Sports Opinion

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 ...

Tom Keegan: Ryan Willis makes big splash for Virginia Tech

Ryan Willis left the Kansas football program taking far less confidence out of it than he brought into it. He was a beaten young man in need of a fresh start. So he went to a winning ACC football program that already had four scholarship quarterbacks on the roster and didn’t have room for a ...

Tom Keegan: Freshman David McCormack leads with ‘brute force’

University of Kansas freshman post player David McCormack obliged when asked for a self-scout. “I would say, I’m just kind of like a brute force,” McCormack said. “I’m a hard worker. I go after every rebound, every loose ball. I run the floor. I bring whatever I can to help the team ...

Tom Keegan: Carter Stanley KU’s QB best suited to facing Big 12 competition

Carter Stanley’s nameplate was on an empty table in the front of the Gridiron Room, where select Kansas football players do media interviews every Tuesday afternoon. The empty table reserved for Peyton Bender was tucked in the left corner of the room. Neither player ever showed, a sure sign ...

Tom Keegan: Gary Woodland’s confidence riding high

Gary Woodland finished the PGA Tour season ranked 29th on the money list with $3,108,907, 26th in the final FedEx Cup standings and is 40th in the Official World Golf Rankings. He’s done that well before, even better in 2011 when was 17th on the money list, but in many ways this felt like ...

Tom Keegan: Army’s near upset of Oklahoma a nice blueprint

Look for eight more Big 12 defenses to play Kansas the way Baylor did Saturday in scoring a 26-7 victory vs. the Jayhawks: Put eight men in the box, gang tackle Pooka Williams and trust that KU’s receivers won’t get open deep. So if the Kansas passing game can’t take the heat off of the ...