John Taylor at NBCSports.com’s College Football Talk sources a very different side to the Mark Mangino saga at Kansas. Taylor cites a “school source with knowledge of the situation” who accuses Kansas Athletic Director Lew Perkins of a “convoluted vendetta” against Mangino which includes deceiving Jayhawk football players into speaking out against the coach and leaking embarrassing info about Mangino to the media.
(KU AD Lew Perkins, appropriately stationed behind Mangino’s back)
The source correctly notes that the complaint that started the entire investigation into Mangino’s conduct was originally made by linebacker Arist Wright before KU’s Oct. 17 game against Colorado, when the Jayhawks were 5-0. News of Wright’s complaint was not made public until this week, after the team had lost five straight games.
Taylor’s source goes on to accuse Perkins of secretly commandeering Mangino’s text messaging system to players, ordering them to a meeting that would ultimately result in them airing complaints about their coach.
Finally, Perkins is also alleged to have leaked info about Mangino’s failure to pay parking tickets two years ago, and his confrontation with a student attendant.
It is an interesting coincidence to say the least that all of the dirty laundry about Mangino is coming out now, and that the athletic dept. has resorted to, along with current players, calling on former players and parents to throw Mangino under the bus in public.
Considering the astonishing success the Jayhawks have enjoyed during Mangino’s tenure, it’s hard to believe that a personality conflict would cause an athletic director to purposefully launch a smear campaign to oust the coach.
Taylor’s source though adds:
“Just consider who might be the source of these leaks,” the source said, insinuating that Perkins is behind this becoming a media imbroglio. ”Perkins [left] Maryland [after an NCAA investigation], and they held a celebratory party at UConn when he left.
“Perkins is the reason why Nike will no longer do business with Kansas.”
Despite Taylor’s report, if Mangino did indeed say some of the things he’s accused of saying to players, it’s hard to defend him. Some of his comments were way, way over the line and at the very least he should be severly rebuked for them.
But if Taylor’s source is correct, and those in positions of power at the Univ. of Kansas know of Perkins’ unprofessional behavior, we may be in for a big surprise in the next few days. Perhaps as soon as Friday.