Letters to the Editor

Who’s to blame?

December 11, 2009


To the editor:

In reading letters to the editor in the Lawrence Journal-World and the Kansas City Star, it seems that many people are placing the blame for “the problem” with the KU football program on Athletic Director Lew Perkins. Mr. Perkins was merely doing his job as he reacted to a formal complaint from a member of the football team. As this complaint of physical and verbal abuse by Coach Mark Mangino was made public, it seemed obvious that if these allegations were true, then Mangino would soon be replaced.

Some of his current players came to his defense and believed that he was only trying to teach them with “tough love.” But then a flood of current and former players reported a long-term history of abuse and degrading actions by Coach Mangino. It may have only have been a coincidence, but, after winning their first five games, the KU football team seemed to collapse as they lost their remaining seven games of this season. They were ranked at No. 15 in the country before the swoon.

Why is Lew Perkins being blamed for Mangino's departure? There is a possibility that if he did not react to this complaint, he and the KU Athletic Department may have been cited and legally liable for malfeasance of their duty. As with some past complaints of Lew Perkins, he is just doing the hard work for which he was hired.


Richard Heckler 7 years, 9 months ago

The decision to move Kansas home games to Missouri has cost Lawrence, Kansas millions of dollars. That is irresponsible to a community that so loves KU sports.

imastinker 7 years, 9 months ago

That's because people are surprised that what is being called "abuse" is really considered abuse - and that a man's career was ruined for it.

mom_of_three 7 years, 9 months ago

Because coach mangino said he hadn't changed his behavior in his 8 years of lawrence, but suddenly all the allegations of "abuse" sputtered up. It seems either something was pushed under the rug for 8 years or they used it to get rid of mangino when he lost. Something very hinky happened.

Uhjh 7 years, 9 months ago

Mangino’s situation is of his own making period! How it went down may be questioned but regardless he did it to himself.

Jimo 7 years, 9 months ago

"Mr. Perkins was merely doing his job as he reacted to a formal complaint from a member of the football team."

Are there really people this dim-witted?

Perkins took issues he happily ignored about a winning coach and turned them into issues of hyperbolic concern about a losing coach he desperately wanted to lose "for cause" so that he wouldn't have to pay out the remainder of the contract. This was about as subtle as a Russian tank battalion. It never occurred to me that anyone would actually be fooled by his ham-handed actions.

On a lighter note: word on the street is that Perkins will play Captain Renault in the theater department's performance of Casablanca next year. Who else could delivered so successfully this immortal quip: "I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!"

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