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July 23, 2013

Weis says what's on his mind

Over the last 24 hours Charlie Weis' comments from Big 12 media day has appeared on every major network. It's been talked about on message boards and columns.

In case you missed it (which you probably didn't) Weis was referring to how he recruits players to his program. Since recruits want to play right away Weis said he tells them they would have that opportunity at Kansas.

"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."

After covering Weis for a year-and-a-half my jaw didn't drop open. I wasn't the least bit surprised. That's just the way Weis approaches everything. He's straight forward and very honest. He says what is on his mind. It isn't an act or a ploy for attention to the program.

Last summer Weis had a small group of media in his office. We got to ask him anything within reason for close to two hours. He was describing how Hannah and Friends started that is an organization to help people with special needs. Hannah and Friends was founded and named after their daughter, Hannah.

The idea to start Hannah and Friends came after Weis almost died due to complications of gastric bypass surgery. Weis said his wife looked at him one night and said. "You could have died and we would have never done any good except for ourselves. The only good we would have done is for our family."

[Hannah and Friends event appears locally]

Until that time Weis said he was the ultimate story topper. He would always try to one-up the person telling a story. After the surgery and the idea of Hannah and Friends Weis said all of that stopped.

"That was the day I kind of looked in the mirror and I was the ultimate story topper," Weis said last June. "That ended that day for me. So all the BS I had in me ended that day. I looked at myself and reflected on that and didn't like what I saw. When I say my reputation over the last decade is of brutal honesty…it is. I have gotten in more trouble of telling the truth that most people get for not telling the truth. I always tell the truth."

That's exactly what Weis was doing on Monday at the Big 12 media event. He was being brutally honest.

That isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's just who he is. He's at least been that way since the day he stepped foot in Lawrence. His players aren't surprised by it because that's how he is with them every day.

[Cassidy: Weis approach is working]

Jake Heaps is expected to be the starting quarterback this season and he likes Weis' approach.

"As a player its one of the best qualities you can ask for from a coach because there are no mind games," Heaps said. "There are no if's or and's. You always know where you stand with him and what you can do to get better. He's been so great with us. You guys don't get to see the side that we get to see as a team. Coach Weis cares about all of us. We all respect him a heck of a lot."

It won't be the last time a comment from Weis will make a headline. He's always going to answer a question with a head on approach. Some coaches may bite their tongue or give a politically correct answer. That's not going to happen with Weis. That's just who he is.



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