Kansas coach avoids one-game suspension

Updated: November 18, 2004, 12:26 PM ET
Associated Press

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Kansas football coach Mark Mangino was publicly reprimanded and ordered to pay $5,000 for suggesting that officials deliberately tried to influence the outcome of his team's game against Texas.

"Coach Mangino's public statements called into question the integrity of the conference and its officials," Big 12 commissioner Kevin Weiberg said in a statement. "To insinuate that games are called unfairly so that one member institution can prevail over another is irresponsible and completely baseless."

After Kansas fell 27-23 to Texas in the final seconds of Saturday's game, Mangino implied it would work out better for the BCS if the Longhorns won.

The coach, who later backed off his comment, took issue with a pass interference call against Charles Gordon that forced the Jayhawks to punt with two minutes left. Texas got the ball back and drove for the winning score, saving its chances for a BCS bowl bid and a potential $12 million to $14 million windfall for the conference.

"BCS that's right," Mangino said after the game. "That's what made the difference today in the game. That's what made the difference on the call in front of their bench. Dollar signs."

The conference prohibits coaches from criticizing officials. Because the Big 12 handbook governing the league's principles and standards of sportsmanship call for a one-game suspension for a "flagrant" violation, there was a possibility that Mangino would miss the regular-season finale against Missouri.

Mangino avoided that penalty.

"I accept it and the matter is closed," Mangino said after Wednesday's practice. "I'm looking forward to playing Missouri."

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press