The Kansas Jayhawks made a change in leadership Monday morning with the firing of athletics director Sheahon Zenger. While a change in AD may be an ominous sign for a head coach of a struggling football program, Kansas football coach David Beaty appears to be safe from any further changes.
“Sheahon has been a loyal Jayhawk, and our athletics department has improved in many areas under his leadership,” Kansas chancellor Douglas Girod said in a released statement. “But Athletics continues to face a number of challenges, and progress in key areas has been elusive. To achieve the level of success we need and expect, I have determined a change in leadership is necessary.”
“[Earlier] today I spoke with Coach Beaty and shared my expectation that he will continue recruiting hard and getting his team ready for the season,” Girod made a point to say in his released statement about the firing of Zenger.
Deputy athletics director Sean Lester will fill the gap at the AD position on an interim basis while Kansas conducts a search for a new athletics director.
Zenger was named AD at Kansas in 2011, after a previous stint at Illinois State. Prior to his job at Illinois State, Zenger was an assistant AD at Kansas State. Zenger has made two coaching hires for Kansas football. The more recent hiring of Beaty was made in after the 2014 season and has yielded a football record of just 3-33 in that span. Prior to Beaty, Zenger was responsible for hiring former Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis to a massive contract that took a toll on Kansas athletics years after the Weis experiment had imploded. Of course, Zenger should take the brunt of the attack for the Weis hire, but there is plenty of blame to be spread around with others having a chance to say “no” to the sizable contract that was being offered to Weis at the time.
With a new AD coming in, it may not be unfair to suggest the 2018 season must be one that sees obvious improvement in the football program on the field. Beaty’s hot seat will certainly be warming if Kansas continues to struggle and a new AD is put in place to decide his fate as the head coach moving forward.
Both for this season and on into the future, Houston has found its depth in the secondary depleted.
According to Joseph Duarte of the Houston Chronicle, Zaire Taylor plans to transfer from the Cougars. While there’s been no confirmation from the school, the defensive back retweeted another tweet which indicated he was leaving and that an “[e]xclusive interview [is] coming this Sunday.”
Taylor was a three-star member of UH’s 2018 recruiting class. Through the Cougars’ first six games this season, Taylor hadn’t registered a defensive statistic.
When Wisconsin takes the field this weekend looking to bounce back from a stunning beating at the hands of Michigan in Week 7, the Badgers’ secondary could have decidedly different — and depleted — look to it.
UW released its initial injury report for this coming Saturday’s homecoming game against Illinois, and a whopping five defensive backs were listed on it. The injured fivesome are safeties D’Cota Dixon (right leg), Scott Nelson (right leg) and Reggie Pearson (left leg) and cornerbacks Travian Blaylock (right leg) and Faion Hicks (left leg).
Hicks, Nelson and Pearson were all injured in the loss to Michigan. Dixon sustained his injury in the Oct. 6 win over Nebraska and didn’t play against U-M. Blaylock, after playing in the first four games this season, hadn’t seen any action in the last two.
Hicks and Nelson, both redshirt freshmen, along with the senior Dixon were listed as starters ahead of the Wolverines game. Pearson made his first career start in place of Dixon, who hadn’t been listed on the injury report heading into that game.
The Badgers will update the status of all five defensive backs later on in the week.
The depth along the interior of Duke’s defensive line has taken an injury hit.
Earlier this week, Duke confirmed that Edgar Cerenord suffered a ruptured right Achilles tendon in this past Saturday’s win over Georgia Tech. The defensive tackle underwent surgery Monday afternoon to repair the damage.
Suffice to say, the fifth-year senior will miss the remainder of the 2018 season.
Cerenord could pursue a sixth season of eligibility if he so chooses. It’s unclear at this point if he’ll utilize this option.
Thus far, Cerenord, who started all 13 games last season, has played in 41 games during his Blue Devils career. Four of those appearances came this season, and he was credited with 14 tackles in that action.
According to the school, he’s the lone senior on the Blue Devils’ defensive line.
Iowa State’s not going to take the monetary hit lying down.
Earlier Tuesday, the Big 12 announced that ISU has been fined $25,000 after their fans stormed the field this past Saturday. The field storming came in the aftermath of ISU’s huge upset of then-No. 6 West Virginia in Ames.
In a statement announcing the fine, conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby said that the league “[has] a duty to provide a safe game environment” and that ISU “has a written event management policy that was not thoroughly implemented, and was unsuccessful in ensuring the safety and security of all visiting team game participants” — a sentiment with which WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen is likely to agree.
Not long after the league’s announcement, ISU president Wendy Wintersteen confirmed in a statement that the university will appeal the fine.
Our institution takes the safety and welfare of all student-athletes, officials and fans very seriously. We have reviewed all of our procedures, including several videos of the post-game celebration, and we do not agree with Commissioner Bowlsby’s assessment of the events that evening,. Chief [Michael] Newton, of the Iowa State University Police Department, and the CSC staff had a very thorough and specific plan.
“Those plans were discussed and implemented prior to the game and were evaluated and adjusted during the game to ensure the safest atmosphere for everyone attending the game, including the West Virginia players and staff.
According to school officials, it took security less than 90 seconds to safely get the WVU football contingent off the field and into the locker room. No injuries have been reported on either side.