Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Big changes arrive at Kansas under Weis
By David Ubben
When he arrived, new Kansas coach Charlie Weis said to expect changes.
The biggest arrived on Monday.
Ten players will be leaving the team, but Weis introduced his three highest-profile arrivals on Monday, too.
Quarterbacks Dayne Crist and Jake Heaps transferred from Notre Dame and BYU after spending seasons there as starters. Receiver Justin McCay transferred in from Oklahoma after failing to catch on in two seasons as a Sooner.
McCay's eligibility is in flux, but the school is petitioning the NCAA to allow him to play this season. If granted, he would be a sophomore and have three years of eligibility remaining. If it’s not granted, he would have to sit out this season and could compete as a junior beginning in 2013. McCay redshirted in 2010 at Oklahoma
Kansas running back Darrian Miller's departure will have the most impact. He was arguably the team's most electrifying player on offense this season, and was second on the team with 559 rushing yards.
"I don't care if they're all starters. It doesn't make a difference," Weis told reporters of the players who left. "There's a right and wrong way of doing things, and you're going to do it the right way. That's all there is to it. It's a whole combination of things, but there's a right and wrong way of doing business. You can't make decisions, especially coming into a program, based on how good they are."
JaQwaylin Arps, Dexter McDonald, Adonis Saunders, Brock Berglund and Keeston Terry were the other five players Weis dismissed. Terry was a four-star recruit and ranked fourth on the team with 66 tackles.
Berglund, a quarterback, was one of the top players in Colorado, but returned home after enrolling early to deal with an assault charge stemming from an incident last year. He sat out the 2011 season, but it looks like he won't be back for 2012.
"In every one of the players' cases that had to be dismissed, these were clear-cut. They were gone, and I was fighting to give them opportunities to be able to stay," Weis told reporters. "Then they decided not to take advantage of the opportunities."
Jordan Webb, Tyrone Sellers and Tom Mabry left voluntarily, but will remain enrolled at KU. Webb started at quarterback in 2011, but could graduate and transfer to another school without having to sit out a year, like Crist did.
Offensive lineman Travis Bodenstein also plans to transfer.
Seeing that Weis saw fit to dismiss six players is a bit surprising, especially considering two were major contributors in 2010. Gill earned a reputation as a disciplinarian, but perhaps the difference in Weis and Gill's rules didn't sit well with leftover players. Weis declined to get into specifics in any case, but the number still seems high.
As with any coaching change, there's a natural attrition, but I never expected the number to be as high as it is, especially before players got a feel in practice for what life in the Weis Era will be like.
Even still, it's a new start, and a place to build from for Weis.