Sports Opinion

Tom Keegan: Coaching search thoughts and a farewell to Lawrence

You know you can’t run or jump or withstand contact the way the athletes you cover do, which brings us to why coaching searches are such a blast to follow: You very often are convinced that you can do a better job with those than the people conducting them. Too often, you are right. Turner ...

Tom Keegan: Kansas primed to upset Kansas State

Three weeks ago, when Kansas State was enjoying its bye week, coming off of a 31-12 blasting of Oklahoma State and Kansas was getting torched by Texas Tech, 48-16, it didn’t occur to me that the duly named Sunflower Showdown could amount to much this season. More of the same seemed on the ...

Tom Keegan: How old is Les Miles? Who cares?

Free agent football coach Les Miles’ age seems to be a concern for some who wonder if it’s a reason for Kansas to pass on hiring him. I assume they mean that he’s too young because fans have had it to here with watching KU get hammered by football coaches older than theirs. Miles turns ...

Tom Keegan: Pick your favorite next KU football coach from this list of 17 names

Jeff Long held a very candid press conference Sunday night in the wake of the announcement that David Beaty would coach the final three games of the season for Kansas and wouldn't be retained. During the half-hour question-and-answer session, he opened a window into what a search looks like ...

Tom Keegan: Even Bill Self wonders what preseason No. 1 really means

Kansas carries college basketball’s No. 1 preseason ranking into Tuesday night’s season opener vs. No. 10 Michigan State in Indianapolis, and its 16th-year head coach posed an interesting question about the ranking. “I don’t know whether preseason rankings are supposed to be who the ...

Tom Keegan: Snappy Wirtel family on both sidelines and in stands Saturday

The better the long snapper, the less likely anybody is to recognize his name. He is to football what the third-base coach is to baseball. In both jobs, he only merits mention if he screws up. John Wirtel has a realistic shot of having the longest NFL career of any senior on the Kansas ...

Tom Keegan: Udoka’s time will come, just not Thursday

The day before Kansas played Emporia State at Allen Fieldhouse in the exhibition opener, coach Bill Self spoke in interesting fashion about the contrasting styles of his two tallest starters, Udoka Azubuike and Dedric Lawson. “We’ve got the past and the future,” Self said. Prototypical ...

Tom Keegan: Gap between KU and K-State narrowing in two sports

Kansas has the better basketball program, Kansas State the superior football team. It’s been that way nearly every year for more than a quarter of a century. At the moment though, it’s a tough call in both sports. Kansas is No. 1 in the nation in basketball, but with so many new faces and ...

Tom Keegan: Jury rules Adidas defrauds KU, strangely happy news for ‘victims’

Kansas City, Mo. — Adidas, apparel partner of the University of Kansas athletic department, was found guilty of defrauding the university, and it was the best news the nation’s No. 1-ranked college basketball program had heard in months. It was this type of trial: You find out it has been ...

Tom Keegan: Why does Carter Stanley keep drawing the short stick?

If you found watching Kansas football on television even more excruciating than usual Saturday, consider how lucky you were compared to redshirt junior quarterback Carter Stanley. He had to fly all the way to Lubbock to watch it in person. At least you had the option of changing the channel. ...

Tom Keegan: Does Kansas have a clean basketball program?

It’s reached the point where the issues that need to be addressed with the Kansas basketball program have grown beyond what’s provable and what may or may not lead to an NCAA violation. It’s bigger than that. It boils down to a central question: Does Kansas believe it has a clean ...

Tom Keegan: Stormy texting puts KU basketball on center stage at trial

What you make of the Monday revelations from the trial on corruption in college basketball very well could depend on what the giant letters in fancy font at the top of the framed diploma on your wall spell. If they spell Kentucky, you’re going to embrace the worst-case-for-KU interpretation ...

Tom Keegan: Marcus Garrett has ugly jumper, beautiful game

Every so often, an athlete so obviously lacks a particular skill to such a degree that the image of his or her deficiency can color a fan’s nightmares. In some cases, that very same athlete is a coach’s dream. Meet Marcus Garrett, sophomore guard. Watch him shoot. Better yet, turn your ...

Tom Keegan: Beaty goes from meddler to autocrat

Athletic directors in search of new head football coaches find that there are advantages and disadvantages to hiring assistant coaches to their first jobs as head coaches. One advantage is that they tend to command smaller salaries. For example, David Beaty’s salary his first two seasons at ...

Tom Keegan: David Beaty still firing away

David Beaty almost found the right solution to the Kansas football program’s main problem. In fact, he only missed by one letter. Beaty hired himself again as offensive coordinator. He should have fired himself as head coach. Oh well, the ‘f’ is only two keys to the left of the ‘h.’ ...

Tom Keegan: Kansas football coach David Beaty safe for now

Morgantown, W.V. — In the wake of Saturday’s closer-than-expected, 38-22 loss to West Virginia, first-year Kansas athletic director Jeff Long accommodated my request for an interview about his impressions of the football program at the halfway point of the season. “You know, we got a ...

Tom Keegan: Can West Virginia stop Khalil Herbert this time?

Just 53 Saturdays ago, Khalil Herbert cut around, sped past and bowled over West Virginia defenders to finish with a whopping 291 yards in a game Kansas lost, 56-34. Herbert carried the ball 36 times that afternoon and has 28 carries five games into this season. How did he do it? “After ...

Tom Keegan: What to make of Day 1 of college basketball trial

Interesting first day of the trial on the scandal that has the potential to rock college basketball. So let’s try to figure out what’s going on. The feds are trying to prove that Adidas officials, including Jim Gatto, defrauded universities by stripping athletes of their amateur status by ...