On the football field or off, actions have consequences. It’s nice to see new Kansas University coach Charlie Weis setting expectations for his team and being willing to dole out consequences when his players fall short.
Several players interviewed by the Journal-World last December welcomed the discipline that newly hired coach Weis promised to bring to the Jayhawk football program, both on the field and academically. We hope they and their teammates still feel the same way now that the coach has started to set and enforce rules for his new team.
At the beginning of the month, Weis announced that defensive lineman Julius Green had been dismissed from the team for violating team rules. He didn’t detail the violation, but the consequences were clear: You’re gone.
Less than a week later, Weis announced that running back James Sims would be suspended for the first three games of the 2012 season. Again the suspension was related to a violation of team rules, but this time the action that resulted in the consequences was more clear: Sims had been arrested two days earlier on charges of operating a vehicle while under the influence.
“Every player on our team knows and understands our rules and regulations,” Weis said in the press release about Sims’ suspension. “They also know the consequences for violations.”
Weis also is applying his cause-and-effect discipline to the classroom. Near the end of the fall semester, members of the 2011 KU football team were carrying more than 50 failing grades in the classroom. That’s not acceptable on Weis’ team. The first step toward getting better grades is going to class. Just before spring break, Weis reported, the entire team had tallied only five class absences for the semester. The coach confirmed that even those few absences had not gone unnoticed. The coach employs public reprimands and special 6 a.m. Saturday workouts to make his point about class attendance. He said he’s expecting his new academic standards “to show huge benefits come middle of May.”
One of the most important jobs of a parent or a college coach is to try to help young people mature and take responsibility for their actions. Those doing the teaching don’t have to be mean, but they have to be fair and consistent. KU players know Weis’ rules and, by now, they should know that breaking those rules will have consequences. It’s not a bad life lesson for some young men who may still have some growing up to do.