I don't think Sims is a great back, because I do. I just think the wealth will be spread around a little bit to keep him fresh and to take advantage of some of the special skills of our other backs.

actorman 9 years, 4 months ago

You make a good point, raprichard, but it could be said that his stats may end up significantly better because of not having to shoulder as much of the workload.

He may end up with fewer yards overall, but if his average per carry is a lot better than last year's, his total yards might not be that much less, and the improved average could be enough to put him over the top.

Ron Prichard 9 years, 4 months ago

I hope you are right, actorman. I would love a season where Sims has a great statistical year along with good performances by one or two other backs. That could lead to a really special year.

Ron Prichard 9 years, 4 months ago

Excellent point, ralster. Believe it or not, I had forgotten about Sim's suspension. That might be all he needs to exceed last year's total.

Jim Jackson 9 years, 4 months ago

We should RS Cox so we can utilize his skills for next year. Tait, possible question for coach?

CrystalJones 9 years, 4 months ago

A few observations:

1) We are going to surprise the hell out of this conference this year. We will win all of our non-cons and beat ISU, Tech, WVU and K-State (KSU will have absolutely no defense against Heaps, Sims, McCay & Co.) That's 7 wins.

2) We don't potentially have the best running backs in the league, we DO have the best running backs in the league.

3) I like Coach Weis's forthright honesty, but I'm not crazy about using terms like "pile of crap" when talking to a recruit. I would be wondering why it's a pile of crap after Coach has been there for a year. Maybe that technique actually works, but I'd prefer if he'd just say, "Son, you can see that you'll have a fair shot at getting playing time if you work hard and persevere." Just a minor quibble.

actorman 9 years, 4 months ago

Yeah, I'm not thrilled with him using that particular term, especially because it can't make the players who had to go through it feel very good, but I still would take his honesty over coachspeak any day of the year.

KGphoto 9 years, 4 months ago

If he doesn’t say “pile of crap” he doesn’t blow up Twitter. Blowing up Twitter with funny comments is good recruiting. I’m sure the recruits he’s speaking of, and the parents of those recruits are laughing at this.

Steve Corder 9 years, 4 months ago

Matt, just what reason could you possibly have for the optimism regarding Harwell? One week after the last summer session starts and you still think Harwell will be eligible?

Matt Tait 9 years, 4 months ago

I do. Gotta leave it at that for now. Not saying I'm 100 percent right, but I feel strongly that it's still going to work out. Stay tuned...

Mike Barnhart 9 years, 4 months ago

I listened to Charlie on the radio. At first, all I could think was, "Wow, the guy breathe's like Tony Soprano!" Then I logged on here and saw his pictures... the guys getting HUGE!

While I love his candor and think he'll make big strides this year, I worry about his health. He really needs to mix in a salad every now and then!

Micky Baker 9 years, 4 months ago

I like Weis' straightforwardness instead of the weakly telegraphed statement from Gill, "We're going to continue to get better", even though it wasn't working on the field.

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