DALLAS – Charlie Weis, whether you like it or not, is a straight shooter. No matter the topic, even and especially his football team, he won’t sugarcoat anything.
“We were 1-11 and picked by everybody to finish last in the league,” the Kansas head coach said. “If I were you, I’d pick us in the same spot. We’ve given you no evidence or no reason to be picked anywhere other than that.”
While maintaining that his expectations for the Jayhawks are higher than most people’s expectations for them, Weis had yet to provide his most candid comments. They came after being asked a general question about his recruiting sales pitch.
“There’s no one that wants to not play,” Weis said. “I said, ‘Have you looked at that pile of crap out there? Have you taken a look at that? So if you don’t think you can play here, where do you think you can play? It’s a pretty simple approach. And that’s not a sales pitch. That’s practical. You’ve seen it, right? Unfortunately so have I.”
Since quarterback Todd Reesing and former coach Mark Mangino led Kansas to an Orange Bowl victory in 2007, the Kansas program has been in steady decline, going from 12 wins that season to an 8-5 mark in 2008, 5-7 in 2009, 3-9 in 2010, 2-10 in 2011 and 1-11 in 2012.
“I’m a very straightforward person and these players either really like you or they can’t stand you. It’s one or the other,” Weis said. “I told our players and told our coaching staff that, until they start winning some games in the conference. That’s just the way it’s going to be.”
The majority of the 24 players that signed to play with Kansas this year are junior college transfers, including defensive back Cassius Sendish, who was one of the three players representing the Jayhawks at Big 12 Media Days this week. The group of junior college transfers are expected to contribute early and often this year.
“I took a team that already wasn’t very good and I made them worse,” Weis said. “You go through a transition coming in and you dismiss 29 scholarship players, which I did for a variety of off-the-field issues – not one of those players did I get rid of because they weren’t any good.”