Archive for Wednesday, April 22, 2009

New retention agreement ready to keep Perkins here past June 30

Bonus would equal more than $3 million

April 22, 2009, 2:46 p.m. Updated April 23, 2009, 8:02 a.m.


Should Kansas Athletic Director Lew Perkins receive his first retention bonus of $2.05 million on June 30, the clock begins on another tax-free payment for Perkins.

According to amendments to Perkins’ contract provided by Kansas University, if Perkins stays with the university from July 1 through June 30, 2013, he would receive another $1.2 million from Kansas Athletics.

Perkins would be paid $600,000 if he stays through June 30, 2011, and an additional $600,000 for staying through June 2013. As with the first retention bonus, all money used would come from Kansas Athletics funds with no state taxpayer dollars involved.

Lynn Bretz, a KU spokeswoman, said retention agreements were not uncommon in athletics, and reflected a desire to ensure Perkins remained on as athletic director. She highlighted several accomplishments during his tenure, including a 2.99 fall 2008 grade-point average for all student-athletes in KU’s 18 sports programs, which represented an athletic department record for a fall semester.

Also, several of the sports programs have achieved postseason success, including conference titles, two consecutive bowl victories for football and a men’s basketball national title.

Kansas Athletics will be on the hook for more than $1.5 million to cover Perkins’ personal income taxes in addition to his upcoming $2.05 million bonus, according to estimates from a certified public accountant.

Using a formula outlined in his contract and taking into account Perkins’ current salary and existing tax rates, Kansas University would write Perkins a $3.59 million check in gross earnings from athletics funds so that he can take home $2.05 million in net bonus pay, according to an estimate from Randy Renfro, a CPA with Roark & Associates, PA, who agreed to assist the Lawrence Journal-World with the calculation.

A similar calculation would be done on the next retention payments using the tax rates from that particular year, according to the agreement negotiating the payments. That document was signed by Perkins on March 25, 2008, and Chancellor Robert Hemenway on April 12, 2008.

Perkins makes an annual salary of $800,000 plus an additional $100,000 for media relations work. Bretz said that work included engaging in public relations efforts, meeting with the media, making news announcements and appearing at recognition and other ceremonies and at sporting events.

The $800,000 salary was raised in July 2008. When he was originally hired, it was $400,000.

“In essence, Lew’s salary was changed to reflect unparalleled excellence on many fronts,” Bretz said.

As part of renegotiating Perkins’ salary, a previous portion of Perkins’ contract allowing him a $75,000 annual performance bonus if Perkins met certain criteria was removed.

KU pays a part of Perkins’ salary through state funds to support institutional control. In the current fiscal year, $194,011 of his salary is paid using state funds. The balance comes from Kansas Athletics funds.

Additional documents provided by KU on Wednesday afternoon showed that Perkins’ employment contract at KU had been extended by two years, through June 2015.


Bobo Fleming 6 years, 7 months ago

He has made us a lot of bucks while he has been earning lots of bucks. Sweet deal all around

thelonious 6 years, 7 months ago

Wow.....what a sad commehtary on our society. Guess I'll try to renegotiate my "employment agreement" so that my current gross pay (which has been cut 10% due to the recession, mind you) is actually my net pay, with my employer on the hook for all of my taxes.

First of all, real people can't get deals like this, and secondly, most small employers couldn't afford to do this even if they wanted to (they don't). What a fantasy land these uberwealthy folks live in - gargantuan pay, others pay their taxes, etc. Truly a guilded life.

The only way to fix this, folks, is to stop renewing your basketball tickets, etc. We used to have football tix, but sent them back when the Perkins regime signaled their intentions. I don't intend to finance Lew's guilded life - as for the rest of you, if you keep buying the tickets, then you are willingly paying for this, so to some extent, you lose your right to complain.

If we all stopped buying the tickets, however, and told them why, you can bet things would change in a hurry. Hey, I'm a big KU basketball fan, etc., but I won't pay for this.

Those of you who do are suckers.

50YearResident 6 years, 7 months ago

Sweet deal for Perkins, tax free $750,000!

BIGBEAR 6 years, 7 months ago

I pray that he leaves when his contract is up! Mostly because I would like to see KU play MU in Lawrence again some day!

d_prowess 6 years, 7 months ago

I respect those that don't like this kind of deal and take actions to oppose it, but at the same time I hope those same people understand that this is the current market for Athletic Directors at a major university. The market is what it is for these roles. You can oppose it, but you can't deny it being the current reality...

supercowbellninja 6 years, 7 months ago

All you whiners need to realize all the great things he's accomplished on his watch. Pricey? Yes, but worth every cent when you look at how worthless our football program was and especially when you look at the strides the smaller ncaa sports have made.

What's the big deal if almost all of his salary comes from KU Athletics? Hardly any tax dollars are being spent here as this story notes. What's the big deal? I say money well spent - hope he stays another six years.

BIGBEAR 6 years, 7 months ago

reality is that this man is taking all the money he can get his depends wearing hands on!

BIGBEAR 6 years, 7 months ago

Lew Perkins DIDNOT hire mangino!!! he had nothing to do with turning around the team! its the coachs that make the school better not the marketing!

jaywalker 6 years, 7 months ago

"Real people can't get deals like this"

If by 'real' you mean those that don't bring multi-millions into a university, oversee 18 NCAA athletics teams, and bring the GPA of those students up to an average of nearly 3.0, you're right. This guy ain't manning the fry baskets at Mickey D's, he's got a job only a select few are qualified for. And those that opt to go to a game are 'suckers' 'cuz he's doing his job, honoring his contract, and KU honors its stipulations, primarily with KUA funds? Nope, the sucker is you if your choice is not to go to a game 'cuz one man did his sizeable, influential, and highly important job. Get a life. Nothin' but haters.

XTC 6 years, 7 months ago

Does anyone know if the Athletic Dept. is accepting employment applications ???

BIGBEAR 6 years, 7 months ago

edjayhawk (Anonymous) says… "And watch us lose because Mangino will leave if he does."

I doubt that!

fargo 6 years, 7 months ago

Did you notice Lew gets an extra $100,000 for doing media interviews and appearing at sporting events? Excuse me...appearing at sporting events? I guess that's above and beyond the normal duties of a major college athletic director. What a sweet deal.

thelonious 6 years, 7 months ago

Jaywalker -

Having trouble paying for those basketball ducats, buddy?

I have a life, thank you, and I am not a hater - I don't hate Lew, I just don't think he is worth that kind of $$$, and I agree that he has done a good job. I just choose not to spend my $$$ supporting such an outrageous salary.

d_prowess -

That whole "this is the market rate" argument, that is the same logic that was sold to homebuyers over the past few years. What I am saying is that this "market rate" could be hacked back down if we suckers simply refuse to pay so much for our tickets, etc. Essentially, I am calling for a boycott of KUA tickets, especially the basketball and football tickets, until they bring these salaries in line (doesn't anyone else find these salaries obscene given the current econominc crisis), and bring ticket prices back to where middle (or even upper-middle) class wage-earners can afford them again. Heresy in this town, I realize, but it's the only way to bring sanity back. Otherwise, for those who pay, don't complain!

d_prowess 6 years, 7 months ago

I don't want to get too off topic, but technically anyone that bought a house paid the exact market rate for that house by paying what they did for it. What you pay for something is the market rate. No one was "tricked" into buying a house for too much (now they were tricked into believing they could afford the loan terms, but that is different)!
And of course things can lose value at a later time. The market for ADs could go down if people like you have your way and the populous choose to stop sinking money into these operations which makes them such high value endeavors. That is why I said originally that I respect your view and your efforts. Just know that it is a long haul to try to change this market so keep at it if you like.

Jersey_Girl 6 years, 7 months ago

I find bonuses obscene in the current economic situation. Maybe the KU Athletic Department did better than most businesses in the past year and turned a profit and therefore can afford to hand out bonuses. But the a**holes that lined up for government handouts and then gave themselves bonuses really chap my ass. So right now, the word "bonus" makes my blood pressure rise.

orioledw 6 years, 7 months ago

Hire a cheap AD and lower prices and have 4-7 team, personally I'd prefer to pay a little more and have Top ranked teams. Can't afford a ticket, watch on tv or listen to the radio or give up McDonald's for a few weeks.

gccs14r 6 years, 7 months ago

What's really obscene is treating college athletics as a business. It's supposed to be a student diversion from studies. I suspect that organized gambling is the real driver here.

Kryptenx 6 years, 7 months ago

But it's not. Anytime you have millions of people following a certain level of a sport, you'd be completely insane not to make money off of it. Not only that, but how would KU gain national exposure without sports? Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see people coming to KU for the debate team, but it's just not happening.

I don't understand the level of bitterness here. The man does a job that no one else in the state can, and deserves to be compensated for it. Sure, there's others who are capable of doing his job, but not at the level he performs. He didn't run KUAthletics into the ground, he did quite the opposite. Whining about high salaries is counter-productive anyways. How will you ever increase your salary/compensation when all you do is whine about people who get paid more than you? If you think you deserve this amount of compensation, then go apply for his job. If you think nobody should be compensated this much, you are clearly out of touch with real world economics.

4getabouit 6 years, 7 months ago

It's a lot of money and you may not like it. However, I would bet that a cost-benefit analysis would prove his worth. He is focused and gets things done. Not bad for an old dude like Perk.

notajayhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

thelonious (Anonymous) says…

"If we all stopped buying the tickets, however, and told them why, you can bet things would change in a hurry. Hey, I'm a big KU basketball fan, etc., but I won't pay for this."

"Those of you who do are suckers."

The only sucker, thelonious, is you, if you really believe either Lew or KU Athletics give a dn whether you buy a ticket. The only person who cares at all about your decision is the one lucky enough to have a ticket freed up for him to buy.

Pretty sure KU Athletics will survive quite nicely without your patronage, thelonious. As a matter of fact, with the money coming in from football and basketball broadcast rights, endorsements, and licensing fees, I'm pretty sure the future of the athletic department is secure even if every seat in the arena/stadium was empty.

But thanks for freeing up a ticket - when you get over your spite, let us know how your face looks without a nose.

jaywalker 6 years, 7 months ago

"Jaywalker -

Having trouble paying for those basketball ducats, buddy?

I have a life, thank you, and I am not a hater - I don't hate Lew, I just don't think he is worth that kind of $$$, and I agree that he has done a good job. I just choose not to spend my $$$ supporting such an outrageous salary."

Nope. I don't have trouble paying for anything, thanks for your concern.

Let's don't 'hate' Lew, He's done a good job. And you think your money supports his salary? Hmmm... Contradict yourself much?

Who are you to question what he makes, particularly when he's receiving EXACTLY........did that come out in caps like I wanted it to?........EXACTLY what his contract was written to pay? Anyone know when his last contract was signed? Bettin' it was long before the current economic crisis, not that it matters one iota. And for all you others who want to kvetch like Thelonious as if Lew is responsible for your lot in life OR somehow a symptom of what ails this nation, get a grip, gain some perspective, and cop just a tiny clue. The man has done the job he was hired to do, met and exceeded the goals set, and earned his reward as it was set from the start. If you don't get that, I feel sorry for you and I mean that sincerely. It's probably gonna be a long, bitter, disappointing life for you.

Godot 6 years, 7 months ago

This is a slap in the face of Kansans who go to work day after day and pay their bills and save and make their mortgage payments on time, only to see the value of their investments decline, and the rate of interest on their credit cards rise - while the elites of academia and sports remain, not only unscathed by the economic misfortunes of ordinary Kansans, but even see their fortunes increase.

This is an outrageous insult to Kansans. This must not stand! Kansans must demand an end to this excess!

notjustastudent 6 years, 7 months ago

I think quite a few people are forgetting the fact that Kansas Athletics is not KU. They do not get their money from working Kansans, so it's not a slap in the face.

Consider how busy this town gets on game days, and how much money that brings to those working Kansans. Consider the fact that everytime there was a basketball game on a major network, companies made donations to the general scholarship fund- meaning not just the athletes but the students of the children who are working Kansans. Consider the interest stirred in prospective students, a certain percentage of whom will one day be rich Alumni giving money back to the university. Very, very few people can do what he does on a daily basis- and as simple as showing up to an athletic event sounds, I would never want to be him. Always having to be PERFECT and friendly and supportive among thousands of people, a lot of whom harbor the same kinds of negative feelings expressed here. KU will be lucky to keep him.

notjustastudent 6 years, 7 months ago

And by the way, watching sports is not pathetic, no more than going fishing is, or playing board games is, or doing whatever you all like to do in your spare time with the people you love. And before anybody says it, yes, I know, gambling is an unfortunate side effect, but just because some people make it a bad thing doesn't mean we all do.

notajayhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

Wow, jackie, amazing what you'll find to rant about when there's no stories about your long-lost choo-choos.

"JackRipper (Anonymous) says…

"It is a freakin university not an entertainment business. That is the reality."

Once again, what good ol' jackie-boy thinks the way things should be is "reality." Meds not working again, jack?

Oh, by the way - except for the nominal salary paid out of state funds, Lew's paycheck comes from Kansas Athletics, Incorporated - which IS more of an entertainment business, and is most definitely not a university.

"... the idiot fans who can't find more in their lives to do without a sports team bringing meaning to their pathetic world."

While attacking what other people enjoy in their lives is all that brings meaning to your pathetic little existence, right?

"I calculated that the $700,000, the only contribution outside of sports that has been reported would pay for the full tuition for a year of 70 students."

Well, no, actually, jackie - hard to believe as it may seem, you're wrong as usual. The money would pay for the tuition of no (non-athletetic-scholarship) students, since it's money that was raised by and belongs to Kansas Athletics Corp., not the University.

"Yes, they do, it is an operation that no other business in Kansas gets, to operate on state property and not having to pay for that right."

Gee, wrong again. jackie, I know it's not your usual style, but just once try to find out just a thing or two about what you're commenting on before you blather. Maybe you ought to look at KAI's financial statements before making ignorant statements like "not having to pay for that right."

"It is an entertainment business that doesn't pay the people doing the work."

Uh, yeah.

How much did you 'calculate' a college scholarship at KU is worth, jackie? Not to mention, the opportunity to play for what you refer to as a pro-sports farm system, a chance to be seen by countless pro scouts pretty much weekly on national TV? Yeah, they're really unpaid, jackie.

Blah blah blah, jackie, yeah, we know, intercollegiate athletics should consist of rounding up a handful of students walking the quad and asking if they want to go shoot some hoops against a bunch of kids they'll pull out of class at MU. And the only legitimate use of any money that might come in from that game is to buy new slates, inkwells, and abacuses. It must be terrible to be such a miserable old f**t, jackie, so resentful of the modern world that's left behind your 'reality' of milkmen, elevator attendants, and locomotive coal shovelers.

thelonious 6 years, 7 months ago

jaywalker & everyone else -

once again, my point, crystallized - I am not going to help pay for this. For those of you that do and are OK with it, bully for you. For those of you who pay for it through your patronage of KUA yet complain, here is what you need to do: stop paying for your basketball & football tickets. If enough do, it might actually change things.

That's it - it's not about Lew personally, or the quality of my life, or bitterness, etc. There is no contradiction - I am just calling for more folks to stop paying for this madness. Just because Lew is "doing a good job" or KU is winning championships is not justification for paying him like royalty.

jaywalker 6 years, 7 months ago

Nope, the, he gets paid the way he's supposed to, according to a contract and a set outline of goals achieved.

And to Jack and Godot,

Yup, everyone should be up in arms because a man makes his money. This IS Russia, isn't it, Danny?

jumpin_catfish 6 years, 7 months ago

BS, what kind of message does this send? If I'm paid to do a job then x amount of income tax is withheld, simple. No fan of Lew but the ends justify the means these days.

KANSTUCKY 6 years, 7 months ago

Lew is the glue for the crew that do that voodoo that you do.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 7 months ago

This is a perfect example of why the top tax rate should go back to at least 50%, and donations made to for-profit institutions such as Kansas Athletics should not be tax deductible.

Would that be income redistribution? Sure. But capitalism as it's been practiced over the last couple of decades since Reagan has been the single biggest redistribution of income ever. The overpaid donors and the overpaid execs like Perkins have shown that they are too irresponsible to be entrusted with that much wealth, to the detriment of the rest of society.

Noweigh 6 years, 7 months ago

Good points Pilgrim. If you don't want big salaries paid to people that get things done, then head to a private, non-conference school. Post a sign on the gym door calling for open tryouts and play "club ball" to your hearts content. If you want a winner in all sports at the highest level you have first class facilities, first class administrators, first class coaches and first class programs designed to win, plain and simple. Bill Self stayed in large part because of Perkins, he's said as much. Mangino knows Perkins cleared the trees to keep football heading upward. Even Bonnie-ball has benefited from raising big money and the success of the men's programs. I want KU to win at all levels. It helps the athletic and academic programs with priceless visibility. Paying Perkins or any of our successful coaches what the marketplace demands is exactly what we should be doing and we should be happy doing it. We finally have solid, consistent programs and first class facilities. Its no coincidence we have bowl game and national championship tropies to go with them.

thelonious 6 years, 7 months ago

Pilgrim2 -

I am always amazed that some folks on here, instead of debating their points, throw in the stupid personal attacks, which are usually only imagined anyway.

Also, if I could get a deal like that from my employer, I would turn it down, because I am the finance manager for my company, and I know that my company could not afford it. I am both an employee, and also responsible for looking out for the best interests of my company. As such. I have to deal with real-world concerns, like keeping expenses below revenue. While KUA obviously has the revenue to lard Perkins and his staff so generously, there is nothing preventing then from returning some of their largesse to the University that makes their fun & games possible - how about donating $1 million of his bonus to the woefully underfunded building maintenance program at KU, for starters?

Also, I don't want KUA to unilaterally disarm - I'd like to see it everywhere. But it has to start somewhere - why not here?

gccs14r 6 years, 7 months ago

"If you want a winner in all sports at the highest level you have first class facilities, first class administrators, first class coaches and first class programs designed to win, plain and simple."

That's called professional sports.

"We finally have solid, consistent programs and first class facilities."

Have you been in Wescoe? There's nothing first class about it. As far as the athletic facilities, they should be off-campus so that they don't interfere with the academic mission. People who work for the university can't even park on campus on game days.

d_prowess 6 years, 7 months ago

thelonious, while you imply that Lew Perkins does not donate back to the university, I would say you need to check that.
I don't know for a fact either, but in the past I know there have been stories about how various KU coaches end up making fairly decent and regular donations to KU. In fact, I think Roy Williams still does this even though he is now at UNC.

Graczyk 6 years, 7 months ago

Here's my two cents. I love KU sports. I understand that LP is paid what the market will support. I understand that the majority of his salary is paid by KUA money and not state funds. Where this type of debate always goes sideways for me is the idea that KUA (or any other athletics department) greatly enhances the university to which it is attached. Undoubtedly there is a symbiotic relationship at work here - KU would not be the same place without KUA. But here's the rub, KUA would not exist without KU. It does seem that the benefits of the relationship are accruing unequally. We all know that KUA enhances the student/community experience, but I would love to see some numbers or evidence to support the rhetoric that KUA enhances student enrollment, quality of faculty/education, or worldly perception. It seems that the link is tenuous. Harvard, for example, is not known for its sports teams.

tir 6 years, 7 months ago

If it was just KU Athletics' money, I wouldn't care how much they paid him. What bothers me is the part of Lew's pay that DOES come from state funds:

"KU pays a part of Perkins’ salary through state funds to support institutional control. In the current fiscal year, $194,011 of his salary is paid using state funds."

I know this is only a very small part of the total, but when the University is facing huge budget cuts, and job losses and tuition increases are very real possibilities, even that much money matters. What exactly is this "institutional control" KU is buying here? What does KU get for the money, and why is it worth that much? I would just like to know.

gccs14r 6 years, 7 months ago

It's probably more political cover for KUAC and the NCAA than it is any "control" that KU may have over KUAC.

Anyone see the article about the San Diego kid who's skipping his senior year of high school and heading straight to Europe for professional seasoning? The argument there was, why put up with multiple years of low-grade competition in an NCAA-regulated environment for no money when he can get paid to play with the pros. If the talented kids start doing that en masse, college ball will stop being a cash cow.

optimist 6 years, 7 months ago

I too stopped purchasing season tickets for football and my in-laws stopped buying season basketball tickets due to dissatisfaction with the changes being made by Perkins. That was our prerogative in a free market and we exercised it. You can't argue with Lew's results though. He has brought in far more additional revenue that he is taking out in pay and the athletics programs are more successful mostly due to Lew's leadership. I still don't agree with some of the things he has done but I don't begrudge anyone earning to their potential.
Those of you who complain are taken over with envy. None of us would earn a penny less than we could get out of our employers. If you are dissatisfied with how much you earn I suggest you work harder to make yourself as valuable to your organization or any organization for that matter. You'll be compensated accordingly. I hope you achieve the same level of success as Lew has.
As the kids say; don't hate the playa...

gccs14r 6 years, 7 months ago

No one is worth a million dollars a year. No one. Paying people that much causes inflation and damages the economy.

notajayhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says…

"This is a perfect example of why the top tax rate should go back to at least 50%, and donations made to for-profit institutions such as Kansas Athletics should not be tax deductible."

Wow, boohoozo - just when I don't believe it possible for you to post something even more ignorant than you already have, you outdo yourself - I should never underestimate you.

Um, herr klowne? What difference would it make to Lew if the tax rate was raised to 50%? Or 90%? If you were capable of sixth-grade reading comprehension, you might have noticed that KAI pays the taxes, too.

Oh, and not to interupt your usual load of cr*p with facts, boohoozo, but Kansas Athletics is a not-for-profit.

"But capitalism as it's been practiced over the last couple of decades since Reagan has been the single biggest redistribution of income ever."

Except for the little detail that the rich getting richer wasn't a "redistribution" at all, boohoozo. Too bad your math skils are as poor as your reading comprehension. Yes, the gap got bigger between the rich and the poor, but the rich didn't get richer by taking anything away from the poor (at least not in the sense that whiny freeloaders like yourself do, begging the government to take away something from someone else and hand it to you instead of getting out of mommy's basement and working for it yourself).

"The overpaid donors and the overpaid execs like Perkins have shown that they are too irresponsible to be entrusted with that much wealth, to the detriment of the rest of society."

Oh, pplllleeeeeeease. 'To the detriment of society,' herr klowne? Just what did YOU lose by Lew getting his bonus, clownie? Just WTF did he take from you?

gccs14r (Anonymous) says…

"No one is worth a million dollars a year. No one. Paying people that much causes inflation and damages the economy."

Well, it's likely no one YOU know is worth that much. And, uh, gcc? Pretty sure your cans of AlwaySave green beans aren't going to go up in price because Lew got a raise. Now, the price of a Mercedes just might - but then, the whiny, entitled, gimme-gimme-gimme, 'it's not fair they have more than me' leeches who are complaining about how much someone (anyone) else makes aren't ever going to have to worry about that.

gccs14r 6 years, 7 months ago

The President of the United States earns $400,000 per year. I fail to see how the athletic director of a state university in Podunk is worth more than that.

There are "gimme-gimme-gimme" leeches in society, but they're guys like Lew, not the people earning an honest living.

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