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And Another Thing


A train wreck named Mangino

Hey, I know how the world works. I was around for the demise of Bob Knight, wasn't I?

And so I get that you can treat people like something you scrape off your shoe as long as you're winning games and riding high. But woe to you if your program ever goes south on you, or at least inclines that way.

That's what happened to Knight at Indiana, once he stopped winning Big Ten titles. That's sort of what's happening to Mark Mangino, the coach who turned Kansas football right side up, now that the Jayhawks are going through a bout of severe averageness.

No one cared that Mangino apparently treated his players like dirt when he was winning and going to bowls. But if you do that, eventually it comes back on you, and it's coming back on Mangino with a vengeance.

In the last week or so former players have surfaced with tales of Mangino's cruelty, which he's made worse by blaming the players and their parents.

Good move there, Coach. You might want to stop digging before you hit China.

And, yeah, OK, what Mangino is saying clearly resonates with a certain segment of old-school types who think the players who are complaining are just P.C. pansies who can't take what, in Old School's day, was standard operating procedure for football coaches.

To which I say: Yeah, maybe. But some of the stories seem way too specific not to be true, and clearly go over the line of even rugged old-school tactics.

One former wideout, for instance, has gone on record with a story about coming off the field after dropping a couple of passes. One of this wideout's buddies back home had just been shot. So Mangino, allegedly, told the offending wideout that if he dropped another pass, he'd send him back home where he could get shot like his homeys.

I don't know about you. But I find that appalling behavior ever for an old-school football coach. And way, way beyond the pale of what should be acceptable, whether this is about Mangino no longer winning or not.

Ben Smith's blog.