Yesterday Lew Perkins issued a statement making it known that Head Football Coach Mark Mangino is under investigation due to a player complaint. Cue the rumor mill. The newspapers, message boards, blog, radio and television stations quickly begin to churn out rumors of choking, punching, an all out mutiny of a man who clearly has no ethical standards and is finally getting what he deserves. From Manhattan to Kansas City to Columbia and even in Lawrence Kansas the dirt was already being shoveled on the grave of the Mangino era of Kansas football.
Now I'm not sure where this ends up but I thought it would be nice to recap what we do know and what we don't know at this point. In the end it may be determined that Mangino and Kansas need to part ways, but at the same time the awkward timing and release of the information has certainly led to a lot of misinformation and piling in on from all sides. So here it goes...
What we know...
- The Kansas athletic department is investigating the Kansas program and coach Mangino based on potentially inappropriate conduct brought to the departments attention by a player.
- It is being reported that this stems from an incident where Coach Mangino allegedly poked senior linebacker Arist Wright in the chest.
- Mangino does have a history of hot tempered flare ups ranging from the newly reported incident with the KU parking department to the occurrence at his sons high school football game.
- There was a meeting with Coach Mangino and Lew Perkins.
- There was a meeting with Lew Perkins and the Kansas Coaching staff.
- There have been one on one player meetings as well.
- Practice was business as usual yesterday, Mangino on the practice field.
- Speaking to several players they say they are focused on Texas and trying to avoid get involved in all the hype right now.
- Coach Mangino has done a tremendous job of turning the Kansas program into a competitive one. Things aren't panning out the way anyone hoped this season but as a whole the man has clearly been successful in his career whether that be during his time at Kansas State, Oklahoma or here at Kansas.
- Chris Harris...""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."
- Brandon McAnderson..."I knew immediately," said McAnderson, "They told me, ‘If you want to get coddled, don’t go to Kansas. If you want to play for a guy that’s a disciplinarian, then that’s what you’re getting yourself into.’"
- Todd Reesing, asked whether he felt Mangino had the support of Perkins, "I think Lew is doing what he has to do in the position he has."
- "He’s always been very stern in his resolve," Reesing said. "... The way he’s approached football is the way a lot of people approach it. He takes the same approach that coaches all across the nation do."
Dexton Fields also said he thought the rumors that were now surfacing were legitimate and had been occurring since he came to Kansas in 2004.
"It’s been a long time that that stuff has been happening and it had to surface," Fields said. "Of all the talent that KU has there, it had to be some other reason that KU isn’t producing out on the field. It’s been long overdue."
- "I knew it was a matter of time before somebody reported it or said something, because it’s been happening since I got there and I’m sure before then," Marcus Herford said. "I’m surprised actually that it took this long honestly."
What we DON'T know...
- IF...Coach Mangino choked, punched or truly physically abused any player.(poking in the chest doesn't count in most peoples book when you are on a division one football team.)
- IF...Lew Perkins and Mark Mangino have an ongoing tense relationship.
- IF...Lew Perkins has simply been waiting for his opportunity to fire the big man and make "his own hire."
- IF...The only reason this is coming to light is the 5 game losing streak.
- IF...An all out mutiny is being arranged by players, parents and assistant coaches because the environment around Kansas football is so bad it's intolerable. (Quick question, why is everyone still there then?)
- IF...Coach Mangino's days are fading as the head coach of Kansas football.
- IF...Coach Mangino is a the epitome of a bad person, some out there would like to assume this without knowing the man. I don't know the man either so I'll withhold judgment. Just like I'll withhold judgment of other teams coaches. I don't have to like them as an opponent but I'll show respect where it's due.
- IF...The alleged former players interviewed are in fact departed junior college flops in Vernon Brooks and one Jocques Crawford.
- Lastly we don't know if others brought forward additional allegations beyond those of Arist Wright.
Again I don't know where this thing ends up. It could be determined that coach Mangino poked Wright in the chest and he get's reprimanded, told to tone it down and still coaches the Jayhawks.
It could be determined that coach Mangino has a larger pattern of some kind of abuse and he is asked to leave or forced to leave as the Kansas football coach.
Coach Mangino may see Lew's timing and disclosure as a slap in the face and decide to leave on his own accord.
Hell who knows. All I do know is that for the moment Coach Mangino is the football coach at the University of Kansas. For now, until some factual information comes to light I think I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. However, if indeed Mark Mangino is guilty of some sort of overall pattern of abuse and misconduct then he should be gone. I'm not saying the man is perfect, and based on past patterns it certainly warrants looking into if something is brought to the attention of the athletic department. If however this is a simple poke in the chest, I'll be moving on. Alas, today is a new day...let the rumor mill commence.