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.