Kansas has spent most of the second half of the season being pushed around. Who knew it was coming from the Jayhawks’ coach?
This does not bode well for Saturday’s game at No. 2 Texas. If certain Kansas players are whining about coach Mark Mangino planting one whole finger into the chest of senior linebacker Arist Wright, you can imagine them practically cowering for the Longhorns.
As mentioned, though, that cowering has been going on for a while.
None of the accusations made Tuesday by anonymous players (Wright himself was not quoted) doesn’t add up to much. The coach is mean. So what? The coach is abusive? Prove it. A finger to the chest somehow doesn’t do it for me.
Maybe that’s the point in the swirl of Tuesday’s much-ado-about-nothing claim. Mangino made a point by putting his finger of death into the frontal area of an unprotected Wright. I’m trying to make this sound as bad as possible, because when I first read it I laughed.
Mark Mangino is going to lose his job because he jabbed a finger? Really? That’s all we know right now because no one with a set has come forward to attach their name to these claims. AD Lew Perkins confirmed he met with players Monday night to hear their concerns. They were apparently upset at the way Mangino was treating them. If you read the message boards, Mangino choked/hit/abused (pick one) a player. If you read the message boards, Mangino wasn’t going to make to Austin this week without a job.
So already, we’re out in the knee-jerk stratosphere with this one.
Where was this two years ago when Mangino was the national coach of the year leading the Jayhawks to their best season ever? Either it didn’t exist or the entire Kansas program – players included – were enablers. As long as they were winning, it was easier to put up with Mangino’s “abuse.”
So if you’re going to run to the AD you better have some solid proof and you better prove this isn’t the result of a five-game losing streak. Once again, if this was going on two years ago, where were the critics then?
Something like this has happened before. Indiana enabled Bob Knight for decades. It was only, coincidentally, when Knight began winning less that it became convenient to fire him. There was plenty of proof going back years that Knight had abused players and bullied administrators. The sad thing is there are still those today who support Knight.
I’m not comparing Mark Mangino to Bob Knight. Rather Mangino’s players look weak for doing this a few days after the fifth loss in a row. Losing breeds anger, distrust, bad moods. Mangino, like everyone else, has his bad days. Does he have a temper? Absolutely.
Once he came out of the stands to berate officials after a late hit on his son in a high school game. I’m not saying I wouldn’t do the same thing, but I’m not saying I wouldn’t if my kid was being cheap shotted. I’ll agree that the coach at Kansas can’t become the news in that situation but I’m also willing to cut him a break as a parent.
YouTube posted a video of Mangino berating a player on the sidelines. But that’s the point in the internet age. It was only an issue – just like Brandon Spikes’ eye gouge – because it was on YouTube.
It seems to me that Woody Hayes had a temper too. I’m sure Jim Tressel has one, Urban Meyer too. Oh, and Bill Self too. We just never hear about them because they win. That’s the sad thing about the whole deal. If Kansas was 8-2 instead of 5-5 would this be an issue? I’m taking bets right now that it wouldn’t.
Catch more passers, make better blocks. Practice harder, boys. If not, there’s a new name for the “team” in Lawrence.
The Kansas Rats.