Before we get started on today's very brief links extravaganza, we feel the need to make something perfectly clear. For the past few days, the Wildcat fanbase has been in a bit of a battle. One one side, we have the Bruce Weber apologists, determined to point out the good things Weber has done and suggesting it's just not his fault if the players aren't performing. On the other, the folks who think the players are the victim of incompetent coaching and who feel that criticizing even obvious attitude issues on the part of specific players is being unsupportive -- and possibly dangerous, in the sense that those players might feel unwanted and might transfer.
Allow me to offer you an analogy. Let's say you have a married couple. The one thing neither party can abide is infidelity... and yet they're both cheating. And then let's say they find each other out simultaneously.
Now, setting aside complexities behind why the parties might have chosen to betray one another, most people would assume they're both equally at fault. Obviously they'd be correct; their blame is, in fact, equal. But most people would also assume that they're each only fifty percent at fault. The issue: that's incorrect.
Each party engaged in an act which, by itself, would be one hundred percent responsible for destroying the marriage. There is no "share the blame" -- there is only "blame". It's not two halves. It's two wholes; it's one of those bizarre situations where 1+1=1. Neither party has a defense. Neither party can say "Yeah, but you did it too!" And when friends line up behind each half of the couple, they can't say that either.
Whatever's going wrong at Bramlage, it's not a contest. It is patently obvious that some players just aren't doing what's required. It's also patently obvious that the guy in charge has no idea why he's losing control. "I can’t always be begging them to have energy and passion." He shouldn't be begging, he should be demanding; he shouldn't have recruited guys who won't give it; it's his job to get them motivated, and quotes like that make it very hard to justify any argument that Weber is capable of coaching at this level.
Conversely, it's entirely inappropriate to pretend that Marcus Foster is an innocent misunderstood victim. His behavior is his own. Bruce Weber isn't making him do the things which have led to Foster's position in the doghouse.
This is not, at its most basic, Bruce Weber vs Marcus Foster. This is Bruce Weber and Marcus Foster both failing. If you criticize one while defending the other, you're on the wrong train. Yes, one can attempt to make excuses for Foster by blaming Weber for Foster's failure to toe the line; the thing is, one then also has to blame Foster for his role in Weber's failure to retain control of the team. There are no sides to be taken here, though.
Bottom line: everyone at Bramlage has to do better. Period.
K-State held its annual football awards ceremony yesterday, and in the process the program essentially said its farewells to its senior class. Jake Waters and Tyler Lockett shared the team's offensive MVP honors, and Jonathan Truman earned the defensive MVP award. Lockett also shared the special teams MVP recognition with Matt McCrane.
Ryan Mueller was named defensive front seven player of the year, and B.J. Finney was offensive lineman of the year. Other awards:
- Jim "Shorty" Kleinau Award (for loyalty, hard work, and commitment): Truman and Drew Liddle
- Joan Friederich Award (unselfishness and leadership): Finney and Randall Evans
- Anthony A. Bates Memorial Award (team unity): Curry Sexton
- Nancy Bennett Memorial Award (fight and spirit): Dante Barnett and Taylor Godinet
- Kevin Saunders Never Give Up Award: Laton Dowling and Dylan Schellenberg
- Ken Ochs Courage Award: Joseph Bonugli and Matt Kleinsorge
- Purple Pride Award (walk-on): Weston Hiebert
- Scholar-Athlete Award: Stanton Weber
- Red Raider Award (best scout team performance): Dalvin Warmack and Logan O'Dea
- Overachiever Award (freshman strength and conditioning): Sam Sizelove
Many of these awards are virtually designed to give departing seniors an honor, but some -- notably the Red Raider and Overachiever Awards -- have presaged major contributions in later years.
Up in Detroit, signing Cornelius Lucas as a free agent was named the Lions' eighth-best personnel move of the 2014 season by Lions columnist Mike O'Hara.
Via the Salina Journal, Brady Bauman of the Manhattan Mercury previews the 2015 Batcats.