Source: A.D. 'undercutting' Mangino

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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.

Nick Saban thinks skipping bowl games could lead to recruits doing same thing in high school

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Grand Poobah of college football and Alabama head coach Nick Saban has had some interesting ideas about the sport over the years that conflict with the general consensus of his peers. The latest subject to fit that mold? How players like Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey skipping their bowl games could filter down to the high school level with recruits.

“Same thing will happen in high school if they make the signing day before the season,” Saban told CBS Sports. “It will take a few years, then some kid will say, ‘Hey, I’m going to Notre Dame. I’m not playing my senior year.'”

The Crimson Tide coach is referencing not only the two tailbacks skipping bowl games but also the possibility that upcoming December signing date could be moved up on the calendar. Big 12 commissioner (and chairman of the Football Oversight Committee) Bob Bowlsby said at his conference media days that the date for signing could be changed or even extended to a longer signing period as part of ongoing discussions about the recruiting process.

Talk of players signing with a college prior to their senior season in high school has not been broadly talked about by coaches or administrators but it does seem like everything is on the table when it comes to NCAA reforms in this area. It remains to be seen if any recruit will actually go as far as sitting out a full year in order to protect himself from injury in order to play in college… just as it remains questionable as to whether Fournette and McCaffrey’s decisions will develop into a broader trend at the college level.

Coaches are no fans of dramatically altering the status quo and it seems Saban is among the group who want to stem the postseason defection of players before things turn into a regular occurrence at any level of football.

Coastal Carolina coach Joe Mogila has precautionary surgery on trachea

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Coastal Carolina is one of the newest members of the FBS ranks and the program’s first ever Sun Belt conference media day was supposed to be one of the highlights for the school transitioning the ranks in college football. Unfortunately for the Chanticleers, their head coach won’t be able to make it following a health scare.

The Sun Belt released a statement Friday afternoon saying that Coastal Carolina assistant Jamey Chadwell will represent the team at media day after head coach Joe Mogila “had a precancerous nodule on his trachea and doctors wanted it removed as a precaution.”

The 68-year-old Mogila is perhaps best known to those outside the sport for his time on Wall Street, including a productive stint as CEO of the company now known as TD Ameritrade. He got the itch to coach college football however and has been in charge of the Chanticleers since 2012, leading the program to a 51–15 record at the FCS level.

Chadwell was named CCU’s offensive coordinator this past January after previously serving as head coach at Charleston Southern. Neither the school or the conference indicated any timetable for Mogila’s recovery but based on the release it seems the operation was a success and the coach is now recovering.

Coastal Carolina opens the season on September 2nd against UMass in what will be the school’s first game as a FBS program.

So it begins… Ole Miss recruit decommits after Hugh Freeze departure

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It didn’t take long before Ole Miss to suffer on the recruiting trail from the abrupt departure of Hugh Freeze as head coach on Thursday evening.

In what was probably only a matter of time (just a few hours as it turns out), Rebels 2019 Houston (Tex.) cornerback recruit Bobby Wolfe confirmed to ESPN that he had decommitted from the program on Thursday night following Freeze’s resignation. Several other recruiting services also confirmed the news and noted that many of Ole Miss’ 2018 commitments are starting to have second thoughts about the situation in Oxford.

That the team is struggling to pull in recruits like they were in Freeze’s heyday when the Rebels were a regular in the top 10 of the recruiting rankings is not exactly surprising. Even before the head coach was shown the door, the school was dealing with the fallout from an ongoing NCAA infractions case and are facing the possibility that their bowl ban will extend beyond the self-imposed sit-out of the 2017 season.

With Wolfe no longer committed, Ole Miss doesn’t have a single 2019 pledge according to 247Sports and has just 10 players in the 2018 class — all of whom are three-stars or lower — that currently sits 11th in the conference team rankings. As for the Texas cornerback, he recently picked up an offer from SEC rival LSU and had Baylor extend a verbal scholarship offer not long after re-opening his recruitment.

Former 49ers executive reportedly joining Jim Harbaugh in Ann Arbor

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Jim Harbaugh is reaching back to his NFL days for the latest hire at Michigan.

Veteran Bay Area journalist Tim Kawakami reports that recent San Francisco 49ers personnel executive Tom Gamble is headed to Ann Arbor to join the Wolverines staff.

According to the fine folks over at sister site ProFootballTalk, Gamble left the 49ers in February shortly after John Lynch was hired by the franchise as general manager. He worked with Harbaugh when their tenures with San Francisco overlapped in 2011 and 2012 before Gamble eventually departed for a two-year stint with the Philadelphia Eagles.

It’s unclear what role specifically Gamble will take with the Wolverines as Harbaugh already hired a new director of player personnel this year by bringing Sean Magee over from Navy. The former 49ers executive doesn’t have much college experience in the past few decades beyond scouting so it will be interesting to see what his official title at Michigan will be once formally announced by the school.

Either way, it seems like Harbaugh is fully investing in off-the-field roles like his peers at Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State and he is not shying away from reaching into the NFL ranks to do so.