By Jason Elmquist
With the amount of coach-speak the media had to sit through during the coaches’ press conferences in the morning of Monday’s Big 12 Conference Football Media Days, there was one league coach that wasn’t afraid to speak his mind — even against his own team.
The most candid of the coaches at the Omni Hotel in Dallas was University of Kansas coach Charlie Weis, in his second year at the helm. Weis wasn’t the kind of guy to sugarcoat things with a program that went 1-11 last year and hasn’t won a conference game in two years.
“It comes down to winning and losing football teams,” Weis said. “I think, when you’re a losing football team, which at 1-11, we definitely are ahead of the pack, I think you have to earn respect.”
While Weis was a welcome for the media, his approach is also appreciated by his players.
“That’s what you want as a player. You don’t want somebody who is going to sugarcoat things, you want somebody to be straight with you,” quarterback Jake Heaps said. “The good thing about him is he’s going to tell you straight. if you’re good, you’re good; if you’re bad, you’re bad. Some people don’t like to hear the truth. The truth can be hard, but he’ll make you a better player.”
Barnett bares national title ring
So what if it’s from the junior college ranks. Oklahoma State defensive tackle Calvin Barnett has no shame in wearing his national championship ring he won as a player at Navarro College, a junior college in Texas.
“It’d probably be a lot shinier if I didn’t wear it all day,” Barnett said. “It’s one thing that I really earned, worked for and I wear it everywhere.”
And Barnett expects it won’t be the only ring he’ll be wearing.
“When I get another one here (Oklahoma State), I’m going to wear that every day,” Barnett said. “If I’m blessed with the chance to get to the NFL, I’m going to wear my ring every day until they know this is what I work for.”
Lewis the lady’s man?
In a break between hoards of media members swarming OSU linebacker Shaun Lewis, the Houston native found himself surrounded by some cheerleaders of the Oklahoma State and Oklahoma spirit squads.
“That’s second nature,” joked Lewis, who has a girlfriend. “Facing the media for three or four hours is (more daunting). I think they just liked the shirt.”
One thing is for certain, they weren’t discussing the amount of Twitter followers the senior has.
“I don ‘t have Twitter,” the All-Big 12 linebacker said. “There’s no point for me. I don’t have much to say. I don’t think my opinion matters.”