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Kansas student reporter warned before Weis press conference

By Tom Fornelli | College Football Writer

Charlie Weis' first season at Kansas has not been kind, as the Jayhawks are 1-4 with that lone win against FCS South Dakota State. In just the last week, Weis has gotten upset with the Kansas student newspaper for essentially being honest about the state of the football program, and yesterday it was discovered Weis has already started practicing without seniors in preparation for the 2013 season.

And it appears Weis still isn't happy with the student newspaper, the University Daily Kansan. According to the paper, members of the Kansas athletic department warned a student reporter before a weekly press conference.

Members of KU Athletics singled out a University Daily Kansan sports writer Tuesday to warn him of lingering ill-will among members of the football program.

They disagree about the intent of the conversation.

Katy Lonergan, director of football communications, said she was looking out for the writer and reminded him that he had the same access of any reporter.

Sports writer Blake Schuster, a junior from Chicago, said the conversation was meant to interfere with his work.

He said Lonergan told him it would be in his best interest not to ask questions.

Schuster said he thought the intent of the meeting was to let him know "there would be a negative effect for me if I asked any questions." As a result, Schuster didn't ask any questions during the press conference.

However, Lonergan said that wasn't the intent of the meeting at all.

“I just simply advised him that if he did ask questions, he should be prepared for any kind of tone in his answer,” Lonergan told the paper.

Lonergan said she has had similar talks with reporters about the accuracy of their quotes and lack of sources in stories. Of course, the difference here is Schuster and the student newspaper didn't report anything incorrectly. They merely placed a cartoon on the front page of their paper that wasn't flattering to Kansas' football program.

It appears Weis is trying to intimidate the student newspaper into being kinder to the school's football team, which is plain ridiculous. If Weis wants the student newspaper or any media outlet to be kinder to his program, he should probably worry more about winning games than what the media is saying.

As Ty Duffy at The Big Lead points out, this isn't the first time Weis has done something like this, as he also pulled a similar stunt with South Bend Tribune reporters while at Notre Dame.

Maybe if Weis spent less time worrying about what the media thinks of him he'd have a better record as a coach than the 36-31 record that he currently holds. Particularly that 17-25 mark that he has put up in his last four seasons.

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