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Archive for Friday, October 13, 2006

Keegan: Big names aplenty in this mess

October 13, 2006

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Now that the NCAA has revealed its forgiving punishment for Kansas University breaking various rules, it's time for one more look at the cast of characters involved:

Al Bohl: The athletic director-turned-author once likened himself to a dove in the hand of Roy Williams and said the coach could either set him free or crush him and chose to crush him. Given that hilarious statement made in a driveway news conference, it would have been difficult to imagine Bohl topping himself, but he did.

It was revealed Thursday that Bohl, when approached about the need to enhance the compliance staff, responded, "Compliance doesn't sell tickets."

Don Davis: He was the booster who showered Darnell Jackson with gifts and would have done so even if Jackson had been short, scrawny and clumsy.

Chancellor Robert Hemenway: At the time of his appointment as chairman of the NCAA Division I Board of Directors, he said: "I think anytime you have a responsible position like this as the chief governing board of the organization, it enables you to keep track of what's going on."

Didn't quite work out that way. Hemenway can never live down the embarrassment of having such a compliance mess occur when he held the NCAA post.

He did, however, prove his heart is in the right place on compliance. It was Hemenway who sniffed out Davis at an alumni function. Something didn't smell right to him about the way he was talking about his relationship with Jackson and J.R. Giddens, so when he returned to Lawrence the next day he told Perkins to investigate Davis' dealings with the KU players.

Mark Mangino: Undoubtedly, if the football coach could have one Mulligan in life, he would use it on not recruiting Monroe Weekley, who blew the whistle after Mangino kicked him off the team for "conduct detrimental to the team," a variation on the reason given when he was tossed off the University of Pittsburgh team for "behavior unbecoming of the program."

Mangino took the opportunity at the Thursday evening news conference to express confidence in himself, thereby giving area radio stations a sound bite they will use for an eternity.

"Let me just be pretty up-front and frank with you," he said. "I don't need to break any rules. That's not how I operate. I'm confident in my ability."

Lew Perkins: He's had so much experience through the years with the NCAA, he knows exactly how to play the organization: Dig dirt on his own school, report it in a timely manner, and treat the committee members with so much reverence they are almost hypnotized into returning the favor.

This is what Gene Marsh, boss of the NCAA infractions committee, had to say about Perkins: "The current director of athletics should be recognized for his good and effective work since he came on in the summer of 2003. As soon as he took the job, he pulled in outside help to identify the problem, get at the violations and deal with them, and beefed up the compliance effort. He was also the person who spotted the problem with the gifts being made to the basketball players who used up their eligibility. In our view, he has made all the right moves since taking the job, helped the school a great deal with its compliance effort."

No point in Perkins wasting a Mulligan on Monroe Weekley.

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