Not-so-gentle reign

Former, current players offer look at Mangino’s style

Kansas head coach Mark Mangino scans his offense during a timeout in the Jayhawks’ game against Oklahoma on Oct. 24 at Memorial Stadium. Mangino is under investigation for allegedly poking a player.

Kansas head coach Mark Mangino scans his offense during a timeout in the Jayhawks’ game against Oklahoma on Oct. 24 at Memorial Stadium. Mangino is under investigation for allegedly poking a player.

November 19, 2009


Mangino investigation

With a game against undefeated Texas looming, KU's football team has been answering questions the past several days about the tenuous future of coach Mark Mangino.

For Kansas University football coach Mark Mangino, the hits just keep on coming.

On the heels of Tuesday’s launching of an internal investigation into the actions of the Jayhawks’ eighth-year coach, nearly a dozen former and current players spoke with the Journal-World on Wednesday about Mangino, some describing a well-intentioned disciplinarian but many others painting a picture of a man who was controlling, abusive and oftentimes kept players in an extended state of fear.

Among the allegations made by players interviewed by the Journal-World included:

Near-daily verbal attacks on players, in some instances involving personal matters that athletes felt went well beyond the boundaries of a player-coach relationship.

• Verbal abuse of assistant coaches, including a 2008 incident in which Mangino threatened the job of defensive coordinator Clint Bowen.

• Failing to disclose player injuries to the detriment of the team’s athletes.

• Players who left the program at least in part because of the negative environment they were subjected to.

• An incident during the 2006 season in which, according to former linebacker Joe Mortensen, Mangino put his hands on then-running backs coach Earle Mosley after one of the team’s running backs had failed to pick up a blitz during a game. Mosley later left the program and now coaches running backs for the New York Sentinels of the United Football League.

The investigation, prompted by the concerns of senior linebacker Arist Wright, who approached athletic director Lew Perkins after Mangino allegedly poked him in the chest several weeks ago, is being headed by associate athletic director for risk management Lori Williams, and will seek out the thoughts and experiences of current players and those with ties to the program.

What they’ll find, some former players say, are those who harbor a lingering distaste for the coach and his volatile temperament.

“If Lew Perkins called me up and asked me what I thought they should do,” said Mortensen, who served as a team captain under Mangino, “I’d be like ‘Let him go.’”

The ugly side

The recent allegations, players say, have been a long time coming.

Even as the program’s collective stock rose, improving steadily after Mangino arrived in 2002 and peaking in 2007 with a 12-1 season that included a victory over Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl, those close to the program say behind-the-scenes issues were a constant source of anguish.

In his first few weeks on campus, for instance, Mortensen — a native of Oakland, Calif. — received a minor-in-possession of alcohol citation while caught drinking outside “The Hawk”.

Figuring it was the right thing to do, the player went to Mangino to inform him of the situation.

During their meeting, Mangino allegedly swore and threatened to revoke Mortensen’s scholarship, calling him a “bum” and telling the player that “he’ll send me back to Oakland and I’ll be drinking out of a brown paper bag the rest of my life.”

Two former players, meanwhile, confirmed a report that during a practice confrontation with former receiver Raymond Brown, whose brother had recently been shot and hospitalized, Mangino told the player, “Don’t yes sir me, or I will send you back to St. Louis so you can get shot with your homies.”

“What I would say is sometimes his temper came off in a way that wasn’t constructive, which is where you run into trouble as a coach,” said former fullback Austine Nwabuisi. “He was just trying to be ugly as a coach, as opposed to being constructive or motivational.”

Things stretched far beyond a lack of tact, however.

Mortensen indicated he suffered a knee injury as a result of disciplinary measures taken after he chose to spend a week at home following the Orange Bowl instead of returning to Lawrence to undergo MCL surgery on his right knee.

When he returned to Lawrence, Mortensen says, he was subjected to three months of early-morning drills that involved putting significant pressure on his good leg. Eventually, he tore his left ACL, an injury he attributes to the amount of strain he was forced to put onto the leg as punishment.

In some instances, former receiver Dexton Fields said, assistant coaches would take it upon themselves to cuss players out in an effort to “keep the big man off of our backs,” and Mortensen described the rare occasions Mangino was forced to miss practice as some of the most enjoyable evenings of the season.

“Those practices were the smoothest, nicest, funnest practices,” Mortensen said. “No one’s getting cussed at, no one’s feeling the pressure, so we’re just out there having fun, playing football, learning and doing it.”

Fields also said that outgoing players left having developed no real relationship with the coach.

“Could we go talk to him (now)? Who knows?” said Fields. “Who knows who’s even tried. We go up to the facilities and we talk to the trainers and the strength coach, but I don’t know if too many people go into his office to talk.”

The motivational side

Not all of the former players interviewed remember things the same way.

Former tight end Lyonel Anderson calls Mangino “my guy”, describing how the coach brought him on as an intern last season while the player finished his degree. He says he never witnessed a line being crossed, that he felt there was always a motivational aspect in Mangino’s approach and that he cherished his time at Kansas.

“Listen, whether it’s at Kansas, whether it’s at Alabama, anywhere, the best teams are going to be run the same way,” Anderson said. “You got to have thick skin to play this game. I just think sometimes people are a little too soft.”

Former running back Brandon McAnderson reiterated that sentiment, saying that, while at times intense, the coach’s gruff demeanor usually served a purpose.

“As an 18-year old, I wasn’t ready to be challenged,” McAnderson said. “(Coaches) would say things to me and I’d be like ‘Wow, I think I want to go home.’ And then when I started to respond to those challenges, I started to see results. So every time they challenged me, I came back stronger. And that’s what his discipline is about.”

A handful of those interviewed, meanwhile, insisted that Mangino’s approach is no different than that of other Div.-I college coaches.

Some pointed to the coach’s aggressive nature, in fact, as the main reason the program — coming off six straight losing seasons before Mangino took over in 2002 — was able to transform into a perennial bowl contender, gaining bowl eligibility in five of the past seven seasons.

“Hey, Nick Saban ain’t down there baking cookies for guys in Alabama,” said Anderson. “I saw a game two weeks ago, he almost broke a headset and started barking in a guy’s face on national TV. That looked worse to me than (the poking incident) sounds, and that’s in front of a billion people.”

Others aren’t so sure.

Mortensen, now a linebacker with the UFL’s Sentinels, says he routinely trades war stories with current teammates about the various episodes they were subjected to during their college days.

He’s says he’s still waiting for someone to outdo him.

“We’re talking, and I’m telling them stories, and they’re telling me stories about their coaches,” Mortensen said. “And I’m winning. I win every single day.”

Still, others argue whether reports of harsh treatment are reason enough to dismiss the coach — who, with a career record of 50-46, is two victories shy of tying A.R. Kennedy’s school record — and on Wednesday, current receiver Kerry Meier went as far as to imply that firing Mangino would not be in the program’s best interest.

“What coach Mangino’s doing and what he’s done throughout his career here, I don’t think you can really fault the guy for being upset at (this) situation,” said Meier. “He’s taken this program to new and great heights that I don’t think anybody ever imagined. And if they’re looking to bring somebody in to try and turn this program around again, it’s going to be a tough, tough challenge to try and find somebody to do that.”

The future

So now what?

With two games remaining in a 5-5 season that has been viewed largely as a disappointment, the team travels to Austin, Texas, on Saturday night for a matchup with the No. 3 Longhorns, and, at the moment, Mangino is expected to be on the sidelines.

The coach Wednesday declined to discuss the specific incident involving Wright, but reiterated that he has done nothing inappropriate and that he doesn’t believe his intensity to be unlike that of other Big 12 coaches.

“If people have given up on me in certain quarters, so be it,” he said. “I can’t control that. But what I can control is being with these kids and preparing them for Texas, and that’s what I’m looking forward to.”

For the moment, that’s the plan. As of Wednesday evening, a “Mangino Mafia” T-shirt still hung in the window of Joe College, a popular downtown clothing store. Players prepared for what figures to be a daunting test against an unbeaten Texas team, and a town awaited the resolution to a situation that appears to be growing murkier by the day.


Rickyonealku 8 years, 7 months ago

OMG...ok current and former KU players, I played for SWOSU back in 1972-1976 a NAIA school located at Weatherford, Oklahoma. As a DB. Our defensive coach was Coach Cecil Morris an all american under Bud Wilkenson at The University of Oklahoma. Coach Morris would take his hand and slap you on the side of the helment after making a mistake. You know how many times I got slapped as a DB????? Only once why because as a freshman I worked my way up to a starting DB and as my oh BTW you have not been welcomed into the group yet!!!!! SMACK....only one time. now that kind of behavior would never ever be seen in this day and age.

My advice to you former and current players is grow up football is a tough sport and so is life after football.

Tom Huyser 8 years, 7 months ago

If this player is so upset that a middle aged guy poked him in the chest, I think I finally figured out why the KU defense is doing so poorly. At least one of them is afraid of a little contact.

Matthew Herbert 8 years, 7 months ago

zero chance this story or investigation happens if we are 9-1 as a team. Yes, yelling insults at players is probably bad for their mental physique. Blah Blah Blah. Welcome to sports. The guys are fed up with losing, and instead of looking at their performance, they are pinning it on having a finger poked at their chest and having a few unsavory words spoken their direction.

Douglas Garst 8 years, 7 months ago

Winning At Football

There are two categories of football players - playing at football and winning at football. The winning at football player does everything possible to out perform their opponent, which requires hours of personal time to be their very best. If anyone wants an example then simply look at the Texas quarterback Colt McCoy. Last season Colt McCoy was a "good" quarterback "playing football", during the off season Colt McCoy applied himself to hours of physical conditioning which vastly improved his strength, speed, ability and this year Colt McCoy is "winning at football".

Watching Kansas this season there is one football player that has stood out and that is Kerry Meier. Kansas has an excellent nucleus of players that will return; if those players commit themselves to hours in physical conditioning starting now till the first game in 2010 then Kansas has the potential for Winning At Football regardless who is the coach.

One last thought - those that think it is tough with Coach Mangino will find life after college football very difficult and will look back at Coach Mangino as a very easy time. The take away from this is very simple, life is what you make of it and not what others make it for you - YOU CAN EITHER WIN OR JUST PLAY FOOTBALL.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 7 months ago

So the Mangino message is that in order to "win at life," you have to be an a$$hole-- that being a "disciplinarian" means being an arbitrary, sadistic jerk?

monkeyhawk 8 years, 7 months ago

"So the Mangino message is that in order to “win at life,” you have to be an a$$hole"...

Didn't work for you, did it?

buddy2me 8 years, 7 months ago

Obviously there is major problems in the program. You can have the greatest players, but if they have lost all respect for the coach, then they will not play for him. It doesn't take much to figure out that this team is like a "whipped" pup, and they stop playing. This entire year has been a real disappointment. We are in the National News for all the wrong reasons. Whatever it takes, KU needs to get their act together and be in the National news for good reasons.

Jerry Collins 8 years, 7 months ago

Isn't interesting that an azzhole like Bobby Knight can be the biggest jerk ever and we say he is a genius coach. You want to win , you're going to have to be pushed. For the guys that are whinning, it's not a game for sissies.

alamohawk 8 years, 7 months ago

Joe Mortenson no wonder your not playing at the next level. Sounds like you didn't listen to your coaches and now want to blame them for your mistakes. Here's a thought... instead of doing your own thing and disobeying the coaches maybe you should have come back on time instead of a week later. Then you wouldn't have needed to perform 3 months of early morning drills. YOU BABY

garyr 8 years, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 7 months ago

"Didn't work for you, did it?"

I take it that the means that you can't comprehend the difference between "winning" and being an a$$hole, but that's pretty consistent with the message of your posts here.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 7 months ago

"Then you wouldn't have needed to perform 3 months of early morning drills. "

No one "needs" to perform 3 months of early morning drills, especially in the off-season, and especially if they are in need of surgery at the time.

Judgesmails 8 years, 7 months ago

Good night now, Meatball.

He's an ahole and everybody knows it.

cowboy 8 years, 7 months ago

I understand tough , i understand direct , i understand challenge , I don't condone being a ahole. I have worked for ex military , ex football players who were really tough bosses , they were also the easiest to work for in demanding situations because it was very clear what was expected even when the goals were set seemingly unreachable. I have also worked for insufferable a holes who got personal with folks , and led a personal life that mirrored these angry tirades. There is a very important lesson for everyone who is going up any type of employment or career ladder. Be careful how you treat people on the way up because you will meet them all again on the way down.

Time for Mangino to take a break IMHO.

4chewnut 8 years, 7 months ago

We have our own version of Bobby Knight -- just without as good a record and not as clever. Lew orchestrated this badly. Perhaps they both should go. The situation as Lew as designed it is not going to help with recruiting players or with fund raising on any level.

wakarusan 8 years, 7 months ago

"Be careful how you treat people on the way up because you will meet them all again on the way down."

How so very true Cowboy.

WilburM 8 years, 7 months ago

Great posting by Jon Cornish (former KU running back) on Pretty thoughtful personal review of his relations with Mangino. Well worth reading:

garyr 8 years, 7 months ago

WilburM, do you want to give us your username and password as well? I really want to read the article.

FlimFlamMan 8 years, 7 months ago

It seems to me that sports stop being "fun" and start to be all about "winning" once money gets involved. Scholarships, alumni donations and the shot at being a professional athelete change all that. Coaches act the way they do to get wins, not to make friends or prepare their athletes for "life".

Brandon Devlin 8 years, 7 months ago

You know, through our ups and downs, I always took Kerry Meier to be an on-field leader, as well as a guy who could take orders and execute. When he was removed as QB1, he could have easily just given up, but instead, moved on and found a way to keep playing. His comments above are echoing that. The coach, for good or bad, has a job to do, and the players do too. Job 1: Listen to what the coach tells you and follow his instructions. Period. Dont' want to get in trouble? Follow his lead.

Mangino Mafia!!

gsxr600 8 years, 7 months ago

"Lew orchestrated this badly. Perhaps they both should go. The situation as Lew as designed it is not going to help with recruiting players or with fund raising on any level."

He did it because he's already made his decision. Mangino's gone, and a new coach is on the way. He's not a dumb guy, he's a businessman. It just hasn't been made official yet because he needs to go find a coach before the "investigation" is finished. Lew inherited Mangino and doesn't like him. Now he has the opportunity to get a high caliber coach whom he can get along with. The only thing I don't like about the situation is the blatantly terrible timing. This wouldn't happen if we were winning. But at the same time because we're losing, more and more people will jump on the bandwagon and agree he should go.

beerdrinkingfool 8 years, 7 months ago

SORRY!!! but i think he is a great coach. for the players out there . get strong , be men , take it like a man . no wounder we are losing we have a bunch of girly men as a football team. ohh he poked me ohh he touched my hand . ohh i am big sissy. stop it get strong and play . heck in high school we had tougher coaches .

garyr 8 years, 7 months ago

KU can't get a high caliber coach. The new coach for KU will be.............get ready..............Charlie Weiss!

acg 8 years, 7 months ago

Aww coach poked u? Poor little lamb. Grow the hell up! It's football. It's tough and mean and if you can't take it go home and knit a freakin' sweater. Let me tell you something else, kids, in the real world jerks like this are everywhere. They will be your boss, your bosses boss and his boss. They're going to metaphorically poke you in the chest every freaking day of your life. You can either learn to deal with it and get a backbone or you can slink away to the corner and snivel. Wait, what am I thinking, this whole generation of kids 25 and under are sniveling little pansies so why am I surprised?

Shane Garrett 8 years, 7 months ago

Just another football story. In practice I missed a block. Coach told me if I missed it again he would kick my butt. I missed the block a second time. I had to bend over and allow coach to place his foot firmly upside by backside. I did not miss that block a third time. But then the year was 1972 and we were told that in football we were not out there kissing our sisiters.

Catbacker 8 years, 7 months ago

Mangino seems to tolerate talent...but certainly does not seem to properly treat the non-white players.

notme 8 years, 7 months ago

As for the argument that Football coaches can act differently than the 'rest of us.'

Yes I agree, but even they have limits. There are important differences between being tough and being mean, between being a disciplinarian and a tyrant. I think MM has crossed that line.

I played football and spent time in the military. The MM types can only go so far, a leader needs more skills than intimidation in their toolbox.

If MM loses his job because of his win/loss record he won't get my sympathy. Live by the sword die by the sword.

Of course he's crying all the way to the bank....

Boston_Corbett 8 years, 7 months ago

Tie Mangino to the bridge.

Poking replaces dynamite.

Two birds, one stone.

hesshawk 8 years, 7 months ago

acg nice post !!

Does anyone remember Little Nicky Saban's explosions or Steve Spurrier being in almost every one of his quarterbacks' faces or any other coach that has a desire to build a winning program? What's the difference? Those 2 are frequently mentioned as 2 of the best college coaches in the nation. Their outbursts are tolerated; is it only because of their success? It seems hard to believe that college-aged atheletes could be such crybabies, considering that they are getting a free ride to a University while there are probably millions of adults that could not even afford to attend a school like KU that are now working some menial job trying to make ends meet. Can't feel too sorry for the players that are whining, considering they have an opportunity to get a degree that will help them find a job better than "you want fries with that?" But wait, maybe they think they're only there to practice for 3 or 4 years to get on to the NFL. Grow up, boys, and get ready for real-life

rgh 8 years, 7 months ago

I have not played college ball nor have coached college ball. I know there's a heck of a lot a pressure to win and bring in money though. Things I have done though is being a head coach and assistant coach in high school baseball and basketball.

I've worked with two great people who didn't take squat from any player, but also never swore or touched a player. Yes, they yelled at times and got in your face, but it was always one on one in the office or after practice with another coach as a witness.

Those were also my strategies and it worked! It's called tough love and not intimidating players or making them fear you. That's when you lose good players and become unable to get good ones to come out because of the reputation. I'm guessing this entire thing will hinder Mangino's ability to find good recruits. Time for him to go.

fromlarryville 8 years, 7 months ago

These complainers and their parents are definately too soft. I agree with everyone who says that dicipline cant be "time out" if kids today were spanked like back in my day we would be a lot better off. Im suprised that none of the players have cried to momma saying that coach Fambrough scares them during his pep talk...what would these players say if they had played for him!!! If you cant take it, give up your scholarship to someone who wants to win...for you wimps this is why they have intramural and flag football, powder puff may even be a challange!!

Brandon Devlin 8 years, 7 months ago

Okay, seriously Cat? I'm wondering how all of the sudden "race" became an issue here. The last time I checked, Joe Mortenson was not "non-white."

Catbacker 8 years, 7 months ago

Pretty simple...all the demeaning comments involving "the hood" and "homies" and "send you back to the street corner" are leveled at the black kids as a scare tactic to show that he holds their future in his hands.

Brandon Devlin 8 years, 7 months ago

Again, Joe Mortenson leveled several charges too. . .and he's not a "black kid."

Seems to me that the people that are complaining are "equal opportunity" whiners. Buck up, listen to what you're told, and play the game. "Real life" is a hell of a lot tougher.

buddy2me 8 years, 7 months ago

You know a lot of you posters need to put yourselves in the players position. This problem didn't just start this year. For the complainer, he's a Senior, so maybe enough was enough for him. The paper only says it was a poke in the chest, but they aren't talking about what came with the poke. Four (4) years of hearing Mangino down grade you would make anyone unhappy. I also have seen Mangino in action. At the LHS game, we were all so embarrased to say that he was with LHS, he was a jerk then and it has only gotten worse. Imagine being at a High School game and he acted that way, wow, at a game he's in charge of, I can't imagine what those players have had to go through.

chicagoeddie 8 years, 7 months ago

if mangino wins this satruday against Texas.... I am curious to see what all these haters will have to say....

garyr 8 years, 7 months ago

I don't think he'll be coaching this week against Texas.

tigerforlife 8 years, 7 months ago

"wins this saturday against Texas" -- yeah, and maybe haley and the chiefs will rally, make the playoffs and win the Super Bowl...

Texas 100, KU 0 1-6 Mizzou 66, KU 0 1-7 (note -- I factored in Texas being 34 points better than MU after they smoked us 41-7)

the season for "making history" ends at 5-7 and KU's "Bowl Streak" ends at a whopping two...and it's hoops season at KU

Sadly, if that Memphis three would have gone down the other night they would have had to wait even longer to blow up the bridge because of all the crimson and blue-wearing KU fans still jumping off it...

overthemoon 8 years, 7 months ago

funny, I"m not a big KU football fan, but I recall this time last year Mangino could do no wrong and everyone loved him. I guess the business of winning takes priority.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 7 months ago

Yesterday I posted something along the lines of "Hey, football ain't for sissies." But these allegations really bother me.

Ricky_Vaughn 8 years, 7 months ago

I agree that Lew's already made a decision. I don't think Lew ever liked him...this is probably 5 years worth of this stuff coming out in 3's good timing for Lew to give him that final push out the door.

And by the way, comparing Bob Knight an Mangina? Apples and oranges. Knight has been much more successful over a much longer period of time. Success rules in the sports world.

Georgine McHenry 8 years, 7 months ago

Mangino is nothing more than a BULLY. No class at all!

lamb 8 years, 7 months ago

Mangino uses the 'f' word in about every sentence he speaks. When someone represents a place of higher learning like KU they should be able to communicate without using profanity. Everything else I have read about him confirms to me that he is not the man to represent KU and serve as a model to the young men that come to play for him. He is a disappointment.

KULHSLIONSfan 8 years, 7 months ago

If yelling and calling players demeaning and derogatory names and throwing verbal insults is acceptable at LHS, primarily by the defensive coach, it should certainly be acceptable at the Division 1 level.

beagledog 8 years, 7 months ago

just a few comments. throw out the 12-1 season and MM has a losing record. What really pissed me off today was the "don't call me sir-I'll send you back to get shot with your homies." Are you serious? what kind of person would say that about someone he is supposed to be mentoring. Coaches are also teachers, and growing up I never had a teacher like that. mangino has given KU another black eye, and with his somewhat racist comment I have lost all respect for him as a coach and a person. I had a nice chunk of change set aside for the gridiron club; you can forget about that and I hope others will do the same until a respectable coach can be found. Texas is gonna pound on the hawks this weekend. they need to pile it on to help improve their bcs ranking, and they will. Too much turmoil will cloud the jayhawks' game plan.
They say it ain't over till the fat lady sings, but if you listen closely, the fat guy is warming up, or at least he should be.

puddleglum 8 years, 7 months ago

Mangino is a football coach. a damn good one. he is not an ambassador for the happy happy rainbow club. he is here to win games, and challenge his players. personal snipets will build resentment, but the best coaches know how to channel those feelings into an emotional charge, and convert the weak into a focused, intense player. if this were a chess team, the contact and all that may not be appropriate. It wouldn't be appropriate in Home-EC class either. but this is football. Lew should back mangino 100% there isn't anything illegal going on here. poked in the chest? are you kidding me? In high school, I was the punter (try doing that some time) One time we were doing return drills and I kicked the ball over the head of the returner. Coach didn't dig that. So we worked on punt blocks for the next hour. I was supposed to hold the ball until I got creamed. It wasn't any fun, I hated coach for that. Still do, maybe. but I was a disciplined player after that incident, and I never had a problem with the staff again. 72 yards with the wind. one time I got 65 yards against the wind. I was never blocked. My shortest kick was 12 yards. (went off the left tackle's helmet-my bad)

swku 8 years, 7 months ago

If you guys seriously believe that a 225 pound football player complained about a poke to the chest you are idiots. Seriously the guy is 225 pounds and 6 feet tall. I strongly believe this is just a cover up story of what actually happened. Give it at least till the end of the week or beginning of next, I bet more than just a poke will come to light. You guys will feel like complete d bags for supporting Mangino.

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 7 months ago

I suppose an investigation is warranted.

I would urge Perkins, however, to consider the sources of the complaints about Mangino and take them for what they are and to act with restraint.

KU football would suffer greatly if Mangino were canned. Even worse, what coach would want to come to a school that does not support their coaches when times get tough?

This could be a lose-lose for KU.

wyattearp2 8 years, 7 months ago

You can see who wears the pants, I mean large pants in that family and it is not him. So he has to be the man at something during the day. So fooooball is berry berry gud to me,I thought I knew how to coach and that is to throw tantrums on and off the field like I do at home......The wife and players just don't understand me........

Send the bum packing, if you don't, it only goes to show you that even little Lew has to leave his man-gina at home.....

KawHawk 8 years, 7 months ago

Simple truth:

If any other KU employeee (or KU-affiliated unit, such as Endowment or Athletics) acted in the manner that Mangino has, they would have been severely disciplined or fired.

Can you imagine a prof assaulting a student like that ? Using derogatory and racist statements like that ? Verbally assaulting aParking Services kid ?


BobtheBuilder 8 years, 7 months ago

Oldenoughtobeyourdad needs to go back into the closet. He is a classless loser that chimes in on stuff he knows nothing about. Come over to the Slow Ride sometime and introduce yourself to everyone, Loser.

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 7 months ago

"Simple truth: If any other KU employeee (or KU-affiliated unit, such as Endowment or Athletics) acted in the manner that Mangino has, they would have been severely disciplined or fired."

Agreed, but there is another simple truth.

Mangino is a football coach, not a professor. There are many things that KUAC gets away with the others in the university do not.

I am not condoning his behavior, but just simply pointing out the the situations are very different.

KawHawk 8 years, 7 months ago

yourworstnightmare: "I am not condoning his behavior, but just simply pointing out the the situations are very different"

Yeah. And that's exactly what REALLY PISSES OFF the faculty and staff about the Atletics Department.

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 7 months ago

"Yeah. And that's exactly what really pisses off the faculty and staff about the Atletics Department."

Agreed. College athletics has morphed into something well beyond what it started as. This is not KU's fault. It is not fair nor is it ideal. It is reality, however.

As a side note, I might mention that these "pissed off faculty" complained when their basketball ticket privileges were threatened, resulting in the faulty senate (misspelled on purpose) spending much time ensuring that faculty would have priority ticket purchasing for basketball games.

grandmap 8 years, 7 months ago

I don't know if I agree fully on the hands on the players and some of the close to home comments, but talk to guys who have been in the military (especially) Nam. The military brought you down to build you up the way they needed you to be - tough and most of them were just kids too.

Randall Barnes 8 years, 7 months ago


happy_go_lucky 8 years, 7 months ago

KULHSLIONSfan (Anonymous) says…

If yelling and calling players demeaning and derogatory names and throwing verbal insults is acceptable at LHS, primarily by the defensive coach, it should certainly be acceptable at the Division 1 level.

I died laughing at this. I can't tell you how many times Coach Wedd "verbally insulted" me in the weights room, and I didn't even PLAY football.

number1jayhawker 8 years, 7 months ago

Uh... this isn't NAM, Iraq or anything else Military. This is college. They are student athletes, not soldiers. They are here to learn from the KU Professors first of all, and then play their respective sport.

For those of you that say this is acceptable because it happens in the "real" world, get a clue. Every day a manager is reprimanded or fired for mistreating an employee. Many a lawsuits have been won by employees that were mentally or physically abused by their superiors.

kujayhawk 8 years, 7 months ago

Bill isn't Lew's bit@h. Bill can get Lew fired.

hbjayhawk 8 years, 7 months ago

If you are a former player of Mangino and you read this, do me a favor and shut your damn pie-hole! All you are doing is bringing negative publicity to KU! Further, I don't want to hear about all this crap when KU is 23-0 in basketball and then has an "off-night" and loses one . .. All the press will write . .. yep . .. its their off field distractions .. . yep. . . they are going to be a 2 seed now, send them to Syracuse for the regional . .. I can't stand how former players even talk to the media. Don't answer their calls. All they want to do is bring US . . . THE JAYHAWK NATION . . . down. Even Vegas has taken note, we are becoming much greater underdogs than ever right now. Even the insiders know that Mangino is going to get released after our 59-3 loss saturday night.

dfarman 8 years, 7 months ago

As a Northwestern University former player, I'm totally unaffiliated with KU and only read this article as it was linked through and Andy Staples. I played offense under Kevin Wilson at NU under similar verbal and questionably physically abusive circumstances. We certainly had success (not top 10, but we were Big Ten champs), but eventually the verbal abuse wore thin and we bottomed out. I see a parallel between our experience and the experiences of current KU players. Kevin Wilson went to Oklahoma where you could argue that the same pattern is occurring (initial success, followed by struggles). Every coach in Division I is tough. Every coach yells at players. A line is crossed when the yelling becomes verbal abuse about personal matters or physical in nature. That's not tough, it's abusive, and it teaches nothing to the players other than bad habits. It shouldn't be tolerated by the administration or the players. I think no less of a player or coach who leaves an abusive situation than I would of a woman who leaves an abusive husband. Those players or coaches aren't quitters, they just hold their superiors to a high standard and don't accept abuse as normal. Those are the future leaders of America, not the ones who get kicked in the teeth and say it's okay.

aletheia 8 years, 7 months ago

Well, Mister_Pink, it looks like you're a true student and follower of Mark Mangino. Short fuse? Check. Verbal insults? Check.

Nothing like letting attacking someone -- specifically dfarman -- who expresses a different (and logical) point of view. I think you're a good example of what kind of reputation we don't want KU to have.

BobtheBuilder 8 years, 7 months ago

Mister-Pink Rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think Lew runs all of KU and the Chancellor wouldn't have the gonads to even become involved in this issue. He ran all over Hemenway and he will run all over Ms. Little. It is Lew's world, and by gosh, don't anyone cross him. Mangino has no chance of surviving this disaster and that is a shame. What a difference two years makes. WOW!!

BigAl 8 years, 7 months ago

I agree with dfarman. I have no problem with a Division 1 football coach getting tough and somewhat physical with his players. It happens every day. But, when verbal abuse extends to personal attacks and attacks on the kid's families, that goes too far.

There is a line you don't cross.

ralphralph 8 years, 7 months ago

It is, indeed, Lew's World ... just ask those spineless boys-in-blue at KUPD. Which brings us to the point: This is all about the Thug Wars. Lew blames Mangino for the Thug Wars breaking out in the first place, and for the successive rounds continuing into the night and following day.
KU Basketball is the jewel in Lew's crown. Mangino and his football thugs messed with it. You don't do things like that in Lew's World. Ergo, Lew went looking for a reason to break the Fat Man's contract and send him packing without having to pay him off. Presto! A whiney football player steps up, an investigation is summoned, Mangino is gone. Poof! For reinforcement of this view, consider the speed of this investigation, which apparently alleges finger poking, compared with the refusal of KU Police to even begin an investigation of the Thug Wars, which involved multiple events of actual violence and injury on campus, involving hundreds of people (many of whom, you would think, saw what happened).

Three conclusions:

1 - Lew is king.

2 - Mangino is gone.

3 - KU Police are shameful (in case you had forgotten).

onehawkoneshock 8 years, 7 months ago

I can't believe that anyone thinks this is really about some whinning football players. This has to be about Lew Perkins and his desire to be rid of Mangino. Big Lew wants Mangino gone and gone Mangino shall be. While everyone sits around and debates whether it's okay to poke some player in the chest Perkins is grinning like a cat. Perkins had no reason to make a statement to the press about his meeting with the players and subsequent investigation other than to start a firestorm that couldn't be contained. Mangino will no longer be able to recruit effectively and his team will now be divided. Mangino will have to go. Could someone take Perkins with him? Please!!

buddy2me 8 years, 7 months ago

Great post dfarman! The line was crossed and there is more than meets the eye here. An athlete does not have to put up with this kind of abuse. My kids play in college, one in football (Division 1) and one in basketball (Div. 2). Both have not had this problem. On their letter's of intent, no where in there did it state that they need to put up with this kind of abuse.

MyName 8 years, 7 months ago

I think one thing we need to understand is when he came here, he had some underrated football players and so they probably viewed the motivational stuff as a challenge, but when you start getting the better recruits, these are the guys that have always been more of the stars of their team and they don't feel as if they need motivation like that and take more offense to it because they've never been treated that way before.

I think there's a reason why some coaches are good at turning a program around that maybe has decent players that want to work hard, while others are coaches that are better at dealing with star players that have the bigger egos.

Just my 2c tho.

dfarman 8 years, 7 months ago

Touche, Mister Pink. Although I never thought I'd get into a sparring match in a Kansas newspaper, here goes...After Wilson made me cry, I decided to stick it to him by starting 22 straight games. Like you might guess, I now live in a van down by the river. And by 'van down by the river', I mean I'm a practicing physician. Life is bigger than sports for 99% of college athletes, and I hope the KU players at least learn that while they're in college. It's easy to marginalize criticisms by dissatisfied players, but when successful former players (former KU captains) start chiming in, the administration should listen.

kmcd028 8 years, 7 months ago

It must be extra chilly over on Lake Alvamar Drive since they live two house away from each other...if I were the McGrews...I'd be a little worried about a little battle starting in their backyard...

gsxr600 8 years, 7 months ago

  1. Pete Carroll, USC $4,400,000
  2. Charlie Weis, Notre Dame $4,200,000
  3. Urban Meyer, Florida $4,000,000
  4. Nick Saban, Alabama $3,900,000
  5. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma $3,800,000
  6. Les Miles, LSU $3,800,000
  7. Jim Tressel, Ohio State $3,500,000
  8. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa $3,030,000
  9. Mack Brown, Texas $2,910,000
  10. Bobby Petrino, Arkansas $2,900,000
  11. Mark Richt, Georgia $2,900,000 T12. Rich Rodriguez, Michigan $2,500,000 T12. Bobby Bowden, Florida State $2,500,000 T12. Gary Pinkel, Missouri $2,500,000 T12. Houston Nutt, Ole Miss $2,500,000 T16. Mark Mangino, Kansas $2,300,000

Legendary names on that list. Money talks. KU's got a lot of money. If Mangino leaves, Lew will not allow KU to get a sub-par coach. They will be a high caliber coach, getting paid the big bucks, and bringing in big name recruits.

garyr 8 years, 7 months ago

Farman, you're talking about a coach making you cry, and playing for a tough Coach Wilson. You played at Northwestern for God's sake. Talked about wussies. A certain running back of yours quit football to become an actor, all before playing an NFL down. Did the coach make him hate football, or is Northwestern a bunch of babies?

Armen Kurdian 8 years, 7 months ago

OK, I don't live in Lawrence right now. Why does Perkins want Mangino gone?

jvinland 8 years, 7 months ago

Playing division one football is not fun; it is a physically exhausting sport with that requires extreme mental and physical discipline. Football, as most sports, is not administered as a democracy but is a total dictatorship. The head coach runs the show! If you want to play you listen to the coaches, do what they say and follow the rules. If you don’t follow the rules there are consequences. If you don’t like the way the sport is conducted go out for intramurals.

dfarman 8 years, 7 months ago

Careful garyr, Your grammar is almost as bad as your memory. KU's record vs. NU during the Mangino era? 0-2.

I agree with jvinland about college football. There is very little about it that is "fun." It is hard work under hard taskmasters. You either play be their rules or you don't play at all. Sometimes those rules are acceptable, and sometimes they shouldn't be. That's each individual's choice.

4chewnut 8 years, 7 months ago

So I am guessing Mr Pinkie and all the other "tough guys" also think it is and was okay for Mangino to verbally assault the student working for parking. Imagine if he did that to your son/daughter.

Bud Stagg 8 years, 7 months ago

Men who use verbal or personal insults and foul language to motivate someone just show their lack of intelligence. A smart coach can motivate without these methods. Lazy coaches on their way out treat their players like that. That kind of negative behavior spirals a program downward, it does not build any program up. Smart successful coaches build good programs by being a leader.

I know some the biggest hard A$$'s in the world who can let you know you screwed up and make you regret it without using abusive language or personal attacks.

BorderRuffian 8 years, 7 months ago

Dang, I kinda hate it, but I agree with JOEHAWK. It ISN'T necessary to use foul language, personal insults, and belittlement to motivate good people. Take a look at Coach Mike Paramore at Perry-Lecompton High School, for instance. You never see him doing any of those things, yet his team is filled with high performers who would as quickly throw themselves on a handgrenade as a fumble - just because he asked them to. The players love him and would do anything in the world to make him happy, because he loves them, encourages them, and builds up their pride.

In my opinion, Porky should not be fired. He is a good coach. BUT - he should be monitored closely, made to take anger management classes, and be made to quit his bullying. I don't know what the real root problem, but to those of us on the outside, it looks like he is an angry little man in a big fat man's body, whose only sense of personal control in his life is to bully others. Take for instance the parking lot attendent. And to berate and bully a great big football player must make him feel "hugely" important.

I don't know his reasons, all I know is that this guy could so easily be the beloved coach all the guys look up to and remember when they are old, or he can continue the way he is and be despised as a mean, nasty fat man. His choice...

quik 8 years, 7 months ago

I think onehawkoneshock has it right. This is really not about the players at all. Lew has been waiting for a year like this one to get rid of Mangino. He can't do it while he's winning. I think Lew has a large problem with Mangino's fatness. The PR side of the job is important at the BCS level and Mangino is an embarrassment in that dept. I don't think Lew has a problem with his coaching really but wants a head coach that is the whole package. My guess is Randy Edsal from UCONN will be the coach next year.

jvinland 8 years, 7 months ago

Anyone can have their opinion of Coach Mangino coaching methods. Many of you may not agree with his coaching methods. But the real experts are those men that have “played division one football. In reality there are few social graces on a football field.

tubs_of_love 8 years, 7 months ago

One thing they failed to mention is that the whole time Mangino was yelling at the players, he was choking them too. He then goes home and beats his wife. Hey but, footballs tough right?

lionsrock 8 years, 7 months ago

Just heard that they emptied mangino's office today........we will find out tomorrow.

lionsrock 8 years, 7 months ago

yes mangino was at his talk show, he hasnt officially been released yet, still part of his contract to be at the radio talk show.

lhsalum 8 years, 7 months ago

ORHS1963 says, "There are two categories of football players - playing at football and winning at football. The winning at football player does everything possible to out perform their opponent, which requires hours of personal time to be their very best. If anyone wants an example then simply look at the Texas quarterback Colt McCoy. Last season Colt McCoy was a “good” quarterback “playing football”, during the off season Colt McCoy applied himself to hours of physical conditioning which vastly improved his strength, speed, ability and this year Colt McCoy is “winning at football”."

HAHA Colt McCoy had a better season last year than he is having now

WhiteDog 8 years, 7 months ago

Let me see if I've got this right. A coach yelled at a young man who was just cited for underage drinking? Oh, the humanity!

jwkc 8 years, 7 months ago

Compare and contrast Mangino with the class act just a short distance over in Manhattan. Snyder truly has a built a family atmosphere with his teams.

fromlarryville 8 years, 7 months ago

I dont think even Lew is strong enough to hold coach in his hand like a dove and choose to crush him!!

John Hamm 8 years, 7 months ago

Sounds like some of the guy in basic training back in the 60s.

jvinland 8 years, 7 months ago

To brady is guilty - Since you are not a KU football fan and have a dislike for the team I expected your biased negative comments. Your perspective is distorted, so who gives a flip about what you think!

Btuckel 8 years, 7 months ago

i dont think ive ever seen this many comments before.... its a football team coaches should be hard on players..... in high school our coach would grab us by the mask an throw us around.... all this discussion over a finger to the chest haha .... mangino is a excellent coach ... yeah he can sh!t in a dump truck but he really has made improvements to the team. .... now if we could just ban Todd Reesing from the bars so he wouldnt be hung over every game we'd be good.

I would Rather flunk out of a school in Lawrence that graduate from a sh!tt hole in Manhattan....haha

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