Sunday, November 22, 2009


KU coach kinder, gentler


Audio clips

2009 KU-Texas football

Reader poll

How would you grade the KU football team's performance against Texas?

  • A 3% 76 votes
  • B 21% 442 votes
  • C 40% 813 votes
  • D 20% 419 votes
  • F 13% 265 votes

2015 total votes.

— A kinder, gentler Mark Mangino watched from the sideline as his team was overwhelmed by Texas talent, 51-20, Saturday night in front of 101,357 witnesses who can’t give Lori Williams anything interesting for her investigative report.

Williams, hired as assistant athletic director/risk management in September and told early last week by AD Lew Perkins to conduct an investigation of the football coach after complaints about his allegedly abusive style, didn’t need anyone to tell her how the team performed. She watched the game from the visiting athletic director’s suite with Perkins and assistant athletic director Chris Howard. Her parents, who made the trip from Houston, had planned all season to join their daughter for the event and had no way of knowing then that the eyes of Kansas would be upon her.

Williams, a former NCAA enforcement official, has been gathering information from players and assistant coaches about Mangino, who if fired with cause gets no money, compared to roughly $6.6 million he would get if fired without cause. She presumably will interview Mangino as well.

Her investigation isn’t done, so Mangino’s status for next week’s season finale at Arrowhead Stadium is undetermined.

The Mangino a national television audience saw was not the coach who lit up Raimond Pendleton two years ago for diving into the end zone. The audience saw Mangino remove his headset, walk onto the field and help up injured running back Toben Opurum, who was walked to the sideline, left the game due to a leg injury and never returned.

Mangino, known as “The Bear” to his friends back home in New Castle, Pa., gave a Bear hug to punt returner Daymond Patterson when he came to the sideline after a big return.

The only time the largest crowd in Darrel K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium heard Mangino’s voice was when the referee came to the sideline to talk to Mangino and accidentally had left his microphone on.

“You’re a good man,” Mangino told him. Later in the game, Mangino patted the ref on the back after a brief conversation.

Up in the press box, a young reporter from Texas who had attended the KU coach’s postgame gathering with the media asked, “Is Mangino that nice all the time?”

Well, maybe not all the time.

An upbeat Mangino made it clear he’ll coach Kansas football until a couple of security guards carry boxes into his office and watch him pack.

Does he have any doubt he’ll coach Kansas on Saturday in Arrowhead Stadium against Missouri?

“None whatsoever,” Mangino said. “I’m ready to go. My players are ready to go, but you asked the wrong person that question.”

Perkins and Williams won’t field questions on the investigation until a conclusion has been reached, the lawyers make sure it’s legally airtight, and the trigger is pulled. Mangino hasn’t been handed the blindfold yet.

Meanwhile, fifth-year senior wide receiver Kerry Meier echoed Mangino’s sentiments about looking forward to Saturday.

“I just want to try to get coach Mangino a win against Missouri for all he’s done for me, my family and my teammates,” Meier said.


Lance Hobson 11 years, 3 months ago

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

yates33333 11 years, 3 months ago

This is freakin unbelievable. My high school coach, in the state of Kansas, did worse things than those that have been alleged against Mangino. He tripped players, threw a javelin at one, knocked several on their butts with forearm shudders, called them everything he could think of, and he had a great imagination when insulting people, and repeatedly questioned their manhood. Give Mangino a break. Stop this B.S.

rockbrooklynchalk 11 years, 3 months ago

Strikewso - Wow, you must really hate women to make a sexist, misogynistic comment like that. My advice to you, go out and get laid for the first time and then maybe you won't make such ridiculous comments that went out of style oh, 200 hundred years ago or so.

John Randall 11 years, 3 months ago

"""RockChalkJayBlog (anonymous) says... Sexist much, Strikewso?"""

Just because it's sexist doesn't mean it isn't true. In this case, it really doesn't matter -- Lew is just backing MM and his agent into a corner where the separation agreement will be negotiated. I think a settlement of .5 to 2 million would be reasonable -- no one deserves over 6 mil, and this isn't an "out on your @$$" situation.

As the "investigation" is going, it probably is a positive for MM's reputation that only marginal breaches of etiquette are showing up.

With time and incentive to deal with his unhealthy weight situation and (related?) anger management, he will likely return to coaching in a few years and succeed with his ability to design and develop offensive (no pun) schemes that are hard to deal with.

jayhawkintexas 11 years, 3 months ago

That comment was out of bounds, Strikeswso.

One thing about KU football--it may not be great football but it sure is really good soap opera!!!

number1jayhawker 11 years, 3 months ago

yates, sounds like your old HS coach should have been fired years ago.

I just don't understand the mentality that, just because abuse has happened before or somewhere else, that it makes it okay to be done over and over again somewhere else.

Cimhawk 11 years, 3 months ago

Looks like all the Mark haters were first to comment today.........Strikewso...fair observation. With the politically correct Jayhawk fans....probably should have just said...NO ONE LEW picks is going to have a clue!!!! Big settlement...messy divorce....KU goes back to 3 wins a yr. Thanks win!!!!

that_guy 11 years, 3 months ago

number1....did you play football? While my HS coach did not throw a javelin at someone (which made me laugh btw), he was definitely not a players coach, and maybe in HS that's how it needs to be. I've had this conversation numerous times this week and it really just comes down to how much is too much? Honestly when playing I would have expected to have my chest poked, face mask grabbed, "checked" in the shoulder pads, hit on the helmet, things like this if I messed up. Obviously depending on what the mistake was. I feel like any kind of contact off the field or anything like choking would be way too far. You always keep it on the field, and it always was kept on the field when I played. It never did carry over into the locker room or weight room. I also feel like any kind of cussing is not a problem until it gets personal. If there really were the comments along the lines of "shot with your homies" clearly that is too far. If the coach felt like he needed to use f-bombs or whatever, I agree it shows ignorance to an extent, but these are not things players have not heard before. I feel like society is turning all of these kids into babies, and even more so the parents that are watching it. If my son is blessed with the ability to play football, I fully expect that he will experience many of the similar things I have experienced. There has to be something negative tied with negative play. Whether that be laps, gassers, grabbing the face mask, whatever...if it stays on the field, it's in bounds.

In responses to strikes...I don't know that this was meant to be misconstrued as a sexist statement. I think this is some of the posters being part of the over sensitized society that probably did not experience a mens locker room in football. I realize that on the top it may seem like a sexist statement, but honestly, unless she's been around the game all her life (which is entirely possible if dad was a coach or something) there may very well be things that shock her. I realize that there are women that have been around it all their the daughter from remember the titans (Larry Johnson's dad played for that guy!). I do not mean to offend with that statement, but honestly, how many of the women on here have been in this environment on a regular enough basis to understand what it's like? I am sincerely curious.

Now I'm done.

shelleysue 11 years, 3 months ago

Lew hired her in September? What that all part of a plan to get rid of MM? Just asking.

ryanm1988 11 years, 3 months ago

I believe Ms. Williams was hired to do the "investigation". As an investigator, her job is to observe, study, gather and report the facts. I don't think it has been mentioned anywhere that she will be making the decision or even a recommendation. (I also expect that the makeup of her reproductive organs do not contribute to her ability to gather the facts.)

The AD is the man tasked with making the decision. Likely one he has already made or the investigation would not be public. The investigation at this point is a cost saving measure. Fair or not, Mangino determined his fate by alienating all those in his path. (including his boss) Anybody who played football knows, "Life ain't fair." Not sure they had to get smacked upside the head to learn it, though.

I am all for negative reinforcement for poor decisions, poor play, lack of attention to schoolwork or breaking the law. I don't get the negative reinforcement based on upbringing, socioeconomic status, relatives choices or background. If the coaches are "teaching" the kids to have character, as some point they have to demonstrate that character.

Randy Eakin 11 years, 3 months ago

Let's think about this....Lew $ay$ he's launched an 'independent' review of Mangino that is being conducted by Lori Williams, and she's sitting in Lew'$ suite with him in the middle of the investigation?? Nice....real independent. Another question...Lori Williams is an employee of and her salary is paid by the athletic department? Who's the Athletic Director?? Oh, yeah, that would be Lew. Real independent. Mangino is getting screwed.

CheneyHawk 11 years, 3 months ago

Please, someone take Lew Perkin$, pin his name on his sweater and send him down the hall to play bingo. He has done enough damage already. This could've waited until after the season. Lew is like spring break - no class.

hawk316 11 years, 3 months ago

Yates33333, sounds like your high school coach was in the wrong profession. Seriously. If my son played for such a coach, I would have grave concerns, as well.

Most of us recognize that there is a different kind of subculture in football. Certain actions and behavior which would not be tolerated in other venues are seen as normal in a football environment. Whether this is a positive or a negative is open to discussion. However, based on the reports that are now surfacing we are beginning to see a picture of a coach with some very serious character flaws.

It is rather disturbing that some posters on this site are more than willing to cut MM plenty of slack because he won an Orange Bowl and turned around a losing program. This strongly suggests that some have lost sight of what is truly important. The welfare of these young people who have played football for KU and who have allegedly suffered various forms of abuse are far more important than a few wins. Don't you think?

Hawk1969 11 years, 3 months ago

Let's all just wait and see what comes out after the invesigation is concluded before we form an opinion on Mangino.

This is a messy situation for all involved.

John Percival 11 years, 3 months ago

Spot on, desert. Did anyone see our next coach being interviewed after his team beat Notre Dame? Mangino staying or getting canned is not the point. Lew should have done this 3 years ago or waited until after the season. My thank you for sitting through 20 years of 3 and 4 win seasons (and years of parking in the grass by the stadium) was a big boot in the a** across campus. Those spots were open when T.A. & Valasente were there. Thank$ Lew.

okiedave 11 years, 3 months ago

The Mark Mangino show has aired in Tulsa every Sunday night. No show last week and even though the script at the botton said "Mark Mangino Show", it was a half hour of a hair sales pitch. Sad.

I am not sexist, but it is clear the fix is on. If Perkins wanted an honest football perspective, he would have hired somebody with a football background. He obviously is looking for a female perspective in regard to what should be condoned in the football classroom.

Mangino needs a good lawyer, because it is clear that Perkins is clearly attempting to find "cause". This is being handled so poorly.

Beat Missouri.

Guccisuit 11 years, 3 months ago

So glad to see that the KU faithful (beyond reason) cannot read between the lines. As an MU fan and alumnus let me shed a little light in to the situation Folks its real simple. This is about money. Perkins knew he had to fire Mangino. Probably a long time ago. He knew in doing so the athletic department would lose over 6 million dollars so he launched an investigation. Now when the investigation concludes that Mangino's behavior violated his contract they will not have to pay him. Making the investigation public was just corrupting the jury pool in the court of public opinion. Do you really think Alabama, USC, Notre Dame or Michigan would fire an Orange Bowl winner and coach of the year after one losing season? Ha! Mizzou-rah!

Dan Pawlowski 11 years, 3 months ago

Guccisuit, go back to the misery boards, I hear they are missing an idiot. You would think they have plenty and wouldn't miss you.

yates33333 11 years, 3 months ago

number1jayhawker and hawk316. Abuse? My sad old arse! Of course, I hated the losing program we had for years. Don't you? Mangino is a winner. If KU is looking for a nice guy be prepared to finish last, again, again, again.

If this trouble is what most posters seem to think, then it is really unfortunate, because Lew Perkins has also been good for athletics at KU. I assume he is balancing the budget despite the increased spending. I hope we don't all discover one of these days that the sport's program is financially bankrupt.

coolsportsdad 11 years, 3 months ago

Not necessarily in either camp yet. I'm trying to wait as more "information" becomes public. "If KU is looking for a nice guy be prepared to finish last, again, again, again." - yates. But, don't look now, but we're in last place right now. And, arguably with the most celebrated senior class in KU history. Beat Misery, clean this up as good as possible, and then National Championship in basketball.

hawk316 11 years, 3 months ago

Good point, coolsportsdad. I'm of the opinion that one does not need to be an abusive jerk in order to win. Discipline, yes. Bullying, no. There are plenty of good football coaches around who treat their players with dignity and respect and still win.

But Hawk1969 also has a point. Let's wait and see how this plays out, after all the facts are in. Judging prematurely often leads to embarrassment. Case in point: all the unfounded criticism of Arist Wright who apparently did not instigate all of this, but only cooperated with the investigation when called upon.

Joseph Kuebel 11 years, 3 months ago

This is the best quote thats been on here since the first story broke:

ryanm1988 (anonymous) says...

The investigation at this point is a cost saving measure.

kchawk18 11 years, 3 months ago

Where do I begin. First you have an investigation being conducted by an assistant athletic director hired by Perkins in September. That lends itself to a "fair and impartial" investigation. Heaven forbid she reaches the wrong conclusion otherwise she will be packing her Adidas bags as well.

I am still not certain why the fine residents of Lawrence find no problem with Chris Howard being involved in a matter involving violence. Let us not forget, he is currently on probation after entering into a diversion agreement for charges of domestic battery and WITNESS INTIMIDATION this past September. Apparently more than his infamous brother works to his advantage, so does his ability to intimidate witnesses.

Given all the accolades Perkins gets from being one of the best AD's, it's unfortunate that he threw the players, particularly the seniors, under the bus by starting this media frenzy with 2 games left in the season. It would have been much more professional if Perkins had waited until the end of the season, man upped and given the real reason(s) for wanting to get rid of Mangino.

The Howard incident, the brawling boys and the multiple DUI's demonstrate a clear lack of management in the athletic department. Maybe Perkins should start hiring qualified applicants instead of family friends, and long-time Lawrence residents. This is so embarrassing. Now I understand how MU alumni feel.

yates33333 11 years, 3 months ago

Coolsportsdad "arguably with the most celebrated senior class in KU history." Celebrated in four or five positions, but certainly not the best senior class in experience and skill. Yes, arguably the best quarterback, one of the best receivers, another excellent receiver, and a good corner back or safety. But the linebackers and offensive line are neither celebrated, experienced, or otherwise. Admittedly they played better as time went by, but by then the celebrated players were nearly beaten down and playing first rate opponents much better than the first five schools. The team that lost the Orange Bowl in the 40s and the team Hadl quarterbacked in the 60s were "arguably" the best senior classes in my memory. Nolen Cromwell's group and Bobby Douglass team weren't bad.

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