Charlie Weis believes track removal makes sidelines safer

On Friday, Kansas announced that they would be removing the track around the Kansas football field starting on Tuesday.

Weis was ecstatic with the announcement and has even promised to share updates of the progress each day on Twitter.

But besides the new look of Memorial Stadium, Weis believes that it provides something even more important: safety.

“I know for the fans it’s more cosmetic,” Weis told the Lawrence Journal-World. “But for me, it’s more about safety, and I’m very pleased about both aspects.”

Weis specifically cited the Tony Pierson injury last season. During the Texas Tech game, Pierson was tackled out of bounds and ended up getting injured after landing awkwardly on the track.

Pierson ended up getting shut down for the season in November after complications from the injury kept causing him to miss plays.

Weis spoke more with the LJ-World about the project:

“I can’t see anyone on our team or any supporter of Kansas not being excited about this,” Weis said, “even the diehard track people. Now that we have Rock Chalk Park, which is the mecca of tracks, the track at the stadium is no longer needed and therefore wanted, even though there’s a lot of wonderful history there.”

When Zenger first showed Weis the plans for the six-week project that will begin Tuesday and is expected to be completed in time for KU’s fall camp and ready for the start of the upcoming season, the third-year coach said he was in “100 percent agreement” that taking the track out needed to be done and called it a “great first step” toward reinventing Memorial Stadium.

“Everyone wants renovations to the stadium done overnight,” Weis said. “But it just doesn’t work that way. I can’t possibly think of any better first step.”

Weis also tipped his cap to the anonymous donor who pledged to cover the roughly $500,000 cost of the project.

“People always say that people won’t step up,” Weis said. “But whoever that donor is, I’d like to personally say thank you on behalf of our football team and also professionally thank him. This has put us in the wonderful position of having a better-looking field and having a much safer field as well.”