Although it never actually began, Brock Berglund’s Kansas University football career officially is over.
Berglund, the former three-star quarterback from Highlands Ranch, Colo., who missed all of the 2011 season to deal with legal trouble in Colorado, was released from his scholarship by KU on Friday and is free to continue his playing career at another university.
“This wasn’t about whether or not (we) were going to give a kid permission to contact other schools,” KU coach Charlie Weis said via teleconference Friday evening. “It’s about doing it the way everyone else does it. I just think that everyone should follow the same protocol. One guy shouldn’t be able to send emails and try to make phone calls, when everyone else did it (differently). (Other players) came into my office, they said they’d like to go, I asked them why, we went over a list of schools that they could go to, and I let ’em go. But this young man decided that that wasn’t the way the game was gonna be played.”
Because of that, the process to gain his release — like most things associated with Berglund’s case during the past year — became drawn out and unfolded in a very public manner. Weis, who made no comment on the matter since announcing Berglund’s dismissal at a Jan. 16 news conference, said he regretted that the ordeal could not be handled internally.
“You never want anything like this to be a public deal,” Weis said. “The young man, the past few weeks, decided to take it public and we just didn’t want to go there. We didn’t want to get into a public show of who’s right and who’s wrong. This wasn’t about that. This was about what was in the best interest of Kansas football.”
Berglund officially was dismissed from the team on Jan. 16 for missing a mandatory team meeting a day earlier. Berglund said, and KU officials confirmed, that he emailed the coaching staff prior to the meeting to let them know he would not be there, but that was not good enough for Weis, who has gone full-speed-ahead in emphasizing discipline in the KU program since taking over on Dec. 9.
“Everyone wants to go to a team where the team is more important than the players and the coaches,” Weis said. “That’s what this issue is really about. It’s all about the team being the most important thing. KU football is more important than the quarterback, the head coach, everybody else. It’s bigger than that.”
Berglund did not return messages requesting his reaction to Friday’s news. Weis said Berglund had not yet provided him with a list of schools he’d like to be released to, but sources have said it may include Hawaii, Washington and Liberty, where former KU coach Turner Gill now coaches.
Although Weis and KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger said they were acting on principle on this one, the delay in releasing Berglund drew criticism from many. When asked if he was concerned about any negative affects this incident might have in dealing with future players, Weis was blunt.
“No,” he said. “As a matter of fact, it has had absolutely no impact on recruiting.”
When asked if he was concerned about a lack of depth at the quarterback position, Weis answered with equal confidence.
“I think we have that covered, OK,” he said. “I think we have that covered.”
Justin McCay update
Moving on from the Berglund news, Weis took a minute to update the status of Oklahoma transfer Justin McCay, a wide receiver from Bishop Miege High who is in the process of an appeal with the NCAA to gain eligibility for the 2012 season.
“There’s a lot of time and effort that goes into that, starting with Justin’s part, and then getting into compliance and sending it in,” Weis said. “But I think he has a fairly powerful case, and you’re kind of at the mercy of the NCAA and how they view it. Sometimes these things don’t have a lot of substance behind it. His appeal has a lot of substance behind it.”
Below is a statement from Weis, released by KU Friday afternoon:
“Today, Brock Berglund is released from his scholarship at KU to pursue other opportunities. Brock and his representatives have publicly stated their case without any public response from me to this point. Brock spent the majority of the past calendar year in Colorado taking online courses at KU’s expense, which was nearly $40,000. At no time was Brock an active participant of the football team. Once competition was recruited at the quarterback position, Brock decided he no longer wanted to be a part of the team. He was expected to show up for a mandatory team meeting on Sunday, Jan. 15, but he sent an email less than two hours before the meeting to inform us that he had decided to transfer and would not be attending the meeting. He was dismissed after following through on that promise.
Although Brock has been granted his release, I only wish that he had showed the same courtesy that other players showed and came to talk to me. He decided that he did not have to follow the same protocol as the other departing members of the football team. I believe no individual should be more important than the team. Brock did not see it that way.”