Nutt won't pursue Kansas job

Updated: December 8, 2009, 6:38 PM ET
Associated Press

OXFORD, Miss. -- Mississippi coach Houston Nutt says he "appreciates the interest Kansas showed in our staff" but he will not pursue the Jayhawks' coaching vacancy.

Nutt and Ole Miss athletic director Pete Boone issued statements Tuesday after media reports that Nutt was interested in the Kansas job.

Nutt says he's staying put with the Rebels, who he has guided to consecutive Cotton Bowl appearances in his two seasons in Oxford. Kansas coach Mark Mangino resigned last week in the midst of an investigation into his treatment of players.

Nutt is 17-8 in two seasons in Oxford and has guided Ole Miss (8-4) to consecutive eight-win seasons for the first time since 1989-90. The Rebels play No. 21 Oklahoma State in the Jan. 2 Cotton Bowl.

Also Tuesday, a group of Kansas players issued a statement expressing their support for the program and athletic director Lew Perkins as he conducts his search for a successor to coach Mark Mangino. Mangino resigned last week in the midst of an investigation into his treatment of players.

The two-week investigation into Mangino split both players and fans into separate camps, with some supporting and others denouncing the volatile head coach who came within two victories of the 100-year-old school record.

The statement Tuesday from a group of junior starters said they wanted to express "unwavering confidence" in the team and the athletic department.

"We are excited to start preparation for next season and trust that all other aspects of the program will be handled in a satisfactory manner," said the statement, which was addressed to Kansas fans. "We have no doubts that Lew Perkins is acting in our best interest to ensure a successful season next year and years to come."

It was signed by players Sal Capra, Drew Dudley, Chris Harris, Jake Laptad, Brad Thorson and John Wilson.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press