Charlie Weis was fired as Kansas head coach in September 2014. Nearly four years later, he's still haunting the program.
In two-plus seasons in Lawrence, Weis debilitated an already-struggling program with aggressive roster moves that his successor is still cleaning up. When David Beaty arrived in December 2014, he was handed that numbers crisis. The Jayhawks were projected to have around 60 scholarship players for the 2015 season, or at least 20-25 below the limit of 85.
"We're going to be on planes, trains and automobiles all over the country, me and a couple of staff members that we have," Beaty said during his introductory press conference on Dec. 8. "It's going to be very business-like in that regard."
The Kansas staff is still crisscrossing the country but they haven't reached 85 scholarship players. Annual scholarship limits (25 per class), injuries and other issues have hampered the Jayhawks, who are projected to enter the season with 70 scholarship players for the first time under Beaty. What would still be considered a numbers crisis for nearly every other FBS program is a huge win for the fourth-year coach.
Are they close to 85?
LOL. Seriously, Beaty laughed out loud at the question.
"We're nowhere close to that," he said. "That's going to take a number of years.
"I'm excited about being 15 short. That's unbelievable. I'm so fired up about being 15 short which tells you where we came from. I would say it'll take a few more years. I'd say at least three, maybe more, to get to 85, because the attrition that happens naturally from medicals is what keeps you from being able to continue to make up those numbers."
For those scoring at home, it's taken Beaty four years to reach 70 scholarship. And he's projecting — at minimum — another three years to reach 85. That's a total of seven years to rebuild a roster that Charlie Weis annihilated with high-risk recruits, JUCO transfers and waves of dismissals.