What caught my eye at Wednesday's practice, complete with a mini-reaction to the recent KU-UDK showdown


KU running back went through Wednesday's practice with a bulky brace on his left elbow.

KU running back went through Wednesday's practice with a bulky brace on his left elbow. by Matt Tait

First thing’s first... Let me just tell you that there were two reporters from the University Daily Kansan present at today’s practice and, at least from where I stood, there did not appear to be too much bad blood floating around between them and the football program over the fiasco that has emerged regarding the Kansan’s KU football coverage and KU’s response to it.

I’m not going to get into it too much because it has nothing to do with me or the football team that I cover, but I will say that I think a little of the blame falls on both sides for the way this thing has been handled. And it seems certain to me that both sides are remorseful about that.

Do I think KU coach Charlie Weis is bullying UDK reporters? Absolutely not. Do I think things could have been handled better? You bet.

Whether the Kansan reporter in question was called aside by KU officials out of a courtesy to him or as an intimidation tactic, here’s hoping all parties involved — and even those not involved — learned a valuable lesson here and can move on without any ill feelings.

OK, back to practice...

Just a couple of quick things that caught my eye today and the most relevant of them all was the giant brace on Tony Pierson’s left elbow.

Weis has said all week that Pierson should play this weekend against Oklahoma State and it certainly looks like that will be the case. But I do think there’s at least some pain still associated with the elbow and that Pierson will have to overcome some potential pain to be effective. Fortunately for the Jayhawks, Pierson’s biggest weapon is his speed and a bum elbow does nothing to hurt that.

I noticed that Pierson was treated a little differently during some of the drills at practice today. For instance, in the drill where the other running backs bash the guy with the ball with pads as he runs through the line, Pierson ran through untouched. And when the rest of his teammates did cut blocking drills by diving on the turf, Pierson sat out.

It’s not a huge deal — likely more of a precaution than anything. But I think it’s safe to say that Tony won’t quite be 100 percent when KU takes on OSU this weekend. Oh well, though, right? Tony Pierson at 88% is still a lot better than most.

• Quickly, I kept a closer eye on back-up QB Michael Cummings today and a couple of things stood out. I focused mostly on his throwing motion, but it should be noted that what I watched came during warm-up drills and not live action. That said, aside from being more on the short side (he’s listed at 5-foot-10), Cummings appears to have a long wind-up and releases the ball a little later than most QBs. Most of what I watched came with Cummings lined up next to Jake Heaps, who went through the same drills at the same time. Heaps is a little taller than Cummings (6-1) but seems, overall, to have a more fluid throwing motion.

There’s a lot more that goes into the decision to put Cummings on the field than his throwing motion, with his understanding of the offense, experience and size all being relevant. But since what I watched today was a throwing drill, I figured I’d offer up my amateur critique of the way he wings it.

• Finally, the Coach Weis song of the day was “Bad Medicine” by Bon Jovi. Great song.


Keith Richards 10 years, 1 month ago

UDK claims 1st amendment then gets mad at KU athletics for stating their 1st amendment rights. Pretty stupid and petty all around if you ask me.

milehighhawk 10 years, 1 month ago

UDK didn't get mad at KU for "stating their 1st amendment rights."

april28 10 years, 1 month ago

Matt - I believe that Baty is the second best (eligible) quarterback on the team and that Weis is purposely holding him out for next year to compete with and/or back-up Heaps. Have you seen much of Baty at practice? What do you think?

Matt Tait 10 years, 1 month ago

Perhaps, but I asked Weis the other day how big the gap was between Cummings at No. 2 and Baty at No. 3 and he said the biggest thing was Cummings' experience in the offense, having been working with it since January, compared to just June for Baty.

I think the bonus is that he'll save a year, but I'm not sure he's not out there because of that. I just don't think he's ready.

johnnyhrdwd 10 years, 1 month ago

Weis played bad medicine and the players all started dry heaving.

milehighhawk 10 years, 1 month ago

Matt: How are the actions by KU Athletics not bullying?

There's zero chance they would have hauled you, Keegan, someone from the KC Star or KC sports radio in a separate room to have a "discussion." To have 2 representatives of the university "caution" a student reporter about simply asking questions is absurd. It was clearly an attempt to intimidate him.

And even though the student reporter is clearly the victim here, it's worth noting that he didn't come up with the headline or graphics that drew Weis's ire last week.

I lost quite a bit of respect for Weis on this. He either condoned that action or is running a loose ship. I'm inclined to believe the former, and it's striking that something as petty as that is still on his mind with OSU coming up Saturday.

Question (that I may repost on the podcast) --> Who asked the question about making second-half adjustments this week? Weis's response sounded awkward, turning it around into "what would you do" -- just curious.

BrianCh 10 years, 1 month ago

You're absolutely right -- it was bullying.

viewaskew 10 years, 1 month ago

Jesse Newell ‏ @ jessenewell Last yr, a KU fball player was upset with quote I ran. Katy pulled me to the side to tell me. I considered it professional courtesy.

Or, then again, perhaps not bullying and a little more than zero chance it has happened to professionals in the field.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 10 years, 1 month ago

I don't agree to an extent. Maybe I can agree that it was potential bullying (of course, none of us were there), but I think Weis and the athletic program had every right to be upset about it.

I understand first amendment laws. I went to the J-School for God's sake. We get "reporters" are edgy and cool.

But in my opinion, the greatest reason for the failure of the football program at this university is the negative, defeatest attitude of its masses. We have created a program and fanbase that has accepted failure.

And slams, such as the UDK article, from its own students is detrimental to our image. Not to mention terrible for recruiting. I wouldn't want to play football for a school who's student publication bashes me after 3 losses.

Maybe it was handled incorrectly by the football staff, but I agree with their intention.

Bobby Burch 10 years, 1 month ago

Agreed. Furthermore, the UDK is an independently funded organization that PAYS the university rent for the space it uses. They're adults. And the UDK can print/say whatever it wants (minus liable/unethical information).

The_Advantage 10 years, 1 month ago

Since the link that carterpatterson posted seems to have been deleted here is a response from the Kansan:

and I think this link includes part of what they are referencing, someone correct me or post the picture if not:

Eric Williams 10 years, 1 month ago

Former KU Journalism graduate here and I'm 50/50 on this issue.

First I think it was tactless for the UDK copywriters and editors to run that on the front cover, but they are well within their journalistic rights to express that opinion. So, I think Charlie, or other athletic executives, should not try to suppress that voice.

Secondly, by no means are all UDK writers or college students like this, but most collegians tend to live in a bubble as if they can do anything without repercussion because they are protected by things such as free speech.

What some of these aspiring journalists don't realize is many industries are incestuous, and maintaining good relationships is imperative to continue working. Do I think Charlie will be handing out exclusive interviews to the UDK anytime soon, probably not? And the constant updating of Charlie's tweets and not letting the topic go away is petulant behavior that is unprofessional. They made their point with the initial article, move on.

If they worked for the KC Star and constantly berated Romeo Crennel, Bill Self, any public sports figure, eventually that figure will grant more airtime, interviews, question opportunities to the competition. And unless you're the best of the best, your employer will want someone covering that beat that can establish and maintain a good relationship with the organization.

These are the things the UDK staff can learn by showing some restraint every now and then.

Dirk Medema 10 years, 1 month ago

Exactly, and part of the reason 'There's zero chance they would have hauled you, Keegan, someone from the KC Star or KC sports radio in a separate room to have a "discussion." ' Like most successful professionals, the AD staff want the students of KU and the UDK to be successful, so they are going to try to help them understand what it takes to be successful. Unfortunately, they are too zero'd in on their rights and freedoms that they lost sight of working together.

25 yrs ago, a manager gave me one of the greatest truths I've learned in my professional career. He said, "There are always 2 ways of expressing anything; a positive way and a negative way. We are always going to choose the positive way." It doesn't mean that you have to be a cheerleader, but it does mean that you shuldn't be a heckler either.

sdoyel 10 years, 1 month ago

Very well said jhawk613 and dagger108.

Dirk Medema 10 years, 1 month ago

You apparently have forgotten Mangino's screaming tirade regarding the parking ticket. A parking ticket. I'd say you could use another eye for some perspective and depth perception.

Jim Stauffer 10 years, 1 month ago

Are you kidding? Mangino would have probably personally berated them in front of the entire staff at the UDK and then banned them from access.

Anyone who thinks Mangino is more moderate than Weis on anything is dreaming.

Rivethead 10 years, 1 month ago

Um no. He was thrown out of his son's high school football game due to no call on a late hit which almost knock his son out cold. He yelled at the refs. Like many parents do at high school football games. The only reason it became a story was because he was a college football coach. People tend to forget that he was a parent first.

Sam Brockert 10 years, 1 month ago

Peopl who just yell at refs don't get trhown out of games. People who storm on fields and get in refs faces get thrown out of games, no offense but there IS a difference between being upset and irate.

Lance Cheney 10 years, 1 month ago

Yeah it would be funny if the UDK ran something about KU and Oklahoma, considering we are playing Oklahoma State. But at least you TRIED to sound like you knew what you were talking about...

CO_Hawk 10 years, 1 month ago

With a one- or two-win season this year, the thing Weis needs the most are supporters. Once he alienates the students - of which 99% of their news consumption comes from a daily student newspaper in between class -- he's cooked....

bulltown03 10 years, 1 month ago

I would say 99% of students only use it for the crossword puzzle... and to call most of what they print "news" is a disgrace to journalist everywhere.

Rivethead 10 years, 1 month ago

No, what Coach Weis needs most are supporters with jobs, money and/or the ability to contribute to KUAC. That's not the current student body.

ArgyleJayhawks 10 years, 1 month ago

This post sponsored by Charlie Weis, right down to its' incompetence

bulltown03 10 years, 1 month ago

KU might have a decent Journalism School but I haven't seen this kind of crap in 6 years of being a student, note Architectural Engineering (5 year program)... not dumb. When KU football was 9-0,10-0,11-0, I saw a front page spreads saying how great it was. Because the students WANTED to see that covered so in-depth. I am all for letting journalists do their jobs but there is no student, that actually likes KU, that WANTED to see this headline. I know the NY Times typical rhetoric of "All the news thats fit to print," but that doesn't have to mean completely BASHING our own football team. The players that go out there and try their hardest all week, despite being beaten pretty much every Saturday in front of 20,000 people in their own stadium.

In the instance that our basketball team had this bad of a start do you think that the UDK would run a bashing headline and graphic about them? IF they did would Bill Self's probably similar reaction to the bashing of his team would be welcomed with open arms by KU faithful and the student-journalist would be delegated to running down the Sudoku and Crossword puzzle everyday.

Finally, the UDK needs to realize its place and stay there. I would say 90% of the students skim the headlines, read the Free For All, and do the crossword/sudoku. Once basketball season arrives the UDK's main purpose is confetti to be thrown during the KU payer intros. If someone were to actually read any articles they would come to the conclusion that the whole thing should be labeled "Opinion" since that is all that is in there. Claiming that they had to put that disgraceful graphic on the front page because of their "Journalistic Duties" but the Presidential debate gets roughly 1/8th of a page the day after it happened. Is that not news thats fit to print?

waxtron 10 years, 1 month ago

I'm a current student in the School of Education. That cover made me angry. I hate the purple puddytats, almost as much as fizzou. I'm sure most KU fans, students, alumni, etc. feel the same. I'm all for being critical but it should never come before the game, especially not a rivalry game! This cover story served to elevate our rival at our own expense. Last year, someone wrote in chalk on the sidewalk "UDK is tabloid journalism". That occupyKU person has been proven correct.

Brad Avery 10 years, 1 month ago

First off, the song sucks. It's typical 80's garbage with no hook, no melody line, and consists one or two chords on the abused guitar and another guy pounding his bass drum. This is what happened to "music" after the Beatles broke up. Secondly, Coach Weis had no business turning his wrath on the UDK. The pain of another horrible football season is felt by and the student paper was only venting in its own way. If CW wants to get mad at someone, he should look in the mirror.

KGphoto 10 years, 1 month ago

Man, you are old!!!! No good music since the 60s?

Dan Pawlowski 10 years, 1 month ago

There is plenty of good music coming out all the time . You just have to work harder these days to find it. Hint: You can't find it the old fashioned way by turning on your radio.

BrianCh 10 years, 1 month ago

Apparently, this isn't the first school where Charlie has been belligerent with the media:

Or how about this one:

"Al Hamnik, a journeyman reporter for The Times of Northwest Indiana, could have spoken for any number of incensed media regulars when he said to Greenstein, "It's Charlie's way or the closest you will get to Irish football is the car radio."

Sam Brockert 10 years, 1 month ago

So the UDK creates a headline that openly mocks the KU football team BEFORE the game is played... Name one other form of media that would do that? Now AFTER the game is played, maybe, but before? I do no think so.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 10 years, 1 month ago

I agree.

Weis had a good reason to be upset. When your university's own student-run publication mocks its football players before a game, what will that look like to recruits?

I'm not advocating water-boarding the reporter...but I do believe this needed to be addressed. First Amendment rights allow you to say what you want, but I believe there should be some degree of respect and foresight.

Classless move on the UDK's part, and mishandled by the football program.

hammerhawk 10 years, 1 month ago

Blah, blah, blah. What I hated most from this fracas was the ammo given to the Jayhawk hater on the 810 radio afternoon show. He used it to spew his usual snide negative derogatory "comments" about the mighty Kansas Jayhawks!

Let's move on and pay some better football. Each team member has to a better job. Each coach, too.

lama 10 years, 1 month ago

It's not the UDK's (or any news outlet's) job to promote KU football. The sooner Weis figures this out, the better. I seem to recall similar problems with the media at Notre Dame.

bad_dog 10 years, 1 month ago

Nor is it the UDK's job to pictorially characterize the Jayhawk as a diminutive figure, cowering before the mighty wildcat while holding on to the goal posts for dear life. I don't believe denigrating other highly visible representatives of the school is in either the UDK's Mission Statement or their best interests.

Sam Brockert 10 years, 1 month ago

Great, this news made the front page of Yahoo...

Ryan Shelton 10 years, 1 month ago

So who broke this story, Woodward or Bernstein? Sorry, but all the UDK has done in publicizing this is given KSU and Mizzou (and ESPN's Bottom 10 perhaps) more reason to laugh at us. Wouldn't it be nice to make some good headlines in regards to the football program?

Reuben_J_Cogburn 10 years, 1 month ago

Good job, UDK.

So glad you've exercised your First Amendment rights. Noble victory in the war against free speech condemnation. Real ground-breaking stuff.

And as a cherry on top, you've elevated the reputation of your university. Who cares if you've added on to the football program's already deteriorated national status, and aided in the continuing solidification of our permanent place in the laughing-stock section of every publication?

As long as your journalistic integrity is intact....nothing else should matter. Right?

Reuben_J_Cogburn 10 years, 1 month ago

I forgot to add...sorry for the bullying.

We're forever indebted to you. It won't happen again.

ArgyleJayhawks 10 years, 1 month ago

Kudos to the UDK. Past evidence and current evidence suggests the majority of the blame lies with Weis and crew. Also, they are professionals, not students, and should act as such.

HAWKS1 10 years, 1 month ago

"Emails came in asking for writers, designers and editors to be more supportive. Or to be fired.

That is a joke.

A journalists’ job is to be objective in every sense of the word. A journalist cannot cheer. A journalist cannot wear team colors. A journalist cannot show any bias whatsoever." Mike Vernon, UDK

I wonder which Journalism school the majority of the U.S mass media attended? Obviously, they weren't taught the same thing! That last comment is the biggest joke of all !!! (at least in the political arena). hahahaha!! Sorry to interject a political response, but that just struck me as hilarious!

Reuben_J_Cogburn 10 years, 1 month ago

But as journalists in a niche market with specific readers, I don't think it's too much to ask to show a little respect and be mindful of how your publicized opinion can effect people right outside your door.

I get it, we're taught unbiased, objective journalism, as well we should be. But just admit for one second that a little common sense was lacking on the part of the UDK editors.

And honestly, I fail to believe the full extent of the "bullying." I's not like the reporter was locked in a room, roughed-up, and forced to promise a thousand times that they would never again take the program's name in vain.

The losing mentality Weis talked about when he first got here is a direct result of students and fair-weather fans, and the UDK just enhanced that mentality. Don't report on KU athletics at all if you're going to shred our programs the day before a rivalry game. Say what you want, but if I were apart of the football program, I would be irrate with the UDK.

But you're right....good for UDK. And those facist football coaches should know better than to defend the integrity of their program. Shame on them..

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