KU Football’s Penalty For Getting Lew’d: 5 Years

Thanks to a standard set by miracle worker Mark Mangino, some members of the media are already suggesting it’s time for the University of Kansas to relieve Turner Gill of his duties as Jayhawks football coach.

Lew Perkins nuked KU Football with contract fallout

(Thanks to Lew Perkins, you can’t find KU Football without a geiger counter)

One such voice is Matt Tait of the LAWRENCE JOURNAL-WORLD, who recently suggested that Gill’s hire may have been misguided. To put it lightly.

Wait, Tait wrote that in October, 2010. My bad.

Then there’s today, which features a thoughtful piece by Bill Reiter of FOXSPORTSKANSASCITY.com calling for Mangino to be rehired at the cost of the current Kansas football coach’s job.

In a story titled, “KU needs to make right move: Rehire Mangino“, Reiter features the following lede:

Let’s cut to the chase: Turner Gill, the head football coach of one of the most floundering football programs in America, isn’t the right the coach for Kansas.

You know who is? Mark Mangino.

Really.

Reiter also gleans comments from Mangino, who sadly has seemingly been reduced - by former Kansas Athletic Director Lew Perkins‘ ego - to whimpering for a job.

Any job:

“It’s what I’ve committed myself to doing my whole adult life and I love it greatly,” he said. “I love it. I love the competition. I love being around those young guys every day. They keep you young and keep you going. I very much am looking forward to getting back on the field.

“I’d like to be a head coach because I feel I have some unfinished business. But I’ll say if being an offensive coordinator or being a position coach is the opportunity that is the best fit for me and the best fit for them, I’ll do it. I miss it. I just miss it.”

That from a man who most recently led one of college football’s most notorious dregs to 12 wins and an Orange Bowl title. (As a native Kansas Citian, I still can’t believe I just wrote that sentence.)

Ironic then that for the very same reason as former Kansas Athletic Director Lew Perkins‘ contrived “investigation” into Mangino’s football program in 2009, there’s absolutely no chance the Jayhawks will be able to jettison Gill anytime soon.

Because Mangino had no contract buyout at the time that Perkins, whose ego didn’t allow for a high-profile coach whom he didn’t hire, wanted to force the coach out, the ex-KU AD and noted purveyor of unnecessary private air travel ginned up a witch hunt of Mangino. The result allowed for the coach’s ouster, but not without Kansas forking over a whopping $3 million to Mangino. (See hush money.)

Following his pushing out the best thing to happen to Kansas football since Gale Sayers, naturally Perkins furnished his hand-picked successor to Mangino, Turner Gill, a 5-year, $10 million contract that was also bereft a buyout.

With that handy contract language, authored by Perkins himself, it currently would take a $6 million payment - the remaining value of the contract - for KU to jettison Gill as football coach.

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Phoggy: 2 Jayhawks Suspended for One on One?

Monday morning the University of Kansas announced the “indefinite” suspensions of men’s basketball player Tyshawn Taylor and women’s basketball player Marisha Brown in separate press releases sent out to the media less than an hour apart.

Tyshawn Taylor and Marisha Brown suspended 49 minutes apart

Of Taylor’s suspension, Kansas men’s Coach Bill Self said in an official KU statement:

“Although we are disappointed in Tyshawn, he will remain a member of our team and practice with our team until he is reinstated for competition.”

Of Brown’s suspension, Kansas women’s coach Bonnie Henrickson said in an official KU statement:

“Marisha will remain a member of our team and continue to practice until she is reinstated for competition, however, we are very disappointed in her.”

Is the Kansas athletic department, and Self and Henrickson, trying to tell us something?

Later Monday night, ESPN’s Holly Rowe reported what Taylor told her about the suspension. Read more…

Kansas To Name Tulsa A.D. New Athletic Director

Kansas is expected to announce current Tulsa Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham as its new athletic director as soon as tomorrow according to a Big 12 athletic director who wished to remain anonymous.

Bubba Cunningham

Cunningham’s deal with Kansas has not been consummated but he recently met with the approval of the KU administration following a meeting with Kansas Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little this week.

As I reported last week, base annual pay for the position is expected to be $750,000. Read more…

Another Day, Another Candidate In KU AD Search

Today I learned new details about what has become a plodding search by Kansas for its next athletic director.

Mike Bobinski

(Like Tulsa’s Cunningham, Bobinski is a Notre Dame alumnus)

As reported here previously, current Tulsa athletic director Bubba Cunningham continues to be on KU’s short list for the gig. Cunningham is apparently serious enough about his interest in the job that he and his family visited Lawrence last weekend to get a feel for the surroundings.

But another, new name has now emerged late(?) in the game. Read more…

KU Rules Out Barnhart; Targets 2 New Candidates

Two weeks ago I reported that current Univ. of Kentucky Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart and Tulsa Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham were getting heavy consideration for the vacant Kansas Athletic Director position.

Mitch Barnhart Kentucky Athletic Director To Interview With Kansas

(No interview? Thank you come again)

After my report, Barnhart released a statement that included, “I have not been formally contacted by the University of Kansas. I am 100 percent focused on UK Athletics.”

From what I was told today by a source, Barnhart won’t have to worry about Kansas distracting him any longer.

Because of my report, Barnhart subsequently communicated to those associated with the search for the new Kansas AD that he was still interested in the job, but that he couldn’t interview in order to keep up appearances in Lexington.

In other words, if KU wanted Barnhart, it would have to hire him without an interview.

That didn’t go over so well in Lawrence, so Barnhart is no longer a candidate for the job.

That leaves current Tulsa Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham as the leading candidate for the job.

I’ve also been told of two other candidates that Kansas now is targeting for the job: Read more…

Kentucky AD Statement Has Glaring Non-Denial

Today Kentucky Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart released a statement responding to my report last night that he would soon be interviewing for the Kansas Athletic Director position.

Mitch Barnhart Kentucky Athletic Director To Interview With Kansas

(Get the UK fan reax to Barnhart’s statement)

Barnhart’s complete statement from the UK official site:

“Being a Kansas native with family in the area, having gone to Ottawa University in Kansas and my wife, Connie being a Kansas alum, I have many ties to the state. We have received calls from friends and supporters of the university about the athletic director position at Kansas. I have not been formally contacted by the University of Kansas. I am 100 percent focused on UK Athletics.

“We have made progress in many areas over the last eight years, but we need to provide our coaches and student-athletes with the facilities to compete at the highest level.

“We have initiated the process of building a new track and are now focused on how we can upgrade Commonwealth Stadium and our football facilities. Our 22 sports receive unbelievable support from the Big Blue Nation and our fans deserve championship level success across the board.”

The two lines that matter:

I have not been formally contacted by the University of Kansas. I am 100 percent focused on UK Athletics.

Does that look like a denial to you? (Somebody tell Mitch he’s not the football coach at Alabama.) Read more…

Kentucky’s Barnhart ‘Finalist’ For Kansas AD Job

Two SEC school administration sources have told me in the past 48 hours that University of Kentucky Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart will interview for the Kansas University Athletic Director position in early December.

Mitch Barnhart Kentucky Athletic Director To Interview With Kansas

(Landing KU gig would likely mean bump in pay for UK’s Barnhart)

Joining Barnhart as a finalist for the position is current Tulsa Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham. Cunningham will also interview with Kansas for the job next month, which was recently vacated by the retirement of Lew Perkins.

I’ve been told Barnhart and Cunningham are two of three finalists targeted by the six-member Kansas AD search panel, which is chaired by the managing partner of Pegasus Capital Management, Ray Evans.

As it pertains to Barnhart, I’ve been told there are three main factors fueling the interest of Kansas officials in the current UK AD. Read more…

Gandhi, MLK, Edison Cost Dan Hawkins His Job

When he was coaching Boise State in 2003, Dan Hawkins said this after a victory over Tulsa:

Dan Hawkins as Gandhi

“If we had knelt on the ball at the end of the game, wouldn’t that have been the end of the game. Yeah, it would have been. But Gandhi didn’t take a knee, Martin Luther King didn’t take a knee, Thomas Edison didn’t take a knee, and I sure as hell am not going to take a knee.”

Those words turned out to be eerily prophetic Saturday in Lawrence as had Hawkins’ Colorado Buffaloes merely taken a knee on all of their offensive plays beginning early in the fourth quarter, they would’ve still avoided blowing a four-TD lead to in losing to Kansas 52-45.

We know that thanks to a beleaguered Buffaloes fan at AllBuffs.com. He calculated what would’ve happened had Colorado taken a knee on every offensive play in the fourth quarter beginning after Kansas scored to make it 45-24 with 11:05 left in the game. Read more…

Paging Passenger Hawkins. Last Call, Dan Hawkins

Dan Hawkins Greyhound Bus

KC Star Writer, MU Grad: Nebraska Fans “Inbred”

Mike DeArmond is the longtime Missouri football and basketball beat reporter for the KANSAS CITY STAR. He’s also an alumnus of Mizzou, class of ‘72.

(Coffee much?)

Saturday DeArmond appeared on a Kansas City TV pregame show for the Missouri-Nebraska football game to give his opinion on something that can be a sore subject for more Kansas Citians than you know.

That is, dealing with local Nebraska football fans, Kansas Jayhawks hoops fans and St. Louis Cardinals baseball fans. During his TV appearance, DeArmond originally was asked what he thought of Nebraska football fans, whom he proceeded to lump together with KU and Cardinal fans:

“There are Cardinal baseball fans, there are Kansas basketball fans and there are Nebraska football fans. They were all born of the same parents. They’re all inbred, separated a birth because they’re all just impossible to handle.
Read more…