Originally published November 19, 2009 at 07:08p.m., updated November 20, 2009 at 12:00a.m.

Mangino denies validity of former player allegations

Mark Mangino attended his weekly radio show, attempting to debunk rumors of inappropriate behavior.


Audio clip

Mangino defends program on 'Hawk Talk'

Mangino denies validity of former player allegations

Kansas University football coach Mark Mangino responded Thursday to allegations that he has made a habit of verbally abusing players during his eight-year tenure in Lawrence.

Stoops stands by embattled Mangino

Norman, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops is sticking by his former assistant — Kansas coach Mark Mangino. Mangino is facing an internal investigation by the school over an undisclosed personnel matter.

Stoops says Mangino has always been close to and concerned about his players.

Mangino was OU’s offensive line coach in 1999 and the Sooners’ offensive coordinator in 2000 and 2001 before becoming head coach at KU.

Kansas University football coach Mark Mangino denied recent accusations that he has made a habit of orally abusing players during his eight-year tenure in Lawrence.

Though he didn’t address certain allegations specifically, Mangino — speaking Thursday during his weekly radio show, “Hawk Talk with Mark Mangino” — said he took exception to comments made by former players in the days since KU athletic director Lew Perkins launched an internal investigation concerning the actions of the coach.

“I’ll be honest with you, some of the stuff is flat-out embellished and just not true,” said Mangino, whose Jayhawks (5-5) will travel to Texas on Saturday for a meeting with the No. 3 Longhorns. “... I think there are people embarrassing this program just for their 15 minutes of fame.”

Later, he added, “I can’t do the work of some parents, what they should have done before (the players) got to me. Some are just bitter ... and I can’t do anything about that. There’s some things, for 18 years, that happened in their lives that I can’t change in four years of college. I can’t do it. Can’t change their behaviors, can’t change their attitudes.”

Since the Journal-World first reported the ongoing investigation Tuesday morning, some former players have come forward with less-than-glowing experiences involving the coach, allegations that have included near-daily oral abuse of players and coaches, threats of revoking scholarships and the airing of players’ personal matters in a team setting.

Mangino, who received multiple ovations from the Buffalo Wild Wings crowd during his one-hour live show, stood by his previous assertion that his approach is comparable to other coaches across the Big 12 Conference, insisting he is more than comfortable with the manner in which he runs his program.

“When you do things the right way and you do things to help young people and bring some discipline and structure and try to lead them to earn a college degree, that’s all I’ve done,” he said. “I’m at peace with myself. I’ve got nothing to worry about because I know how we take care of our program and how we take care of our players.

“I can’t tell you that every guy we’ve had here has been an outstanding person to work with. We’ve had our share of slackers and corner-cutters and all those kind of things. We just try to show them the way. Some young people want discipline in their life. They benefit by it. They want structure. They understand the big picture. And some don’t. But to me — I’m good, man. I’m feeling great. I’m doing what I know how to do and doing it to the best of my ability.”

Informed of Mangino’s comments late Thursday night, former Kansas running back Jocques Crawford chuckled.

“I would expect him to say something like that,” he said. “That’s a bail-out.”

Crawford, who transferred from Kansas last summer and is now a walk-on at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville, Tenn., also told the Journal-World on Thursday that players felt pressured to play injured.

“My first game at KU, I sprained my ankle really bad, and I came to the sideline, and I told them I hurt my ankle, and the coach said, ‘Was I going to be a (wimp) about it or was I going to go back in?’” Crawford said. “So I felt like I had to prove something to him.”

Another former player, however, reiterated Thursday that Mangino is far from the man he has been made out to be by some.

Former defensive tackle Travis Watkins spoke glowingly of a coach who was tough but fair, and unlike previous players, who say they left the program with no real relationship with the coach, said he speaks to Mangino a handful of times every year.

As an example of the coach’s support of his players, Watkins pointed to Mangino’s postgame rant following a controversial loss to Texas in 2004 in which the coach implied that the game’s officiating had been rigged based on a desire for the Longhorns to play in a BCS game.

According to Watkins, Mangino walked into the locker room before attending the postgame news conference and teared up at seeing the disappointment of his players.

“He was in there crying with us,” Watkins said.

Watkins said that, like any college football program, there were good times and bad times, and there was no denying that playing college football at Kansas was not an easy thing to do.

But there was always a method to Mangino’s madness, Watkins said, and the rants — no matter how severe — always served a specific purpose.

“I definitely went through times when I was like, ‘This guy’s crazy,’ ‘He’s an (expletive)’ or whatever,” Watkins said. “But the older I got, and the more I got into the program, after going through everything, in every instance you look back — he might have at times said some crazy things, but it was all to make you a better player and a better person.”


Andrew Ledell 12 years, 10 months ago

Wasn't this whole controversy about telling the kids to take stuff like a man? I don't care for the way Lew handled this but now Mangino is just being petty on his way out the door. So yes, seriously. I guess that opinion makes me not a "real fan." How will i go on with life having not earned that title?

Gordon Penny 12 years, 10 months ago

I am behind Coach Mangino all the way. Although I don't necessarily agree with all of his tactics, I still think he is the right man for KU. I totally agree with his comments about some kids needing and wanting discipline in their lives, and some kids not. Those kids that don't want it and can't see the bigger picture were probably unhappy with the rigors of a Division I football program. Mangino, you are the best for KU, and I am behind you ALL THE WAY!

To all of you ready to escort Coach out the door, just hold your premature tongues and wait. There's nothing worse for a program than a bunch of mis-informed or ill-informed or uninformed fans yapping away on internet message boards. Just let this thing play out and then yap away.

Andy Hess 12 years, 10 months ago

really, Coach? ALL those reports are embellished? they're ALL bitter? yea they're all out to get you. gimme a break. now he knows there are consequences to treating your players like garbage.

Justin Diederich 12 years, 10 months ago

Is it true that he already has been fired and there is a press conferance for tommorrow. I also heard Clint Bowen will take over on the interm basis.

kansaspike 12 years, 10 months ago

I think I speak for most of us, when is say "we're with ya coach."

What a bunch of BS.....Lew's dark side is coming out.

Andrew Ledell 12 years, 10 months ago

The part where he bags on players and their parents. What happened to taking the high road? If he thinks he's been set up by Lew (which I feel he probably has) why not just be the bigger (no weight pun intended) person? I'm disappointed in both of these guys. It's a sad day for KU Athletics.

swunruh 12 years, 10 months ago

Mangino has had a difficult season. He's tough on his players. He doesn't sugar coat everything. He's a football coach. If we run the man off this way, how will we get anyone worth anything here unless Lew has been pushing for this from behind the scenes. Give coach Mangino a break. He's not perfect but he a good fit for KU.

Andrew Ledell 12 years, 10 months ago

Pretty much this paragraph:

Later, he added, "I can't do the work of some parents, what they should have done before (the players) got to me. Some are just bitter, and some, that’s the problem. And I can’t do anything about that. There’s some things, for 18 years, that happened in their lives that I can’t change in four years of college. I can’t do it. Can’t change their behaviors, can’t change their attitudes."

and most of everything else he said. It's all somebody else's fault. Never his.

Justin Diederich 12 years, 10 months ago

Our Radio station 92.7 reported it. I was just wondering cause they have been wrong many times.

Kirk 12 years, 10 months ago

Our next coach is going to be a wuss.

Andrew Ledell 12 years, 10 months ago

Eh, I'm done arguing on the Internet. This is why I usually don't post on here. Everyone takes their position so personally. And like I said the pun wasn't intended. But the guy does weigh almost 5 bills. I suppose that's somebody else's fault too.

Andy Hess 12 years, 10 months ago

yea that makes sense Kirk. because if our coach isn't an azzhole to everyone, he's gonna be a wuss.

Gordon Penny 12 years, 10 months ago

Truly, though, you cannot change a person who has had a hard life. You can give a person all the opportunities in the world to be a better person, a better football player and to get a better life, but if the person just doesn't take your opportunities because they are bitter, or immature, has a chip on his shoulder, then there's nothing you can do about it. A coach cannot change a player unless the player wants to change. If you have ever been around a diverse group of people you will see that there are slackers, short-cut takers and whiners, and they will always be slackers, short-cut takers and whiners no matter what you do to help them. Unless they are open to change. My point to all this is that Mangino is probably right that there are these kinds of people on the team, and he has helped them as much as he could, but their true colors just won't change.

Mangino, you're the Man. THE Coach. I am on your side all the way.

Sean Rodger 12 years, 10 months ago

JW - I've pretty much agreed with what you've wrote, not only on this article, but recent ones regarding these stores.

Flat out - this sucks for KU - there is no way around it, and nothing good can come of any of this. There is no way for Mangino to survive. There hasn't been one good article about the good side of the man. Any comment from a "former player" has painted him in a negative light. Meier & Reesing have his back - and you can't tell me that they are the only two in the last seven years that like him as a coach.

It's amazing how this all just surfaces after a "poke" in the chest.

treidy 12 years, 10 months ago

This whole situation makes me sick. A bunch of players complaining about discipline? This reminds me of Dan Hawkins rant about intramurals. If these players can't handle it they can pay for tickets and watch from the stands. Now, if Lew Perkins is stupid enough to fire Mangino, then the very next move of the new chancellor better be to fire Lew. To even think that we can get a better coach who can do a better job is ignorant. To even think there are people out there that even want this job AND can do better is beyond ignorant. Now, Mangino hasn't always handled himself with class but neither have our players. Lew is using this whole situation as a smoke screen to get rid of him for having a bad season when we should have, of all years, won the North. Lew better look past these whining, complaining players and parents (most of whom didn't even contribute to the program) and consider the programs overall success. Forget the national recognition he has brought to our program, Lew doesn't even have to look beyond Mount Oread to see how successful we have been under Mangino. When he first came here football was a laughing stock on campus and the games were just a 15,000 person Johnson County wine and cheese party. Now we are legitimately selling out the stadium EVERY game with thousands of fans on the hill, have had numerous additions and upgrades in facilities, have had just about every game on TV the last few years. All this has led to millions of dollars in financial donations back to the academic side of the University of Kansas. Mark Mangino's life story is the epitome of the American Dream and he is and always will be my role model. Rock Chalk Jayhawks!

Kirk 12 years, 10 months ago

This is an old fashioned hatchet job. And a sloppy one at that.

Michael Leiker 12 years, 10 months ago

Swish...pretty sure the quote is "some of the stuff is flat-out embellished," not all of the stuff.

Michael Leiker 12 years, 10 months ago

I tell you what if he does go down I hope he sues the hell out of some of these embellishers.

Max Ledom 12 years, 10 months ago


You seem like the kid in high school who always believed what other people told him. Just because they said those things, doesn't mean its true.

I believe in coach and Mortenson can go back to warming UFL benches for all I care. What a traitor. Way to put yourself before your alma mater and all of the fans and all the players on this team. There trying to get bowl eligible and you join the hate on Mangino parade. Way to be a veteran and show players how to act in these situations. Dbag.

rcjh22 12 years, 10 months ago

Can they just tell us if he is fired or not so we can get on with the season.

7texdude 12 years, 10 months ago

If Lew fires coach Mangino, then the Chancellor needs to look at Lew's investigation. How has he handled this? He calls a team meeting to back up a poke and then leaks out info about his coach to the press so he can get crucified. I have no problem with firing coach because his team stinks, but I do have an issue with this poking thing as the center of an "investigation." And why has Lew not commented on this himself? This stinks and it starts with Lew.

Lew is putting his own butt in the fire and he will get burned. I would think the donations to the athletics program will drop dramatically next year. That's the bottom line, right?

kesmithstl1 12 years, 10 months ago

no wonder our program sucked for so long. You don't think Urban Meier yells at his players? I'm sure Bob Stoops is the players' best friend and they eat dinner at Red Lobster every weekend.

Remember when football players used to be tough both physically, and most importantly mentally? What a bunch of whiney ass suckas!

Mangino_Maniac 12 years, 10 months ago

treidy... thanks for the link, and I'm glad another angle to this story is being reported so that hopefully all sides are considered and reported.

I've said in other posts that Mangino is far from perfect, but I'm not sure he is the monster he is being made out to be... if Lew and the university were so concerned about his ways, an 'investigation' would have been conducted years ago.

The sad thing is not only that Mangino's actions may have made the university look bad, but that on a bigger scale the AD and overall administration's actions are making KU look bad.

Kirk 12 years, 10 months ago

The AD and overall administration is making KU look bad? Well, only if by "bad" you mean "incredibly stupid, sloppy, inept, and NOT ever going to be a football school".

jhawkjunkie 12 years, 10 months ago

From what I have read, other than "The Poke" and the butt kicking he gave a K-State player for sleeping in a film session, the problems I have heard and read about are verbal abuse. Did he cross a line with some of the things he said? Yes I agree, but I haven't heard of him punching a player, chocking a player or anything worse. Hell I seen Joe Pa kick a player in the butt because he wasn't lining up correctly. Bear Bryant I'm sure done worse.

The LJW ran stories about HC Mangino's temper, and from I read: Yeah he was banned from his son's high school games for yelling at an official for a late hit against his son. Well I haven't seen the hit, but I am sure that there are parents out there that if there son were hit and was a possible injury, that would run out on the field to protect their son. His yelling at students for getting parking tickets, well anyone who has seen the show 'Parking Wars" knows that the show is about people blowing up for getting tickets. The blow up after the 2004 Texas games, well KU fans were all behing Mangino when he was pi--ed and criticized the officials. Fans were applauding for his stance and sticking up for KU, trying to get some respect and recognition(?) after they lost thanks to a controversial penality. The incident caught on the sideline after the Pendleton TD penalty, well I wonder how many F-Bombs Bo Pelini let loose last year that weren't caught on tape.

I believe that investigation will be concluded as soon as the final gun sounds after the Missouri game and one of two things will happen:

If Kansas wins, Lew Perkins will find that Mangino did verbally abuse players and as a result will be placed under University probation, fined and be told to take anger management classes, but keep his job.

If Kansas loses, Perkins will fire Mangino stating that the actions of HC Mangino do not represent the University and will part ways with the head coach. Two months later at the last second, KU will hire some position coach from some second teir conference who has some glowing recommdations from Perkinss

kipmcsmithers 12 years, 10 months ago

treidy: Great link! I'm glad to see that there is a news source out there that wants to get the other side of the story. LJW, KC Star... didn't think so.

If Mangino gets fired/"quits" then I hope that Lew is right behind him. Perkins has mishandled this whole fiasco and like some have said before, why is this just now an issue? I mean, I find it hard to believe that Perkins had no clue about this before now?? Either way, if he claims he didn't know about it then he wasn't doing his job of keeping an eye on his employee. If he knew about it and didn't stop it then he's at fault for letting it go on.

jayhawkboogeyman 12 years, 10 months ago

I noticed Lew didn't make his usual cameo at the basketball game tonight. But they did have a nice advertisement about signing up for the gridiron club, which did not include the usual message about watching Coach Mangino and his "elite" Jayhawks. I have to say, first off, the things that Mangino has been accused of are completely unacceptable. I don't care if they are football players and supposed to be tough. He is a coach, and his job is to respect them to enhance their abilities. Obviously coaches yell and get on players, but Mangino has allegedly gone way too far. The incident with Wright involved Mangino going to him after practice and confronting him abrasively. That is unprofessional and detrimental to his task as a coach. Yes, the kids need discipline and all that, but they are playing a damn game. This is not prison and not the military. They are giving everything they have for the school and coach, and at the end of the day the coach has to respect and laud them as people even as he tears down the faults in their performance. Look at the team he is putting on the field right now and decide for yourself if he is getting his players to believe in themselves. That said, I am also becoming disgusted with the way Perkins has handled this. There is no reason why this needed to become public, and at this point he needs to make a decision regarding Mangino and move on. The impression I got, though, is not that Perkins leaked this, but that Keagan got a tip from parents or someone else outside the program and called the AD for a quotation with the insinuation that he would break the story with or without confirmation from Perkins. (610Sports interview Tues) I want to track down Mangino's previous contract and see what the buyout provision was. If the new deal didn't make it cheaper to fire Mangino, then why bother giving him a huge contract at all? To set the bar higher and let him fail? The whole situation is frustrating and really makes sports entirely unenjoyable.

CheneyHawk 12 years, 10 months ago

IMO, it is time for Lew Perkins to go - he is like spring break - no class. This could've waited until after the season. He sold out corporate seats in AFH and they were 1/2 empty 2nite. Spirit of the Jayhawk is fading fast and selling out.

Andy Hess 12 years, 10 months ago

hawksboy, i've heard the complaints for years now from several players who are friends of mine. Its been going on for a long time and it's not embellished. you can shove that personal comment too. you seem like the guy who buys anything Mangino says like it's gospel. Seems to me that you're doing the same thing, only your're believing the rage-a-holic coach over the almost half-dozen players who have spoken out already. Bottom line, the guy is a d!ck. Why do you think Tim Beck and Bill Young left? They couldn't stand the man. You can believe whatever spin you want, but I doubt you'll ever see the truth with those blinders on. I also don't know why you would believe Mangino over a player. Or several players. Yea, it must be that all these players throughout the years are all lazy and "traitors." That is complete nonsense and it shows a complete lack of respect for the people who really put their bodies on the line every week. And that traitor talk about Joe is completely out of line. that guy gave Mangino 5 years and two surgically repaired knees and he treated him (and Rivera) like trash. He has earned every right to speak out against that tyrant. Speaking out against Mangino is NOT the same as badmouthing the football team. I am loyal to my Alma Mater, but Mark Mangino is not the end all and be all of Kansas Football.Yelling and cursing at players in practice is all part of football, and I agree, the poke is a weak reason for complaining to the AD. It is a totally different thing to insult one's family in order to get compliance. That's not how you lead a team. I'm sorry, but winning one BCS game does not make him Jesus Christ and it doesn't make him NOT a d!ck.

Robronco07 12 years, 10 months ago

No matter if the allegations against the Mangino are true or not, he can not remain KU's head coach. With all of the negative comments from former players, recruiting to to the University of Kansas will be nearly impossible. How many players are going to want to come to a school where their coach treats them like scum? I respect Mangino 100% for what he has done for the University, but this is negative publicity is irreversible and detrimental to the program. I had the honor of witnessing the magic of the Orange Bowl victory in person and I don't want to see Mangino go, but it is necessary that he leaves for the program to survive and improve in the future.

Gotta do what is best for KU's future, Rock Chalk!

John Percival 12 years, 10 months ago

swish, a double-negative AND J.C. and d!ck in the same sentence. nice. Perkins wants a big hire on his resume. Who's the UConn coach? Think he'll get an interview? He may be justified in firing Mangino, but to do it while the season is still going shows what a tool he is. HE"S the guy I wouldn't want to work for.

TexasJayhawk78 12 years, 10 months ago

Look. If Lew was looking out for KU, the football program, or the Jayhawks this would have been handled behind closed doors and most likely at the end of the season. Lets face it, Lew just does not have enough manhood to take care of this in his office by himself after the season is over.

When the AD is gone, no one will remember his name. When they think about the 12 win season or the Orange Bowl win, it will be Mark Mangino they remember.

Steve Brown 12 years, 10 months ago

he added, "I can't do the work of some parents, what they should have done before (the players) got to me.

excuse me, yet I think YOU invited all of them to join our little country club, if you saw some of them with incompetent parents, why did you invite them to join your team. Maybe I'm mistaken and some crashed into your stadium and suited up without your evaluation, doubt it.

your pathetic and blameless.

this has common core, you didn't take responsibility six weeks ago, and if you had you wouldn't have lost them as a unit.

areyouserious 12 years, 10 months ago

Swish is dead on! These players, this team, and this university do not need Mangina to survive...........Mangina needs all of them in order to survive.

Lew, end this madness and find us somebody we can respect. Prefereably somebody who respects himself and those that got him where he is!

Did anybody see Mike Gundy tonight after their RB fumbled in a crucial point in the game???? He gave him a pat on the back to say "its okay" we will get it back. Classy dude, who fights for his players, not against them! Coincidence that Bill Young is there??

Mangino, I hope through all of this you realize there is more to life than football and winning at all costs. You should call every single player from the Orange Bowl victory and thank them, because without them, you wouldnt be nearly as wealthy. Ungrateful.

kipmcsmithers 12 years, 10 months ago

You're right Robronco. Really the only move for KU now is to move on from this with a new coach (which I honestly hate to say). But I think even with a new coach at KU they'll have a hard time of recruiting for at least a few years (I hope I'm wrong on that). With all of the bad press this year though it's hard to believe that a lot of recruits and parents won't be down on KU for a while.

Some posters have been throwing names out there as replacements to consider. Most of them are guys that will only be at KU until someone bigger and/or better comes along. That's what KU really needs. <--- please note sarcasm

7texdude 12 years, 10 months ago

OK, I agree that the traitor talk about Mortensen is out of line, but how about his and his teammates' legacy? They reached the highest of highs: Orange Bowl BCS win. First-round draft picks. They won a second bowl game in a row.

Now, they have sunk the university with their play and actions off the field. Radio interviews by alumni blasting their head coach, fights with the basketball team, ugly bitter infighting by current and former players, coaches and the AD. It will end with the firing of their coach.

If this thing was not sad, it would sicken me. Fans, players, coaches, the media and the AD bickering at each other. What a wonderful legacy Mortensen and his teammates leave behind: the crumbs of the highest mountains KU football has ever achieved.

kipmcsmithers 12 years, 10 months ago

"areyouserious (anonymous) says... Coincidence that Bill Young is there??"

Oklahoma State is his alma mater.

KU 12 years, 10 months ago

Get off Lew's butt. Where were all these allegations over the past 6 or 7 years? If they had come to Lew's attention then, he would have acted then. The reality is that until somebody comes forward--which apparently happened only this week--the AD doesn't know exactly what's going on. Now that someone had the balls to come forward, all the other players who feel the same way come out to validate the allegations. That's the way it goes.

It doesn't mean Lew put up with Mangino's alleged verbal/psychological abuse because we were winning. It means he didn't know the depth of the alleged problem until it was brought to his attention this week. When he found out, he did the responsible thing and promptly called a players' meeting. There's no way an all-players team meeting can be kept hush-hush because some of those players want to out Mangino. Lew knew that. But he also knew that if Mangino had been given enough rope, he was either going to hang himself or be exonerated after that team meeting so it didn't matter whether it went public.

Do you know all the junk your teenage kids are into? Not unless you're a micro-manager. If you are, your kids probably hate you. Likewise with the AD-coach relationship. Lew isn't a micro-manager. He's not at practice every day and quizzing kids about how Mangino is treating them. If he was, his coaches would hate him.

Lew is the best AD KU could have. Look at what he's done for fund-raising and facilities and coaches' salaries. There isn't a top-notch up-and-coming coach that wouldn't at least listen to Lew's pitch if they are called. You couldn't have said that without the facilities and money Lew is generating. (And I'm not slighting Mangino's amazing contributions to the football program by giving Lew credit for the facilities and the money.)

areyouserious 12 years, 10 months ago

Mortensen did something that is more important than covering up sh*thead behavior......he cares about the players that would have to endure this abuse in the future. You people make me sick. You put winning above everthing in life.

Hats off to Joe Mortensen, who gave his heart and soul to this university and is still looking out for the future of this program. I applaud you Joe and all the others that are bringing out the truth. I feel bad for the so called "true fans" that have their blinders on and want all of this to go away just for the sake of some more people must feel really good about yourselves when all you have to hold onto in life is KU victories, no matter the cost I love KU as much as anyone and always will, but I will never support someone who treats others in this manner and feels good about it.

areyouserious 12 years, 10 months ago

kipmcsmithers- you are one of those that i reference above that has blinders on. I understand that is his alma mater, but how do you explain him leaving KU to go to Miami, who was in shambles, right after an Orange Bowl victory for KU? Do you talk to anybody inside the KU program, obviously not.

PureKansas 12 years, 10 months ago

Why does it seem that the only players raising complaints were average, at best, many of whom lost starting spots? Maybe it doesn't matter, maybe it does, but it seems like all our star players approve of Mangino.

kipmcsmithers 12 years, 10 months ago

I'd explain a move from KU to Miami as moving up in ones career. Even if the U hasn't been that good as of late, the recruiting possibilities only would make a coach want to go there. Add into that 5 National Championships in the last 26 years and the weather.

"Do you talk to anybody inside the KU program, obviously not." Wow... really?

KFoz 12 years, 10 months ago

Can you fire a coach after winning the Orange Bowl? Absolutely not. Can you fire a coach who has 1 victory over a Big 12 opponent with a winning record in 8 years? Yea. Can you smear a coach, treat it as an open air divorce to make the university and the athletic program look in the best possible light? Well yea, that is what is going on. And should you try to convince public opinion to support your decision? Yea, look what happened to Nebraska after they fired their winning coach, Frank Solich. They didn't air his dirty laundry, made a bad follow up hire, and are still paying for it. Except that they will be winning the WEAK Big 12 North this weekend. Are we in the hunt this weekend for that title, when most of us assumed this would be our year finally to win it? No, and the messy divorce proceedings have no impact on that. We aren't winning in TX nor against MU and we weren't going to anyway. And one more thing-I am a real fan and have been for a few decades now. Who has done more for KU football? Perkins raising money for the amenities, or a guy who had one year of success? With the coach's office located in these amenities mentioned above (not Allen Fieldhouse, like it was when Perkins showed up) while PAYING a Head Football among the top 20 college salaries and on par with some NFL, I think we are going to find a very nice coach. The bar has been raised at KU and the HC hasn't taken it the next, consistent level. The Orange Bowl was 2 years ago; we went down last year and have fallen even further this year.

Welcome to Divorce Court!

seattlehawks 12 years, 10 months ago

I've always supported Mangino, but if these allegations are true, he's got to go. No coach (even Roy or Bill Self) can ever be above the University. And this type of thing cannot be swept under the rug just because his team performed very well in 2007. While it is quite possible that only people with an axe to grind have spoken to the media, I also have to believe that Lew wouldn't ever have gone this far -- or this public with the complaints -- unless he had a lot more ammunition. He would have waited until after we lose the next two games and then fired Mangino much more quietly. In this case, however, the sheer number of complaints, combined with the (lame) way that Mangino handled the football/basketball fights (at least compared to how Self handled it), probably sealed his fate.

As to our next coach, I'm guessing that Lew has a very short list of high caliber coaches already. Hey - who knows, maybe Bill Young would even be willing to come back without Mangino here. Word on the street at the time was that he left because he disagreed with the big guy in some pretty fundamental ways. Now maybe we know more about why.

Dale Kroening 12 years, 10 months ago

Why arent the "stars" or starters saying anything ? Let me ask this, would you say something if you were Reesing or Meier or any other starter for that matter if it is true ? Hell no you wouldnt, because you would possibly take the chance of being benched or made an example of, think about it. I have no idea whether whats been said is true or not but if I was a starter I sure wouldnt say anything, especially if there is any chance of said player playing at the next level. Either way I think we can all agree that MM brought KU FB to heights we've never seen, but this sucks for KU football and the university as a whole ..................

BorderBattleKU21 12 years, 10 months ago

Im with you all the way Mark! We can't lose you! These kids need to grow up and act like men! You have done a great job here! Sorry that Lew Perkins is out for blood! He is honestly out to get you! You two have not seen eye to eye but I hope you you the best and I hope to see you next year! Keep working hard!

jcsmith 12 years, 10 months ago

Motion to fire Mark Mangino and hire Bob Knight.

All in favor say 'AYE'

KU_Alumn_2000 12 years, 10 months ago

I'm also behind Mangino. He has made some mistakes...but those mistakes aren't worth firing the guy. He is also a smart man...and is capable of tweaking some behaviors that may not be setting well with some people. Mangino deserves another chance at showing people who he truely is.'re the guy for our program. Good luck on Saturday...and lets get a BIG win over Texas.

KFoz 12 years, 10 months ago

And as far as recruiting is concerned, it is tarnished WITH HC's comments. If I am a parent and I saw the rant Gundy did last year, I would think "That was pretty silly, but my boy can play for him. He has their back." Same parent is going to get thrown under the bus by HC if he doesn't perform because they weren't doing the right things for 18 years. And it wasn't just Mortenson-Mike Rivera's dad provided some insight as well. As I said, it is hard to tear down a man after he brought you the Orange Bowl. HC is, however, not KU football, just as Roy wasn't KU basketball. I see the commitment made by the university, the athletic department, alumni, and the community to seek consistency for the football program. I see it unwavering when they hire a charismatic leader for the program. Who is the Bill Self of football?

rockershawk 12 years, 10 months ago

At the beginning of this whole deal, I thought that it was time for MM to hit the road, but as time passes, and even more outlandish stories appear, I am beginning to take the side of Mangino. So what if the players got their toes stepped on? To me that is the embarassing thing for an otherwise fine University if that our football team now comes off as looking like a bunch of soft a**es. That is the real problem here! Perhaps HCMM's ability to read people is not up to par, which is why he recruits some of these players who take everything so personal, but that problem is correctable without cleaning house in the football program. Hell, in highschool my coaches for BASKETBALL (supposedly a less intense sport) were tough on us, but you know what? We won an astonishing number of games with less talent than our opponents through hard work, and constantly being pushed to the limit by our coaching staff. If the players cannot handle a little criticism then it is time for them to get the hell out of Lawrence and go to Manhattan.

LeBo 12 years, 10 months ago

I know Mangino is an arrogant, and super ego person. However, I am grateful for the improvement of the football team. Hey, remember all the fans that you act to good for. Now you need them to safe your a$$. I only hope that he can be fined 10,000 McDoubles. Maybe complete and food intake management program. I still care. The things that people Magino says to plays are hurtful. But, they are the same thing that Drill SGT say to private everyday. I hope that we can all learn that sticks, stones and words can hurt people.

ginger2015 12 years, 10 months ago

Hey swishy, why don't your friends clean out their lockers and move on.if they're so unhappy?

If Mortenson is such a stand up guy, why did he wait until the stuff hit the fan before he said anything.

I like the coach and I would like for him to be retained, but I don't think that that is going to happen. This has gone beyond the point of no return.

Jake Waddle 12 years, 10 months ago

EVERYONE: Shhhhhhhh Please!!

All of us fans need to calm down and let this thing play out.... We're ALL upset no matter who's side your on. The ONLY way I can see this being resolved correctly is if the KU Athletic Department were to poll every current and former player during the Mangino era. They are the only people that REALLY know what went on. All of this speculating that we're doing is starting to piss me off... We're ALL Jayhawks here.

This poll would simply ask.... "In your opinion were the actions of HCMM, over your years spent at KU, suitable and appropriate for a Division 1 College Football Coach."

I hope/pray that this poll would reveal a strong (over 90% yes to less than 10% no) opinion that HCMM has done nothing more than rub a few players the wrong way (which EVERY coach in America has done) over his time spent here as head coach.

In conclusion, QUIT THE ARGUING between us fans. It's only making everyone that loves this university and our sports teams look even worse during this tough time. Rock Chalk Jayhawks 4 Life!

kukid75 12 years, 10 months ago

It is true, is it not, that recruiting is totally in the dumper with all this controversy? After all, what parent wants his son going into an (allegedly) abusive system? And even if they like Coach Mangino, other recruits will be concerned he'll be forced to leave and they'll have an unknown variable to deal with. The damage has been done and KU will feel the reprecussions for seasons to come.

MNHawk23 12 years, 10 months ago

i think everyone is way overreacting one way or another on this. I think mangino is a great coach and the progress he made for the program is irreplaceable and KU will ever be grateful for it. He is an extremely hard worker But with all these allegations, it is clearly time for Mangino and KU to both move on.

as for the people attacking Lew.. relax. its not like it was him who reported what the former players said to ESPN. This is a big program.. and in today's world it would be impossible to do all of this behind closed doors.. its going to get out.

i do not at all believe this is the end of our football program though. Lew has raised a TON of money, we can pay a new coach very well. give him that beautiful, huge office that overlooks the stadium, let him use the new state of the art facilities to recruit and practice. and better yet, mangino had very little to do with recruiting in the 1st place. every new recruit we get talks about how they loved the relationship they had with whatever assistant was in charge of their recruitment

KEITHMILES05 12 years, 10 months ago

Why the hell does LJW feel the need to speak to a malcontent like Crawford? There are reasons he was let go. Go figure.

KUbsee69 12 years, 10 months ago

To Jocques Crawford, et al:

A coach that want's his players to tough it out and play a little hurt? That's why girls don't play the game.!

Remember how Todd & Kerry labored through injuries and continued to play in previous years?

Again, Coach M ... Non Illegitimus carborundum.

shelleysue 12 years, 10 months ago

I don't blame Mangino here. He's been thrown under the bus and he should be expected to not respond??? It's just what everyone else is saying about someone opened the door now all these people are coming forward. MM probably never would have made those comments but with all that's being said he's forced to. He has to defend himself because no one else sure as hell is.

I respect Stoops remarks and I think if he truly felt other wise he would have kept quiet so I believe what he says.

There are going to be players at both ends of the spectrum regardless of the coach or the program and I definitely don't think Crawford's remarks should mean a thing. Teacher, coach, boss ... anyone in a leadership role is going to be loved by some and hated by others - why is anyone surprised by this?

I don't think players taking the field injured is anything new. It's football. Hell I suspect a good deal of players are playing hurt and I'm guessing most coaches expect players to "suck it up".

steakforbreakfast 12 years, 10 months ago

Rich Rodriguez to KU? There's no way I could deal with Charlie Weis' FUPA.

shelleysue 12 years, 10 months ago

I want to point out that I am simply trying not to take sides. There is a lot that none of us know. I am pretty sure there is truth being told on both sides. I am also pretty sure there are non-truths being told on both sides. People perceive things differently. I'm sure Mortenson feels strongly about his side of things and I have no reason to think he's lying - I would just like to know why he allowed MM to abuse him to the point of injury and why he didn't come forward sooner. I would like to know why the others didn't come forward sooner.

Some are going to love MM and some are going to hate him so I don't know how much all that is worth - and we've heard from both sides. This is just a HUGE unfortunate mess no matter how you slice it.

shelleysue 12 years, 10 months ago

That NBC article was quite interesting especially what it says about Perkins.

Steve Brown 12 years, 10 months ago

Kansas 31 Texas 24

After the game, famed mascot Bevo missing from his stable. Ann Richards joins GeoW in high profile panel assigned to investigate. FBI notified, find our cow.

AP reports from Ok City a 1 hoof cattle drive reported passing red river headed north following lame duck coach. Bevo parents blamed for the steer's lack of speed, enthusiasm and inability to take direction.

Blake Post 12 years, 10 months ago

Maybe I'm just behind. I am still hoping the coach stays... unless he said or did something terrible, which I have not yet read. I have only seen vague, ambiguous references to something he allegedly said, and he poked someone. Now, if the player was wearing shoulder pads, the poke would hit pads, and be a message, rather than an actual contact upon the person of another. Allodel kind of sux. Ever notice that those who say "that's mature" are the ones who doubt their own maturity?
I sure am glad he didn't scream "I'm a Man", and other junk, at a female reporter.
If they ever heard me in my car about other motorists, I am certain it is far beyond anything he said.
All I have heard is speculation and innuendo so far.
I hope it is not so big that MM is fired. I am biased though. I just loved abusing nebraska for 76 two years ago, the Orange Bowl I went to, and still can't believe I ever would in my lifetime, etc.

shelleysue 12 years, 10 months ago

I think the students should take the focus away from this mess by bringing back hobo day. Just in time for the Missouri game.

4jhawks4ku 12 years, 10 months ago

Mr. Kansas Athletic Director: Ask Mangino point blank...Did you strike your players?. If he answers" I didnt do anything inappropriate", ask him again..Did you strike your players? If he says no, I did not strike my players, then sweep this under the rug. The players are lying and they should be dismissed. If he cannot say "I did not strike my players" , then fire him and quickly hire a new coach because he's been lying. That simple. Done with.

ShazzyD 12 years, 10 months ago


Show me a single report where there are any allegations of him striking players. At most the worst words that have been thrown around are "poke."

Come back to reality please.

4jhawks4ku 12 years, 10 months ago

Show me a report where this is only about a poke and I'll back Mangino all the way. If all this is about a poke then this is all BS.

stljhwkr 12 years, 10 months ago

Here's the thing: if you are behind MM and want him to stay or you want hime gone: you can't arguee that the damage is done. Even if all the players complaints are not valid, this story has been all over the media including sportscenter and first take this morning. There is no way this story can get this much play and not see Mangino's ability to recruit damaged. Fair or not fair he has to go, who is going to want their son to come play at KU with these stories surfacing?

It is a shame that for the first time in my life, KU has made a serious a serious finicial effort to be a legit program and this is the return we are getting for out investment. Everyone should be embarssed!

Bridgett Walthall 12 years, 10 months ago

I couldn't make it past the first paragraph of this article...

"Kansas University football coach Mark Mangino denied recent accusations that he has made a habit of orally abusing players during his eight-year tenure in Lawrence."

Orally abusing? Really? Is that different than verbally abusing? o.O

troutsee 12 years, 10 months ago

It's interesting and entertaining to read all the comments. However, I truly get annoyed at those posters who attack other posters as being morons, jerks, idiots, etc., just because they don't agree with a poster. And then, after the insults, to come on like Mr. Know-it-all is paradoxical. Many of the attacking comments are rude and some downright cruel and crude. Hell, we are all Jayhawks aren't we. While we don't necessarily need to agree, surely we can express ourselves without the inflammatory remarks to our fellow Jayhawks. Let's keep it clean, entertaining, and interesting and give everyone a chance to express their opinion without the fear of being piled on.

shelleysue 12 years, 10 months ago

bridg - I have laughed out loud a number of times already about that and was beginning to think I was the only one who noticed. I love people because through my sadness about this whole mess I was able to laugh. Thanks LJW!

jayhawkr34 12 years, 10 months ago

I'm sick of reading about FOOTBALL players crying abou t being "verbaly" abused. It freaking FOOTBALL, not soccer. Hell i used to get "verbally" abused in hr high by my football coach and it made me mad and I took it as a motivator, not cry like a little baby. It's FOOTBALL, not soccer. Hell soccer aint even a sport.

sljhawk 12 years, 10 months ago

Common sense is needed in this situation and little has been used. First, this situation takes place after the seaon. Lew has ruined the end of their career and these seniors deserve better than that. Before people start saying "No", Mangino is to blame for this because of his behavior, timing is everything and this was handled at an extremely bad time. I don't think Mangino should have made the comments about the players alcoholic father and the brother being shot. Is it worth firing him over? Simply no. He needs to apologize in person to the players for that and tell them that was wrong of him to say and understands if they don't want to play for him anymore and will help them in any way to get where they are going. He doesn't have to apologize in front of the whole team but can do it where the whole team knows what is being said to the players.
As for the ex-players coming out like Mortenson, get a life, if you really cared about your teammates you would have only talked to Lew about this instead of the whole world. He's more worried about the attention he is bringing for himself instead of letting these seniors have their moment. As for Crawford, are you kidding me, you almost killed a teammate. There was a hundred different ways to handle your situation and you picked one of the worst ones. Your coach questioned how hurt you are and you felt like you had to show him something. How about showing him half the yards you thought you were going to get. Life lesson you should have learned there but didn't, Keep your mouth shut and think before you act or speak and you still might be a Jayhawk. Could care less what he thinks. Lew has run this situation in the ground and the university with it. His job should also be in jeapordy. Coach has done wonderful things with this program. When he took over we couldn't have won the MIAA league title. Thank you for what you have done coach but I don't know if perseption allows us to keep you. My kids know what it is like to cheer for KU football something a decades worth of children have no idea about. I also thank the players that sacraficed their body for that to happen. I hope you took advantage of the education offered to you at KU and turned it into a diploma to better your life.
This whole thing smells and if peolpe don't feel bad for these seniors then the reality of this misses you. I don't know what coach would step in after this mess and enjoy woking for a guy that is ready to throw you under the rug. Watch out Bill Self, don't poke or make a kid upset with you or you could be next. What a joke.

shelleysue 12 years, 10 months ago

Again I totally agree with something - slijhawk. You hit the head on a multitude of nails. I don't think there is anything I disagree with here.

The biggest tragedy in all of this is what it's done to the seniors. First the losing skid, then a loss on senior night in front of WAAAAAY too many Nebraska fans. Focusing on all this when the focus should be getting these seniors to a bowl game to end their careers. What an awful, awful way for these outstanding players who brought so much to KU football, to end their time in Lawrence. I hate that so much I can't even put it into words.

Thank you seniors! I have had SO much fun watching you and I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate all of you. Kerry - I will never forget last year's Missouri game, and that photo of you scoring the winning touchdown will always bring a smile to my face. I want you to know you're my grandson's favorite player of all time and he cried when you caught that pass. Priceless. The way you contributed to the team even though it wasn't at QB was the ultimate example to every fan. Thanks to every senior for giving us one of the best games ever, an Orange Bowl Victory, and many, many great times. I am going to miss you all terribly.

Mark Bowers 12 years, 10 months ago

This whole situation is a disgrace on a mulitple of levels. First off, anyone not on the team anymore should keep their thoughts to themselves, they had their chance to air their opinion when they were Jayhawks. I'm sick of Mortensen already. Mortensen, focus on football not bad mouthing someone to the media and behind his back. Maybe then "maybe" you'll be NFL material. Basically it comes down to it not being a winning season. When the Hawks were on top, not a word was spoke of anything like this. Seriously, anyone who's played a sport at a competative level knows that coaches that are soft have loosing teams. I wrestled, ran track. My coaches weren't my best friend during the season, they were my coaches and they did what they had too, to make sure we knew it wasn't just about us. We represented our community, our school, our team, then ourselves. It's too much of a what about me society, & because of a couple of cry babies that couldn't take the heat, we all suffer. That's what happens in these situations, a few ruin it for everyone and add embarrassment to the school and state as well. Before I start on Lew Perkins, I'll leave it at that. Sorry coach, sorry Jayhawk football players that are team players.

slatkins 12 years, 10 months ago

Everyone who has played ball in their lives has had to endure a tough coach, it's part of playing team sports. Whether some of these kids can appreciate "tough love" remains to be seen. But I can almost guarantee that they will look back on this little whining episode and be embarrassed about it in the future. Mortenson and Crawford for sure.

As for parents calling in to talk to Lew . . . take off the diapers and let these kids grow up. Why don't you have the decency to talk to THE man face-to-face? These are young men that have probably been the elite athletes from their high schools and have been pampered their whole lives. They need to have a dose of reality when they screw up.

Addressing the incident that you see on YouTube when Mangino is cursing out Pendleton for hotdogging into the endzone, HE WAS RIGHT! That type of behavior should be penalized, and it shows poor sportsmanship. Mangino needed to knock that kid down a couple of notches. It happened to me in the past, and I look back and appreciate the tongue lashing. I learned so much from my high school coach, and look back on many of those lessons still today.

I, and hopefully many more from the legions of Mangino fans, will be proudly wearing my "Mangino Mafia" t-shirt for years to come.

Roy Scherff 12 years, 10 months ago

Rest of the world 1 KU 0. Recovering from the damage of the past few months is going to take years. I am at present, have been in the past, and will be in the future a Mark Mangino fan. No doubt in my mind that this guy is a closet son of Woody Hayes. Coaches like him, behaves like him. Destined to close his career like him. Nevertheless I believe in and am firmly behind Mark Mangino. On another note I am seriously disappointed in the so called team members that have had their feelings hurt. I sincerely hope you can learn from this and hopefully grow up to be proud of yourselves for your future accomplishments. You have to be feeling pretty low about now after selling out your coach, your team, your university and lets not forget yourselves.

jayhawkr34 12 years, 10 months ago

Ive read most of the post, not once have i seen anyone say or question if this would be going on if we were doing better. Some of the allegations happened in the 12-1 season? not one person said anything about Mangino then, hmmmm. I'm still behind ya big guy, keep up the good work, and if the players that cried like little mama's girls are still on the team let them sit in the bleachers with their mommy's. Like i said in an earlier post, ITS FOOTBALL! not soccer.

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