Saturday, July 1, 2006

Mayer: Sunflower rivalry juiced up


How'd that trucker on the old recording put it? . . . "Mercy sakes, we got ourselves a convoy!" You might substitute "rivalry" for "convoy" the way the Kansas-Kansas State football-basketball linkage is shaping up. Lots of fun ahead.

Kansas football coach Mark Mangino has assembled a promising crew that could do as well as 8-4 or 9-3 in 2006, including victories over K-State, Nebraska and Missouri. If Mark can do that, will KU boost his salary higher than that of Ron Prince, the articulate new KSU coach who is creating quite a footprint with his barnstorming? (A personality comparison for Prince and predecessor Bill Snyder is like pairing Calvin Coolidge in a debate with Teddy Roosevelt). Prince is using his bully pulpit to spread tons of Catnip.

Kansas finally renewed the grid rivalry when it upset K-State in 2004. Can Mangino and Co. restore KU dominance of the series with another win in 2006? The heat is building.

Then there's Bob Huggins, the credentialed but controversial Cincinnati ex who now heads up KSU basketball. Like Prince, Huggy Bear is cutting a wide swath with his recruiting coups and glib outreach. K-State broke a KU chokehold on the court scene last season and is drooling about ending that humiliating Kansas win streak in Manhattan.

A clause in his contract, however, makes it clear Bob needs to do all this, and more, legitimately with good kids so he won't leave town as Thuggy Bear. Lots of his previous players had issues, so to speak; Huggins' personal bombastity is a concern of some KSU people.

Meanwhile, Kansas coach Bill Self, with the best 10-deep roster in school history, is not trying to barge onto the publicity scene with ill-chosen appearances and peevish talk. Cool Bill knows what he has and he's lying back like the incomparable Robert Duvall in "Broken Trail," biding his time. The Jayhawks are definitely better than the Wildcats will be, new guys and all. But Huggins has rekindled old rivalry flames that will pack the halls here and there, the latter for a welcome and needed change.

Back to that Mangino-Prince salary thing now that we've begun to get excited about the 2006-07 football-basketball confrontations.

Things may have changed, but a recent Des Moines Register rundown on Big 12 coach salaries had Oklahoma's Bob Stoops on top at $2.6 million a year and Texas's Mack Brown at $2.5 million. Texas A&M;'s Dennis Franchione was next at $2 million, Nebraska's Bill Callahan gets $1.5 mill, Texas Tech's Mike Leach $1.3 mill, then Iowa State's Dan McCarney, Baylor's Guy Morris and Missouri's Gary Pinkel bank $1.1 mill. Colorado's Dan Hawkins and Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy are listed at $850,000, followed by KSU's Prince at $750,000 and KU's Mangino dead last at $650,000.

With several $5,000 to $20,000 bonuses for beating Nebraska, winning a bowl game, winning a major televised game, and including radio and television and athletic gear and stuff, Mangino probably has about a $1 million package. His contract runs until Dec. 31, 2008. Are The Suits letting him lag the likes of Prince, Pinkel and such on purpose, or do they have some scintillating new perks in the mill? Would a 9-4 (bowl win added) boost Mangino into the league's first division salary-wise, as it should?

The revived Kansas-Kansas State rivalry is only one of a batch of intriguing questions about KU athletics in 2006-07.


GIHAWK 13 years, 7 months ago

A break out year at 9-3 would definately warrant a contract extension for Coach Mangino.

seattlehawk_78 13 years, 7 months ago

This really says a lot about how important football is at KU. Mangino inherited a horrible program and has made progress each season. He ended two embarrassing losing streaks and KU is no longer the laughing stock of college football. Prince has not coached a single game and already is making more. I don't know how we can expect to have a competitive program if we underpay the most important person.

JBurtin 13 years, 7 months ago

According to a Perkins interview a couple of months ago, contract extension negotiations were on the table for MM. The 650,000 wasn't too bad for a coach who had never had a head coaching job taking over a program with no fan base. Now that MM has proven himself as a head coach and has built a solid fan base, it's time to see him treated with the respect that other Big Twelve coaches are treated with.

I'm willing to give Perkins the benefit of the doubt. I think he'll do what it takes to keep MM around.

If he doesn't do what it takes to keep MM around, we should call for his head on a pike in front of Strong Hall.

I'm sick of dancing around the issue of having a football program. It's time for KU to get serious and make it happen.

CMOS 13 years, 7 months ago

Just wondering if Mayer would use the word "articulate" to describe a white coach? I remember over 15 years ago reading a University of Missouri School of Journalism essay on words to avoid linking with people, in print. One was "articulate" with African Americans. Poor taste.

avaholic 13 years, 7 months ago

CMOS, The word "articulate" should not be a word to avoid when describing someone, reguardless of what race he or she is. Articulate is a positive word used to describe how a person speaks. By implying that Mayer is using the word in a negative tone is just wrong. Words should describe a person for what they are. When comparing both Mangino and Prince, Ron Prince is much more articulate with word choice and tone. Mark Mangino is more outspoken and direct. I think they are both positive speaking traits. The fact is that the University of Missouri School of Journalism essay that you speak of is 15 years old and does not represent the feelings of today and should most likely be disregarded because 15 years have passed.

tis4tim 13 years, 7 months ago


What color is the text in your post? Careful about your answer. It might be in poor taste.

Next time, might I suggest using a different color of text to make your point because associating black text with a lousy argument might be construed as racist. C'mon, man.

By the way, what did your precious essay say about hypersensitivity?

Larry Smith 13 years, 7 months ago

Leave it to Mizzou to put something stupid like that in

skragglydoo 13 years, 7 months ago

CMOS may get the benefit of the doubt here just because the journalism is so terrible.

ÂHow'd that trucker on the old recording put it? . . . "Mercy sakes, we got ourselves a convoy!" You might substitute "rivalry" for "convoy" the way the Kansas-Kansas State football-basketball linkage is shaping up.Â

Really, Mayer? Really? You canÂ't be serious. This has to be the lamest lead-in IÂ've ever read. It was so bad that it was nearly impossible to continue with the rest. IÂ'm in shock that the editor let that go. You got nothing better than that Mayer? jeezus.

seattlehawk_78 13 years, 7 months ago

Even if he doesn't go to a bowl, he still deserves better. MM has done something no KU coach has done for some time he's made KU competitive. Even when he loses at least it's a contest. With the exception of Texas, KU is in every game. Were it not for a poorly timed pass interference call he would have beaten Texas two seasons earlier. Even his losses against Nebraska were major improvements. The two seasons prior to breaking the streak were competitive games, instead of the typical 55-3 blowout. This guy is the real deal and if we let him go we may as well follow WSU's lead and abandon our football program.

tis4tim 13 years, 7 months ago

In rereading my earlier post, I may have been a bit harsh. I intended to post about sports. I guess I'm just tired of the racist mantra calling into question every single word, statement and action anymore. It gets tiresome. Does that mean racism doesn't exist? No. But, every writer's misguided implication is not due to racism, just as every reader's mistaken inference is not due to blatant stupidity. In fact, it's quite often the reverse.

Regardless, I fail to see how crying 'wolf' at the drop of a hat constitutes progress.

actorman 13 years, 7 months ago

"By implying that Mayer is using the word in a negative tone is just wrong." Obviously avaholic needs to work on being more articulate.

Seriously, CMOS makes a good point. Have any of you EVER heard the word "articulate" used for a white man? It's a backhanded compliment, basically a way of saying, "Unlike what you'd expect from a black man, he speaks well." Much as I hate to agree with a Mizzou study, that is not the only time that the word "articulate" has been associated with racism.

CMOS 13 years, 7 months ago

The idea is something like this: "Hey, Ron Prince doesn't sound like Buckwheat, surprise, surprise, surprise." I'm not saying Mayer's a racist, at all. I'm saying that the use of the term--not the term itself--especially in a sports context, is more often than not a bad idea. Some call it passive racism, others call the whole notion ridiculous. But there is a history to these kinds of words, and contrary to avaholic's head-in-the-sand stance, more than likely informed by being white and never having had to deal with any kind of racism (please correct me if I'm wrong), these kinds of "slips" are critical to point out, every time they happen. If anything, it can start a little dialogue.

gthejayhawk 13 years, 7 months ago

CMOS, you may be spot-on in your analysis, but who actually has the time to care? More importantly, why would one person give another person the power to "offend" them?

Alfred_W 13 years, 7 months ago

CMOS, I think you have to consider the situation and not just skin color.

How many football coaches of any background would you describe as articulate - Ditka? Cowher? Bobby Bowden?

Being articulate definitely makes Ron Prince distinguishable among his professional peers, and should not be written off a simply a "doesn't sound like Buckwheat" missive.

And for the record (pun intended), I also enjoyed the "Convoy" reference :p

William James 13 years, 7 months ago

What in the world is wrong with you clowns! I thought we were talking football and the next thing I know everyone is going on about political correctness? I didnt find anything offensive in what was said but Im not a very sensitive guy. This isnt Hollywood or NYC so lets just skip the political correctness and get back to football.

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