Under Fire, Kansas Coach Defends His Record

As the NCAA investigates Kansas football coach Mark Mangino, the coach defends himself.

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We chronicled much of the news coming out of Ann Arbor, Mich., earlier this year when the NCAA decided to investigate the University of Michigan's football program. Well, Michigan has company in the programs-under-fire category: the University of Kansas.

The university is conducting an internal investigation of Jayhawks Coach Mark Mangino for alleged mistreatment of his players. But Mangino is defending himself against a media barrage. Yesterday, the beleaguered coach pointed to his record on the Kansas sidelines as the main reason why he should stay on as coach regardless of the investigation and the result of Kansas's rivalry game against Missouri this weekend, the Kansas City Star reports.

"But if my tenure here is going to be based on one game," Mangino tells the Star, "then I think that would probably be a sad affair for all of us. I hate to think that one game would determine the future of us after eight years, a body of work over eight years."

Mangino is 50-46 at Kansas in what will be eight seasons after Saturday's game against the University of Missouri, the Jayhawks' bitter rival. He was named national coach of the year by several entities in 2007 after he guided Kansas to a 12-to-1 record and an Orange Bowl victory.

But his coaching style has been questioned by some former players, who've said they have been the object of slur-laden tirades from Mangino. The reports of verbal abuse and other misbehavior prompted the school's investigation. It doesn't help that Kansas has lost five consecutive games and is on the brink of its first losing season since 2004.

Mangino has denied any wrongdoing, and many have expressed their support for the 53-year-old coach.

"I have had overwhelming support from former players, fans, people that I've coached with and coached against and strangers," Mangino tells the Star. "There have been so many E-mails and phone calls and text messages in the last week to me, my family, my staff, my support staff. Many parents have contacted the office. My only regret is that right now I'm focused on Missouri, and I can't return all those messages, but I will eventually."

We'll keep an eye on the situation in Kansas as it unfolds. 

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  • Corrected on : Corrected on 11/30/09: An earlier version of this article misstated the type of investigation that is being conducted of the Kansas football team. The university is conducting an internal investigation of Coach Mark Mangino.