Late Monday night, Kansas athletic director Jeff Long released a statement saying that the school had mutually parted ways with Les Miles. Kansas will use a search form to help find its next coach.
What a crazy day. Every hour or so, I wanted to write and podcast about something different. A lot is going on. Monday night, I released a podcast discussing several of the topics in this email. Tonight I am going to record and release a podcast about college hoops. I’ll look at the local schools and the conference tournaments in general, emphasizing the Big 12 tournament in town.
Kansas City Royals 10. Oakland Athletics 3 (Box Score)
2:10pm – MLBST – Kansas City Royals at Seattle Mariners (1660AM)
Where Does Kansas Go From Here?
Kansas fired Les Miles. I discussed the witch hunt in a podcast on Saturday.
On Monday, I turned on local sports radio because there was chatter about Kansas making a statement “very soon.” And the noise I heard coming from the radio said that Miles needed to be fired because these allegations are the last straw. What were his previous problems? The noise said that he had a bad introductory press conference, he doesn’t do well in any press conferences, and he has a losing record.
So there are people who did not like the Les Miles hire from the beginning and were looking for any opportunity for him to be fired. And they are not even supporters of the program! They are talking heads who want to control everything.
I don’t believe that Les Miles was the perfect hire, but I also don’t view him as the joke some want to portray him to be. He is clearly a good coach, or at least he was at one time. The recruiting appears to be better since he arrived. The talent appears to be better since he arrived in Lawrence. The record is about the same, though.
I’m not saying that Les Miles was the answer to Kansas’ football problems. I just don’t like a witch hunt, and that is how I view what was going on at Kansas, mostly from outside of the program.
Big 12 Tournament
One of the best sporting events of the year in Kansas City is the Big 12 Conference basketball tournament held at what is now called the T-Mobile Center. Last year we didn’t get an entire tournament. This year we will get basketball but not the other activities that make this event at this location one of, if not the best, experiences in all of college basketball. There will not be the regular fanfest in the street outside of the arena and no pep rallies at the Power & Light District. It is a mistake not allowing those activities to occur the way they have been done in the past, but at least we get basketball.
The teams will reportedly all stay in the same hotel and will have gyms around the city in which they will practice. Players will have to test negative for the covid to enter the T-Mobile Center.
Bruce Weber Retirement?
There is a report that is saying Kansas State basketball coach Bruce Weber will retire after the season. I have not seen any confirmation that this report is accurate, but it is out there. I’m not buying it at this point. It could be correct, but let’s wait until we hear more about this.
What would it take for Bobby Witt to break camp with the Royals this spring? I am not someone who puts much into spring training statistics. They can be as misleading as September stats. Neither of these should be relied on too heavily.
But let’s look at what we know so far. The Royals loved Bobby Witt when they drafted him last year. They were blown away by how he performed in the summer camp to prepare for a delayed season. He reportedly was terrific at the alternate training site last year. And he has continued to play well at spring training this year.
The question that needs to be asked is if there is any way a player out of high school can move to the major leagues without playing a single minor league game. The list of players who have played at least ten years in the major leagues without ever playing in the minors is interesting. There hasn’t been one since Jim “Catfish” Hunter made his major league appearance in 1965. But wouldn’t we expect this to happen more these days?
Young players are so good. And with many playing college ball, I would think that some would be ready for the major leagues after four years in college.
But Bobby Witt didn’t come out of college. He was drafted out of high school. Bobby Witt is reportedly more advanced than almost anyone else who has been drafted out of high school.
I continue to say that Dayton Moore will not let Witt make the major league roster out of spring training. And I don’t think it is a service time “manipulation” issue. Moore just has a way of developing players, and going straight to the big leagues does not exist in his world.
But how can the Royals keep Witt in the minors when he could be so valuable in the infield right now? Put him at second base if you aren’t ready to move Adalberto Mondesi. What a middle infield that would be! And I have never even seen the guy play more than a few innings in spring training on television.
I’m not saying that putting him on the major league club is the right thing to do (but I think it is). I’m just saying that refusing to consider the possibility is wrong.
In Other News
FOX Sports hired former Oklahoma head football coach Bob Stoops to replace Urban Meyer on its pregame show. Meyer recently left FOX Sports to become the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Dallas Cowboys agreed with QB Dak Prescott on a four-year, $160 million contract. The deal includes $66 million for signing and $75 million in the first year.
Creighton reinstated basketball coach Greg McDermott Monday after suspending him Thursday for “racially insensitive comments.” So what’s the point of this? Did McDermott say something bad or not? If he didn’t, why was he suspended? If he did, why would he be reinstated so quickly? Well, the Big East tournament is this week, and certainly, that plays a role. Of course, the suspension and reinstatement might be enough to satisfy those offended by everything. That doesn’t mean the suspension was correct, but that is how Creighton chose to approach it.
Nick Saban Isn’t Stopping Anytime Soon (Ivan Maisel)
The future of offensive football (Mark Schofield)
Thanks for reading…