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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Harris voices his support for coach

Kansas University defenders Chris Harris and D.J. Beshears (20) celebrate a fumble recovery against Colorado on Oct. 17, 2009, in Boulder, Colo. Harris, a senior cornerback, is hoping to use his experience, 	dependability and passion to create a memorable final year on the football field in 2010.

Kansas University defenders Chris Harris and D.J. Beshears (20) celebrate a fumble recovery against Colorado on Oct. 17, 2009, in Boulder, Colo. Harris, a senior cornerback, is hoping to use his experience, dependability and passion to create a memorable final year on the football field in 2010.

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Mangino investigation

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Videos related to the investigation into alleged inappropriate behavior by KU football coach Mark Mangino.

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Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Mark Mangino discusses investigation

Mark Mangino spent about 10 minutes discussing an investigation the athletic department is conducting, as well as the upcoming game against Texas.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Reesing discusses Mangino investigation

Senior quarterback Todd Reesing provided more information about the investigation that is underway of KU football coach Mark Mangino.

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Beleaguered Kansas University football coach Mark Mangino insists he hasn’t “lost” his players.

While most of the Jayhawks aren’t talking, at least one — junior cornerback Chris Harris — counts himself squarely in Mangino’s corner.

“Man, we’re all for coach Mangino,” Harris said Tuesday at the team’s regular weekly news conference. “We know it’s a tough time for everybody, and we’re going through a lot of adversity. We just have to continue to fight together, and I’m pretty sure good things will happen.”

Harris’ words were, in part, a reaction to the team’s current five-game losing streak, a skid the Jayhawks will look to break at 7 p.m. Saturday when they play at No. 3 Texas. Of course, the bulk of Harris’ answer referenced reports of an ongoing investigation by an outside source in response to a meeting between Kansas athletics director Lew Perkins and the KU football team.

The meeting, first reported by the Journal-World, took place Monday night after KU senior linebacker Arist Wright reportedly went to Perkins with concerns about Mangino.

That left Mangino and five of his players to answer a barrage of questions from reporters Tuesday about the specifics and reasons for the meeting.

Most of the players declined to comment.

“I have a pretty good relationship with (Mangino),” Harris said. “I’ve been playing since I got here, and I haven’t done anything wrong, so my relationship with him has been pretty good. If you do something wrong, you’re going to get in the dog house, and I’ve pretty much kept my way out of doing wrong.”

“He’s always been the same way, same since I’ve been here,” Harris continued. “Just being a coach. The way he disciplines, the rules have always been the same since I’ve been here.”

Harris said the situation need not be a distraction.

“It can definitely bring us together if we let it bring us together, or it can split the team apart, and we can just go downhill,” he said. “I think we can spin (these distractions) as a positive. We just have to make sure people aren’t being negative about it. But I think we can come together through this.”

Freshman offensive lineman Tanner Hawkinson agreed with Harris.

“It’s only going to be as big of a distraction as you let it be,” Hawkinson said. “Obviously, you just have to stay focused on the task at hand, and I think that’s what everyone’s been doing.”

Comments

Dirk Medema 4 years, 5 months ago

Some one is likely to rage about me being a 2% or whatever. So be it. I'm here as Jayhawk regardless of the coach.

It seems there are people that are missing the trees for the forest.

It was just a couple weeks ago that MM bench "his" heisman candidate QB/captain and said there was no reason to talk to him personally. The QB on the other hand said he was pissed at his coach. That's not leadership, at least not effective leadership that will produce significant success.

You could say that is just one incident, but the reality is that it is par for the course, and the cummulative effect is what has led to this point. MM has some great FB coaching talent, especially for evaluating talent and placing them in the most opportune position. Maybe he was just promoted beyond his greatest level of competence.

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Dirk Medema 4 years, 5 months ago

jwliddell says... rehire mondhawk. I appreciate your points ... it makes sense. If the coach doesn't perform, axe him. But he has been performing.

I ADD: That's the popular thought, especially after the OB season, but really is a bit skewed. I wish I knew the numbers - it was late last night when I finally was able to catch up on this topic. MM is about .500, tho you can call him the winningest coach because he has been around so long(er than any other?). His record in the Big12 (removing Snyder's cucakes) is well below .500. It is also the same if you remove the outlier best & worst seasons.

Firing Mangino is going to set us back to a one win team.

I ADD: Lew didn't/won't hire TA, here or at UConn, where he created an enviable D1 program from D2.

Unfortunately, I feel like Lew has it out for Mangino, and I'm pretty sure he's as good as gone.

I ADD: Lew has it out for buisness. Boozer had a great post on this in another article blog as well. The FB (athletic) program was built as much by Lew and the facility upgrades as they were by MM. MM is the 17th (?) highest paid coach in D1. Lew has committed to making KU a major D1 Athletic program, and knows that FB is the $ that drives it. There have been plenty of comments over the years about personal & personnel problems over the years, just not a lot of confronting the big dude.

I don't think it's a coincidence that the toughest players on the team are backing Mangino. ... Seriously, grow a pair and play some football.

I ADD: You apparently missed or are ignoring the article with the quotes from Mortenson. Joe is plenty tough.

Ultimately though, it comes down to it being a buisness. Lew has invested too much in $ and facility upgrades to watch a team picked by some to win the Big12 North finish dead last with a losing streak like the one we're exeriencing. It's not personal. It's buisness.

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TexasJayhawk78 4 years, 5 months ago

Way to go, escaped_labrat - love the poser tag.

In Texas we have another term, two percenters...

How about a vote on whether Lew stays or goes.

I vote he packs up today along with all the posers and two percenters!

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TexasJayhawk78 4 years, 5 months ago

Give me a break! Parents meetings are for elementary school kids not college students. When you are old enough to leave home, drive, drink, join the service, it is time to stop having mommy and daddy hold your hand in the cross walk on the way to football practice.

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dtownhawkfan 4 years, 5 months ago

mondhawk:

you are a turncoat plain and simple

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jbrownjib 4 years, 5 months ago

Mangino needs to keep 100 kids focused on winning. Several kids are competing to play. Some kids are easy to work with and others are difficult. The kids who do what they are supposed to will succeed and others will sit on the bench. Mangino is right, this is life. Harris said what needed to be said but didn't say the obvious. Maybe Wright was doing some stuff that he wasn't supposed to be doing and therefore was disaplined? I think it was wrong for Perkins to release the information to the media. Mangino has done a good job of keeping disapline under wraps so that the kids are not embarassed. Perkins is going to hurt the program because "loose lips sink ships".

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escaped_labrat 4 years, 5 months ago

I love it the way a lot of you, not all, but quite a few people on here are quick to write off the guy that led us to the frickin' ORANGE BOWL! and a VICTORY to boot. I don't know about you, but the last time we did that was NEVER! After suffering through Terry Allen, Div IIA coach that wanted us to secede to DIIA...what a nice guy though, lol (he probably sent valentines cards to his players, lol

I've got a great idea! How about all of the whiners secede from the Jayhawk Nation and root for Florida or Texas or LSU...Alabama...pick your team and don't worry about KU Football anymore.....or just go back to watching KU Basketball and pretend KU Football doesn't exist. I'd rather hang out with one KU fan that bleeds Crimson and Blue than 100 that say "At least it's basketball season now" Anyone that acts that way should be ashamed to wear Crimson and Blue! What's the word I'm looking for....oh yeah, POSERS

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troutsee 4 years, 5 months ago

When TA was hired our FB offices were in Allen Field House and we had an AD who was a BB guy. What does that tell you? From the top down, KU has finally made the decision to support its FB program. MM has made a huge difference but all those coaches before him did not have top down support. He has. It really makes you appreciate what Glen Mason was able to do. We now have great support for KU FB, from the top down and finally the fans have bought into it (hence the intense interest), and the latter is a big deal. We will not go through one win seasons as some of the above fear. We will get a good coach and we will have a very good team next year.

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Dan Harris 4 years, 5 months ago

Those of you that want Mangino fired had better be careful what you wish for we might rehire the next TA.

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John Liddell 4 years, 5 months ago

rehire mondhawk. I appreciate your points ... it makes sense. If the coach doesn't perform, axe him. But he has been performing. KU football is alive now, it wasn't before Mangino. We went from a one win a season team to a competitive team. Someone that other teams don't look past. It's taken a while, and it will take a little while longer to be the 10 win team year in and year out. Firing Mangino is going to set us back to a one win team. Mangino did himself a disservice by reaching the Orange Bowl. A victim of his own success. He had one great season in the middle of a bunch of building seasons, so the bar got raised well above what it should be. Baby steps, crawl before you walk. Had this crap not happened, 2 or 3 years from now, KU would be staring eye level at the south powers. Unfortunately, I feel like Lew has it out for Mangino, and I'm pretty sure he's as good as gone. It's about as sad as the way the season went for the seniors. BTW, the seniors are who my hearts bleeds for. I can't imagine having the success they had, only to have a couple of players rub the program's face in the mud with 10 days left in their season. I don't think it's a coincidence that the toughest players on the team are backing Mangino. Reesing, Meier, Stuckey, Harris... all guys that are tough MEN, not kids complaining to their parents about the big, mean coach. In my eyes, coach has groomed them to be the men they are today. Seriously, grow a pair and play some football.

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Dyrk Dugan 4 years, 5 months ago

i didn't read this article until right now, and it does seem to be a "get the coach" attitude from our administration. Current players that go on the record have more credibility with me than former players...and especially, former players' parents.

our football future is what's at stake here. if Mangino doesn't have the respect of the recruits coming in...or the AD thinks he's lost credibility for the future classes....then he will be removed. if this is all a stink over a few instances of MM getting after players...then he will stay.

we have a good recruiting class coming in right now...and it looks poised to get better. we must secure this class...because i think we'll have a good football team next year. and MM has been a big part of this new excitement for KU football. don't get rid of him, because of a few complaints from a select group of players...and especially former players.

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kvskubball 4 years, 5 months ago

We're hearing one side of the story....

come on...'someone texted someone who texted someone who said someone texted someone who said Coach ''attacked" a player on the plane????? Grow balls and identify the source or quit yacking...

What did the player do before he was "attacked'? What was the nature of the "attack"? - Was the kid out of his seat and pushed down into it? Was he verbally maligned because he was being a whiny nin-compoop???

We don't know...

I do know that by making this public, Lew Perkins has mishandled this situation....

Is it possible that Coach Mangino crossed "a line"? Yes, anything is possible...

And yet, I listened to Todd Reesings comments and he didn't in anyway sound negative about Coach....

Harris, above, doesn't sound negative about Coach....While making it clear that the Mangino doghouse was something he didn't want to get into...He said he did right and kept out of it....

Obviously someone or 'some' who has/have been in the doghouse was/were unhappy, and cried to mommy and daddy and mommy and daddy went to the AD....Did they talk to the coach first, or did they go around him????

Coaches should be accountable, but they also have a tough job to get their players to be tough enough physically and mentally to not crack at critical times in a game...It's a tough line to walk....

I've had football coaches grab my jersey and haul me around by it, grab my facemask and swing me around with it....not once did I think one of them was 'attacking' me...I understood they wanted my full and undivided attention....

Now, someone grabbing me by my neck is unacceptable...someone pushing me around, poking me is ok, as long as it isn't with a fist and they're not sending me into the next county! Football is a physical game and you gotta be ready for physcial activity...if you can't take it, get off the team! Whining is for losers!

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Bill Kackley 4 years, 5 months ago

I don't trust Lew any further than I could throw him and that is about as far as I could throw MM. The only difference in their eating habits are that Lew spreads it over a 6'5 frame. Some of you must want to bring back Terry Allen. He for sure didn't yell at any one or poke them. I have only seen rumors on here that there were several parent complaining about MM. Lew has totaling screwed the future of this football program by going public. All he is good for is kissing a-- of the big money people. And he may not even be that good at that had to bring in John Hadl and Gale Sayers to do it for him.

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mondhawk 4 years, 5 months ago

jwliddell i dont want mm fired for his fiery nature personally i like that in a coach but what i dont like is this team making the mistakes that the coaching staff are supposed to correct but i do not see it improving i see it getting worse every week this team is very talented and it should be getting better so the resposibilty fallls with the head coach. i know KU can do better with the commitment from the athletic department and the boosters with Lew Perkins I trust him to bring in quality coach i know i am ready to see a change for the better GO KU by the way FIRE JIDDELL!!!!!!!!!!

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beebe1 4 years, 5 months ago

Yeah liddel.

The best recent coach at ND went there from Northwestern. He was a tough sob. Has been accused of poking players -- not just a push in the chest. But he is also the one who came up with the ND defense against the option play, Wish he were having him consult on the KU 'defensive scheme'. What we've got won't work!

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John Liddell 4 years, 5 months ago

Fire Mangino? Because he's the best coach ever at KU? Because he is a real, football coach? If you think for a minute that the Mack Browns and the Bob Stoops of the world don't poke and yell at players, then you don't know crap about football. That happened to me when I was in 7th grade football, all the way up through highschool. If Arist Wright can't take it, he shouldn't be on the field. Fire the COY 2 years removed from the award? We should fire Self, too. He yelled at Tyshawn last night, and that's not right. He made the team go through bootcamp, and that's not right. I finally see what all my non-KU friends are talking about. There are a lot of KU fans that are whiny babies.

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John Liddell 4 years, 5 months ago

fire mondhawk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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mondhawk 4 years, 5 months ago

FIRE MANGINO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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irish2255 4 years, 5 months ago

The issue is today's players are soft and have giant sense of entitlement. I wonder if Woody Hayes or Bear Bryant ever "poked" kids. The difference is kids back then expected it and parents back then wouldn't dream of calling an AD or the media about it.

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milehighhawk 4 years, 5 months ago

Did anyone see the article in The Kansan yesterday? I don't think this was about a single poke in the chest. I've also heard reports from a reliable source who texted last night that Mangino "attacked a player on the plane to Colorado."

Bottom line is if Perkins wanted to keep Mangino, he never would have made this public.

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John Liddell 4 years, 5 months ago

Keep Mangino!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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escaped_labrat 4 years, 5 months ago

Amen to that Gridiron Hawk. Everyone I've talked to that roots for other teams, etc. thinks this whole issue is a sham and they all believe that their coaches yell at their players too...Pelini...Pinkel...Stoops....Saban... If you can't take the heat, then go play badmitten or take ballet. Wow, he poked you? lol. Better not play football because last I checked, opposing players will do a LOT worse to ya.

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GridironHawk 4 years, 5 months ago

Perkins taking this public was a huge mistake on his part and could be his last. I'm not saying Mangino is the best coach in college football but he very well could be the best coach KU can get (not trying to knock the program. Just saying the money will never be there like it is for programs like Texas, OU, Florida, etc.). As stubborn as Mangino seems, I'm guessing Lew just ran him out of town (unless Lew is ran out first). As soon as Lew decided to take this public he ruined the relationship with Mangino and one of them will be gone. I love how everyone now wants to post that Mangino is too strict yet 5 weeks ago during the fights everyone was shouting that he had NO discipline. You can't have it both ways...

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Jonathan Allison 4 years, 5 months ago

There have been parents meeting with Lew Perkins because of Coach Mangino's behavior? I haven't heard about this, is it reported somewhere?

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Layne Pierce 4 years, 5 months ago

If you think this was done just because one kid got poked, you are crazy. There is something else going on. Perhaps there are systemic issues. But flower does not make a bouquet.

Why would parents be meeting with Lew, because of one player?

I do think that the fact the investigation was made public is probably not fair to MM.
It certainly weakens his position with his team, and with the public, and unfortunately with recruits.

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Bill Kackley 4 years, 5 months ago

You go Chris. Unless MM actually hit someone no problem. These are football players not preschool children

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