Apr 28, 2012; Lawrence, KS, USA; Kansas Jayhawks head coach Charlie Weis watches during the first half of the Spring Game at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE
By now we've heard all about it. The culture in and around Kansas football over the last two years lacked accountability. When you are talking about the 18-22 year old demographic that can go very poorly at times and it did just that during the previous coaching regime. On the field and off, the lack of accountability and discipline was at the root of a very poorly managed program.
Enter into the picture Charlie Weis. While every football coach will ultimately find themselves judged by wins and losses, Weis made it known that he intended to change the culture both on and off the field. With that we witnessed a fair number of dismissals and transfers. The spring game gave us a glimpse of a more organized program, but now we finally have some tangible evidence to point to when it comes to Weis and his stated mission.
The University of Kansas football team set a team record this spring semester with a 3.0 grade-point average, and the department's overall GPA of 2.99 is its fourth-highest in history. The football program's previous high mark was a 2.75 in the spring of 2010. - KUAD Press Release
The 3.0 GPA for the football team represents a half letter grade improvement over the Fall semester and given the state of near disarray in the classroom that Weis walked into, it's an extremely impressive turnaround.
"I am delighted that the football team achieved a 3.0 GPA. That mark exceeded my expectations by a wide margin. To be able to jump more than half a letter grade in one semester, and exceeding the best GPA ever by a quarter-grade merits my congratulations to the entire team. Good things happen when you go to class, go on time and use academic support." - Kansas Head Football Coach Charlie Weis
Definitely a huge amount of credit goes to the players who put in the work, but it's obvious that the leadership at the top has set a different standard for the program. Now if we see similar results in other areas of the program, the product on the field can't help but improve.
I still don't know that I'm ready to put a win total down when evaluating success, but it's hard not to feel some optimism. Optimism at least from the standpoint that this team would appear to be moving on from the days of being humiliated. With that, hopefully the return of competitive football to Lawrence and a continued change in the culture in and around Kansas football.