Coach suggested officials influenced outcome

Originally Published: November 14, 2004
Associated Press

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- After giving himself a little cooling-off period, Mark Mangino would like to take it all back.

The question now is how forgiving the Big 12 Conference will be toward a coach who suggested that officials deliberately tried to influence the outcome of a game.

"I regret my remarks," Mangino told The Associated Press on Sunday. "I said them after an emotional loss and I want to make it perfectly clear that I'm not implying that any official or anybody is trying to determine the outcome of a game."

Elsa/Getty ImagesMark Mangino's team still must learn to win close games.

Nevertheless, that's exactly what the Kansas coach did suggest Saturday, after an offensive pass interference penalty against Charles Gordon forced the Jayhawks to punt in the final 2 minutes.

As a result, Texas (No. 7 ESPN/USA Today, No. 6 AP) rallied for Vince Young's 22-yard TD pass to Tony Jeffery with 11 seconds left and handed the Jayhawks a bitter 27-23 loss.

"You know what this is all about, don't you? BCS. That's what made a difference today in the game," Mangino said in his postgame news conference.

There was no word Monday on whether Mangino would be disciplined by the conference.

Texas, with only one loss, could possibly be headed for a BCS bowl that would bring a financial windfall of around $12 million to $14 million into the conference.

"That's what made the difference in a call in front of their bench. Dollar signs," Mangino said after the game.

The Jayhawks were leading 23-20 after Young's 18-yard TD run and faced a third-and-7 from their own 26. Quarterback Brian Luke hit Gordon for a 16-yard gain that would have given them a first down.

But officials called Gordon for offensive pass interference, making it third and 20. Kansas had to punt out of its own end zone, and the Longhorns got the ball on the Kansas 47 with 1 minute, 53 seconds to go.

Mangino said after the game that Gordon was called for making a "swim move" that high school, college and NFL coaches all teach their wide receivers.

"All of America sat at home and watched the play," Mangino said. "All college football fans who watched the game, we'll let them be the judge about that call."

Mangino also said at the time that he was not worried about a fine, which could be as high as $10,000.

But on Sunday, the third-year head coach said he was simply speaking in the heat of the moment.

"I regret I made that statement because I don't believe it," he said. "I have the utmost confidence in the Big 12 and the BCS."

Mangino said he was not ordered by athletic director Lew Perkins or chancellor Robert Heminway to retract his remarks.

"Nobody has been harsh with me," he said -- adding with a laugh, "Maybe some people will be."


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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