Hearne: Will KU Football Suck Forever?


Jonestown aka Lawrence

Lawrence is a town in which pretty much only one thing really matters…

And that one thing is KU basketball. Because for all practical purposes college basketball takes precedence over any and all else that goes down in this town, even the university itself. Jayhawk basketball is the tail that wags the school, the city, the citizenry, the alumnae and with rare exception each and every individual who resides here who didn’t attend K-State or Missouri.

Think I’m exaggerating? Walk a mile in my shoes.

While I attended the University of Arizona, it’s no secret I’ve always been partial to KU. Maybe because my dad went here for like one semester, its proximity to Kansas City or the charm of downtown Lawrence.

So it stands to reason that in my moving to Lawrence – albeit while retaining ultra close ties to KC on a weekly basis – I’ve become more smitten and more biased, in favor of all things Jayhawk. No doubt Missouri aficionados who’ve recoiled at some of the sports assessments made here by Craig Glazer and Brett Mosiman believe that to be true.

That said, let me remind you though of true blue KU lover and Lawrence resident Matt Donnelly‘s take on my appreciation of KU; that I view the love affair locals have with Bill Self the same way the Kool-ade drinkers of Jonestown did Jim Jones – as a cult.

Matt nailed it when he nailed me.

The intense worship of KU basketball in Lawrence has caused me to contemplate going to the dark side. Not K-State – the Little Apple’s not for me – I’m talking Mizzou.

However truth be known, I don’t require a college sports allegiance to make my life complete. I enjoy sports as much as anyone but overall it isn’t that big a deal to me.

ku_quarterbacks_mangino_t650Which brings me to the editorial in today’s Lawrence Journal World:

“Football Embarrassment,” reads the headline. “Is there any hope for Kansas University to rise above its ranking as the worst team in all of the six power conferences?”

Heady stuff.

Because it’s one thing to more-or-less shrug and accept one’s station in life, quite another to strut the kind of pride basketball fans exhibit and embrace the shame and humiliation that comes with being the worst of the worst.

ku-group2That’s a bit much.

“Unfortunately, Kansas University, despite an occasional winning and bowl-eligible team, has not enjoyed sustained success on the football field. Is this due to poor coaches, poor players, poor facilities, lack of interest by senior school officials — or a combination of all those factors?,” the editorial asks.

“A recent issue of Forbes magazine carried a story titled, ‘The Best and Worst College Football Teams for the Money.’ The survey was limited to the six automatic-qualifying conferences — Atlantic Coast Conference, American Athletic Conference, Big 10, Big 12, Pac 12 and Southeastern Conference — the so-called power conferences. Guess which team was judged to be the worst in all six conferences. The Kansas Jayhawks!”

Forbes bottom line: “Kansas maintains its stranglehold on the title of worst college football team for the money. The Jayhawks have spent over $8 million per victory, the result of playing in a major conference but winning just six games over the last three seasons.”

The editorial goes on to note that K-State – with a smaller budget and smaller enrollment  has blown KU away in football (but thank heavens, not basketball).

“How embarrassing for Jayhawk fans to have the worst team in the national survey while Kansas State is ranked second best after being on top of the ranking for two years,” the editorial scolds.

!B8YR!+!!2k~$(KGrHqEOKogEy+jC0R+9BM22kuHuhw~~_35That’s where the Journal World crosses into the ridiculous.

“Consider the possibilities if the KU football team enjoyed the enthusiasm, support and national attention that the KU basketball program receives.”

It doesn’t get any dumber than that. I mean, just imagine if Lawrence enjoyed the enthusiasm, support and national attention of – I don’t know – New York City.

How about if KU could just get back to being a contender of some sort every five or ten years?

Here’s where the editorial gets gutless:

“What’s the trouble: poor coaches, poor players, poor athletic directors and/or poor expectations for school administrators?”

Geez, if the Journal World doesn’t have the guts to call anybody out, what hope is there?


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43 Responses to Hearne: Will KU Football Suck Forever?

  1. CG says:

    I guess it comes down to the bad rep. Young players dream of the NFL and KU doesn’t offer that much in football. Their coaches can’t sell a “change.” It’s a wonderful school, a beautiful campus, great reputation for education and medicine, a nice quality city, and one of the nations top three basketball programs of all time. Yet no coach that can get players that matter to come to KU. So yes it’s a coaching problem.

    I say fire chunky now, lose the money, and hire a big name NFL coach who has clout that can go out and get these kids to come to KU. Now!!!! There are about ten out there. KU has the dough, fire lazy butt now. He is worthless, he isn’t gonna do much. You can see that. KU deserves better. It starts with head coach. You haven’t had a good one in decades.

    • iharley says:

      dream on glaze…what nfl coach with any savvy would go to Lawrence.
      seriously…unless they want a fat paycheck and humiliation of the
      worst team in the nation its not worth it.
      Weiss can get another job …he’s got super bowl rings.
      what happened to mangino and the other guy? not toogood an
      outcome although I wish mangino the best of luck and that
      he loses 300 pounds.
      coaching ku is like walking in front of firing squad and saying “shoot me”

      • the dude says:

        Uuuuuhm, Ku is pretty much the end of the line for coaches. After failing there he might be able to score a junior high jv head coaching job if he agrees to mop the bathrooms.

  2. 3 wise manginos says:

    Dead bodies on christmas, nice job

  3. glenn says:

    Have some *ucking respect and decorum for the victims of Jim Jones. Your comparison is not EVEN close as a pertinent, entertaining or socially acceptable. I’m out of here.

  4. Bob says:

    “The intense worship of KU basketball in Lawrence has caused me to contemplate going to the dark side. Not K-State – the Little Apple’s not for me – I’m talking Mizzou.”

    If this is something you are contemplating, then neither fanbase will claim you. Respect the hatred.

    KU had great momentum going into the Orange Bowl (neither KSU or Mizzou have won one.) But East Coast Lew fired Mangino after one lackluster season and questionable coaching motivation techniques and hired Turner Freaking Gill and he decimated the program. Then Zenger was trying to make a splash and hired Charlie Tuna which the entire nation laughed at immediately. Weis has no desire to put the work in. He is still getting paid by Notre Dame. KU is currently paying three head coaches (Mangino, Gill and Weis.) A real shit situation, no doubt.

  5. eww says:

    boy, is that tasteless.

  6. Hollister says:

    agree with Glenn.

  7. Mysterious J says:

    Wait, people who come here expect Hearne to be tasteful? As I have confessed, I am a fan of his boorish side…although it is much more entertaining when he isn’t going for shock value, as is obviously the case here.

    What I take issue with is the lie “I enjoy sports as much as anyone”. No, you have made clear you are not much of a fan at all. I think you feel obligated to keep up as a journalist, but mostly you just enjoy tweaking your readers on the subject.

  8. Davey Jones Locker says:

    And we wonder why a college degree is costing so much. You can bet that KU and nearly every NCAA team in every conference is losing money on the athletic programs as a whole. Yes KU Basketball should be profitable but doubtful it makes up for football, women’s basketball and a number of other collegiate sports expenses. CNN money over a year ago examined college tuition increases compared to cost increases and topping the list was the money spent on college athletics. That “loss” between revenue and expenses being passed down to students that take loans that are backed by the government and increasingly moving into default. College athletics works to promote a handful of athletes and does nothing for the academic experience, job preparation, or has any benefit to the larger student body. It drives up costs but the sticklers will argue it helps with recruitment. Knowing that nearly every individual benefits from a college degree a fool would only choose a school based on the athletic credibility. Put simply it is a money suck. KCC isn’t that spectacular in the web world either and if the costs of keeping it running were being past down to the readers, the authors, or the tax payer, like college athletics is to the student body it wouldn’t be tolerated.

    • harley says:

      no davy….every ncaa program is not losing money.
      The onesin the sec are printing money right now…too much coming
      in and more to come.
      The MU athletic department is so flush with cash plus another
      80 million sitting in a kc trust fund.
      plus the money that they rake in during the season from tickets…
      donations…alumni events….tv rights to one of the top fan base
      teams in the nation…..its like a cash register at the athletic deparmtnet
      going ca ching……no money problems there.
      But ku is a declining school. Football is the money maker. They’ve tapped
      out the self money maching and the football team is the worst in the
      entire nation…the worst in the entire 6 major conferences…with no
      good things in the future.
      brownback cut back funds and now ku is facing a really tough time.
      The best thing for ku is to close down the football team. Why pay
      Charlie 2.5 million and still be the WORST TEAM IN THE ENTIRE
      COUNTRY when you can close it down…regroup for the year 2016 team
      and not lose any more money. Plus ku fans don’t like football…they
      wait for December to bring out the blue gear and watch them beat up\
      on small time teams to make their one and done freshmen look like
      super star.
      Sad sad situation in Lawrence and at ku right now. They’re facing total
      extinction and total embarssment for the next 10 years.
      close down the football program and maybe add ladies field hockey…
      or mens badmitton….or even the ever more popular ladies croquet…
      whatever this university does if it isn’t basketball you can sure bet
      your last dollar it wiol fail miersably for a long long time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • harley says:

      davy….without a team the surely close down. I mean west of kc
      theres nothing to do…
      shoot garbage bags at the shooting range….drink moonshine in aggieville…
      demolition derbies at state fair….Ivmena kanas is not a full show of exciting
      things to do.
      so they have a basketball team…which is nice and wins games but also
      even ku athletic department might make a little money…enough to suppy
      balls to the teams…but anything else is above their means .I mean they’re
      serving student athletes horse meat from Minnesota telling them its
      ny strip steaks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      So yes they can stil make money as long as the Oklahoma and texas
      schools don’t mind a little school like Kansas or k sstate playing at
      the high school level of talent.
      but that’s what happens when the qualify cation for head football coach
      is that you weigh 350 or over.
      come on…who hired Charlie? nice guy but lazy that he makes his
      dog work the tv remote.
      and hearne…the grandest fan of ku is quiet for the last few month knowing
      that his team is the worst in the nation.
      what can the school do hearne….simple solution.
      Get you…and big dave….and Wilson….and the dude…and the
      stomper and the rest of the kcc boys including glaze and put all of you
      on the offensive line and see if you can hold back the likes of big 12
      defensive ends….that would fill the statdium to capacity…
      so boys…..put away the Kleenex til next year…when its back to being
      still the wrost team in America…something youo’ll get used t hearing.

      • Davey Jones Locker says:

        Calling out BS Harley. I didn’t say all weren’t profitable I said most.

        Then there’s the ultimate sacred cow: college sports. Spending on athletics has accelerated at twice the pace of spending on academics, according to the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, even though most programs lose money. Of the top 120 Division I football teams, for example, only 22 showed a profit last year. Defenders say those programs are still valuable because they can lead to a spike in admissions applications and alumni donations.

        From money.cnn.com – http://money.cnn.com/2011/09/08/pf/college/tuition_costs.moneymag/index.htm

        They wouldn’t go bankrupt they’d have to teach. Plenty of college’s in this country don’t have athletic programs or rank within their “conference”. You can say MU has 80 million all you like but they aren’t using the money to lower tuition or enhance academic’s. I can backup my stats.. can you? Please try to do it in less than 2 posts.

      • Davey Jones Locker says:


        Athletic spending up 64% from 2005-2011
        Academic Spending up 44% from 2005 – 2011

        20% differentiation between Academic and Athletic spending. Correct me if I am wrong but the point of going to school is to learn a career not how to pass, throw and dribble.

        • iharley says:

          I only researched mu….
          34,000 students…spend 12-13k per student
          500 student athletes spend $160K/athlete

          academic spending (rounded) 442 million
          athletic spending (rounded) 80 million

          football receipts: 6 games/average of 60,000=
          300,000 tickets x $40 (avg price)= 12 million
          in gate receipts…
          add in all the other moneythe athletic deparmtnet
          makes…licensing…tv/radio rights/concessions/
          basketball/donations/advertising rights/fees/
          sponsorships/in kind donations/etc ect….
          so davy (monkee” jones the athletic departments
          are revenue raising entities…..academic are not!!!!!!!
          football alone can probably bring in that 80 million
          or close to it.
          these numbers come from the knight commission
          on mu…and the truth is that without athletics
          at most of the schools the schools would require
          most tax payer money to run.
          I worked in the athletic department..i saw xthe
          numbers…they are staggering then and even more
          so now!!!!!!!! even paying pinkel his money
          doesn’t make a dent.
          as far as ku ….their problem stems more from a
          political standpoint now than competititve ….yes
          Charlie can’t get anyone to support the team..and
          yes bill isupset since football isn’t carrying their
          weight…but that’s the universities fault.
          still a huge huge difference in amount spent…
          especialoly since the athletic department (if they
          can get solid support) can be a huge huge money
          maker for the university.

          • Davey Jones Locker says:

            Yea and spending on students only went up 3%.. WRONG Again Harley from 2005 – 2011. Meanwhile if all this money is sitting in an account why is tuition increasing instead of decreasing. My point isn’t the profit it’s the sure waste of money being spent on a collegiate athletics at the expense of every students increasing tuition. Followed by the fact that when that student loan bubble bursts.. And it will people like you will suffer the most. No money and not college athletics. If you “worked” athletics then your part of the problem. You get to have your sports on the backs of kids paying tuition funded by government backed loans. 3% increase in academic spending and it makes no money BS. Colleges make money on academics because it’s government backed and funded. Phoenix and the highway college’s are swimming in freaking money and haven’t got a conference or a team. Unprofitable that maybe the most laughable statement you’ve had to date.

          • Davey Jones Locker says:

            PS.. You want to insult me you can do better than monkey. For a guy that hammers around these blogs taking up for Glazer like his girlfriend you aren’t very creative.

          • iharley says:

            davy “monkee” jones…a joke…davy jones..
            the monkees….get it…sorry…just havingsome
            fun….yaknow the musicband …monkees…
            sorry if I made you mad.
            heres the key fact…athletic departments
            make money…they bring in money for the
            entire university…when athletics do well
            the entire university profits with increased
            donations etc.
            I saw it at mu…its all intertwined.
            without athletics the university is really
            athletic departments are big money making
            machines right now….they bring in huge
            money to the university.
            at mu…its no different than texas/Alabama/
            Illinois/etc….the athletic departments
            are money making machines…and whether
            we agree on the merits of it…THATS THE
            see the knight commission…I presented the
            numbers…% spending is misleading…
            if academic spending went up 3% that’s well
            over 13 milliondollars…that’s big money…
            but you forget the huge influx of money
            at mu with the huge increase of out of state
            students!!!!! Alabama makes an extra 40 million a year with the increased tuition for
            out of state students….Missouri is becoming
            a top national university and the out of
            state students is increasing big time.
            and no one puts a gun to students head
            to get those loans…and yes I worked in
            the athletic department but your trying
            to blame the always right Harley is very
            shallow and stupid.
            that’s not the discussion davy “monkee”
            jones….smile…itsa joke…get it
            monkees…tv band…davy jones…hahahahaha!
            have adrink or take a happy pill!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Super Dave says:

      I agree, Will KCC Website Suck Forever?

  9. Jack Springer says:


  10. CG says:

    WELL your Xmas party was nice. He was tasteful that night. I think by now you know Hearne likes to go the ‘other’ way with issues and ideas when he can. He meant no harm with the photo, I’m sure.

  11. harley says:

    whatr agreat looking crew of ku fans hearne chose to post with this article.
    all under 5’5″/probably some are political asylum guys from china…one guy
    who looks rather “friendly/and acouple who look a little shaky if you know
    what I mean. and the one guy with the rock chalk t shirt just stole the
    tall guys wallet.
    is this indicative of the university…come on hearne ….show us the
    big time students….how about you and glaze doing a “girls of ku” calendar
    or aren’t there enugh hotties to fill 12 photographs. (hahahahaha).
    ku is the laughing stock of the nation…I mean when forbes financiql magazine
    says you’re the wrost….that’s got to really deflate the team/coaches and the
    athetic department..and who would want to coach there…maybe a assistant
    coach at northeast Louisiana state…or maybe a student coach from
    south Dakota technical insititute….or maybe they get the coach
    from MARYVILLE national championship team…he’d love to coach Kansas!!!!
    I mean its one of the nicest cities to live in (yeah right!)….
    asI always say MIZZOU…..thanks…your friend harley

    • chuck says:

      As a conservative MU Fan, I think it is important to focus on the positive and be open to a fair and balanced opinion that KU has a lot to offer.


      Mangino was a hell of a coach.

      K State was the worst football program around for years.

      Get a good coach, get a good team. Things change, in 10 to 20 years no one, I mean no one will recognize tackle football as it is, in it’s present form.

      Get ready for soccer.

  12. eww says:

    I could come take a dump on the hood of your Lotus, and think I will, but be sure I mean no harm.


  13. Steveo says:

    The Little Apple’s not for you. Thank God for small victories.

    Definitely, go to that shining city on the plateau of the Missouri River and bask amongst the multitude of struggling and failed journalists that the school vomits out each year. It is probably liberal enough for your tastes and but you still get enough Duck Dynasty types from the Ozarks to regale your coastal friends on the edginess of Midwest living.

    In the meantime, the residents and students of Manhattan will go about their business, maximizing value from their limited resources, and continue to provide food and infrastructure to the world. Not a lot of Obama voters either so we were on the cutting edge of that trend.

  14. Nick says:

    The idea of the Bevo X being a power conference is in itself hilarious.

  15. Jess says:

    If you put out a butthurt story on no “hurtful” comments, how about a story on no more tasteless stories? Wow, that was horrible.

  16. chuck says:

    Jonestown is Glazer’s fault. Jim Jones was doing Stand Up at Stanfords and Glazer fired him because he couldn’t deliver a “Punch” line.

  17. chuck says:

    As long as we are going to pillory Hearne for bad taste, let us include the great Anderson Cooper from just last night.

    Here is the link, then a quote, jesus…


    “Okay, normally I introduce these posts with either a brief summary of the reason you clicked the link in the first place or give some kind of context-building set-up, but Anderson Cooper talked about cunnilingus on CNN Thursday night and I really just… I mean, really… just a loss for words here.

    CNN was doing one of those year in review segments, and Cooper asked Dan Savage for what he thought was a really good scandal story this year. Savage had to go with the amazing saga of Rob Ford, and said, “I love a good cunnilingus joke on the evening news.”

    Everyone (especially Andrew Sullivan) burst out laughing, and that’s when Cooper decided to over-share.

    “My mom once wrote a romance memoir about men she had dated–and I use that term loosely–and she described one guy she was currently dating––my mom was 85 at the time––as the Nijinsky of cunnilingus. And she made me proofread the book.”

    Thanks, Anderson! Thank you SO MUCH for that image! Really, just… wow

  18. Kerouac says:

    Nod Nunnery scene Prince Hamlet – ‘to be or not to be a football Champion: that is the question, Jayhawk’. Answer: ‘to thine own sport be true, canst not then give false hope to any other’.

    The “π” (pi) of football mathematics, Kansas football is on par Nebraska basketball… expect each to win an National Championship about the same time the Chicago Cubs win a World Series (ditto K-State; some things are just unsolvable, not meant to be.)

    Nebraska hasn’t (really) been round ball relevant since 1965-66 when future pros Stu Lantz & Nate Branch dotted their roster (for reference, that is only three years longer than the Kansas City Chiefs current ‘dry spell’ that now numbers 43 seasons.)

    I haven’t been especially impressed with KU about as long, Pepper Rodgers arrival 1967 (the same time Vince Gibson rode in on a white horse at Kansas State; what a love fest the deux, ultimate failures yet exciting times two forlorn schools, football.)

    For every literal podunk Green Bay put on the map a Lombardi (a hard act to follow), a poor man’s renaissance courtesy Snyder and Mangino the best seen these parts last nigh on half a century… some things are just ‘not meant to be’… no question.

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