Situation Surrounding Mangino Remains Unclear

Kansas Athletics Director Lew Perkins met with Kansas football players Monday night for a "personnel issue," reportedly to discuss complaints lobbied about Kansas football coach Mark Mangino, and to conduct an "internal review."

Sources said that the review came as a result of a confrontation between Mark Mangino and a player.

But Mangino said at Tuesday's press conference that he didn't believe the issue caused him to lose a team that has gone o'fer its last five.

"I haven't lost the team – not one bit," Mangino said. "I may have lost some people around here, but it's not the players. Take it for what it's worth. You decipher and see."

Mangino said he didn't wish to comment on the situation, nor on his 10-15 minute meeting with Perkins following the players meeting that Mangino wasn't present for.

"I don't want to talk about the issues or what was said — this person said this, and is this correct and all that," Mangino said. "I'm not going to get into that. This is not the appropriate time for that."

Mangino said that any questions about his meeting with Perkins would have to be directed to the athletics director.

 "Yes, I had a brief meeting with him. If you want to know what was said, I'm not disclosing it," Mangino said. "He's disclosing information about the situation, I'm not. I'm focused on the task at hand and want to stay on track.  You'd have to ask him; I don't know. We're all trying to get on a winning track here and we're trying to get the train on the track, so I can't answer for him. That would not be appropriate for me to try and speculate why."

At some point, something went wrong this season.

With his 5-0 start to the year, Mangino had garnered victories in 25 of his last 31 games. But something went wrong, and the Jayhawks lost a 34-30 shocker with Colorado, due in part to self-inflicted mistakes. That game was the start of a five game losing streak, putting Kansas at the bottom of the Big 12 North with a 1-5 conference record and needing a victory against either Texas or Missouri just to become bowl eligible.

"This is what comes when things aren't going well," Mangino said. "You're going to find disgruntled people. It's a fact of any organization, whether it's sports related or it's corporate — any profession you're in. Our program has been successful and has done some great things here and we're proud of it. The fact of the matter is that we've lost some games in a row here. Nobody feels worse than I do about it, and nobody is trying harder to get it straightened out. A fact of life is that these types of things are going to come up when things aren't going well and that's life. It's how it works."

"I don't really have much to say about it other than when you lose a few games in a row, those type of things surface," Mangino said. "Those type of issues come up. It's not uncommon. I don't take it lightly, but I'm focused on Texas and I'm very comfortable with the way we manage and run the football program here."

But at that same press conference, Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing said that he didn't believe the problems were a matter of wins and losses.

"I don't think this has anything to do with the recent performance or the number of games we've won," Reesing said.

"There's been some certain things that have been said, but I really don't want to focus on that right now," Reesing continued. "It is what it is. It's happening and it has nothing to do with playing Texas, so I don't really see the relevancy in me talking about that."

It would be strange for Perkins to pull the trigger on a firing if it were purely performance-based. Mangino is the first coach since Jack Mitchell to put together a winning career record at Kansas, has taken the Jayhawks to consecutive bowl games in the first time in the program's history, and has had the Jayhawks bowl eligible in all but two of his seven complete seasons. Kansas won 20 combined games in 2007 and 2008, and is just two years removed from a 12-1 campaign that included an Orange Bowl victory.

Multiple other players, including freshman left tackle Tanner Hawkinson, declined to comment on the meeting.

Reesing said the timing was unfortunate.

"I told (the team) that this was going to be something that was going to be hard to handle," Reesing said. "As you can tell, I've been standing here five minutes and I've answered zero questions about the game against Texas this Saturday. So needless to say, it's going to be something that we're going to have to deal with."

"We're going to have to find a way to stay focused on this football game because as you can see, the focus is not there from things outside of our program," Reesing said. "I told the guys to not talk about it, to not share anything that they don't need to talk about and worry about Texas and our ability to prepare and get ready for them." Top Stories