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Players defend Mangino

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Two players defended embattled Kansas coach Mark Mangino on Tuesday as an internal investigation into claims that he mistreated his team entered its second week.

“We look to him to see how he reacts, and the way he’s handled everything has been an inspiration to us,” said safety Darrell Stuckey. “To see him go out there and be mentally tough — everything he’s preached to us about being mentally tough, to see him live it out, means a lot.”

The probe was announced a week ago after athletic director Lew Perkins met with the team without Mangino and said he would look into the allegations. No one has accused Mangino of physical abuse; the complaints center on things he allegedly said in the heat of discussion during games or practice.

Wide receiver Kerry Meier said he and some other players have been interviewed in connection with the probe. He said he gave his coach his full support.

“College football is a tough game and everything that comes with it is tough as well,” Meier said. “If you’re going to try to get something done, a lot of times you’re going to have to raise your voice and say some things to get people moving.”