Earlier this week, Kansas football coach Charlie Weis concluded what was supposed to be an eight-city spring preview tour. But after delivering a self-described “state of the union” to fan groups in cities such as Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Wichita and Liberal, Weis was worried about leaving out a sizable chunk of Kansas fans in Kansas City.
By RUSTIN DODD
The Kansas City Star
So on Thursday, KU added one final event to the schedule — a Happy Hour at The Dubliner in the Power & Light District at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 27.
“Just so I don’t have to listen to everyone complain to me about not having one in Kansas City,” Weis joked.
For now, Weis says he’s finishing some spring recruiting before his team returns to campus for summer conditioning. The Jayhawks are expecting a handful of junior-college players to report this summer — Weis said they’d come in three waves — and all members from the 2013 recruiting class are expected to be on campus by the end of the summer.
Weis also addressed a number of issues regarding his program. Those included the expected renovation at Memorial Stadium, with the removal of the track in the near future; in-state recruiting; and the perception of Kansas football after his first year on the job.
• Is there maybe a higher comfort level with you and your staff? You’ve been through a year in the Big 12 Conference (and) you’ve been through another session of spring ball. How is the comfort level?
Weis: “Anytime you’ve been around … it all starts, when you come into a program, with infrastructure. You have to establish your infrastructure so you have everything sound. I believe there’s a way of doing business, and once you get everything set, it makes everything easier.
“But still, at the end of the day, it’s all implementing new players and developing your current players and trying to win more football games.”
• You mentioned infrastructure, from a facilities standpoint, what are your priorities, what would you like to see?
“I don’t complain too much about our facilities. Obviously, there’s going to be some form of renovation in the stadium done in the not-too-distant future. And as it happens, it happens. But what you can’t do, is sit there and use anything like that as a crux. Our practice facility is great. It’s not good, it’s great. That’s where we spend the majority of the time.
“We all know that Memorial Stadium is gonna get a facelift, and whenever it happens, it happens.”
• Where is your team right now, compared to where you want them in the fall?
“First of all, they finished finals and they’re far away from here right now. But I think that everything’s different this year. They’ve been through a year of this system. They’ve been (in the strength and conditioning program) for a year. They know our way of doing business now. There aren’t as many questions. There’s not a feeling-out process. The only ones you’re doing that with are the new guys you’re interjecting into your system.”
• You moved the spring game up with the idea of being able to get out and see some junior college guys in action? Did you get out what you hoped to get out of that time?
“It was definitely a very good move, because a lot of the junior college spring games are the last week of April, and that was when we were playing our spring game (last year). So it gave us an opportunity to get (to those junior colleges).
“And then we took the first week of May, and we hit the high schools really hard. And then actually, the next week, we took a week off and came back and watched all those tapes.”
• You’ve been out on the road recruiting, have you seen the perception of Kansas football change over the last year?
“Well, there’s two factions when you say that. There’s one faction of high school kids and the other faction of junior college kids. I think we definitely got the attentions of the in-state high school kids, and that’s a good place to start. If you can’t get some of the best kids from your own state to jump on board, then you’re missing the boat. But I think that until you start winning on a regular basis, the high school kids from around the country aren’t going to be lining up, saying ‘God, I really want to go to Kansas.’
“Now that mentality is totally different for a junior college guy, because a junior college guy wants to go somewhere where they can play right now.”