What would Al Bohl do?
You remember Al Bohl, don’t you? The former University of Kansas athletic director that then KU basketball coach Roy Williams crushed like a dove in 2003.
He’s also the dude who the Topeka Capital-Journal has described as “the father of modern Kansas football, which is to say he is the father of good Kansas football.”
Like Roy Williams, his days at KU are long gone.
And now, after back-to-back godawful seasons of 1-11 and 3-9, even Lawrence Journal World homer columnist Tom Keegan more than hinted that KU football coach Charlie Weiss should be fired before season’s end.
Unless of course KU mops up the field at home Saturday with a mediocre Central Michigan team whose star running back is not expected to play.
You know you’re in trouble when the local sports homie is gossiping about the football “boosters” being pissed at you.
By the way, Keegan’s the same dude who a month ago blew an entire column kiss to KU’s embattled football program by grousing about fan negativity.
Note to Tom: Not everybody gets to sit in free seats in the press box, chow down on free food and gets free parking near the stadium that costs donors thousands of dollars each year. While getting paid for it to boot.
Which effectively is like being paid by KU.
So the heat is clearly on for Weiss and could even domino towards KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger.
“How about we hire a football coach that’s under 400 pounds,” cracks one prominent Lawrence businessman and KU supporter. “They should fire Weiss right now because they’re probably only going to win one game this year.”
“He’s in trouble.But I really like Zenger and he’ll be fine as long as Bill Self stays here – but those are two of the worst hires in college football history.”
Fortunately Zenger wasn’t the one who hired Weiss predecessor Turner Gill.
Gill put in two seasons, won 5 games and lost 19 before being fired by Zenger and walking away with a nearly $6 million farewell check.
So how does Self staying add to Zenger’s lifespan, it’s not like he hired him?
“No, but in a way, he gets credit for it,” says the source. “And he did give him a ginormous contract.”
One thing in Zenger’s favor – despite KU’s miserable football record – is he plays his media cards ultra close to the vest.
“All I know is you never hear his name,” says Lawrence lawyer and KCC contributor Matt Donnelly. “Whereas you heard about the godfather Lew Perkins all the time.”
That’s because Zenger keeps a low profile by letting former Perkins henchman Jim Marchiony dish out most of the media soundbites (and take most of the hits) when the going get prickly.
As for Weiss, “His fate’s sealed, he’s fired,” says sports handicapper Craig Glazer. “KU wanted to win at least four games this year to be a minor improvement, but for him to save his job he probably needed to win five or six games – and I don’t see more than two right now.”
In addition, Weiss is about as uninspiring a figure as imaginable, Glazer says.
“What you have is a guy who’s career is behind him. There’s head coach Pete Carroll with the Seattle Seahawks. And you know, if you saw Carroll, who’s 63, with a 35 year old girl, you’d think okay, he’s still is a good looking guy. Charlie Weiss? He looks like a total schmo. If you saw Weiss with a hot chick, you’d think, ‘Well, that must have cost him.’
“You’d never see Charlie Weiss with a hot chick and he’s five years younger than Carroll. He reminds you of the high school gym coach that tells everybody to take laps while he goes back to his office, pops a Pepsi, smokes a cigarette and eats a sandwich. He’s not a guy you respect.
“I mean, what has Charlie Weiss really done? Clearly Weiss signed for that job for the money. Name one decent player he’s brought in. Not only did he not improve things he was worse or no better than Turner Gill. So who’s the fool? Weiss goes into retirement a rich man and KU goes back to drawing board with a terrible reputation. I mean they’re one of the worst teams at their level of football. Who wants to coach KU now?
“I’ve seen Weiss interviewed several times and he says the same thing and then he looks like, ‘Where’s my check?’ He’s the, where’s my check guy. But then who’s the fool KU or Weiss? KU obviously.
Meanwhile Bohl – who lives in Florida, mostly plays golf, does some speaking and is working on his third book – could not be reached in time for this column.
However my hunch is he’s feeling vindicated right now with the NCAA reopening its investigation into his old pal Roy Williams at North Carolina.
“Well, if you’re Roy Williams one thing you’re not doing right now is sleeping…” college basketball analyst Jordan Cornette said in July. “So right now, Roy William’s job – you can’t say it’s safe – because this thing could blow wide open. And at that point you’re looking a a situation where the coach could be shown the door.”
In Bohl’s first book – written in the wake of his departure from KU at William’s hands – he describes ” a highly recruited high school senior” and a coach at Kansas “who may have stepped over the line with recruiting rules…a coach who has a questionable reputation.”