Archive for Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Stay or leave? It’s business as usual for Mangino in wake of probe

KU coach Mark Mangino yells from the sideline against Southern Mississippi on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009 in Memorial Stadium.

KU coach Mark Mangino yells from the sideline against Southern Mississippi on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009 in Memorial Stadium.

November 25, 2009


Mangino says KU remaining focused

KU football coach Mark Mangino said Tuesday that his team was fully focused on Saturday's game against Missouri, despite the allegations of misconduct swirling around his program. Enlarge video

Given the events of the past few days, the question posed to embattled Kansas University football coach Mark Mangino five minutes into his Tuesday meeting with the media seemed relevant enough.

Asked whether he wanted to remain at Kansas in the wake of an investigation into his treatment of players and the maelstrom that has since erupted because of it, the coach indicated that leaving the school would mean leaving behind a foundation he and his staff have spent the past eight years constructing.

“We have players that have made great investments into this program, we have assistant coaches and support staff people who have made this the single focus of their life for several years,” Mangino said. “And me personally, I’ve said this before, this is on record: I’ve put every waking moment of my life since I got hired here into this football program. To be quite honest with you, when I’m not at work, I’m still at work. This job, for me, has been something that I have put my heart and soul into.”

Is 6-6 enough?

KU coach Mark Mangino seemed confident Tuesday that a victory over Missouri in Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. Border War would be enough to propel Kansas to its third straight bowl appearance.

“Everything I’m hearing from my sources, which I think are pretty credible, (tells) me that 6-6, for us in the Big 12, would qualify for a bowl,” Mangino said.

Check out Dugan Arnett's full KU notebook here

Whether he’ll be able to keep doing so, however, has been the source of much speculation.

An internal probe launched by KU athletic director Lew Perkins last week into Mangino’s treatment of players — which, according to the coach’s contract, is the first step in a potential “termination for cause” of Mangino’s tenure in Lawrence — has raised serious questions as to whether the coach will be on the KU sideline next season.

Mangino’s current contract, set to pay him $2.3 million annually through 2012, would cost the university approximately $6.6 million if the coach is fired without cause.

On Tuesday, Mangino called his relationship with Perkins a “good working relationship,” though he insisted he could only speak for himself in that regard.

“That’s my perception of it,” he said, adding, “Perhaps you should pose that question to him. I think that would be fair.”

He also expressed comfort with his program and the manner in which it is run, before adding, “What I believe and what I think probably is not as important as what other people are believing or thinking that are involved in this situation.”

As he’s done on multiple occasions during the past week, meanwhile, Kansas senior receiver Kerry Meier defended Mangino and allegations that the coach goes overboard in his disciplining of players.

Meier said Tuesday that he met with Mangino one-on-one in the days following Perkins’ announcement of an investigation, in an attempt to show his support for the coach and “(make) sure he was doing all right.”

“He’s so comfortable and happy to be here,” said Meier, who spoke to KU assistant athletic director/risk management Lori Williams last week as part of her investigation. “He’s done so much for this program, and if they’re going to try to seek out a new coach better than coach Mangino, I tell them good luck.”

According to most players available Tuesday, things have been surprisingly normal around the football complex this week. No extra sentimentality or ‘Win one for the gipper’ speeches.

“I haven’t planned on coach not being here,” said junior defensive back Chris Harris. “So there hasn’t been any ‘Win one for the ‘ol coach.’”

Still, it’s hard to ignore the speculation that has surfaced in recent days.

Even during a week as anticipated as this one — in addition to taking on Missouri at Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, the Jayhawks (5-6 overall, 1-6 Big 12) would likely secure a third-consecutive bowl berth with a win — Mangino and the ongoing university investigation have stolen the headlines.

“That’s the only thing that anybody wants to talk about,” said senior defensive back Justin Thornton. “My friends back home, family back home, it’s not ‘So, how are you guys looking to get past Missouri this weekend?’ It’s ‘What’s going on with your coach?’ It’s frustrating.”

Joked senior Darrell Stuckey: “I think the investigation is moving faster on the outside than it is on the inside.”

Mangino, for his part, is plowing forward. He insists the time he devotes to game preparations hasn’t wavered from weeks past and seems as devoted to winning this weekend’s game as he has each of the 11 games before it.

A victory Saturday would pull him within one win of tying A.R. Kennedy’s program record of 52, meanwhile, and at least one current player hopes he sticks around long enough to do it.

“What’s been built here thus far, it’s definitely a solid base and it’s definitely a foot in the right direction,” Meier said. “A few more years and a few more quality seasons will definitely get this program to where it needs to be.

“And hopefully coach Mangino is here to do that.”


jfcm77 8 years, 4 months ago

What better coach could KU get for its football program? Stop the witch hunt!

DB Ashton 8 years, 4 months ago

Given the state of affairs, regardless of the merits, I am assuming it is impossible now for Mr Mangino to retain his position. Fans will forever speculate whether Mr Perkins welcomed, inflamed or even orchestrated this controversy, but it’s fair to say that (1) an enquiry might have been unavoidable, (2) once begun, it would inevitably become public, wounding Mr Mangino’s reputation critically, and (3) Mr Mangino contributed mightily to his demise via his personality, personal indiscipline, negative leadership style, historical anger management issues and this season’s disappointing and unexpected results.

(I do believe Mr Perkins’ private meeting with the team will come to be seen as an ill-considered act of hubris and disloyalty, and I believe he will pay a price for that mistake.)

Junior college recruits may commit to a university in late December. National Signing Day for high school prospects is the first Wednesday of February. So time is of the essence.

I believe the parties will negotiate a settlement quickly. It’s in Mr Mangino’s future vocational interests to exit quietly with some honor and pride intact and a bit of cash in his ample pockets. It’s in the university’s best interest to make a fresh start swiftly.

kujayhawk 8 years, 4 months ago

Lew caused this and for his sake I hope he doesn't send us back to the Terry Allen days. Of course if he does, he'll retire and leave KU with a ton of debt we can't pay back.

beagledog 8 years, 4 months ago

how about Mark Cuban for football coach and Oprah for athletic director? This way money would never be a problem.

planetwax 8 years, 4 months ago

He doesn't seem fit enough to get out of bed, much less coach a football team. That man is going to die from stroke soon enough. 2.6 MILLION dollars for coaching a sport! People, get real. I'm disgusted.

Rusty Thomas 8 years, 4 months ago

Wow...let's all BOO! Lew! This whole "witch hunt" not only hurts Mangino's reputation and ability to do his job, but also makes KU look like a horrible place to work. Last year the softball coach gets "axed" this year it is Mangino. Who is next? Lew? We can only hope. Let's all BOO! Lew!

deskboy04 8 years, 4 months ago

I am a Mangino fan. He is a football coach...and a good one. I will be there on Saturday to cheer on the Jayhawks and their leader.

ksjayhawk81 8 years, 4 months ago

What in the world does his weight have to do with this whole situation.. nothing! So get over the weight, its old news. I for one love Mangino and believe he doesnt do anything that a normal college coach does. If you dont want to be a big boy then dont play college football. Its like going into military and crying because they yelled and put you down in basic. Man up and get over it! I do believe too if he was winning this wouldnt be an issue. Rock Chalk Jayhawk lets beat Mizzou!

Frightwig 8 years, 4 months ago

Sandycove, meeting privately with potential victims of abuse is standard practice during such investigations. If the alleged abuser is present during initial interviews, victims are often reluctant to speak openly.

rgh 8 years, 4 months ago

It's already been said here, but I'll say it also. Lew's wanted Mangino out and now has a lame excuse (6 straight losses and one cry baby and a couple of former cry babies).

Why in the world would Lew open this "investigation" two weeks prior to the end of the season and make it public? It sucks for the players and assistant coaches let alone Mangino who is trying to get us to another bowl game for gosh sakes.

Lew has disrespected every single lifelong "fan" by putting in the point system and taking away seats from die-hard fans for years and years over those with the money!

These last 6 games have been horrible to watch, but I'm sure no one feels worse than the players and coaches who put in a number of hours none of us can even begin to be thankful for. Hopefully they'll be able to spend at least a few hours with family tomorrow in the wake of the Mizzou game and this stupid investigation. I think Lew has now made it impossible for Mangino to recruit and got exactly what he wanted, and that's a way out regardless of the outcome Saturday. Either Lew will use the investigation to oust Mangino or use the excuse he won't be able to recruit after the publicity.

Lew's done a lot of things but the KU fans (real fans who come early and stay late and don't have $5,000 per year to throw around) deserve better. I'm certainly glad we have the large donors and not knocking them, I'm just disappointed in the way Lew treats the average fan.

ack 8 years, 4 months ago

Mangino should stay.. Lew should stay!

Rock Chalk Jayhawk! Go beat MIzzou!!

beawolf 8 years, 4 months ago

Recruiting has little to do with the head coach, (other than the success, or lack thereof, of the program). I'm pretty sure Mangino doesn't even meet with the recruit until they are well into the process.

This is not about his discipline procedures (although it could save KU a ton on money if they can get of rid of him for cause), nor is it about his weight or anger management issues. It's about his lack of success in establishing a competitive Big 12 football team. 8 years, one good season and a salary commiserate with a constant, national top 10 team is reason enough to let him go.

For those of you who think he's a good coach, I applaud your loyalty, but am surprised by your settling for mediocrity. Perkins has made a substantial investment in the program and facilities and he's not getting the results to move forward with Mangino.

wolfy 8 years, 4 months ago

I haven't read the entire employment contract, but the 2008 amendment does not appear to support the LJW's statement that termination "without cause" would cost the university $6.6 million. In the amendment there is a specific provision for payment of liquidated damages of $300K per year in lieu of any other liability under the employment contract. I wish the LJW would consult with a legal expert and do a piece on how much exposure the university really would have if MM were terminated without cause. Of course, there normally are no definite answers to legal questions like this, but it would be nice to have some legal analysis.

skippytx 8 years, 4 months ago

Wolfy, that amendment to his 2008 contract strictly deals with the 1.5 million dollar retention payment he would be owed if he completed his contract through 2012. It would be prorated if he was fired without cause 300K for each year he completed. 1.5 Million, divided by 5 is 300K. He would still be entitled to his normal salary as well. That's only dealing with the retention bonus.

I have a feeling that they'll settle somewhere in the 4 million range. Mangino knows after this BS he can't continue to coach here after this fiasco, and Perkins knows it too. Either way MM is going to be gone unfortunately. All that's left to find out is how much this is going to cost KU, and who the next coach will be.

Jason Hohman 8 years, 4 months ago

Look at Mangino's record while he has been here. Can someone PLEASE tell me why there are so many people defending him as a good coach. We deserve a better football team at KU. He has only one winning conference season since he has been here. That is embarrassing.

2002 Kansas 2–10 0–8 2003 Kansas 6–7 3–5 2004 Kansas 4–7 2–6 2005 Kansas 7–5 3–5 2006 Kansas 6–6 3–5 2007 Kansas 12–1 7–1 2008 Kansas 8–5 4–4 2009 Kansas 5-6 1-6 Kansas: 50–47 23–40

skippytx 8 years, 4 months ago


Why not look at KU's record before Mangino got here. Fact is KU is a Basketball school. We will NEVER, and I mean NEVER have a powerhouse football team.

Fact: Bowl games won before Mangino (ever): 3

Bowl games won after Mangino showed up: 3. In 7 years he's taken us to 4 bowl games and won 3 of them. The last bowl game was before Mangino was 1995. The guy coached the team to the Orange Bowl and beat VT. No one has won a bowl game of that caliber before in KU history. Everyone expecting a 2007 season every year had better get realistic.

Fact: No KU football coach has had an overall winning record since 1966. 1966! Mangino is above .500 which is better than any of his predecessors. It's not great, but remember NOT A FOOTBALL SCHOOL.

Mangino's a great coach. We'll never get a Nick Saban or Bob Stoops to coach at KU, and we'll never be a football school, but Mangino has taken this team from "KU has a football team?" status to something at least respectable and for that everyone should be thankful.

Mangino's going to be ousted, we'll be out 4 to 7 million dollars and Perkins is going to bring in some friend of his, pay him too much and we'll be back to being a joke of a team again. This time next year you'll be wishing Mangino was still around.

I have no doubt Mangino will land on his feet either as a HC or coordinator. The guy is good. I hope he takes some time off, relaxes and focuses on his health though. I year or two off while enjoying that massive severance payment KU's going to have to cough up will do him some good.

CLARKKENT 8 years, 4 months ago



Jason Hohman 8 years, 4 months ago


Mangino has won more bowl games because we have gone to more bowl games. We have gone to more bowl games because there are more bowl games now than ever before. The Orange Bowl victory was great. It should be more of the norm. We won't have BCS victories every year, but we should expect a winning record in conference every year. The overall victories come from the soft non-conference. It is a fact that his overall winning record is because of the non-conference schedule.

This year's team should have been much better. Mangino deserves to lose his job for that alone. How can you call a 6 or 7 game losing streak respectable?????? How can you call his issue's with KU parking respectable??? How can you call his tirade against Pendleton respectable???? Respectable is not the right word. The guy is not respected, nor does he present himself in a respectable manner at all times. That may keep him from being a HC again. If he is so great why haven't the football schools come after this guy????

KU can have a good football team every year. The facilities are in place (thanks to Perkins). Lawrence is a great college town to bring recruits to, and the university pays its coaches very well.

It is time for KU fans to realize that we can do better. There is no reason why we cannot be a "football school."

Jason Hohman 8 years, 4 months ago

Is everyone OK with beating a bunch of patsies in the non-con, losing more than winning in the conference and going to the Texas Bowl every other year?

He has not been successful in the conference and that should be the only thing that counts.

The guy has been around longer than any other coach in KU history. He SHOULD have more wins.

BigAl 8 years, 4 months ago

skippytx, you do make some good points. He has accomplished some good things at Kansas and he has been paid very, very well for it. The problem is that he is being paid more in line with some of the top coaches in the country but he is a bottom dweller in the Big12 North. He is also on a 6 game losing streak with a good possibility of it being 7 games.

This still doesn't address his actions at the LHS football game or his actions against the young person that issued him a proper parking citation. He displays the tendancies of a classic bully and he hasn't fostered a family atmosphere within the KU football community.

I'm not so sure he will land on his feet as a division 1 head coach.

Jason Hohman 8 years, 4 months ago


Why is 6 straight losses a "lame excuse" to be fired?

Shouldn't a football coach be fired for losing? Isn't that the best reason for a football coach to be fired?

steelerfan75 8 years, 4 months ago


BigAl 8 years, 4 months ago

Self has won a National Championship. Mangino hasn't even won a Big12 North title. HUGE difference.

Comparing these two guys is absolutely ridiculous.

Jim Williamson 8 years, 4 months ago

"Okay, well with that logic Bill Self should have been fired for...losing several games during the regular season. No difference."

When has Bill Self ever lost several games during the regular season? The man wins 82% of the games he coaches.

And it's tough to fire a coach for losing in the tournament when he goes 13-3 and wins the conference every friggin' year.

Jason Hohman 8 years, 4 months ago

I agree BigAl... the Self/Mangino comparison is RIDICULOUS!

Phogfan, you are right. Self 82%. Mangino is at 50%.

There is no way to defend a 6 or 7 game losing streak. That is half the season. We haven't won since mid-season.

There is no logical way to defend Mangino.

Jeff Kilgore 8 years, 4 months ago


To say that KU will never be a football school is a real disservice to those who work hard every day to make it better. Until 10 years ago, no one would've thought UF a basketball school and they won it twice.

Just two years ago, we were 11-0, sitting third place in the national polls. Like you, I would've been stunned to see that, but seeing it once, you never know. You just don't. I'm willing to hope that we can get back in the top 10 and win our first Big Twelve Title (as well as the north).

riverdrifter 8 years, 4 months ago

"Perkins has made a substantial investment in the program and facilities and he's not getting the results to move forward with Mangino."

Ding, ding, ding! Winner!

How many wins against Big -12 teams with a winning record does Mangino have in 8 years?


Time for both to move on.

squawkhawk 8 years, 4 months ago

We could use a really good coach like Bill Snyder. I wonder if he'd ever come to KU?

quantrellraider 8 years, 4 months ago

KU get ready.......for a whuppin; when u leave Arrowhead; you will look like a bunch of hens.........beaks broken; legs; MIZZOU TIGER RAIDERS!!!!!!

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