Brock Berglund has waited patiently to become the starting quarterback for the Kansas Jayhawks. Berglund graduated from Valor Christian High School in December 2009 and enrolled shortly after at the University of Kansas. Due to an assault charge in April 2010 however, Berglund was forced to sit out the entire 2010 season which further delayed his Kansas career. Although 2012 was supposed to be Berglund’s break out year, Kansas Head Coach Charlie Weis put an end to those dreams Monday by announcing Berglund had been dismissed from the program.
Berglund was the odds on favorite to be the Kansas Jayhawks starting quarterback in 2012 even after the coach that recruited him, Turner Gill, was fired last December. Even Berglund himself admits he was still confident about his future at Kansas.
“I was really optimistic on the day (Charlie Weis) was hired”, said Berglund. “Obviously I was disappointed to see Coach Gill leave but was excited about Weis’ history with quarterbacks and what he had done in the NFL”.
But it didn’t take long for Berglund to realize that his relationship with Gill and his relationship with the new coaching staff was very different.
Berglund and Gill had developed a close relationship since Gill began recruiting Berglund out of high school—a relationship Berglund says was developed through trust.
“When I talked to Coach Gill it was always ‘your best interest’ or ‘what’s best for you’”, said Berglund. “I always felt like he had my best interest in mind”.
Gill’s loyalty was tested when Berglund was charged with an assault charge stemming from an altercation at a Denver party. Many speculated that the no-nonsense Gill would make an example of Berglund but Gill stayed loyal and kept the quarterback on the team.
Berglund continued to live in his home state of Colorado but made as many trips as possible to see his team play and help out in whatever capacity he could from a distance.
“The thing that kept me motivated and ready to go was the idea of playing in Memorial Stadium and representing the Jayhawks”, said Berglund about the time spent away from football. “I did everything to represent the University (of Kansas) in the best way I could and to have it end this was very disappointing.”
That “end” that Berglund speaks of was under much debate after Charlie Weis announced Berglund’s release from the program at Monday afternoon’s press conference. Weis refused to go into specifics about any of the 6 players that were outright released Monday and Berglund was no exception.
But few had received word that Berglund would not be a part of the 2012 Jayhawks including Berglund himself. Berglund says he did not receive word he had been released from the program until after he had checked his twitter account leaving a movie theatre Monday evening.
Berglund admits however that his interest in staying a Jayhawk had regressed over the past few weeks.
Berglund let it be known to the University that he would like to seek a Permission to Contact form as a legal way of talking to other coaches at different universities. He filed the Permission to Contact form with the University of Kansas on December 27.
“The permission to contact was just for counsel”, said Berglund. “I just wanted to make sure I was making the right choice. I had a lot invested and I just wanted to make sure I was making the right decision. I thought I was making the right decision to go back to Kansas. I wasn’t calling to say ‘can I come to your school’ I was calling to get advice from guys like coach (Turner) Gill. I thought I should have the right to do that.”
Despite being given support initially by new quarterbacks coach Ron Powlus to seek the counsel he had requested, Berglund says he received a voicemail (which TheShiver.com has confirmed) from Powlus informing Berglund that his request had been denied by Coach Weis.
“I never talked to another university”, said Berglund. “I wasn’t going to go behind their backs; I was going to do everything by the books. I feel I was upfront with Coach Weis and Coach Powlus about who I wanted to talk to and what I was looking for out of those conversations.”
Denied his ability to talk to other coaches and universities, Berglund admits his relationship with the current staff had changed. Berglund also says he felt he couldn’t move forward with enrollment in the spring 2012 semester without knowing if he wanted to play for Weis and his staff.
“The only option then was to go in blind or appeal”, said Berglund. “When I got (the Powlus voicemail) I was really thrown off. In talking to Coach Weis and Powlus prior to that I got the impression they just wanted me to make the right decision”.
On January 9th the appeal was filed. A hearing was set and would have taken place within 15 days of the appeal being filed but because of his release those meeting might not take place.
At 2:07pm on January 15, Berglund informed the KU athletics that he would not be attending any team meetings until the appeals process began. When he was not present at the team’s 5:00 pm mandatory meeting, a spokesperson for the University of Kansas Football program told TheShiver.com, that Berglund was considered dismissed from the program.
“I look at my phone and twitter as I get out of a movie with my family and find out that I had been released from the football team”, said Berglund. “It took me off guard a bit. It came off like I was kicked off the team but I had all the things in place and was in fine academic standing. It just felt like a misrepresentation of what had actually happened.”
If Berglund attended the meeting on January 15, his eligibility clock would have started ticking meaning he would have to either finish the semester at Kansas or risk falling under academic standards if he decided to ultimately transfer.
Although he did not address Berglund’s dismissal specifically, Weis did talk in generalities about the 6 players released Monday.
“I don’t care who they are,” said Coach Charlie Weis Monday. “There’s a right and a wrong way of doing things, and we’re gonna do it the right way. That’s all there is to it. You can’t make decisions, especially coming into a program, based on how good (players) are. You have to make decisions based on them doing the right thing. Because if you don’t, as a coach, you’re a hypocrite.”
When Weis signed both highly touted quarterbacks Dayne Crist and Jake Heap, Brock Berglund became an expendable commodity and on January 16, was made an example out of.
But Berglund is adamant that he holds no grudges toward Weis, his staff, or the University of Kansas. Berglund says he has nothing but the utmost respect for Coach Weis and his staff but wanted his desire to be a Jayhawk from the beginning known.
“I obviously respect (Weis and his staff) for trying to win football games their way”, says Berglund. “It’s just a business deal that I wish would have been handled in a different way.”