The latest chapter of the Brock Berglund Saga at Kansas ended the only way it possible could have: He's leaving Kansas. The school wasn't going to be able to hold him hostage for much longer after initially denying his request to transfer from the program.
Coach Charlie Weis said he'd prefer the situation didn't go public. Berglund, with press releases and multiple media interviews pleading his case, made sure it did.
Safe to say, the two won't be the best of friends anytime soon.
It's over now, though, and Weis has made his point. It wasn't clear at first. After a very public breakup, that's changed. Weis' original statement to the media went on the offensive, and was significantly longer than ones you'd usually see when a player leaves the program.
"Today, Brock Berglund is released from his scholarship at KU to pursue other opportunities. Brock and his representatives have publicly stated their case without any public response from me to this point. Brock spent the majority of the past calendar year in Colorado taking online courses at KU’s expense, which was nearly $40,000. At no time was Brock an active participant of the football team. Once competition was recruited at the quarterback position, Brock decided he no longer wanted to be a part of the team. He was expected to show up for a mandatory team meeting on Sunday, Jan. 15, but he sent an email less than two hours before the meeting to inform us that he had decided to transfer and would not be attending the meeting. He was dismissed after following through on that promise.
"Although Brock has been granted his release, I only wish that he had showed the same courtesy that other players showed and came to talk to me. He decided that he did not have to follow the same protocol as the other departing members of the football team. I believe no individual should be more important than the team. Brock did not see it that way."
This was about sending a message. It cost Weis a few PR points along the way, but it probably earned him a bit of respect within the team, especially once he expounded on why Berglund was initially denied his opportunity to leave.
"This wasn’t about whether or not [we] were going to give a kid permission to contact other schools," KU coach Charlie Weis said via teleconference Friday evening. “It’s about doing it the way everyone else does it. I just think that everyone should follow the same protocol. One guy shouldn’t be able to send emails and try to make phone calls, when everyone else did it [differently]. [Other players] came into my office, they said they’d like to go, I asked them why, we went over a list of schools that they could go to, and I let ’em go. But this young man decided that that wasn’t the way the game was gonna be played.”
Fair point for both sides. In Berglund's defense, he was living in Colorado during all this time, and I assume none of the players who left KU had to deal with that kind of distance.
However, it's easy to see both sides of the argument in this case. Nobody leaves the situation smelling great, but they leave separately.
That's the only way it could be. It won't pay off now, especially in the court of public opinion.
It might pay off later on the field.