NCAA FB

Nutt to Kansas: Coach is staying at Mississippi

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OXFORD, Miss. (AP)

Mississippi coach Houston Nutt said Tuesday that he ``appreciates the interest'' but he is not pursuing the Kansas head coaching job.

Nutt and Ole Miss athletic director Pete Boone issued statements after media reports suggested Nutt was interested in the Kansas job. Nutt said he's staying put with the Rebels after guiding them to consecutive Cotton Bowl appearances in his two seasons in Oxford.

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.

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