Vernon: It’s not the Kansan’s job to be the football team’s cheerleader

Inside Stauffer-Flint Hall, the University’s journalism building, hangs a sign that has the First Amendment of the United States constitution printed on it.

It’s the amendment of freedoms. Freedom of religion. Freedom of speech. And freedom of the press.

There’s no doubt that this law was meant for more important issues than football. And yes, there are more important things than football. Basketball too, believe it or not.

However, Kansas football coach Charlie Weis called out the UDK on Twitter because of an illustration about the football team that ran last Thursday.

It appeared Kansas football players were upset, and their coach defended them. That is fine. No problem there.

But it does need to be said that the Kansan isn’t here to rally up student support for the football team.

The Kansan is here to serve the 30,000 students that trot up and down Jayhawk Boulevard every day. It is here to help them understand and learn what is going on in Lawrence and on their campus. It is here to help them be informed.

Students at this University deserve better than a pom-pom squad of a newspaper. They deserve to get the truth.

For some reason, Kansas Athletics has suggested to the Kansan that a reporter should shy away from asking questions to Weis at his press conferences. This came about because of some negative coverage the Kansan gave the team. The negative coverage is something every area paper is doing. It is their obligation to do so. Just like it’s the Kansan’s.

Last Thursday, the Kansan delivered nothing but the truth, in the image of a cartoon, and some people got far too upset about it.

Emails came in asking for writers, designers and editors to be more supportive. Or to be fired.

That is a joke.

A journalists’ job is to be objective in every sense of the word. A journalist cannot cheer. A journalist cannot wear team colors. A journalist cannot show any bias whatsoever.

The path that Kansas Athletics has taken to handle this situation is not right.

Kansas is a public university, and it has a damn good journalism school that is here teaching its students to be objective members of the Fourth Estate of the United States of America, to hold its leaders accountable, and to be a free and independent press. It’s a democracy thing, and it’s too bad a public American university would try to persuade student reporters into compromising those values.

  • Updated Oct. 9, 2012 at 9:07 pm
  • Edited by Ryan McCarthy
  • Kevin

    I find it funny that the Kansan takes the time to be “objective” at the expense of other students (attacking the football team is attacking other students) yet passes on many other areas including politics and failes to be “objective” on specific agendas.
    The Kansas has every right to say what it believes according to the first amendment, it doesn’t mean its the correct course of action.It may not be the papers job to be cheerleaders for the team, but it also doesn’t mean the Kansan has the “right” to abuse other students. It smacks of jealousy.
    The attacks on the football team are as classless as the attacks by some readers/posters on the journalists for this paper. I have spoken out in the past over people who attack the students are doing their best to put together a newspaper worthy of KU. Yes, they make mistakes, and sometimes are not the best writers – YET. You don’t attack somone who is learning their trade because they are not perfect – just as you would not attack the football team for it’s issues.
    It’s a matter of class and understanding that this is OUR KU family – not some nameless person. If that thought bothers you, then maybe you could explain what it means to be a Jayhawk to you.

  • Chris

    It’s a student newspaper, who openly mocked the home team, and is now upset at the negative reaction it received by doing so. Spare me.

    • Tyler Morgan


    • Jack

      They’re not upset about the negative reaction, they’re upset that KU Athletics is treating them any differently than any other paper. Which they should be.

      • dagger108

        They are being given the same professional courtesy as any other journo/media. They just aren’t reciprocating by being professional enough not to make a story about themselves.

        • Jack

          Being told not to ask questions at a presser isn’t being given any damn courtesy.

          • Micky Baker

            When the journalist acts unethically, the athletic department, by their own right to free speech, and kick their asses out of the press room. The journalist needs to start acting ethically and respectfully.

  • Chuck

    When it comes to referees and reporters in sports, the very best are the ones that nobody notices. In this case, the reporters are trying to insert themselves into the story, rather than simply telling the story. I’m not sure if Mike Vernon felt that he was being bold by telling everyone about the first amendment, but that has almost nothing to do with this issue. As a student, I want my school newspaper to present me with stories. However, I do not want my school newspaper to BE the story. I believe that this is a matter of principle, where student-journalists are not supporting their fellow students, who just so happen to be athletes. It may be a “democracy thing”, but it’s also a “being considerate of other people thing”.
    At this point, these reporters are abusing their privelege to write for the UDK in order to publicly express their emotions toward the situation. Mike, the cartoon was not just “the truth”. The cartoon was the opinion of a few UDK staff members. You seem to be confused, and think that what you are writing is representing what the entire student body thinks and feels. Well, “that is a joke”. What the students deserve is an excellent school newspaper with a remarkable staff… and that is what we have! Which is why I am speaking on behalf of myself, I do not claim to represent every other student, when I ask that you leave this issue alone. Just let it die. Please!

    • Matthew

      “When it comes to referees and reporters in sports, the very best are the ones that nobody notices.”

      Nonsense re: reporters. We should always notice the best reporters.

      • dagger108

        Notice their well written articles – sure, but shouldn’t notice the reporter at all.

    • Tyler Morgan


  • Me

    “A journalists’ job is to be objective in every sense of the word. A journalist cannot cheer. A journalist cannot wear team colors. A journalist cannot show any bias whatsoever.”
    Then journalists have been failing at their job. How else would someone without ANY qualifications get elected as president?

    • Ian

      You know, I always love how right wing fruitcakes like “Me” (if that is his real name) take an article that has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with Obama, and make it about Obama. What a deranged bunch they are. Go crawl back under your rock, “Me”, and take your culture war with you.

  • Dave

    You should be proud of yourself Mike. Keep writing what you’re writing.

  • DEW

    It’s not the papers fault that Weis and his team suck. Their job is to report it. Period.

    • Nathan

      Too bad that isn’t what they did here.

    • Ku

      It’s a student newspaper.

      Their job is to get the student body interested and involved with a KU sports.

      • Michael Westendorf

        No… not even close.

      • Patrick Ogle

        You do not know what the heck you are talking about. Their job is the same as any other newspaper. The Alumnus magazine is where you pat heads and kiss puppies.

      • Jeffery G. Horn

        You get students involved in KU Sports by winning, But dont worry the basketball team will be getting started soon. and why is it that the last two coaches for KU have been obese…

        • Micky Baker

          Do you expect any respect for this kind of comment?

          • Mike O’Connell ’81

            No, nor do I have any respect for someone who would admit to being called “Jeffrey”. Look, real fans support ALL their teams win or lose. Real fans jump up and down when their teams win and cry when they lose, and they do both with their heads held high. They take it personal. They stand out in the rain and snow and yell till they are hoarse until the final gun sounds, then stick around to see the players, the students, and the band sing the Alma Mater after the game. Bandwaggoners like Jeffrey support a team just as long as they can talk about “their” team around the water cooler at work today so all the guys will know “Jeffrey” backs a winner. Well Jeffery, I wouldn’t have you on my team because I know you’d quit on me the minute things got rough. So what do bandwaggoners like “Jeffrey” do when the basketball team hits a losing streak? They pick another winning team from another town or another university so they can have something to brag about round the cooler the next day.C’mon Jeff. Be a fan not a bandwaggoner.

    • KMK

      Yes, but you can’t report the results of a game two days before the game is played.

  • porcupine

    Here’s how long this editorial should really be:

    “Kansas Athletics has asked one of our reporters to stop asking questions of KU football coach Charlie Weis because of what Weis perceives to be negative, unfair coverage. We don’t agree with Weis. We said no.”

    The rest is just palaver.

    • dagger108

      Actually, they were respectful enough to keep quiet at the presser. Too bad they didn’t learn enough to stay quiet. It’s like my 4 yr old throwing a tantrum when she’s tired and needs to rest, but doesn’t want to.

  • Nathan

    Compromising what values? The illustration and article were anything but objective. They were written with a bias you’d expect from K-State athletic dept. It was blatantly and obviously meant to be provocative, not objective. If this is an accurate sampling of KU’s journalism school, it is more embarrassing than our football team. Well done.

    • Nathan

      It’s easy to give someone a vote down, how about a rebuttal? Laziness perseveres…

    • Cletus Barsch

      Since when are newspapers objective? They generally represent the subjective opinions of their editorial staff. The tone of the illustration and article were no different than you’d see from many major papers commenting about the failures of a team they cover.

      • Nathan

        Newspapers, and media in general, often claim to be objective. The author here made the same claim. Unfortunately, the product doesn’t back his claim.

  • Abraham

    I love when journalists go into Superhero mode. When I read the “and it has a damn good journalism school” line I couldn’t help but think of the WRESTLING IS REAL TO ME DAMNIT viral video.

    • Tyler Morgan

      HAHAHAHAH student journalist ever just take themselves too seriously? He’s defending his recruiting pitch, but please continue to feed the negative vibe and remain a bottom feeder program. But you’re right, it’s your duty (LOL!) to report with all your years of journalistic experience. Weis may call you out, but he’ll never take… YOUR FREEDOM!

  • Jimmy

    “That is a joke.”
    This article is a joke.
    When is one considered a journalist for having an article printed in the student newspaper. If I write a history paper does that automatically make me a historian? It is a shame on this newspaper to critique the football team with a biased approach when it should be supporting them. How would you feel if you saw pictures that said, ”

    It’s not the Kansan’s job to be the football team’s cheerleader” ROADKILL AHEAD. DO NOT READ. What if your every word was critiqued and you had to see it on 30k students at every corner you turned. Well you don’t, but you probably should.

  • steve kellogg

    you know who else gets upsets about cartoons? Suicide Bombers.

  • regularguy

    Well done. The paper didn’t make themselves the story. Weis did in an attempt to try and move the focus off of his poor team.

    • Micky Baker

      You really believe that? You think that the fans don’t see this for themselves? Are you saying that the University Daily Kansan thinks their readers are stupid?

    • Mike O’Connell ’81

      Uh, most coaches don’t do that trying to take the focus of their team by arguing with a newspaper thing . They know it doesn’t work that way. If anything they KNOW that responding will bring even more focus on the team. Especially those who have coached at the highest levels with the national media focused on them. You really think a coach who has Super Bowl rings, coached at the media maelstrom that is Notre Dameis a novice at dealing with the media? Sort of naive, don’t you think?

  • Nim


  • Whatever

    I just hope that my clubs, organization that I’m a part of, and other members aren’t one day publicly mocked on the front page my own school newspaper.

  • Ganjamancer

    Kansas Athletics does not run the school, this is not Penn State. I did not agree with the tone of the cartoon, no way in hell you would do that to the basketball team. Athletics Department coming down on you is just bush league.

  • Roadkill

    There is no sugarcoating one of the worst football programs in the history of fooball. Just be glad the game was in Manhattan and not here or they would have taken your goalposts again.

  • Brandon Currie

    I can’t blame Weis for wanting the university paper to be more supportive. At the same time, I can’t blame the paper for not being biased and using their freedom of speech to say the truth. BUT! This thing is being blown out of proportion and I can blame both Charlie Weis and the UDK for bringing this up! Either way, we’re all with the University of Kansas and should not be divided. Weis wants a paper to support his team, the paper wants to report the truth. End of story, let’s move on to what we usually do, which is look forward to basketball season!

  • BRW

    The freedoms of the First Amendment are meant as a protection against government restrictions of these rights. So unless KU Football has literally become America’s Team then Weiss and KU Athletics are free to tell, or warn, the UDK what questions may or may not be asked.

    • xz007

      Actually, that’s not how the Fourth Estate works, sorry.

  • Alejandro

    The Kansan is on such an ego trip right now. I know our football team isn’t good, and that you have the right to report how you feel about it, but that article was unnecissary. It is okay to report how you predict the game will end in a bad defeat. Don’t include a picture that makes the entire university appear weak. What the Kansan does not understand is that this can affect the whole university. If I were a high school football player or just a high school student, why would I want to attend or play football at KU if people get bashed by their own students in such a public way? Get off your high horses and publicly apologize for such a poor representation of YOUR school.

    • qwerty

      I think the football teams record will influence high school recruits far more than a comic by the school paper.

  • Hmmmm

    Perhaps the football team should do a cartoon making fun of KU’s J-School once again being beat down in the rankings by Mizzou.

  • LuvKU

    Report the news.. that is fine. Don’t make prognostications about the future – which is what was done, and in a negative light. It’s using the perceived “power” of the press to bully other STUDENTS for God’s sake. These guys are not professionals and put in tremendous time, blood, sweat and tears into representing the University.

  • Taka Stepback

    How was that front page “objective in every sense of the word”…???? You were slanted the opposite way that the football program would like you to be. This is the problem with journalism today, everyone is just trying to get more page hits and more twitter followers. Remember: you guys are STUDENTS. Not journalists, yet. The players are your classmates. You need to earn respect by showing it.

  • Gary Tankard

    Oh lighten up, we need some more fratters and less whiners on the UDK staff.

    Supporting the school / team and telling the truth are not mutually exclusive. The K-State paper probably tries to act like Manhattan is a cool place… which is a lie…

    Give Weiss a break, he wants us to act like a school that likes its football team… fat is back baby!

  • Jessica

    I agree that mocking our own football team is slightly distasteful. However, I’m pretty sure that at the top of every Kansan it says, “The Student Voice.” As I walk to and from class every day, I hear students saying the same sentiment that the newspaper staff published. The Kansan is echoing what many students were saying, that we would get embarrassed by K-State on the field. Guess what? We did. We went from only being down 7 at half to losing by 40 points. Shameful.

    To the guy that said students who write for the Kansan aren’t journalists, you are wrong. The staff of the UDK are dedicated aspiring journalists, They don’t write for the paper as part of a class. They write for the paper in addition their class load. Their work in the UDK will get them jobs after graduation.

    • dagger108

      And someone in medical school is a doctor? Or dental school a dentist?
      Wow, so much to learn. So much.

      • TomCat84

        Yes, you have much to learn. Freedom of the press doesn’t just cover people with journalism degrees.

      • Shamus1A

        dagger, to be a Doctor, you have to get a Medical degree to practice medicine. But you can be an intern. To be a Dentist, basically the same thing. To be a journalist, all you have to do is write a column that is published. There are no credentials academic wise required to do so. Looks like you’re the one that has “so much to learn”.

        • Mike O’Connell ’81

          It may make you a writer, but it doesn’t make you a journalist. Those stripes are earned, mister. One of my college buddies from the Hill is now a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist for the Wall Street Journal. Not once when I knew him as a journlism student did I ever hear him refer to himself as a “journalist”. He always said that he wanted to be one because he knew the title had to be earned. Hell, I’m a professional writer. I earn my living as a wordsmith and did my time in J. School. It takes a helluva lot more than slapping your name on a column to be journalist. It takes a willingness to suffer the slings and arrows of an outraged readership. From the defensive whining I’ve witnessed over this incident, someone in the J School needs to teach these fledglings that it takes more than publishing software to make a journalist.

          • Micky Baker

            Paul Krugman has a Pulitzer Prize, too. I don’t call him a journalist with his clear bias towards Keynesian Economics.

          • Mike O’Connell ’81

            Not sure of your point as I’ve read your other posts and we seem to be in agreement on the difference between objective and opinion journalism, but let me counter your political bias with a clarification of what I have been trying to say. Journalists write opinion columns. Paul Krugman writes an opinion column. Jonah Goldberg and George Will write opinion columns. All three are regarded as professional journalists. The purpose and nature of an opinion column is to express biases to stimulate discussion. The difference between these professional journalists is that when someone responds negatively to their columns by an op-ed piece, a letter to the editor, or a tweet, they do not go whining to their editor as did the student journalist to his advisor and editor. All Charlie did was use Twitter to, in effect, send a letter to the editor. I’m fairly certain he didn’t go whining to the Athletic Director the way the student journalist whined to his superiors. Again, I think the article in question was well written and in no way implied KU football players were cowards as did the cartoon. For all we know the writer is as upset with the cartoonist as some of the readers. You’re a parent. Can you not understand Charlie’s reaction? Those players are his boys. Would you feel any differently if someone on their school newspaper called your son or daughter a coward BEFORE a big game after they’ve been busting their butts on the practice and playing fields for the past three months? I’m guessing you’d probably give someone an earful. As far as the student writer and the cartoonist at the UDK are concerned, if they want to succeed in the dog-eat-dog world of journalism they’d better get used to being called out by people who disagree with them. Especially Sports Journalism where nerves are closer to the surface not only among coaches but the fans. Sports journalists get kicked out of locker rooms all the time and lord knows what kind of tweets they get pounded with from the fans. But if they get the training they are supposed to get from the KU School of Journalism, they’ll do what William Allen White did when people called him out. They’ll smile, refocus, and sit right back down at the key or drawing board and express their opinions – without whining.

          • Micky Baker

            Political Bias? It isn’t me with political Bias, it’s Paul Krugman with Political Bias. You know how I know this? Paul Krugman says that the stimulus package wasn’t big enough, yet spending has been at least a $1 trillion higher than any year previous to 2008, and it isn’t working. To say it how it is isn’t political. Total individual income in the United States is less than $1 trillion. Food stamps and unemployment benefit extensions are results of failed policy, not of it not being big enough.

      • Nathan Blake John

        He has a job as a journalist. Is an artist not an artist until they have an art degree? Is a cook not a cook unless they have a culinary degree? the degree does not define and is not required for this position. He is a journalist because he has a position as a journalist. Clearly you have alot to learn about simple logic.

    • Tmwa

      And tha’s what is sad, the student body can’t support their own team when the lose. They take the easy way out and make fun of their peers instead of sticking with their team through the rough games.
      College paper writers aren’t journalist. I got an editorial published once too, does that make me a journalist? Nope, I just passed English100…

    • Jimmy

      If they are journalists then they put themselves in the public view. If they can bash on the football team like they do, then the same comments can be directed towards their writing as well as the horrible direction that this “paper” is heading.

      • Micky Baker

        You’re correct. Journalists have to be able to take the heat they give, so it is in the interest of the journalist to be objective, not subjective.

    • Micky Baker

      There is a big difference in reporting and then trying to predict the results of the game, which by the way was not even close to the reporters view, was it? The reporter WAS WRONG.

    • Micky Baker

      I don’t want to hear that crap at all. I studied Radio and Television Communications. I had to have solo time on the air on radio and least 1 night a week on TV for the class. This is not something they do as an extra workload if they are students. This is for a grade. This is for their future. Don’t waste it on unethical behavior! This reporter acted unethically and he/she knows it.

  • steve04KU

    Where was the cartoon after Bill Self “choked” several times early in the NCAA tournament? That’s what I thought.

  • RlS

    Where is the sense of camaraderie on your campus? In the end, you are all part of the same organization, so I’d hope you would show some respect and support for your peers. Stop acting like the UDK represents a huge city with your small college newspaper. Did you forget that the large majority of the people who read the paper attend the University of Kansas, therefore, probably cheer for the athletic program there too? Crazy assumption, huh?
    I always blamed “non-KU” students for bandwagoning during the good years and bailing during the bad years, I didn’t realize the actual student body did the same thing. What a shame.

    • Shamus1A

      Nobody likes a loser. Everybody loves a winner. That’s human nature. To state that, because it’s a small college newspaper, and not a “huge city” newspaper is misguided. The whole purpose of the college newspaper is to prepare students to work for a city newspaper. And the way to do that is to learn how to accurately summarize a given situation. So if your football team stinks, say so. To try and disguise it as something else only destroys the writers credibility. Yes, you CAN be tactful about it, and still get your point across. And no, you shouldn’t make it personal. But facts are facts.

  • Kugrad

    Couldnt help but roll my eyes after reading the first couple of sentences.

    You’re not the New York Times, your a student news paper. Your job is to get the student body interested and involved in all things KU.

    • TomCat84

      You’re, your, their, they’re, there….got it?

  • Kugrad

    “a journalist cannot cheer. A journalist cannot wear team colors”.

    It’s called The University of Kansas Daily Kansan and the logo has a Jayhawk on it…get off your high horse.

  • Mike

    it’s called pride in your school. you don’t have it. Rock Chalk

  • Dagger108

    How about a republic instead of a democracy, you know like “the republic for which it stands”? There is a difference.

  • Shamus1A

    “A journalists’ job is to be objective in every sense of the word. A
    journalist cannot cheer. A journalist cannot wear team colors. A

    journalist cannot show any bias whatsoever.”.- You obviously haven’t been following the Presidential race. That said, I see now ole’s Tubby wants to dictate who can abide by the Freedom of Speech amendment you mentioned. Don’t worry, Charlie won’t be around long. He is so toxic that he will be fired soon from Kansas. Other then lead the New England Patriots offense to a Super Bowl, something anyone reading this could have done, what has this man ever accomplished? And one last thing- a person should have only one butt, under their back. The second one Tubby is sporting, the one in the front, looks really ridiculous on a football coach. Shouldn’t they lead by example, and display some sort of pride and discipline in their appearance?

  • Notafan

    He’s a fat ass cry baby..who cares! Keep the articles coming..

    • Kevin

      What an insightful, beautifully articulated response. I am glad you posted, it has added so much to the discussion.
      UDK, if this type of person if the ones you are courting with your article, you have truly lost your way. Unless of course you wish to write for The Enquirer.

  • d L

    If this fat pig can’t take the heat, tell him to get out of the kitchen…or START WINNING and STOP WHINNING!

    • Micky Baker

      Bigoted talk.

      • Mike O’Connell ’81

        Note the PURPLE icon. Methinks I smell a wildcat. Oh, they’re “real” by the way. Even the purple ones.

  • Patrick Ogle

    I would like to point out that Kansas was, in fact, beaten to a pulp in the next game. As a UF alum I would also like to point out that NO ONE wanted him hired and everyone did a little dance of joy when he left. To the bigger issue? Report the truth, the team sucks. If you bend over a little thing (and it is a little thing) like athletics they will next ask you to cover up something more heinous–remember Penn State?

  • MeToo

    You have the Freedom of Press to write whatever you want, but he also has Freedom of Speech to disagree and speak his mind on whatever he wants. Two way street. I’m not condoning his behavior but im not condemning it either.

  • rubba19

    Let’s sum this “article” in one sentence… “We can do what we want.” Fine, just don’t be appalled at the backlash. I had no idea that the UDK falls like those other “KU basketball fans only” type.

    Looks like a bunch of the commentators below fall in that same fan type. Sad, really.

  • John D

    His first season at Notre Dame there was a big feature done following Charlie’s big road win at Washington (coached by Ty Willingham) about a dying boys last wish being a play called ‘Pass Right.’
    Do you know how the media caught wind of this? Charlie told them.
    Here is the problem … Every day in childrens hospitals all around the country, terminally ill children are being visited by celebrities, musicians, atheletes, coaches. Every single day this happens.
    Charlie Weis is the /only/ egotistical jackhole to make his visits a national headline, and what’s worse he voluntarily did it the week the young boy died. I’m sure the grieving mother loved having the national media on her doorstep the day after she buried her child, begging her for quotes to stroke Charlie Weis’s ego.
    The guy is a total self-absorbed POS. From his “decided schematic advantage” comments to his remarks about the worth of his resume opposed to other coaches he would eventually lose football games to. His greatest collegiate victory was a loss to USC.
    I have no idea what the heck your administration saw is this wind bag, but you reap what you sow, Jayhawks.

    • Mike O’Connell ’81

      Dear Brain Donor. I assume your comments are based on objective opinion formed when you were at Charlie’s side during his trip to Washington. Could you possibly relate the personal conversation with the grieving mother as she poured out her heart to you complaining of Charlies behavior. Your certainly have a first ammendment right to do so. I also have a first ammendment right to say your’re full of crap. See how it works?

  • Hype

    If the UDK is such a high quality newspaper dedicated to helping KU students understand and learn what is going on in society, Lawrence, and on their campus why is the front page article about football in the first place? There is a presidential election coming up, wars abroad, and a renowned author and the president of Colombia had just come to campus for a visit. How about they write about that and leave football to the sports page.

    • Micky Baker

      Excellent point. Why is football on the front page? Don’t tell me the journalist didn’t have an agenda and acted in a way that is unbecoming to journalism.

      • Mike O’Connell ’81

        It was an editorial piece and it belong on the editorial page.Which is the same place real newspaper print their political cartoons. See Mickey, I told you were were on the same page.

  • ;aijdfasdf

    Ok. Weis’ job is to defend his guys, which is understandable, and he did. He’s rebuilding the program. What did Weis even say? Did he say they should revoke their first amendment rights? No, he said it was inappropriate…and it was.

  • Andy

    I fundamentally disagree! There is no more important issue than Basketball! ;)

  • President Barack Obama

    This story is garnering national attention…rightfully so. The newspaper expressed an editorial opinion, as it is entitled to do. Charlie Weis is not a good coach as his records have shown at Florida, Notre Dame and now Kansas. This is not the first attempt by this individual to suppress the information presented in a newspaper. Previously though, this has been by restricting local or national media from attending press conferences. Now, he has stooped to the low of restricting the type of question a student newspaper reporter can ask. Charlie Weis is not a good coach, never has been, never will be. His success in New England was supplemented by advance video’s of his opponents practice and the stealing of sideline signals during games. Charlie Weis does not have the right or authority to restrict any information represented or published regarding the Kansas Jayhawk football program. The only thing that will clear this situation up is to win some football games and become a success.

  • Kevin

    Can’t the UDK just go back to stories promoting a liberal agenda? You know, speak out against creationism, support for the destruction of the traditional nuclear family, hatred for America’s history, free sex and legalized drugs?

    Or is destroying the current and future of the football team more to your liking? Your little tirade, while it may lift you up individually, hurts the University as a whole. Who wants to play any sport (if you are not paid to do so) if you are only going to be mocked for doing your best and giving it your all by the people you are playing for?

    Can the UDK not do anything other than attemp to tear down anyone that is striving to improve themselves?

    • Brandon

      If the players don’t want to be criticized for trying to do what is essentially their job at this point in time (playing football), then they have one of two options: 1) quit and take yourself out of a position to be criticized for performing poorly, or 2) get better and shut up all the doubters. Instead, it seems like Charlie Weis and some of his football team have taken a more 21st century approach, which is to whine and act like little children for being told that their play is a joke, much like the cartoon was attempting to illustrate. If you perform poorly at your job and don’t live up to expectations, what happens? Does someone come around all sympathetic and tell you it’s alright? No, you get a talking to from your boss and if you continue to do poorly, you’re gone. Simple as that. Charlie Weis is making millions of dollars to lead a football team to success, not to watch them continue to occupy the Big 12 cellar.

      As for the players, the majority of them are getting their education paid for at a good university over the course of four years (worth roughly $80,000-$90,000 for non-resident students). People now-a-days attempt to hide the youth of America from the criticism and unfairness that lies ahead of them in life and nowhere is it more apparent than at a child’s sporting event. No keeping score, everyone must play, blah blah blah. While it’s understandable and the right thing to do, especially at early ages, after blowing enough smoke up their asses they believe that’s the way the world works. It’s not. You will be criticized and mocked for underperforming, especially when your ‘job’ is to play football in front of tens of thousands of people. If you don’t like it, then find other ways to spend your time, otherwise all the ‘blood, sweat, and tears’ you’ve put in getting to this point is clearly not enough.

      i find absolutely nothing wrong with the way the Daily Kansan depicted the KU football team as they were set to play a top ten team in Kansas State, and rather than use this as motivation to do well, Charlie Weis and his Jayhawks decided to piss and moan about the paper not being more supportive. Well Charlie, it’s a little thing called reality, and if you and your players would put as much effort into getting better as a football team as you do crying about this supposed injustice, you might be able to win a football game or two against a 1-A team. Until then, you deserve all the ridicule you receive, especially when this isn’t Weis’ first time getting upset with student journalists.

      My message to the University of Kansas football team is this: put up or shut up. Oh yeah, and GO BIG RED!

      (Sorry, I felt compelled to include that, even though NU looked pretty dismal as well this past weekend)

      • Kevin

        Go Big Red? They are not doing much better than KU and in a much easier conference. Maybe you should encourage your schools newspaper to belittle your team’s performance a little more so they can improve as well.
        No one disagrees as to the talent level of this team, but the why do you kick a dog when it’s down? As someone who has had to fire a number of underperforming people, I know when it’s time to cut someone loose, but taking joy in the pain of another is sadistic. There is a positive way to handle things and the UDK’s response an shows a juvenile, inexperienced mindset.
        Any of the students that represent MY SCHOOL (obviously not yours) deserve to be treeated with respect. That includes the paper, until their arrogence proves they no longer deserve the respect they have been given – as it does in this case. I have no respect for the media, both sides are biased and rarely show an objective POV. Just as the UDK has show in the past few weeks.

        • Brandon

          First off, the Go Big Red line was a joke. I have never attended UNL, so it’s not my school as you have insinuated. Lighten up a little, but if you’d like, they have at least won four games compared to two losses. Kansas won its season opener by 2 TDs against 1-AA South Dakota State, and since then has reeled off four straight losses, including losses to Northern Illinois, a quality MAC program, and Rice, a bad Conference USA opponent whose only win is against your beloved Jayhawks. Not much better? I’d beg to differ. But given Nebraska’s most recent performance against Ohio State, I personally think they deserve to be criticized as well. They played the second half like it was the first football game they had ever played and allowed a game that they should’ve had in hand in the first half to become an Ohio State blowout. If you put yourself in the position where you perform in front of people, especially in major college football, then you need to be able to handle criticism, regardless of who it’s coming from, especially when you’re getting a free education to do what? Win games. Adversity is part of life, and there are times when it feels like it’s us against the world. If you can’t learn to handle it, then what’s going to happen later in life when something actually important happens to you in a negative way? You’ll crumble just like you did when you were younger. I understand what Charlie Weis is trying to do by sticking up for his players, but given their struggles on the football field, there’s really not a whole lot to defend.

  • realitybites

    A journalists job is the report the news. There are no negative stories. There are no positive stories. There are only unbiased objective news stories. (columnists not included) If you can’t handle the truth. Don’t read the paper. Go ahead, bury your head in the sand and think everything is rosy. That’s going to make the team better.

  • Quint Stevenson

    Kansas may have an alright journalism school… but Mizzou’s is better… just saying…

  • Bruce Z.

    Our mainstream media could learn a lot from these College Kids. Just saying.

  • Richard

    Who’s says journalists have to be objective? Who says that they can’t cheer? You mean to tell me that you are not happy when Kansas wins?

  • Drewscousin

    I just pulled all of my advertising from the UDK. You may have the First amendment on your side, but I have the ability to decide how my advertising dollars are spent. I will advertise on the Jayhawk Sports Network in the future.

  • Nancy Hause

    Thank you. Thank you. Hang in there.
    Another journalist.

  • MachineGun

    The illustration was clearly intended to embarrass the football team. You knew or should have known that Coach Charlie
    Weis would vehemently defend his players under any circumstances but especially in this case given the provocative nature of
    your illustration. Save your righteous indignation.

    • Common Sense

      Did you even read the article? I’ll give you the Cliffs Notes since you cant be bothered to read the whole thing. It says no problem with Weis defending his team, big no-no to deny KU access at a press conference because of its “negative reporting”

  • Phil Latio

    F*ck that fat-*ss blowhard loser coach. He’s a joke of a coach and even less a human being.

    • Micky Baker

      Bigoted, hate speech.

    • Mike O’Connell ’81

      Less than someone who signs themselves Phil Latio? Honestly young man, there are better ways to make a living.

  • R Hughes

    These “journalists” who write for the Kanasan should be ashamed. They are turning their backs on their fellow student body….that team is part of the student body. Got a problem with Weis take shots at him, but to write in that fashion or create images that are negative toward your brothers is a joke. You write for the school paper, and its football not something serious. Support your fellow peers, and to believe good journalism is bashing a group of your peers is a serious disservice. Lets be honest its football, and anyone who believes covering your schools athletics is serious journalism or that its worth basing your peers for a little notoriety…..your a moron! Keep thinking that when you start writing for Coprporation X that you will have freedom of speech or that your editor will not check you and curb your free speech. These wannabe journalists are lame! Your writing about your peers who are giving their all not professionals who are earning a check. Take shots at the coach, not your peers! SO LAME KANSAN AND WAY TO INSULT YOUR STUDENT BODY AND A LARGE MAJORITY OF YOUR AUDIENCE!!

  • jcn

    I applaud the paper and the journalist. If we could get mainstream media to report without bias or agenda we would all be better off. KU still has a long way to go before it will be considered a world class journalism school like Mizzou has but this is a step in the right direction.

    • Micky Baker

      This reporter had an agenda, and it got shoved down the reporter’s throat.

  • MNT

    Weis is the most arrogant person that I ever had the opportunity to meet when he coached at ND. My suggestion: Get rid of him.

    • Mike O’Connell ’81

      Would you rather a head football coach be timid and shy? How long was your meeting with him? Did you talk over old times. Did you ask about his children. Did he ask to compare notes on arrogance, for surely it’s your own arrogance to suggest that you may have had a better candidate in mind for the hire at either university. Notre Dame? Please. That school hasn’t liked or loved a coach since Ara Parseghian died.

  • qwerty

    Too bad the journalistic ethos shown by this story will be crushed as soon as the student reporter gets out into the coporate media system we currently have in the US.

    • Micky Baker

      This journalist didn’t exercise ethics.

  • James Scully

    I also find it amusing that a paper yapping about the first amendment has to have a moderator “approve” any comments on this message board. First Amendment if YOU think it is okay! Way to go Kansas.

  • HawksFan

    Just fire Weis already. 1 – 4 and more concerned with censoring reporters than winning games. Pathetic.

  • Jean Robart

    Where can I see a copy of the cartoon?

  • doubleJ25

    This article, the column stating we should be happy we’re a basketball school and the cartoon make me ashamed to be a J-school grad. If I had not already made my donation, I would not be giving money to the School of Journalism this year. Your points are all foolish. Yes you have the right to post that cartoon, but that image is not Woodward and Bernstein’s information from Deep Throat. Post that same image after the game and nobody has an issue. Post it before and all you’re trying to do is get a reaction. That’s not journalism. That’s shock jock schlock.

    Hiding behind the 1st Amendment is a joke too. Weis has the right to tweet what he wants and the athletic department has the right to not answer reporter’s questions. The ending of this article is foolish as well. Announcers are considered journalists on some levels. Try getting a job with a team and being as “unbiased” as the UDK “journalists” have claimed to be recently. The UDK reporters have purposely made themselves the story here and THAT is exactly what a real journalist is not supposed to do. Good luck in the real world.

    • Mike O’Connell ’81

      At last. An accurate appraisal of what it means to be a journalist in the real world written by a journalist from the real world. I thank you. I was beginning to think all the good professors at the J School had retired and the current UDK staff was the result. Bravo!

  • Tyler

    You act like this cartoon is a journalistic masterpiece. A cartoon mocking your own team isn’t a statue for the first amendment. Journalism would be writing a constructive critique of the team and Weis after the game. Journalism is pointing out that Weis hasn’t even been with the team for 1 year and people are ready to jump ship. Any idiot could make a cartoon mocking the football team getting beat. We know it happens often. A sports journalist would investigate the details of why we are such a poor team over and over.

  • BitterJayhawk

    The truth and what you published last Thursday are two completely different things. Your cover was a disgrace to any Jayhawk fan. It may have been “what people thought”, but to publicly degrade our team is irresponsible. Your job may not be to cheer on the team, but as students it is your job to support your peers. You may not have done anything “wrong”, but you did bring shame and utter embarrassment to the University that you represent.

    • Micky Baker

      The job is to report without bias. To report on the front of a newspaper a “journalist’s” personal opinion is unbecoming of any ethical media outlet.

  • Chrlie’s Napkin

    Let’s see if ole’ double-bubble butt wants to chastise this writer. I doubt it:,0,2953407.column

  • Not amazed

    Did anyone at KU conduct due diligence on Weis? Not only could he not win at Notre Dame, but his bizarre personal behavior was well known. Weis screamed at a 25-year employee for calling Weis “Coach Weis” and demanded to be called Mr. Weis. Or, this gem, the executive VP at Notre Dame had to tell Weis not to return to a local barbershop (used by all coaches since the being of time) because Weis was an ass. These are just the tip of the ice berg. Weis is very unhinged in addition to having no idea of how to coach (just watch him try to call a play — his play card confuses him).

    KU needs to cut its losses. Weis has never been successful, so why would that change now?

    • Mike O’Connell ’81

      So who would you hire to start all over again, of sage of the gridiron? And what would you say to the players when you have to explain to them that they wil have a third head coach and staff in four years. Assuming of course, they would stick around or come here in the first place. And what head coach is going to come to a school where the school newspaper implies the players are a bunch of cowards scrambling up a goal post to escape the wrath of their rival. Is there anyone on this site that knows ANYTHING about collegiate sports? For that matter, is their anyone on this site brave enough to put their real name on a post instead of hiding behind a cute nickname?

  • Kevin

    Hmm one more game much better than last years humiliating loss to the Cowboys. Seems like Weis IS turning the ship around.
    Too bad KU isn’t a liberal school that accepts all as they are. You have to be different, but just different like everyone else.
    Lawrence Kansas, where being fat brings more prejudice than being African-American in 1960s Alabama.

  • Mike O’Connell ’81

    This would all seem wise and wonderful if the UDK didn’t constantly get down on it’s knees cheer, wear team colors, and worship the basketball team in spite of the football team. Like last year, for instance, when football season was starting. Instead of devoting space to the football team, they published a multipage spread to the previous year’s basketball team well before the basketball season was to start. Objective in every sense of the word? Hardley. To be honest, I thought the article surrounded by the cartoon was well written and objective. The cartoon of a tiny Jayhawk cowering on a goalpost to escape a giant Wildcat, however, made me wonder which university’s newspaper I was reading. Is it objective to imply the football team is stocked with cowards? Then there was the editorial in the left column saying KU students should find no shame in writing off the football team when saying to our rivals, “Just wait till basketball season.” So what will this objective journalistic neophyte say to rivals if the basketball team has a bad season, “Just wait for Field Hockey season”? So please don’t insult me by saying the UDK shows no bias when clearly there is a bias against the football team in favor of the basketball team. I’m a 56-year old Jayhawk alum with two generatons behind me, two kids currently enrolled and a third on the way. I support ALL Jayhawk teams and suffered the joys and sorrows of ALL Jayhawk teams since I was eight years old. I love basketball and don’t miss a game. I love football and don’t miss a game. My heart breaks when either teams loses. Trust me, tears are shed in the O’Connell household when the student athletes of KU suffer a defeat. I remember the later Ted Owens years as a student on the Hill when the basketball team wasn’t so hot and I don’t recall a single issue when the UDK turned on it’s own the way that cartoon did. Should anyone be fired over this? Nope. But let the writers learn to take the heat. It’ll be good practice when they start writing in the real world. Should these fledgling journalist come to grips with the fact that they are going to get nailed when they take an iffy position on something dear to the hearts of their readers? They’d better, or their careers as journalists will be short, especially if they write about sports.. Editors in the real world won’t be so quick to hide them behind their coat tails. Toughen up. And bear in mind that these athletes are students just like you and they are under trememendous pressure to represent the University just as you are. They suffer the same fears as you. They bleed crimson and blue just as you do. They are your brothers and sisters. Branding them cowards is, simply put, cowardly.

  • Mike O’Connell ’81

    One more thing. It takes more than one year to rebuild a college football team that was for all practical purposes destroyed by Turner Gill and the cell phone police he called a coaching staff. Perhaps if your sports writers were a little more seasoned i.e., actually knew something about sports) they would realize that it’s going to take a few years to get back to winning. I’ve been at all the home games the past four years and watched the games on TV or listenend to them on the radio and what I’ve noticed this year is better tackling, better effort, and better heart than I’ve seen since that last awful season under Mangino. I can still find things to critique in their execution, but I can find nothing to critique in their effort. These kids don’t quit. Don’t quit on them. The wins will come.

  • Micky Baker

    Here is something that the Daily Kansan needs to understand, and why it is behaving childishly. Charlie Weis also has the right to free speech against the newspaper. If you don’t want it to come back, then you show real professionalism in your reporting, not this immature college party kid bull crap. Charlie Weis is vindicated now. The team is getting better, and some immature student reporter is looking a fool now. This team is 6 games into the season with a brand new coach. It is time for this reporter to be responsible for his/her actions. At I post as JayhawkinTX73, and I do believe this reporter is posting anonymously at comments that are unbecoming of a true, professional journalist. Your personal opinions are just that. If you let that guide you in your reporting, you’re doing yourself an injustice.

  • Micky Baker

    I went to Washington, DC in March 2007 and was interviewed by a student reporter from the University of Toledo. He misrepresented everything I told him. He even asked me if I was Vietnam Vet and I told him no, but he wrote in the paper that I was. Journalists have a standard of ethics that everyone should expect, and if the readers aren’t honest, the reporters will reflect the readers.

  • Micky Baker

    One more point. The University Daily Kansas is not just there for the current student body. It is there for all the alumni, or pull this off the internet if it isn’t for anyone else to read.

    There is a difference between holding leaders accountable and putting the journalist’s opinions above the ethical standard accepted by various journalist associations. I hope this writer learns from this, because if he/she doesn’t, he/she will end up not being successful.

  • Mike O’Connell ’81

    Nice platitudes. I respect them. However, you both have a critical misunderstanding of the term “objective”. If the issue is the illustration, is it not similar in purpose to a political cartoon in that it expresses an opinion? I have a yet to see a political cartoon that was objective. They aren’t supposed to be, which is why they are usually on the Opinion page of a newspaper, not the front page. Certainly, the illustration was in no way objective. It expressed an opinion. Yes, you have the right to express opinions in the UDK. I will defend that right to the death. But to label the illustration as objective is rubbish and shows you have an as yet underdeveloped appreciation of the craft you aspire to. The article appearing along with the illustration was objective, so kudos to the writer. But don’t set your illustrator up to fail by defending them as objective. That’s not the purpose of a political cartoon, nor was it the purpose of the illustration which seemed to suggest that the KU football team is composed of a bunch of cowards climbing a goalpost to get out of harm’s way. Do you really perceive them as cowards? You shame the Fourth Estate by not drawing the distinction between objective journalism (hard news) and the expression of opinion (editorial comment.) Once you gain that understanding, you will be better able to defend both your objective hard news pieces and your subjective opinion pieces. This will give you the courage to continue writing and drawing in spite of the calls to fire you or shut you up, for you must never quit nor shut up. However, you should understand that you may someday be fired – by your editor or by the newspaper owner who plays golf with the owner of the local team. I’m sure you been taught in your classes, as I was, that the prime objective of a newspaper is to make money. Get ready to deal with the real world of sports journalism. You will be under constant pressure your entire professional lives to compromise your journalistic values and those asking you to do it may come as a surprise. If you write something as pallid as that above to defend your actions, you’ll end up on the wrong end of the argument. Ask Jason Whitlock.

  • KULawStudent1

    I’m all for KU, but I know Weis needs to go. Notre Dame gave him the pink slip for a reason. This type of continued loosing record will not help bring in top recruits, and produce a winning football team. Come on Someone fire this guy and bring in a reputable coach. I hate to see K-State on top.