Big 12 coaches jump to Mangino's defense

Mark Mangino received solid support from Big 12 coaches when they were asked about the internal investigation being conducted into the actions of the embattled Kansas coach.

Texas Tech coach Mike Leach termed the current situation at Kansas "a witch hunt," and offered strong support for Mangino.

"Heaven forbid somebody should ask a (player) to pay attention and focus in for the sake of all his teammates and coaches and everyone else," Leach said during the Big 12's weekly coaches teleconference. "Well, there’s different ways to ask a guy to do that, and sometimes, after you’ve asked him a number of times, you raise the bar.

"The mean man told some player something he didn’t want to hear," he added, his voice dripping with sarcasm. "Well, there’s a mean man in Lubbock that tells people stuff they don’t want to hear, too, and that’s just part of it.”

Leach and Mangino were coaching contemporaries on Bob Stoops' first staff at Oklahoma in 1999. Leach was the team's offensive coordinator and Mangino was the offensive line coach.

Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said that Mangino didn't have incidents like he has been accused of when Mangino served on his staff for eight years at KSU.

"That didn't happen to my knowledge," Snyder said. "Not a whole lot slips under the radar from that respect. He handled the players well."

And Stoops said that Mangino cared about his players when he worked on his staff, although he reserved comment on the specific allegations.

“He was very close with them, appreciated them and did everything that was appropriate,” Stoops said.

Mangino said his communications with athletic director Lew Perkins have been "practically none" since Perkins announced an investigation into Mangino's behavior last week.

When asked whether he wished there was more communication, Mangino said he is continuing his work with his team.

"You always like communication with everybody, communication with your players, your coaches, your administrators, your support people. All those people," Mangino said. "But I’m good. I’m working, and my players are really focused.

"Once again," Mangino added, "your question perhaps should not be directed at me, if you understand what I’m saying.”

Mangino said he wished that some parts of the investigation had been handled in a different manner.

"If somebody’s going to have an investigation into something, that’s fine," he said. "I don’t have a problem with that. You would not like for it to be leaked out before anything has been done, even before the investigation actually starts. From that aspect, you don’t like it. But, you know, you live with it."

The 5-6 Jayhawks can earn an unprecedented third-straight bowl trip by beating Missouri on Saturday in Kansas City. Mangino expects more developments in his case in the future.

"It hasn't played out yet," Mangino said. "And it's certainly not over."