KU Investigates Mangino for Improper Conduct

ESPN.com news services

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Kansas said Tuesday it is investigating what it calls a personnel matter concerning football coach Mark Mangino, whose team is mired in a five-game losing streak that threatens to ruin the season.

A source briefed on the situation told ESPN's Joe Schad that one particular incident allegedly involved Mangino yelling at and making contact with a player earlier this season. According to another source, some players have threatened to transfer because of what they perceive as having been spoken to in an inappropriate manner.

Several players and the parents of other players have had meetings with athletic director Lew Perkins about the situation, two sources briefed on the situation told Schad.

Perkins met with the entire football team Monday night and Mangino, the national coach of the year in 2007, was not present.

Mangino said he met with Perkins for "10 or 15 minutes" on Tuesday after Perkins issued a brief statement confirming the internal review was under way.

Mangino insisted he has not lost the support of his players but suggested that may not be true of others on campus.

"I haven't lost the team, not one bit. I may have lost some people around here but it's not players," he said at his weekly news conference.

Mangino inherited a program in shambles in 2002 and coached the Jayhawks to their greatest season ever in 2007, a 12-1 record and Orange Bowl victory over Virginia Tech. They won their first five games this year and were ranked as high as No. 16 before senior quarterback Todd Reesing and the rest of the team went into a tailspin.

Going into their game at No. 3 Texas on Saturday, they are just 5-5 overall and 1-5 in the Big 12 and in danger of not becoming bowl eligible.

Neither Mangino nor Perkins nor any of the Kansas players would disclose the specifics of the investigation. Mangino said it had to do with the disappointing season.

"You lose a few games in a row, those type of things surface. It's not uncommon," he said. "I don't take it lightly, but I'm focused on Texas and I'm very comfortable the way we manage and run the football program here. This is what comes when things aren't going well. You're going to find disgruntled people."

Asked if Mangino had lost the support of his team, or at least parts of it, Reesing said emphatically, "No. Not at all."

Reesing said the situation bore no relation to the team's record.

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

Perkins issued a statement and was not available to the media.

"I can confirm an internal review is under way," he said. "It involves a personnel matter, and as a result, is confidential. It would be inappropriate for me to provide further information right now."

In eight seasons at Kansas, where football has historically struggled, Mangino is 50-46 overall and 23-39 in the Big 12. He needs only two more victories to tie A.R. Kennedy's school record of 52 victories from 1904-10.

Reesing, the Jayhawks' career passing leader and acknowledged team leader, said Perkins told the team he would appoint an unbiased person to look into the matter.

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