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Coach Mangino apologizes
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University of Kansas football coach Mark Mangino now says he made a mistake when he lost his composure at his son's high school football game last week.

''I certainly did have a message that I wanted to convey, but I do acknowledge and admit that I did not select the appropriate forum,'' Mangino said Thursday on his weekly radio show.

The coach's son, Tommy, is the starting quarterback for Lawrence High School. During the game last Friday night with Olathe East at Haskell Stadium in Lawrence, Mangino had to leave the game after being tackled in the fourth quarter.

His father, upset that no penalty was called on the play, yelled at the officials during the game and when they left the field after the game was over, witnesses said. Lawrence won the game 26-7.

''The most important role I play in my life is that of a father and I will do what is right for my children,'' the coach said in a statement Tuesday.

When questioned about the incident after the Jayhawks' practice Wednesday, Mangino said, ''I am not going to react to those kind of things. I made a statement and I will stand by that. In my eyes, it wasn't a big deal. I reacted how a responsible father should react in that situation.''

Abuse of game officials by coaches, players or fans is a violation of Kansas State High School Activity Association rules. Lawrence High School principal Dick Patterson told the Lawrence Journal-World the school took appropriate action related to an incident at the game, but declined to give any details or name any of the parties involved.

During his radio program Thursday night, Mangino said, ''The last thing I want to do is bring negative attention on the University of Kansas, our football program, our community and my family.''

''It's regrettable that my actions resulted in this perception,'' said Magino, who is in his first year at Kansas after being the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma last year. ''I hope those people understand that I acted only with the best interest of my son in my heart.''

''It was never my intention to embarrass anyone,'' Mangino said. ''If I did, I sincerely regret it. I want to be a great leader for our football program. I want to be a strong person in the community.''

Sunflower League commissioner Mike Etnire said Jim Knight, the crew chief for the game, told him that Lawrence coach Dirk Wedd called him over the weekend and apologized for Mangino's actions.

''Dirk told him that (Mangino) was out of line and he apologized for what had happened,'' Etnire said. ''He also said he'd watched the game film and that everything was absolutely legal and fine, that there was nothing on the film that would warrant that kind of reaction.''

Olathe East coach Jeff Meyers told The Kansas City Star he was unaware of Mangino's outburst until an assistant heard about it on the radio after the game.

''He was claiming our kid hit the quarterback late, but I'll guarantee that it wasn't even close to a late hit,'' Meyers said.

''I think he was just being a protective dad. I think he was worried and upset that his boy got knocked out of the game.''
09-27-2002 04:22 PM
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