Archive for Saturday, December 11, 2004

Faculty singled out in scalping talk

December 11, 2004


Ticket scalping, particularly by Kansas University faculty members, was the big topic of discussion Friday at a meeting of the Kansas University Athletic Corp. advisory board.

"An inordinate amount of faculty-staff tickets are being sold on eBay or on the street," said Lawrence banker Mike Maddox, the board's chairman, "and I want the faculty members on the board aware of the situation."

As a result of the meeting, every Kansas University men's basketball ticket holder, excluding students, soon will receive a letter explaining how to dispose of unwanted tickets. And so far as KUAC is concerned, scalping is not the way to do it.

John Ferraro, who represents the KU Med Center on the board, asked Maddox why he was complaining only about faculty.

"What percentage of the faculty do this?" Ferraro asked. "I hate to see the faculty singled out when a lot of people are doing it."

Maddox said he was citing faculty because they receive a 20 percent discount on tickets.

"This is outside of scalping," Maddox said. "They're buying them at discounted prices and selling them to Joe Blow on the street."

Ferraro suggested that faculty-staff should not be admitted without showing an ID. But Maddox rejected that suggestion, saying faculty and staff members shouldn't be barred from giving their tickets to friends or family.

A ticket scalper advertises his merchandise on the Kansas
University campus before last winter's KU-K-State game. Though
legal in Kansas, scalping is not legal on university property.

A ticket scalper advertises his merchandise on the Kansas University campus before last winter's KU-K-State game. Though legal in Kansas, scalping is not legal on university property.

"I prefer sending a message to faculty," Maddox said.

Vice provost Don Steeples disagreed.

"I think this is the wrong time to send that message," Steeples said. "In our department, people think athletics is all about greed and all about dollars."

That drew athletic director Lew Perkins into the discussion.

"If people can't use them, we encourage them to give them to friends," Perkins said, "but if anybody wants to sell them, turn them back. We'd rather not see them on eBay or at a local ticket agency."

People who return tickets to the athletic department will be eligible for tax deductions based on the face value of the unused tickets, KUAC officials have said.

Also at the meeting, Perkins talked to the board members about a new crackdown aimed at on-campus ticket scalping.

"We're not denying people the opportunity to scalp tickets. It's not breaking the law," Perkins said. "But it's not legal on university property."

Perkins said he checked with officials at Kansas State and Wichita State universities about their scalping policies, and learned of the state-property prohibition.

"We've had complaints -- more than I would have expected -- about people being harassed by scalpers, especially elderly people," Perkins said.

Earlier in the day, associate athletic director Jim Marchiony said the crackdown on scalping applied to fans trying to sell one or two tickets, as well as vendors buying and selling handfuls of tickets.

"We can't make that distinction," Marchiony said, noting that KUAC staff and campus police would tell ticket sellers to leave.

In other action at Friday's KUAC advisory board meeting:¢ Athletic Director Lew Perkins announced that Judy Pottorff, wife of university general counsel Jim Pottorff, had been added to the department's compliance and legal department."We think we have the better lawyer in the family," Perkins said.¢ Theresa Klinkenberg, KU's chief financial officer, reported the original bonds used for capital improvements at Memorial Stadium and Allen Fieldhouse in the late 1990s had been reissued and would save KUAC about $1 million a year in debt service by adding 10 years to the retirement date, which is now 2023.¢ Chancellor Robert Hemenway told board members he appreciated their contributions."I think things are going very well," Hemenway said. "We're getting great leadership from Lew Perkins, who is bringing KU athletics to a new level."¢ Soccer coach Mark Francis was recognized for giving KU its second Big 12 Conference women's sports championship. Asked by Maddox about his greatest need, Francis said: "No doubt, it's our facility. Eleven Big 12 schools have soccer and we're probably 11th, maybe 10th. I think it's the only link we're missing to be a national contender."

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