Archive for Monday, November 15, 2004

Mangino regrets remarks

KU coach awaiting word on punishment

November 15, 2004

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It took Mark Mangino awhile to cool down Saturday. But once he did, the Kansas University football coach was ready to take back comments he made after KU's 27-23 loss to No. 6 Texas.

Mangino said he went home after the eventful day at Memorial Stadium, steered clear of college football on television and spent time with his family Saturday night. During the down time, the third-year coach said he realized his comments criticizing officiating and implying that "dollar signs" had something to do with the Texas victory were off base.

"I realized that I really regret the remarks I made after the game," Mangino said. "I don't believe in those remarks. I'm not going to make any excuses, either. I shouldn't have made those remarks because I don't believe it."

Mangino criticized the officiating late in Saturday's game with the Longhorns, particularly an offensive-pass-interference call on Charles Gordon, which negated a first down and eventually forced Kansas to punt the ball away. Texas marched downfield and scored the game-winning touchdown on the ensuing drive with just 11 seconds left.

Mangino spoke to the media immediately afterward and implied that Texas' chances at securing a Bowl Championship Series bid -- and the subsequent millions of dollars that it would bring to the Big 12 Conference -- were reasons for the pass-interference call and the UT victory.

"I think I was trying to comfort our players, and I spoke out of line," Mangino said Sunday. "That was not the way to do it."

Mangino said he contacted Big 12 officials Sunday to apologize. There was no word yet on any punishment Mangino might receive, though he is expected to be reprimanded, at least.

"They're following their protocol for handling these situations," Mangino said, "and I respect that."

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Quarterback update: KU has one healthy quarterback.

Brian Luke, who performed well in a backup role Saturday, has no ailments and is expected to be well for KU's season finale Saturday at Missouri.

Luke replaced John Nielsen, who left the game late in the first half with what appeared to be an injury to his right foot or ankle. Mangino said Saturday that Nielsen could have played if KU was desperate, but his limited mobility would have relegated his duties to handoffs and three-step drops.

Sunday, Mangino still wasn't sure how healthy Nielsen might be for Missouri.

"We're not sure," he said, sticking with team policy and declining to give a specific diagnosis. "The only guy that we have that is absolutely healthy is Brian Luke. We'll have to see how well John Nielsen is able to operate."

Mangino said Jason Swanson would not be an option against the Tigers, and he didn't expect regular starter Adam Barmann to be, either. Both Swanson and Barmann went down with apparent shoulder injuries in previous weeks.

The Jayhawks might put Charles Gordon under center, or maybe even Nick Reid.

Reid, arguably KU's top linebacker, played quarterback in high school at Derby.

"I don't know if Nick will be in the picture or not," Mangino said. "The way he's playing on defense, I don't think we can afford that. But we can't afford to play one quarterback, either."

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Injury update: Sophomore running back John Randle once again was hobbled by injury, and it limited him to four yards on seven carries. Clark Green played most of the plays in his place.

"The kid seems to get over one ailment and runs into another injury," Mangino said. "It's very frustrating."

In addition, offensive lineman Cesar Rodriguez is expected to be back next week against Missouri. Rodriguez didn't play against Texas, and Travis Dambach started at right tackle in his place.

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