Nov. 18, 2004
SportsLine.com wire reports

Kansas coach Mark Mangino was reprimanded and fined $5,000 by the Big 12 on Wednesday for suggesting that officials deliberately tried to influence the outcome of his team's game against Texas.

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"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."

Most of the Big 12 coaches can empathize with Mangino since just about every one of them has had complaints about officiating. But while they don't blame Mangino for venting about what he thought was a blown call, most agree with the conference policy that prohibits coaches from criticizing officials.

"I think we all have to understand we're in this together," Texas A&M coach Dennis Franchione said. "It's not going to be a perfect situation and sometimes it can be very frustrating when you feel a call could have gone different than it did. But I really think our conference has a cooperative effort to do the best they can."

After Kansas' last-second 27-23 loss to Texas on Saturday, Mangino said the officials deliberately tried to the influence the game, implying it would work out better for the BCS if the Longhorns won.


Mark Mangino is assessed a hefty fine for criticizing officials.(Getty Images)
The coach took issue with a pass interference call against Charles Gordon that forced the Jayhawks to punt with 2 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.

Mangino backed off his comments the day after the game and reiterated his position on Monday.

"I feel like if you make a mistake, you have be man enough to get it corrected, and I felt like that's what I needed to do," Mangino said. "I'm not going to make any excuse. It was inexcusable."

Colorado coach Gary Barnett said he believes coaches should treat the officials just like they would their players.

"When you coach your team and you lose a game and somebody makes a bonehead play, the first thing you do is you don't point fingers. Guys make mistakes and there are plenty of plays during a game that could make a difference," Barnett said. "I think we should do it the same way (with the officials)."

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