Since he got let go at Kansas in 2009, Mark Mangino has, on occasion, cut a sizable figure on the Oklahoma sideline.
The former OU offensive coordinator has hovered – quite noticeably, of course – in the background of the program during his coaching hiatus, ostensibly kicking it with his good friend Bob Stoops while collecting a rather considerable termination settlement from the Jayhawks. Of course, his appearances around the program every so often have led to idle chatter that Stoops might give the big fella his second chance after an ignominious parting with KU.
The chatter sounds a little less idle as of late. Talk among people in the know of Mangino returning to coach the offensive line has picked up steam this offseason. Oklahoma City television sports anchor Dean Blevins broke the seal on the rumors today.
This story – if you want to call it that – is standing on some awfully shaky footing. Blevins admitted that he was just parroting some information that he couldn’t confirm from colleague Mark Rodgers. Not to mention, based on Blevins’ past “scoops,” Bob Stoops has been coaching at Florida for the past 12 years and OU is leaving for the Pac-12 this summer. (There's also the matter of James Patton still being employed as the offensive line coach.)
All that being said, I can’t fathom why anyone would think rehiring Mangino is a good idea, let alone that it’s acceptable.
I have no doubt that Mangino would, at least in part, dispute the allegations of verbal and physical abuse leveled against him by his former players at KU. Maybe none of it ever happened. It doesn’t matter.
Even if it’s all bunk, those kinds of stories don’t just disappear on the recruiting trail. Opposing coaches would have a field day relating allegations of mistreatment and racially coded taunts towards players. Or, they could just let a simple Google search do it for them.
That reflects poorly on more than just Mangino and his efforts to attract talent to Norman. It stains the perceptions of the entire program.
Hopefully, Stoops is just trying to help drum up interest on the coaching circuit for his friend. Mangino may deserve another shot at coaching. Someone else can give it to him.