The University of Kansas Jayhawks lost Saturday evening to the University of Texas Longhorns 51-20.
This loss came as KU Head Coach Mark Mangino continues to be investigated for his supposed inappropriate and abusive conduct toward his players.
It has come out that KU Athletic Director Lew Perkins initiated the internal review after someone who is not a player voiced concerns over senior linebacker Artist Wright getting poked in the chest during a practice. According to KUSports.com, Wright didn’t go to Perkins, but when the A.D. asked Wright about the situation, Wright told Perkins everything that happened and voiced other concerns.
That proves Perkins probably is gunning for Mangino because Mangino isn’t “his coach” since Perkins took on his role after Mangino was already the skipper of the Jayhawk football team. This is becoming increasingly likely due to the fact that this internal review is the first step toward termination according to Mangino’s contract.
A win against Texas would have helped Mangino prove that his coaching tactics aren’t that bad if the team can get a win despite being in a slump and having the drama of the investigation looming overhead.
However, a victory wasn’t the end result of the Texas game for the Hawks.
So what does this loss, bringing the Jayhawks to 1-6 in Big 12 play, do to Mangino’s situation?
Simply put: it can’t help.
If Perkins, or people who write checks to the university, wants to get Mangino out, then this loss was probably just another nail in the coffin. It is a shame. Mangino has been a force of incredible good for the KU football program, and he still continues to be a good coach, even if this season hasn’t gone as well as some of his others.
Several players, such as senior wide receiver Kerry Meier, have voiced support of Mangino, and Texas Head Coach Mack Brown has also said he thinks Mangino has been doing a good job with the Jayhawks. After all, KU didn’t just rollover against the Longhorns. They battled. It just wasn’t enough.
Though Mangino’s termination seems almost imminent now, it doesn’t change the fact that it will be a huge mistake for KU. It will be a mistake that will undoubtedly prove costly for the Jayhawk football program.
So what’s next?
First, assuming KU doesn’t axe Mangino this week, KU has to take on Missouri next week. A victory will still make them bowl eligible.
After that, though, Mangino might no longer be a Jayhawk, even though he has made it clear that he wants to coach KU and is not just using it as a stepping stone. Again, it is a shame KU is doing this to him, but he won’t be jobless.
Mangino is too good a coach to not get picked up by another program, and in doing so, he’ll probably end up making more money.
I don’t know what his options will be, but one that comes to mind is going to coach at the University of Notre Dame. Current Fighting Irish Head Coach Charlie Weis sucks and isn’t producing. He’s probably also going to be fired, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t find another job.
Mangino could do well in South Bend, Ind.
Or maybe Kansas State University might pick him up since Wildcat Head Coach Bill Snyder won’t be there forever and will need a replacement. This might be a little bit of a stretch, but, even though I loathe K-State, it would be just desserts for KU since they got rid of Mangino for asinine reasons.
The possibilities for Mangino after KU are nearly endless, and without Mangino KU will once again slip into obscurity in the college football world.
I hope KU makes the right decision and keeps the big guy, but it just doesn’t seem likely at this point.
The one bright spot of the weekend was the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers defeating the K-State Wildcats to clinch the Big 12 North, which means Nebraska will be facing Texas for the Big 12 Championship.