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Archive for Thursday, August 27, 2009

KU students can join new Junior Williams Fund to begin earning priority points for athletic events

A crowd of more than 16,000 basketball fans watch the women’s Kansas University basketball team prepare to take on the South Florida bulls in the WNIT championship game Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse. The crowd was the largest ever to watch a KU women’s game in the fieldhouse.

A crowd of more than 16,000 basketball fans watch the women’s Kansas University basketball team prepare to take on the South Florida bulls in the WNIT championship game Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse. The crowd was the largest ever to watch a KU women’s game in the fieldhouse.

August 27, 2009

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KU students get chance to earn post-grad sports tickets

The Junior Williams Fund will give KU students the chance to donate money will in school and earn points toward sports tickets after they graduate. The quality of the seats depends on the amount the person donates to the fund. Enlarge video

Kansas University students can start earning priority points for better seating at KU athletic events once they graduate — and at a much cheaper rate.

It’s part of a new Kansas Athletics program this year called the Junior Williams Fund. For a $25 yearly fee, students can earn permanent points in the Williams Educational Fund that will be used to determine priority seating for football and basketball tickets based on donations.

“It educates these students as to what the Williams Fund is,” said Jim Marchiony, associate athletics director. “They will naturally, we think, become more familiar with the athletic department.”

And, he said, they would potentially donate later on to the fund.

The Williams Fund provides money for all aspects of the athletic department from student scholarships and facilities to salaries for coaches and personnel, Marchiony said.

The more money a donor gives, the more points they earn, moving them up on the priority list to purchase and select football and basketball tickets. Where exactly a donor would fall on the list varies from year to year based on how much others have given, Marchiony said.

Students who donate $25 will earn:

• Ten permanent Williams Fund points per year — an equivalent to a $1,000 donation.

• Another 20 permanent points if they join the Williams Fund as an active donor with a donation of at least $100 within a year of graduation.

• Priority seating for student seats for postseason basketball and football games.

• Five permanent Williams Fund points for each purchase of a season ticket combo package for men’s basketball and football games.

• Gifts after each year of participation. The first year’s gift is a Jayhawks flag, then a T-shirt after the second year and an invitation to a Kansas football tailgate in the third and fourth year.

Participation in the program is open to undergraduate, graduate, medical and law students, but is capped at four years.

Banks Floodman, a former KU linebacker who now works as a development associate for the Williams Fund, came up with the idea.

“Being a recent graduate of KU, the Williams Fund was not something I was aware of,” Floodman said.

About 600 students have already signed up, he said.

He said the program could give students an extra boost over other recent graduates when they transfer their points to the permanent Williams Fund.

It’s a program Brian Mills, a sophomore from Leavenworth, said he might consider joining. He has a sports package, and goes to most KU football and basketball games.

He said he has some interest in buying tickets later after he graduates. The $25 annual fee also appealed to him.

“After I get my student loans paid off, I’ll think about donating,” for better seats, he said.

Students had the opportunity to sign up for the fee as an optional campus fee during enrollment, Marchiony said, but can still sign up for the program online at kuathletics.com.

Luke Chowaniec, a sophomore from Chicago and a student ticket holder, said the program is a great idea, but probably wasn’t for him.

“It’s not on my mind right now,” the pre-med student said. “I’m going to be in school for a long time.”

Comments

Flap Doodle 5 years, 1 month ago

Not even pay-to-play, it's pay-to-have-a-chance-to-watch.

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senegal66025 5 years, 1 month ago

I graduated from KU in 1970. At that time my wife and I could buy season football and basketball tickets for $30.00. Lots of good times at Allen and the stadium. I think KU wants to be in the big time and the big time means big money. But I am afraid we are losing something here.

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truman1902 5 years, 1 month ago

Here's my "Junior Williams" fund plan for 2009-10::::WWW.STUBHUB.COM!! Less $$$$$$$ for good seats courtesy of casual, corporate, couldn't care less about KU, cash starved Williams Fund participants..It's all good, REALLY!!

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Robert Rauktis 5 years, 1 month ago

The tail's wagging the dog!!!!!

When will this cancer be cut out of higher education?

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sherbert 5 years, 1 month ago

I think a lot of students are graduating with a bad after taste for the university and their way of money grabbing. Too bad. Everyone would love to support KU athletics, but it's not about the game anymore, it's about the money.

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lawrencechick 5 years, 1 month ago

Maybe they can expand it to the Hilltop preschool. Let's say drawing 5 pictures of Lew Perkins gets you 1 point toward your future tickets in the rafters.

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Phillbert 5 years, 1 month ago

This is a great deal for students - dozens of points for next to nothing - yet the reflexive, irrational hate for KU and KU Athletics that some of the perennial commenters here have keeps them from seeing that.

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uofk03 5 years, 1 month ago

Lew Perkins is Hitler! There, I said it. No string of irrational athletics-bashing would be complete without a reference to Nazi's.

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KU_cynic 5 years, 1 month ago

This isn't exactly a "man-bites-dog" story in the context of what's been happening at KU. The message being reinforced is, "It's what you pay that matters."

That said, here's another angle that I see. Part of the sick scandal of our sports-focused culture is this extended adolescence of continuing to mimic the behavior patterns of high school and college students into adulthood and even middle age. I applaud athletic excellence on the field -- make no mistake -- but the whole live game day experience is for, well, it's for kids who need a cheap break from the rigors of their studies, not adults with lots of discretionary income who want to extend their childhood by continuing to tailgate.

This new Junior Williams Fund initiative is just feeding this foolish frenzy. It's predictable, but lamentable.

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Vinny1 5 years, 1 month ago

Maybe some of you don't know. Maybe some of you are just ignorant.

But ALL the athletic buildings/renovations are PRIVATELY FUNDED through KUAC. The University Endowment is in NO WAY paying a dime for it.

The people donating the millions of money are donating it to the Athletic Department with the intention of building new facilities. It is the exact same as someone donating money to the School of Architecture or the School of Business. If you donate money you can decide what you want it spent on. You can't spend other peoples money. If you think money should be going to other areas of KU, you can feel free to donate, I promise they will not decline your donation.

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Jock Navels 5 years, 1 month ago

did the ku athletic corporation own the land on the hill, outside the union windows, where the beautiful campus and war memorial were defaced by a football practice facility that is not being used. did the university of kansas sell that land to the athletic corporation? how did that work, all of you who separate the university and the athletic corporation into two separate entities.

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uofk03 5 years, 1 month ago

Jocknavals:

The university doesn't own land. The state does.

The state either gave or sold (I don't know) that land to KUAD, but it wasn't as if the university entity gave it to KUAD.

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Vinny1 5 years, 1 month ago

Jock,

KUAC does not own the land. But neither does the University Endowment. The land is state owned.

As for those of us who "separate the university and athletics into two separate entities," that is because they are funded as two separate entities. So you need to start thinking of them that way.

As for the beautiful campus and memorial being defaced. You have got to be kidding me. If anything, the new buildings made it look better. The walk to more 'framed' now. They redid all the parking lots and landscaping, which was in terrible condition. They did not come close to touching the Campanile, which is the actual memorial. They will renovate the stadium to make it look newer and nicer in the very near future as well. Will this also be defacing a memorial?

Some of you people just don't get it.

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Matt Warman 5 years, 1 month ago

I agree with JackRipper........well done. I cringed when I saw the headline. What a joke.

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Vinny1 5 years, 1 month ago

Jack -

Not having mens tennis and swim teams is a response to Title IX, so you can thank the government for that one. Not KUAC's fault.

My you don't understand either, but all the new athletic facilities are PRIVATELY FUNDED. They are paid for by donor money, and the use of the money is specified by the donor. Don't like it? Donate your money with a stipulation it must be spent on an academic building only. You won't get rejected.

As for Lew Perkins. Yes he has stepped on some toes along the way. But try to find any largely successful businessman who hasn't. You can't. To say he hasn't brought back any more money than the old AD is just a ridiculous statement. The Athletic Department revenue has gone from around 50 million to well over 90 million dollars a year SINCE Lew got here.

To any logical person that would represent a large increase in money brought in.

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Phillbert 5 years, 1 month ago

"...where the beautiful campus and war memorial were defaced by a football practice facility that is not being used."

The practice fields replaced a parking lot. Granted, you may have thought it was a particularly beautiful "memorial" parking lot, but it was still just a parking lot.

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uofk03 5 years, 1 month ago

Ahaha, Phillbert. What an awesome post. It just highlights how blind these people are with their hate of KUAD.

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rgh 5 years, 1 month ago

It's a sad fact that athletics are run by big money and you must have an AD who can get the money to keep good coaches and build first class facilitie for recruiting. Go down to Norman or Austin and check out OU's and Texas' facilities some day. Wow!!

With that being said it's also sad that KU tickets are driven by the money factor and not loyalty. You could have had your season tickets for 25 or 30 years, but when Lew took over that meant ZERO, Nada, Ziltch, Zip!

People who had gone to games for years got their good seats taken and placed higher up and nearer the corners in place of those who had the big bucks to shell out. The true fans of KU football and basketball (more so basketball of course) can't get a good ticket without a close friend with a seaon ticket or having money to get on to Stub Hub or even KU's new (approved) ticket brokering system!

Pretty soon even Jack Nicholson himself will show up on the TV screen sitting court-side at a KU basketball game.

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Steve Miller 5 years, 1 month ago

It's like the parking meters down town, they are going to price them selves out . No one but the rich can afford to participate.

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Jama Crady Maxfield 5 years, 1 month ago

Vinny I~ You are wrong on the men's swimming and tennis being cut. It was strictly financial, not a Title IX issue. Granted, they could NOT cut women's swimming because of Title IX but the programs were cut due to lack of funding. Period.

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StirrrThePot 5 years, 1 month ago

Well, its a trade-off. People want football to be a winner, but at what cost?

It would be nice if KUAC could do what the OU athletic dept did recently, which was share its revenue with the university. OU's AD did this so the school could avoid layoffs and further budget cuts. Sounds like a great idea to me, after all, the athletic teams exist because of the university, not the other way around.

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uofk03 5 years, 1 month ago

Stirrrthepot:

KUAC contributed $11 million to the university last year, according to Jack Martin of University Relations.

That's 5 million more than contributed by OU's AD.

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Richard Heckler 5 years, 1 month ago

Yes anything to promote reckless spending.

Where is the academic scholarships promotion program? Let's bail out students who have to borrow so much money to even attend KU. Yes I like the sound of something meaningful.

Face it KU plays great basketball but the arrogance and ego of money money money money money does cause one to pause.

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