Kansas football was not very good last year. Or the year before. Or the year before that. And when head coach Charlie Weis goes into the living rooms of potential recruits, he's not running away from that fact.
Speaking at the Big 12 Media Days, Weis paraphrased his pitch: "Have you looked at that pile of crap out there?"
While not exactly complimentary to his team (which went 1-11 last year, that lone win coming against South Dakota State), the pitch was at least somewhat effective, as Weis managed to bring in a massive haul of junior college transfers to plug holes in his roster. Here's the full Jayhawks spiel:
“Everyone wants to play,” Weis said. “There’s no one that wants to not play. 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.”
What do Weis' current players think of this pitch? I can't imagine they're pleased with it, but I'm sure their coach's response would be "Stop playing like a pile of crap." Of course, the players might suggest the coaching improve a bit as well.
The former Notre Dame head coach and New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs and Florida Gators offensive coordinator took over at Kansas prior to the 2012 season, replacing Turner Gill, who went 3-21 in his two years as Jayhawks coach. Known for his straight-forward style and general lack of tact, Weis has continued being perhaps a little too honest in Lawrence. His thoughts on junior college players versus high school recruits from earlier this year?
“If you’re taking nothing but high school kids, there’s only a couple that ever end up playing as freshmen,” Weis said. “The rest are over on the bench with me. What good is that going to do me?”
“You say go develop them,” Weis said. “Go develop them for who? The next coach? I’d rather be coaching the ballplayers myself if you don’t mind.”
Weis held forth on a variety of subjects during Big 12 Media Days. Here are a few select quotes worth your time:
On media prognostications for 2013:
"We're 1-11 and picked by everybody to finish last in the league, and that's justifiable. 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."
On meeting new recruits:
"The problem with me is I have a very -- 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."
On potential recruiting changes:
"The sad part about these high school kids is they don't get an opportunity to really enjoy their senior year because the 9,000 people that are trying to get to them. If it's not the coaching staffs, it's the Internet services and the radio and TV guys. I mean, what about let seniors be seniors. And I think that that's why I've been a -- I know that my recruiting coordinator is in favor of a December one. I actually am in favor of one being even earlier than that, but that is the reason."
On Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury, who Weis coached on the Patriots:
"He's always been one of my favorite people...Kliff was a pleasure to be around. He obviously had some guys ahead of him that are Hall of Fame - type people that he was behind, but I can tell you that he was a pleasure to be around and he was a sponge, and him having early success in his coaching career has come as no surprise."
On taking something from Kansas' near upset of Texas in 2012:
"I was happy for Mack, I was miserable for me."