On a day when everyone seems to be piling on Mark Mangino, we’ve come across some information that paints a slightly different picture of the Kansas head coach and the situation in which he currently finds himself.
As you no doubt have heard by now, Mangino is the subject of an internal investigation for allegedly poking a player — linebacker Arist Wright — in the chest during the week leading up to the Oct. 17 game against Colorado. At the time of the alleged practice incident, Kansas was 5-0; since then, the Jayhawks have lost five straight and have some convinced that the losing has played a major role in this incident coming to light.
“Do you think this would be happening if they’d won five games in a row instead of lost [five in a row]”, a school source with knowledge of the situation told CFT. “They were unbeaten when this happened. Why is it not coming out until now?”
As a result of the “poking” incident, the players met with athletic director Lew Perkins this past Monday and were given a no-holds-barred forum in which they could discuss any issues or concerns they have or had regarding Mangino. The head coach was not present, and was unaware of the meeting until afterwards according to the source.
In getting the players together, the source said, Perkins or one of his underlings “went on blast” to alert the players to the particulars of the meeting. According to the source, Mangino “blasts” his players via text messages in order to get information out to them, alert them to certain things, etc. Some players were under the impression that Mangino had called for the meeting, and attended under that assumption.
The source said using this “blast system” was one of many indications that Perkins is attempting to undermine the coach, undercutting him in regards to how he deals with his players.
Another indication? It’s believed by many involved with the university that Perkins or someone associated with Perkins’ office is responsible for the leak revealing a parking ticket incident two years ago that paints Mangino in a not-so-flattering light — an incident that was taken care of by both the payment of all outstanding tickets and a personal apology from Mangino for his actions in a verbal altercation with a student attendant.
Again, that was an incident which occurred two years ago and is just now coming to light. That fact, along with an internal probe being made public, gives the perception that there is some kind of convoluted vendetta going on by those in positions of power within the athletic administration.
“He’s the most successful football coach Kansas has had [in the modern era], and they are doing this to him? Why would that be, especially now with the successes, the bowl successes, the program’s had as recently as the last couple of years?” the source asked, referring largely to the back-to-back bowl wins and a 12-1 season.
“Just consider who might be the source of these leaks,” the source said, insinuating that Perkins is behind this becoming a media imbroglio. “Perkins [left] Maryland [after an NCAA investigation], and they held a celebratory party at UConn when he left.
“Perkins is the reason why Nike will no longer do business with Kansas.”
While some are under the impression that this incident could be the beginning of the end for Mangino’s run in Lawrence, there are those — including the unnamed university source cited in this story — who feel that the axe could fall on Perkins before it’s all said and done.
However this whole situation ends up being resolved — and regardless of who may or may not lose their jobs — all sides will be sporting unnecessary black eyes that seem to be the byproduct of unprofessional leaks from the AD’s office.