Things are going from bad to worse in Lawrence. Okay, things were already worse. First year head coach David Beaty already faced an uphill battle of Goliath proportions this season, but somehow things have deteriorated further. On Tuesday Kansas announced that three key pieces of the 2015 squad are gone.
Leading rusher from a year ago Corey Avery, and top returning receiver Rodriguez Coleman had already been indefinitely suspended, but the door had been left cracked open for a possible return. That door is now firmly closed as coach Beaty has dismissed both players from the team.
In a bit of unfortunate news, the Jayhawks also announced that linebacker Jake Love is retiring from football over health concerns. Love, their fourth leading tackler last season, was expected to be a leader at the position this season. It’s a significant loss to a team that can’t afford it.
Things are looking so bad for Kansas right now, that this could seriously be the worst team in not only Jayhawk history, but the Big 12’s history as well. It’s looking that bad.
The Jayhawks are significantly under the 85-man scholarship limit. You can thank former head coach Charlie Weis for that. Expected starting QB Michael Cummings suffered a significant knee injury during spring practice, and his return for the fall is doubtful. If he does make it back though (he isn’t), who’s he going to throw it too? All significant production at receiver from last season is gone. The Jayhawks do have some potential at running back, but behind a rebuilding offensive line, even yards on the ground will be tough to find.
It’s not any better on defense either. The loss of Love combined with safety Isaiah Johnson’s decision to transfer earlier in the spring leaves the Jayhawks with severe depth concerns at linebacker, corner, and safety. In a pass happy league that’s uh, not good.
With a winless season more than just a possibility, the loss of Avery, Coleman, and Love only compounds the Jayhawks’ problems further. This is not the start coach Beaty was hoping for.