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Archive for Saturday, January 24, 2004

KU ticket plan to bypass board

A.D.: ‘I report to the chancellor’

January 24, 2004

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The once-powerful Kansas University Athletic Corp. won't have much say in putting together the "priority point system" for divvying up next year's men's basketball season tickets.

Instead, KU Athletic Director Lew Perkins will present the plan directly to Chancellor Robert Hemenway.

"I don't report to the (KUAC) board; I report to the chancellor," Perkins said Friday during a meeting of the KUAC board.

If Hemenway wants input from all 19 members of KUAC's governing board, he's free to ask for it, Perkins said.

"That's not my decision to make," he said.

The prospects of a point system being adopted without the full board's influence irked board member Bill Tuttle.

"I'm on this board, but I've had no input on an issue that affects hundreds of people who expect me -- who elected me -- to represent them," said Tuttle, an American studies professor elected to the board by the faculty at large.

Perkins, however, noted that four KUAC board members -- banker and former KU basketball player Mike Maddox, faculty members Tom Mulinazzi and Don Steeples, and student body president Andy Knopp -- serve on the 44-member Athletic Ticket Advisory Committee. Perkins encouraged Tuttle to meet with any of the four.

Later, Tuttle said he wouldn't bother meeting with them. "They're all good people; don't misunderstand me, but I don't see any of them having a problem with any of this," he said. "It would be a waste of time."

Kansas University American studies professor Bill Tuttle, left, and
Athletic Director Lew Perkins share thoughts after the Kansas
University Athletic Corp. board meeting in Wagnon Center. Tuttle, a
board member, raised concerns Friday about moving longtime season
ticket holders to new seats in Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas University American studies professor Bill Tuttle, left, and Athletic Director Lew Perkins share thoughts after the Kansas University Athletic Corp. board meeting in Wagnon Center. Tuttle, a board member, raised concerns Friday about moving longtime season ticket holders to new seats in Allen Fieldhouse.

If he had input, Tuttle said he would find a way to let longtime season ticket holders keep their seats.

"These are people who, in my opinion, are not represented on the advisory committee," Tuttle said.

Point system

As proposed, the new system will assign points for past and current-year donations, past season-ticket purchases, and membership in the KU Alumni Association. Those with the most points will be assigned the best seats.

The system isn't set in stone; the committee is to meet again in February, and Perkins isn't expected to take a plan to Hemenway for another three to six weeks.

'Fair for everybody'

Shifting to a point-based system is expected to significantly increase athletic department revenues.







"That's why we're doing this -- that and the issue of fairness," Perkins said, noting that when he was hired, Hemenway directed him to find ways to increase revenues.

"That's what we're doing," Perkins said. "And we're doing it in a way that's fair for everybody."

Perkins said Tuttle underestimated the ticket advisory committee's diversity.

"I've got all kinds of people on there," Perkins said, "athletes and nonathletes, season ticket holders and nonseason ticket holders; university people and nonuniversity people; people from Lawrence-Kansas City and people from Dodge City and Wichita."

But, Tuttle argued, no one on the advisory committee questioned the need to go to a point system that all agree will result in every season ticket holder being assigned different seats.

"That's what I'm saying: The people who are being displaced are not represented in this process," Tuttle said.

Board's role changing

The debate underscored confusion over the role of the athletic corporation -- whether it's in charge or there merely to offer advice.

"If you look at the bylaws, it says that we as a corporation are responsible for things like hiring and firing the athletic director, deciding his salary, setting department policy," said Reid Holbrook, an Overland Park attorney and a KUAC board member.

"That's fine," he said. "But for whatever reason, over the years, that's changed. We've evolved into a board that's purely advisory."

Holbrook is leading the KUAC committee charged with overhauling the corporation's bylaws.

"From what I can tell, the last time anybody looked at this was back in 1986," he said.

His committee's recommendations are due in time for the KUAC's next meeting, Feb. 27.









The draft of the point system that will determine who receives Kansas University men's basketball season tickets was released earlier this month. The account with the highest number of points will receive the top seats. Each account earns:¢ 1 point for every $100 donated to KUAC since July 1, 1978.¢ 2 points per sport, per year of purchasing season tickets since fall 1984.¢ 2 points per year of donating to the Williams Educational Fund since July 1, 1978 (minimum of $25 per year).¢ 10 points if a KU graduate (one time only, regardless of number of degrees earned).¢ 10 points if a member of KU Alumni Association (one time only).¢ 10 points if a member of K-Club (one time only).¢ 1 bonus point per $100 gift to KUAC in the current fiscal year.

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