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Thursday, September 26, 2002

Mangino: ‘It wasn’t a big deal’

Kansas football coach was looking out for son

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Tommy Mangino takes a hit against Olathe East

This video shows LHS quarterback Tommy Mangino taking a hit from an Olathe East defender. The video clip shows the play at regular speed, then at slow motion, then slow motion backwards. Kansas head football coach Mark Mangino had words with officials after the game about the hit.

Kansas football coach Mark Mangino is standing firm in his belief that he did nothing wrong following Lawrence High's game last Friday night.

Mangino yelled at game officials as they left Haskell Stadium because he was angry about a hard hit his son, Tommy, the Lions' quarterback, took during the game against Olathe East.

Abuse of officials by players, coaches or fans is a violation of Kansas State High School Activities Assn.'s sportsmanship rules, and disciplinary action by the host school is mandatory. LHS principal Dick Patterson said the school took "appropriate action," but declined to specify what that action was.

Mangino said in a statement Tuesday that he did what he thought was right for his son. He didn't back away from that comment after KU's Wednesday afternoon practice.

"I'm not affected by rumors because I know the truth," he said. "In my eyes, it wasn't a big deal. I'm going to leave it at that for the sake of my son and Lawrence High. I reacted the way a responsible father ought to in that situation."

Mangino also had no comment on the status of backup quarterback Jonas Weatherbie, whose legal problems came to light Tuesday afternoon. The senior is to appear in Lawrence Municipal Court on Oct. 24 following his arrest for driving under the influence and driving with a suspended license on July 10.

"I'm focused on getting our team ready," said Mangino, whose Jayhawks play Saturday at Tulsa. "I'm here to get our players ready to play."

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