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Archive for Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Kansas Athletics to give $40 million to academic programs at KU

Revenue would come from proposed 3,000-seat addition to east side of stadium

Big Jay and Baby Jay greet new students as they fill the north end of Memorial Stadium for Traditions Night in this file photo from Aug. 18, 2008. A proposed addition on the east side of Memorial Stadium, at left, would produce revenue directed to a $40 million commitment by Kansas Athletics Inc. to academic programs at KU.

Big Jay and Baby Jay greet new students as they fill the north end of Memorial Stadium for Traditions Night in this file photo from Aug. 18, 2008. A proposed addition on the east side of Memorial Stadium, at left, would produce revenue directed to a $40 million commitment by Kansas Athletics Inc. to academic programs at KU.

September 2, 2009, 11:19 a.m. Updated September 2, 2009, 7:06 p.m.

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KU athletics to donate $40 million to academics

Pending approval for an expansion to Memorial Stadium, KU's athletics department has agreed to donate $40 million to the university's academic programs. The expansion would add 3,000 seats to the stadium, raising its capacity to 56,000. Enlarge video

Kansas Athletics will direct $40 million — a portion of revenue expected from an addition to Memorial Stadium — to academic programs at Kansas University.

The revenue would come from a proposed club seating addition that would accommodate 3,000 fans on the east side of Memorial Stadium.

Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little has yet to determine the specific allocations for the dollars, but it will support students, faculty and academic programs.

In a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Gray-Little praised the agreement. “This is big,” the new chancellor said.

She said it was a wonderful experience to have this agreement be her first significant interaction with the athletic department.

“I think it says something about the athletic director’s interest and knowledge of what the university’s main function and main purpose is,” Gray-Little said. “I think it says something about a great university being one where academics and athletics can not only co-exist but actually be mutually supportive of one another.”

Gray-Little said it had not yet been determined how the university would receive the money and over how much time it would be distributed. She said the money could support scholarships, fellowships and other programs that have suffered recent budget reductions.

Lew Perkins, KU athletics director, said the new addition could be ready by the beginning of the next football season.

The Gridiron Club, which would be housed in a tower on the east side of Memorial Stadium, is designed to complement the existing westside scholarship suites and enhance the appearance of the stadium from neighborhoods to the east.

The existing suites seat nearly 600 people, but also include areas for the media.

Lew Perkins, KU athletics director, said exact details of the structure were still being worked out. But the seats could run from end zone to end zone and feature both indoor and outdoor seating.

More details on the seats will be available later this month, when the project goes before the Kansas Board of Regents.

Revenues from the sale of those eastside seats are expected to finance the project’s $34 million construction cost, as well as the $40 million academic commitment.

Pricing and other details on seating in the club will be announced later.

Perkins said the project had already generated a fair amount of excitement, and Kansas Athletics had been fielding calls from people interested in information about the new seats.

Perkins and Gray-Little said that while the idea for the stadium expansion had been in place before her arrival as chancellor, the idea to share the revenue from the project came out of a meeting Perkins and Gray-Little had during the summer.

The Kansas Board of Regents, which must approve the project, will consider it during its Sept. 16-17 meeting.

Perkins said he thought the project would be a hit — and hit big. The westside suites are currently sold out, he said. Kansas Athletics has heard from fans interested in more suite space, and has conducted studies indicating that the seats would sell.

He said the university and the athletic department were a family; when one benefits, so does the other. So when an opportunity for a large revenue-generating project arose, he said, it was important to share the wealth.

“We’re all in this together,” he said. “When the university gets stronger, our athletic programs get stronger.”

Even with the announcement, he said, Kansas Athletics continues to work hard to raise money in a difficult environment.

“I wouldn’t want to give the impression that we’re flush with money and money’s hanging out all our doors, because that’s not accurate,” he said, adding that without the project, they could not have made the donation to KU.

Elsewhere, other academic programs have been bolstered by athletics in recent months. At the University of Oklahoma, the athletic department recently announced it would increase its support of the university by $3 million annually in rough budget times.

Currently at KU, athletics provides support for scholarships and programming through licensing revenue, which generated more than $750,000 for KU last year after winning the national championship.

The department also pays for more than $11 million in tuition for student-athletes and maintenance of athletic facilities during the last academic year.

Comments

Eride 4 years, 7 months ago

"It was appalling when all those longtime KU fans got dumped out of their season ticket seats by the new rules. I had friends who were loyal KU fans and bought seats for years and years who just got screwed—not how KU should reward its fans IMO."

On the other side of this how about all of the fans who were willing to pay much more then the people who had been hogging good seats for decades and were being screwed out of even having a chance? Not how KU should reward its fans and especially its fans who are more recent graduates.

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Seamus 4 years, 7 months ago

I wish the Chancellor had the courage of Robert Maynard Hutchins (the President of the U. of Chicago) when, in 1946, he de-emphasized athletics and withdrew the school from the Big 10. It's stunning to see the rabid tribalism that exists on this forum over what amounts to nothing more than games children play.

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kla4one 4 years, 7 months ago

"Looks like all the gym class fatties are coming out of the woodwork."
Yep, and proud of it (although I happened to be a skinny person who hated gym class): also an A student by the by.

"Without Kansas Athletics the University of Kansas would be Emporia State and Lawrence would be Emporia…"

Wow, the idiocy of this statement just supports my belief that huge swaths of the American public got very little out of their educational years beyond an ongoing obsession with high school and college sports.

And for the record, if you all want to waste your money on sports, go for it. I could care less how much money you waste on sports, but all that money is in aid of entertainment and only entertainment. Individual athletes are, presumably, learning about discipline and teamwork, but individual attendees are merely spending money on entertainment. So at least admit that all this defense of sports is a defense of the pursuit of entertainment and don't get so holier than thou about it.

I'm sure it's true that KU Athletics benefits KU academics in many ways (the new chancellor has stated this position eloquently), but personally I don't think the national (and international) obsession with sports/entertainment is a positive reflection on society (the obsession with entertainment in this country has destroyed the quality of the news media).

It just seems a shame that college sports has turned into a major financial juggernaut, and, one of many results, the cost of seats has skyrocketed accordingly. Maybe a lot of sports fans have huge amounts of money to burn, but it seems inappropriate at a college level to turn the whole athletics department into a financial behemoth. It was appalling when all those longtime KU fans got dumped out of their season ticket seats by the new rules. I had friends who were loyal KU fans and bought seats for years and years who just got screwed--not how KU should reward its fans IMO. Even for me, someone who has no interest in sports, tossing out all those fans seemed crass. And why did they? Because KU Athletics has turned into a huge financial empire with the corresponding imperial aims? I don't know why. Maybe some of you sports fans can enlighten me on the necessity for such Trump-style entertainment prices.

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firstamendmentrights 4 years, 7 months ago

im more curious how much money ku athletics gave the Henry family, anyone got those numbers? or will i have to wait until a Final 4 is vacated to get the real story?

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BigAl 4 years, 7 months ago

I agree 100% with mdfraz. This is a win-win for all.

"Some people will NEVER be happy no matter what happens, and that's just a sad statement."

Very well put.

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mdfraz 4 years, 7 months ago

Larry, it's obviously smart for KU and the athletics program to play nice with the city and vice versa. I think generally they do fairly well together, and both benefit.

Moving the game to Camarohead makes a lot of sense for a lot of reasons, and it was a decision that was good for KU football and not necessarily for the city. That's unfortunate, but ultimately the deal helps KU more than it damages the relationship with the city.

Furthermore, with the growing success of the football program in general, I can't agree that one weekend with MU in town brings in a WHOLE lot more money than a game against Duke, UNC, So. Miss. etc. When the stadium is full for those smaller games (which it has been the last couple years), people are still going to bars, restaurants, motels, etc. In the past, we may have sold 50,000 seats for MU, but maybe 30-35,000 for the non-con games. Tell me you think the merchants won't sacrifice one home game (every other year mind you) to have 15-20,000 more people in town spending money for the other 5 or 6 home games each year. The benefits outweigh the costs for moving the game to KC, even though I hate it.

I want the football team and the rest of the athletic program to do well. I want the university in general to do well, including academics. As a 12 year resident of Lawrence, I love this town and want it to be vibrant and fun and with a lot of successful businesses. I just find it mind-blowing that there are people out there who can whine and complain about something that improves the revenue at the stadium, makes it look better from the outside, will bring in more fans to Lawrence on game day (boosting revenues for local merchants) and benefits the university to the tune of $40 million, especially in terrible economic times. Some people will NEVER be happy no matter what happens, and that's just a sad statement.

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Steven Gaudreau 4 years, 7 months ago

Md, I'm the first one to say KUAD has no obligation to care about the economic condition of Lawrence. But I also believe that KU can't exist without the city and the city can't exist without KU. Rather then embrace a symbiotic relationship with the city, KUAD has taken a position that is very self serving and a big F.U. to business owners. KU/MU may be just ONE game but the revenue that one use to generate was worth three KU/NorthernCO or KU/DUKE games.

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mdfraz 4 years, 7 months ago

Here's what I wonder about.........how does one reconcile complaining about the "lost revenues" from the KU-MU game moving to KC, and how horrible it is for the local businesses that the game no longer comes to Lawrence every other year, and then at the same time claim that football/basketball games don't "give back" to the community? Seems to me that the athletic department can't win no matter what it does. Do I completely agree with the move to Camarohead? Nope, and I probably won't pay to go to a game there, mostly because I believe college football belongs on a college campus in a college stadium. However, the move has increased attendance, revenues, and exposure, and provides the players a chance to play in an NFL stadium. I understand the upside to it.

I'm not saying Tori is complaining about the lost revenues from the KU-MU game. I'm not going to comment about Tori's posts because I just shake my head at most of them. However, from critics on here, it appears that either the athletic teams don't provide enough revenues (taxes or direct spending by fans who come to Lawrence SOLELY for athletic events) to the city of Lawrence (which isn't really their responsibility or duty anyway), or by moving ONE football game out of town the athletics department deprives businesses of millions of dollars. It can't really be both ways...........

Lew Perkins' job is to run a clean, efficient, money-making venture. He has done that. It's sad that college athletics is the massive corporate enterprise that it has become, but there is no changing that now. However, by donating $40 million to the university (which they are under NO obligation to do, although it makes for good public relations) they have shown that at least some of that big money can be put to very good use. I'm all for academic success and funding at KU; I want to be proud of my two degrees from the University. This doesn't make Lew a "saint" but for anyone who is whining about how it's not fair or finding other reasons to complain, get over it.

And for the record, I don't have a lot of disposable income but I choose to purchase season football tickets because I want to. I think this is a HUGE win-win for the football program and the university in general.

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Boston_Corbett 4 years, 7 months ago

Before everyone reaches a conclusion on this announcement, a little more detail would be nice. ......

What is a donation??

The Athletic Department regularly counts and describes its payment of tuition, and housing of its scholarship athletes as "donations" to the university. I would argue that these are anticipated and required expenses of the department and not "donations." They do contribute to the university, but there is no particular benefit other than being another scholarship dollar. These do not create new investments in academics in the University. I suspicion this is partially what is going on here with this $40 million number. And it is unclear what the range of years is regarding this committment. 2? 10? 20?

Real new dollars which the Chancellor and Provost can choose to invest in academic units of their choice, rather than Lew choosing to support something he already has to pay for, should be the measure of a true donation. The jury is still out, in my mind, about what this $40 million dollar really represents.

Everything else is double-speak.

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Larry Bauerle 4 years, 7 months ago

This Fall I will be traveling to Lawrence. I am not coming to take part in any social protest "vigils" or to participate in political debate. I am coming to attend football games. While there, I will spend my money on such items as lodging, food (Hello Silas and Maddies! sp?) and gasoline. Many may not see this as "giving to the community," but it would be interesting to see what would happen if this money were gone. I realize that many on these blogs continually complain how this is actually negative--I use your streets and other services (shoot, I may even buy something at Walmart) without "adding to the community," but I have a hard time seeing how having visitors to your community does not help the community in multiple ways. KUAC, as have all public or private organizations, has made some poor decisions, but some of the complaints seem either petty or very short-sighted. Some just seem motivated by the fact the writer didn't make his junior high basketball team.

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Steven Gaudreau 4 years, 7 months ago

Tori, I think maybe you have a problem with the way KU treats the city of Lawrence and its residents. Others are applauding KUAD for giving money to academics because some individuals always whine how KUAD gets all the attention and money. The arguing between the two is getting blurd. I think your point, and I agree, is KUAD takes advantage of the city. When the city commish asked KUAD to be part of the decision making of KU moving the KU/MU game to KC, KUAD actually, I mean physically, laughed at the request. KUAD has complete disregard for the Lawrence economy. The KU/MU game brought millions of revenue city businesses and city tax coffers which is now lost. The move brought an additional $2,000,000 into KUAD's pockets. KUAD has stated it is not their responsibility to consider what is economically good for local business, they run their business. This may be a sound capitalist attitude but not a socially responsible one.
I think maybe the city needs to tear up all the streets leading into the stadium during football season for some necessary repairs.

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Fred Sherman 4 years, 7 months ago

"...enhance the appearance of the stadium from neighborhoods to the east."

... and block the view of the playing field from the top floors of the new Oread Inn, being constructed at the intersection of 12th and Indiana Streets.

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blue_bandwagon 4 years, 7 months ago

Without Kansas Athletics the University of Kansas would be Emporia State and Lawrence would be Emporia...

Any of you who think otherwise are just kidding yourselves...

Now continue on with your witch-hunt...

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macon47 4 years, 7 months ago

how much will the arts department be donating?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 7 months ago

"I am far from wealthy, but can easily afford the $300.00 for a football season ticket."

For now-- will you still be buying when they reach $600? And they will within the next few years, especially if the football team doesn't return to its former mediocrity. At any rate my comments are mostly about the rush to create exclusive mini-palaces for the wealthy at every stadium and arena in the country, very much at the expense of the ability of the average fan to purchase tickets.

"I do not have negative feelings for those that sit at center-court and donate a small fortune for the right to buy those tickets."

Did I express negative feelings? Or did I merely accurately report the reality of the situation?

"I cannot afford season basketball tickets,(actually I can,but do not like the seats available.) but I sure can afford to buy tickets for three or four basketball games."

And this is very indicative of the changes over the last few years. Long-time season ticket holders have been forced out of the good seats for inability to pay the rapidly increasing prices-- prices that have risen many times the rate of inflation.

"So cry me a river, I like the system the way it is."

Well, don't cry me a river when even you are completely priced out.

"KU athletics is the only reason for me to come to Lawrence. But when I do, I eat, I drink, and I am Mary, er merry. (LOL) I gladly pay taxes to the City of Lawrence for my good time."

You should be willing to pay a few taxes to help provide for your access to the playground.

"So I do help support your unsustainable (on its own) economy."

The only economies in the world that are sustainable on their own are isolated communities of subsistence farmers and fishers. But most people wouldn't want to live that way.

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Paul R Getto 4 years, 7 months ago

Great move by the athletics department. People love to whine (as these boards demonstrate,) but KU is a package of academics and athletics. The departments and budgets are separate, but this is an encouraging move. People have loved bread and circuses for thousands of years. The modern world is not much different. Good Job KU!

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TopJayhawk 4 years, 7 months ago

Come on Bozo. I am far from wealthy, but can easily afford the $300.00 for a football season ticket. I cannot afford season basketball tickets,(actually I can,but do not like the seats available.) but I sure can afford to buy tickets for three or four basketball games.
I do not have negative feelings for those that sit at center-court and donate a small fortune for the right to buy those tickets.
So cry me a river, I like the system the way it is. KU athletics is the only reason for me to come to Lawrence. But when I do, I eat, I drink, and I am Mary, er merry. (LOL) I gladly pay taxes to the City of Lawrence for my good time. So I do help support your unsustainable (on its own) economy.

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TopJayhawk 4 years, 7 months ago

Torifreak. Here's an idea. Just stay home and drink your Wal-Mart Coke. Or go to the game, and don't buy a coke.
Better yet, just go away, you really are a freak.

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Newell_Post 4 years, 7 months ago

Lawrence was a really great town when it had a university with modest football and basketball teams that consisted of students that played for the love of the game in simple facilities in front of a few fans that were also students. It was a better town then than it is now.

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oneeye_wilbur 4 years, 7 months ago

40 million over how many years? a mil each year for 40 years?

why not set up a fund and when it reaches 40mill, then start distributing only the income from it, it would last forever even if it taks 10 years to reach the 40mil level in the fund

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John Gibson 4 years, 7 months ago

I just want to know what happened to the parking garage that I thought was a part of the last building extravaganza, the 'family' center. I thought the original plans were to have a parking garage built right next to the stadium also. ???

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 7 months ago

"No other business in this country is required to operate in the way you are stating you believe KU Athletics should be operating."

This "company" wouldn't even exist if it were not for its affiliation with and dependence on the publicly owned University of Kansas. So, no, they aren't and shouldn't be treated the same as truly independent businesses are. Contributions such as the one announced today should be a minimal requirement when private individuals are allowed to enrich themselves with nearly exclusive and unfettered use of state-owned resources.

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BlackVelvet 4 years, 7 months ago

All I know is that KUAC at times thinks they are the center of the Universe. After Mangino's practice field was built, he would send his henchmen up to Mississippi street and threaten people who were sitting in their parked cars-apparently he feared they were spies. So when he was told he could not run these folks off, he spend about 50K in having the evergreen trees planted to "hide" his precious practice field. Sounds to me like someone was asleep when they planned the thing.....but he still felt he could bully everyone away from that area. They do not walk on water, although they seem to think they do.

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yourworstnightmare 4 years, 7 months ago

I, yourworstnightmare, pledge right here to give KU $1 billion dollars.

That is, after I start my new business with city and state financial help and become a multibillionaire after the business is wildly successful.

Bring on the kudos and lauds for yourworstnightmare!

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Eride 4 years, 7 months ago

"Eride do you have a clue how many seats are at Memorial Stadium? Do you have a clue how many locals are taking up seats at the restaurants and bars on game day? How much of this tax money is from us? How many locals would be and have been throwing our money into this athletics pot for years…teams good or bad?"

So now you understand that KU Athletics is responsible for vasts amounts of city tax revenue. Finally

Now... unfortunately you have yet again changed your argument and at this point your argument has become so convoluted I can't even make sense what your point is but oh well. At least you get the tax revenue issue now.

Are you now saying that everything was fine when KU Athletics was awful but now that it is successful instead of just contributing to the cities tax base they should also be specially fined additional amounts?! A special "success" tax? No other business in this country is required to operate in the way you are stating you believe KU Athletics should be operating. I would love to hear what personal experience you have had that biases you against this company to this extent.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 7 months ago

"but are you now vying for the title of “King of Hyperbole?”"''

Well, kettle, you would be providing pretty stiff competition.

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Pilgrim2 4 years, 7 months ago

merrill (Anonymous) says…

Every time a home game goes to KCMO it probably cost the city $1,000,000 in tax revenues……. that could be used to combat local tax and user fee increases.


Good lord, Richard. We know you're the king of the OCD cut-n-paste, but are you now vying for the title of "King of Hyperbole?" $1 million in taxes from one game? You're criminally delusional.

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ToriFreak13 4 years, 7 months ago

amen yourworstnightmare! lol mostly the point....this headline for what? stir up sales? lol lol Eride keeps explaining economics....i get it! lol... Eride do you have a clue how many seats are at Memorial Stadium? Do you have a clue how many locals are taking up seats at the restaurants and bars on game day? How much of this tax money is from us? How many locals would be and have been throwing our money into this athletics pot for years...teams good or bad? We are to thank this AD?...the key here is THIS AD....no one is claiming it shouldn't exist...or not make games more entertaining...or not profitable. We are saying that this town has carried that AD, and to just up the asking price of everything under the sun Crimson & Blue without making a substantial dedication to bettering the community surrounding it....is absolutely insane....and declare yourself the highest paid employee in this city? lol!!! We would be paying taxes for our services no matter who was there. $70+ mil profit from who? by the way....and the city gets nothing. You can see how many people are thankful that the University finally gets something. Praise to them. Again that should be a natural process not a headline.

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Pilgrim2 4 years, 7 months ago

Looks like all the gym class fatties are coming out of the woodwork.

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macon47 4 years, 7 months ago

so will this donation to ku from ku athletics be an annual thing, or just a one year window dressing?

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yourworstnightmare 4 years, 7 months ago

This is only proposed money that would be given to KU academics if and when the nonexistent tower is built.

While a nice gesture and in a good spirit, this money is a long way off from materializing.

As we all know, talk is cheap. I will laud KUAC when the $40 million check is cashed.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 7 months ago

"We live in a capitalist society,"

Yes, we do, Eride. And one of the hallmarks of a lightly regulated capitalist society is great extremes in wealth, with ever greater concentrations of that wealth into ever fewer hands. (That pretty well sums up the last 30 or so years in this country.)

But once a person accumulates all that money, what do they do with it? They can join the country club, buy a big expensive house with a 4-car garage in a gated community, send their kids to an exclusive school. And increasingly, one place that the wealthiest of the wealthy like to sequester themselves away from the hoi polloi is at major sporting events.

Lew and all other AD's are quite aware of the need of these extra special people to conspicuously consume with as much privacy (yes, it is very oddly contradictory) as possible, and they'll pay big bucks to be treated like royalty in their private skyboxes and private clubs at the field or fieldhouse. (And if they're rich enough, they can even get something named after themselves.)

For sports fans lacking fat wallets, just be happy that you can see the games on pay-per-view, and watch a parade every couple of years. After all, you'll need any extra dimes you might have to pay the insurance premiums that allow insurance execs to be generous with athletic departments of the their alma maters- you can't afford to be wasting that on nosebleed seats that have been with your family for 3 generations running.

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remember_username 4 years, 7 months ago

phillbert - no worries. I may be a bit overly sensitive about my posts getting grouped with others.

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milehighhawk 4 years, 7 months ago

you know, the Nazis had pieces of flare they made the Jews wear...

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kla4one 4 years, 7 months ago

"It's better for Lew to decide what's “fair” now, on his terms, rather than waiting for them to name those terms."

This analysis seems sensible. Don't know much about any of this, but I know the amount of money Americans spend on sports and sports-related activities is ridiculous. But it's your money I guess. Seems like $40 mil is better than nothing, but not worth sainthood for Lew Perkins. Too bad the KU Libraries can't figure a way to start/sponsor a sports franchise. Instead they have to rely on donors who believe universities are about education and academics, not sports. Even if football and basketball (or whatever) pay for all the other sports, it's still seems barely worth the money spent.

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d_prowess 4 years, 7 months ago

And to stray from the debate for a second: Nice opening move by the new Chancellor on this! Who know how long this has been in discussions with the university, but I do like the timing of it and the positive light it gives her.

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d_prowess 4 years, 7 months ago

I would like some local business people to weigh in on this discussion. Do they think they are better off due to the success that Athletics has had?
And what about the city? I believe there was an article many months back that showed how much additional sales tax revenue the city received during the national championship run compared to the same months when we were not as successful. Same for the orange bowl success.

I get that Athletics may not give money directly back to the Community, but considering the way they do benefit it that I mentioned above, AND the community service that many of the teams provide to local charities (including former athletes - D. Jackson's fundraiser for Boys and Girls for example), I think it is very ignorant to say they do not give back to Lawrence.

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Eride 4 years, 7 months ago

KU Athletics does nothing for the city of Lawrence? How many times do people need to explain the notion of taxes to you? I would really like to understand the logic behind your reasoning why KU Athletics should be giving "back" outside of the tax revenue it contributes to our community when no other business is required to.

We live in a capitalist society, if you don't like the fact that a business can charge what the market will bear and that businesses give back to the communities they are located in through tax revenue you can feel free to move to a socialist society. Better hurry though, there aren't many of those left...

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ToriFreak13 4 years, 7 months ago

bb837988

lol some of you are so rich. lol Stay on track with the discussion. Not the prices of EVERYTHING on the planet! Everything related to University of Kansas athletics. lol pay attention! sheesh

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bb837988 4 years, 7 months ago

Thank you Lew Perkins & Co. for raising the prices of everything so that we can sustain our happy lives here in Lawrence! lol We would have never thought of it without you. geez.

And how is it Mr. Perkins and Kansas Athletics fault that gasoline costs more? Powerful he may be in the world of athletics on Mt. Oread but I don't think that you can blame the local economy on the athletic department.

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ToriFreak13 4 years, 7 months ago

Eride "This city would be another Perry if it wasn't for KU and KU wouldn't be near the university it is were it not for the Athletic program." These are your words. "A large percentage of this cities tax base is directly attributable to KU Athletics and another gigantic percentage is indirectly attributable to KU Athletics through KU. " These too. "market willing to bear" In other words it's not selfish to take advantage of one of the most loyal towns/fan base in the country. lol you are right...good for business.
So without the AD we would be a Perry. But with the AD we are what? The changes this AD has made have not benefited Lawrence at all. Lawrence is not any better than it was with the AD before. You still fail to explain your belief. The belief that the AD owes the city of Lawrence nothing. Because they do enough already! lol What do they do? You say they do give back.....how? and if you can come up with one way they do....before you share it with us...do you think it is a fair giveback considering they are making a profit of over $70mil on 3000 seats? wowzas lol. Thank you Lew Perkins & Co. for raising the prices of everything so that we can sustain our happy lives here in Lawrence! lol We would have never thought of it without you. geez.

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Phillbert 4 years, 7 months ago

remember_username - I apologize for conflating your story of his driving habits with the other more outlandish tales that some are telling.

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Eride 4 years, 7 months ago

No... we do not agree and your sarcasm is amusing considering the fact you lack enough common sense to understand just how asinine your factual... err... I mean opinions are.

KU Athletics already GIVES back to the community through tax revenue... just like every other business. Gouging the community? They receive revenue for selling entertainment and products at a price that the market is willing to bear... just like every other business.

And you seem to be extremely confused on exactly what you are even discussing. Homeless? Empty buildings downtown? Violent acts on campus? The city not having enough tax revenue? I don't really understand the correlation here but than again, I doubt you do either.

Once again, you are living in a delusion.

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ToriFreak13 4 years, 7 months ago

Eride

At least you finally agree with me. They don't give back anythng because they don't have to. We don't deserve anything. Should be oh so grateful for all the AD has done for Lawrence. All I have seen in Lawrence since the new AD....more homeless....more empty buildings downtown, more violent acts on and off campus. Don't blame the current economic crisis...this is years in the making. If we should be so thankful there should be results to be thankful for, right? What in Lawrence is better than it was 10 years ago...please explain? The county courthouse getting a facelift? If they cover so much of the our tax base why is it not enough? We won a championship and I don't see taxes going down? So what exactly is your logic in spending more on athletics, gouging the community to cover those expenses, and when we have a profit don't give anything back to the community?

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uofk03 4 years, 7 months ago

This is awesome, KUAC. You pulled through when KU needed it most, proving that a successful athletics program DOES benefit academics.

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ToriFreak13 4 years, 7 months ago

justaverage "Successful athletic programs benefit the entire community"

I can appreciate this point of view. It would be more realistic if the athletic department were a "team player" with the community in mind. To say the community should thank them for what they do is selfish. They do not thank Lawrence for all that we do to make game days as welcoming as they are. No thank you for making recruited players feel like this town is the place for them. For the number of seats that we fill by bringing our families or inviting friends that live 200+ miles away. Don't get confused, as good as any football team could be, it is still every business for itself in Lawrence. So basically we are in debted to the AD for giving us reasons to go out on the town and eat and drink and be merry on the weekends. For that we would be foolish to expect any more. They are claiming they will be able to give the University $40 mil (a portion of their revenues) from the sale of tickets to just one of their sports. That seems well beyond self supporting. To think that 2 of that $40mil to upgrade the library in the community is preposterous. Plenty of current and many future KU students use the that library too.

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ksgaia 4 years, 7 months ago

The real kudos here goes to our new Chancellor Gray-Little who has finally shamed Lew and the whole athletic department into at least pretending they're part of a university! Go, Bernadette!

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Eride 4 years, 7 months ago

" ToriFreak13 (Anonymous) says… Until they give money back to the community…..BACK to the community…..there will always be something to complain about. That's been the point…not the cost basis of the Coke."

Are you crazy? A large percentage of this cities tax base is directly attributable to KU Athletics and another gigantic percentage is indirectly attributable to KU Athletics through KU.

This city would be another Perry if it wasn't for KU and KU wouldn't be near the university it is were it not for the Athletic program.

You live in a delusion. Have fun in it.

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bd 4 years, 7 months ago

"d_prowess (Anonymous) says…

I think it is funny sometimes when people talk about how the community “supports” KU and KUAC. I am no historian, so if someone has knowledge of the opposite, please give it, but what do people think Lawrence would be like without the university? "

A small Topeka!!!!!!!

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justaverage 4 years, 7 months ago

Everyone needs to keep in mind that only two sports at KU are self-supporting. That would be football and men's basketball. Revenues from these two sports HAVE to fund the remainder of the athletic programs at KU. Successful athletic programs benefit the entire community, so we should be happy that KU has had success in football and basketball recently.

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cthulhu_4_president 4 years, 7 months ago

"Until they give money back to the community…..BACK to the community…..there will always be something to complain about."

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2009/sep/02/board-regents-discuss-possible-memorial-stadium-re/?breaking

Am I missing something?

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remember_username 4 years, 7 months ago

Phillbert - where did I say behaving like a jerk in traffic places someone on par with the mafia, or requires a prison sentence? Talk about needing therapy, reading so much into other peoples posts is somewhat delusional.

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sundancewierdo 4 years, 7 months ago

hey tailg8, what do you expect the track team to do? where will the kansas relays be held? i think towers on the east side will give mangino a sense of security. he's pretty paranoid. WTG KUAC! at least your giving back something. and as for the community, the better our sports teams are, the more out-of-towners there will be to spend money in your precious downtown. they gotta spend the night somewhere and have to eat lunch somewhere. wft are you all griping about anyway. since lew's gotten here, we have a nat'l champoinship, and orange bowl victory and a full football stadium every game. AND I LIKE GOING TO WATCH A GAME AT ARROWHEAD!!! IT'S AWESOME!!! lots of these players like it too, it may be thier only opportunity to play in an nfl stadium. so they donate some money and you are all pissed??????? wtf!!!

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d_prowess 4 years, 7 months ago

I don't want to come across as a complete homer for Athletics because, as others have pointed out, they have mishandled some things (I think the parade, which did end up happening, is a good example), but I am not going to rip them because they are not the same small-time operation they were 10-15 years ago. They have become a big-league program and thus have big-league initiatives.

ToriFreak does list out facts, but how you view those facts is your opinion. I personally don't have much of a problem with them and feel that many are even great decisions. So just listing facts doesn't make your opinion a fact as well.

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ToriFreak13 4 years, 7 months ago

Until they give money back to the community.....BACK to the community.....there will always be something to complain about. That's been the point...not the cost basis of the Coke.

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skinny_skillz 4 years, 7 months ago

ToriFreak13 -

I would be interested to know if the banners that hang around Lawrence are a product of Kansas Athletics. They are not consistent with the rest of their marketing material so I would guess they are not from Athletics. Would be interesting to look into. They also do not have access to those light posts as they are not their property. My money would be that Lawrence or the Downtown Business Association is paying for those and in turn for the company that hung them.

Yes the basketballs have increased in price, like every other product in the country. Prices rise over time and this is consistent with most other products out there. It also makes sense after we win a National Championship that the demand increases which also drives price to increase. Remember, supply is controlled by NCAA rules and the number available never changes.

If I remember correctly it was the University that decided to stop supplementing the faculty and staff ticket prices not the athletic department. Your complaints should go there.

The parade was only a question because there had already been an event planned that would have to be cancelled and money would be lost. Not many businesses in the world (successful ones at least) are happy to lose money no matter what the situation is.

Clearly you should read the Journal-World a little more often as I have acquired all of these facts from their stories. People like you just aren't happy unless you are complaining. It is a great thing that Kansas Athletics is providing much needed support to an academic institution that is struggling financially. Why can't you accept that and be happy that somebody was willing to step up in a giant way. Many people (every business in Lawrence and many others across the state) benefit from the University and even more the Athletic Department. None of these companies are stepping up to provide support like Lew and the department. Congratulate him and swollow your pride. This is a great thing!

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Larry Bauerle 4 years, 7 months ago

"Last spring he blew through the stop at 15th and Naismith without waiting for his turn and had the audacity to wave a thank you at the poor soul who slammed on the brakes to keep from hitting him."

Obviously Mr. Perkins is out of control. Next, we'll find out how he tore the tag off his mattress or refused to buy girl scout cookies.

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bb837988 4 years, 7 months ago

Concessions at KU athletic events and other sports and entertainment venues are high - because there are two companies taking a portion of the profits.

Kansas Athletics does not run their concession services. Neither Arrowhead or Kaufman Stadium. An independent contractor provides the services. The contractor is a business. And without profit, they are not a viable company.

Kansas Athletics takes a portion of those profits. And the volunteer groups working in the stands will also receive a portion of the profits.

You don't have to buy a hot dog and you don't have to buy an drink. But the cost of those products help to support the athletic programs at the university including those that do not have a large booster organization such as soccer and softball. It also supports the activities that the volunteer groups are raising money for.

Without the cut of the concessions money, I always figured that the ticket prices would be higher. If you don't like the cost, don't buy anything. Eat before or after the game, bring in an empty water bottle and fill it up at the fountain.

Bottom line - when the new seating is built, Kansas Athletics will be donating a lot of needed money to the academic divisions of the University. Or is that the problem - there will be one less thing to complain about.

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Bruce Bertsch 4 years, 7 months ago

For ToriFreak -

No one puts a gun to your head and forces you to go to games or buy a Coke. This is a capitalistic society. When teams are good, the value of the seats and concessions and souvenirs increases. I am an employee of KU and at least through football season I get a discount. Do you really want to cheapen some students education to have KU pay for me to attend football and basketball games? BTW, you don't own that ticket. Thus, Kansas Athletics has every right to hound you when you resell THEIR ticket on ebay. And last but not least...It's Kansas Athletics, Inc. not KUAC.

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firstamendmentrights 4 years, 7 months ago

im more curious how much money ku athletics gave the Henry family, anyone got those numbers? or will i have to wait until a Final 4 is vacated to get the real story?

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ToriFreak13 4 years, 7 months ago

Eride It's not an opinion that the price of a 12oz coke at a game in Allen Fieldhouse is what it is....and that it is the highest price you will pay per ounce in this city. It's not an opinion that a sign company from Kansas City was used to hang the KU Football banners on our downtown light posts. It's not an opinion that the autographed basketballs went from $85 to the now $160. It's not an opinion that the employees of the University of Kansas used to have discounted tickets, and no longer do. It's not an opinion that there was controversy on whether to have a championship parade in downtown Lawrence or not. It's not an opinion that if you are a season ticket holder, and for whatever reason can not make it to the game, and put your ticket for sale on ebay, that you will be contacted by thugs (by defnition). You are defending this as if your own job were under attack. I don't want your job. I want the KUAC to show a little more appreciation to the community that is the foundation to their success.

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firstamendmentrights 4 years, 7 months ago

im more curious how much money ku athletics gave the Henry family, anyone got those numbers? or will i have to wait until a Final 4 is vacated to get the real story?

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 7 months ago

Every time a home game goes to KCMO it probably cost the city $1,000,000 in tax revenues....... that could be used to combat local tax and user fee increases.

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Eride 4 years, 7 months ago

"Where is that $40mil coming from? lol Some people just have no clue they are getting robbed."

Seriously, are you not aware you live in a democratic and capitalist society? People can spend money on whatever they want and the companies they give it to can then spend it on whatever they want. I find it funny how all of the alumni who spend money on KU Athletics are somehow magically clueless where you are some kind of omnipotent god.

You might literally have the most asinine opinions of anyone on this board. And btw, they are opinions not facts... as much as you continue to act otherwise.

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cthulhu_4_president 4 years, 7 months ago

Phillbert: second your post!

Perkins for city council!

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Phillbert 4 years, 7 months ago

Yeah, really, what do KU Athletics and KU do for the community other than bring tens, probably hundreds of millions of dollars into Lawrence by way of salaries, tourism, student spending, etc.?

But Lew Perkins once didn't yield at a stop sign and Cokes at games cost too much, so he is clearly on par with the mafia and should really be in prison.

Whenever I need examples to make the case for expanded access to mental health care, I just visit the comments section of any LJW story on KU Athletics and my cup runneth over.

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The_Original_Bob 4 years, 7 months ago

"but what do people think Lawrence would be like without the university? "

At best Salina.

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oneeye_wilbur 4 years, 7 months ago

price went up on OneEye_wilbur Hot Dogs, LIl Perky is now $4.00 and the Mandingo is going to be $5.00 (the fixin's are free) Parking is now $30.00 per car. Thanks to KUAC for a local stimulus package, better than Obama could ever do.

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ku_tailg8 4 years, 7 months ago

I've always hated the track going around the field because the fans are farther back and it looks like a division II field. I think they ought to dig out the entire field and track so the 1st row seats currently will become about row 10 or 12. The track will be gone, the fans will be closer and the view of the hill will stay without having to enclose it. It will have a better bowl effect as well. It probably wouldn't take very long to remove a bunch of dirt in order to add 1000's of fans closer to the field.

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d_prowess 4 years, 7 months ago

I think it is funny sometimes when people talk about how the community "supports" KU and KUAC.
I am no historian, so if someone has knowledge of the opposite, please give it, but what do people think Lawrence would be like without the university?

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CheneyHawk 4 years, 7 months ago

Show some love for the Marching Jayhawks and Hoops Band and send some $$$ their way.

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Practicality 4 years, 7 months ago

Ummmmm, are we really comparing the KUAC to the Mafia, Madoff, and the Nazis?

Only in Lawrence.

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 7 months ago

It is both commendable and about time.

Can those focused on academics expect this generosity annually?

Surely KU athletics could the value in an annual long term assistance program...... say the next 100 years.

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driedoregano 4 years, 7 months ago

wow $40million....

does that mean the games move back here from KC?

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remember_username 4 years, 7 months ago

WilburM - I'm not surprised he's four steps ahead of everyone else in the community, the guy doesn't even wait his turn at a four way stop! Last spring he blew through the stop at 15th and Naismith without waiting for his turn and had the audacity to wave a thank you at the poor soul who slammed on the brakes to keep from hitting him.

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WilburM 4 years, 7 months ago

Love him, hate him, whatever. Lew Perkins is about four steps ahead of everyone else in both the University and the city.

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hujiko 4 years, 7 months ago

Enough with the construction/expansion! This is beginning to get out of hand, specifically when will athletics be satisfied? I mean, 10 years ago there was nothing more than a press box, and the scoreboard didn't entirely block the view of the field from the hill. Now there is a massive suite complex in place of the once humble press box, a jumbotron with the necessary megahyperdrive surround sound system, Mangino's office that practically butts into the stadium, and two seldom used practice fields with $90,000 of shrubbery surrounding it. In little more than a decade KU has adulterated every last square foot of a once open campus, and for what? Money.

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middleoftheroad 4 years, 7 months ago

Way to go KUAC!!! While there will always be haters, I'm quite proud to be an alum of a school with a pioneering athletic department. I've not heard of another program donating future revenue to the school. However, all sporting events charge a LOT for concession stand items and tickets.

BigAl - I agree!

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ToriFreak13 4 years, 7 months ago

BigAl (Anonymous) says…

"ToriFreak13. That might be the dumbest thing I have ever read on these message boards."

It is dumb isn't it. They are all facts. The "most expensive Coca Cola", the using of an out of town company to hang KU football banners downtown. All dumb facts you are free to check yourself.

The_Original_Bob Not a she. No need to bring Hitler into it. I called them a mob not lunatics. I was simply conflicting with the supporters of the KUAC and their defense "see everybody, they must be good if they donate $40 million to academics". Where is that $40mil coming from? lol Some people just have no clue they are getting robbed.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 7 months ago

There is very little magnanimity involved here. The state is broke, and KUAC is flush with cash. Lew knows very well that if they have too big a pile of cash lying around, the state will come around asking for their fair share. It's better for Lew to decide what's "fair" now, on his terms, rather than waiting for them to name those terms.

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The_Original_Bob 4 years, 7 months ago

I think Torifreak is doing all she can not to invoke Godwin's Law. Gotti? Madoff? Hitler is coming up soon.

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BigAl 4 years, 7 months ago

ToriFreak13. That might be the dumbest thing I have ever read on these message boards.

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ToriFreak13 4 years, 7 months ago

Eride (Anonymous) says…

"Wow… KUAC donates more money to academics then pretty much any other athletics department in the nation and they still get nothing but hate.

You guys are crazy."

It's because you don't get the complaint. If the money came from Bernie Madoff would you defend him too? The money being given out as a "gift" was extorted from the surrounding community. The KUAC would not exist without the KU, so it should be a natural jesture to support academics....not a headline. When they start giving back to the community that makes all of that possible...then you have a headline.

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sonofdaxjones 4 years, 7 months ago

Why do my posts about all of the squawk validators keep getting deleted?

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Eride 4 years, 7 months ago

Wow... KUAC donates more money to academics then pretty much any other athletics department in the nation and they still get nothing but hate.

You guys are crazy.

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ToriFreak13 4 years, 7 months ago

llama726 (Anonymous) says…

"Wow. So I hope all the KUAC haters read this and insert foot in mouth."

So if the Gotti family would have just given $40 million to cancer research...they would have been saints. Get a clue. Stop being sheep! The most expensive Coca Cola in Lawrence (probably in Kansas) is being sold by the KUAC. You don't even get a souvenir cup anymore. Double the price of autographed basketballs, make employees pay full price for tickets, stomp out "scalpers", you can't even sell your OWN tickets at FACE VALUE on ebay anymore. This is a mob. Now telling residents of a community they can't choose what color their cans of beer are? lol How much $$ does the KUAC put back into LAWRENCE!?!? This town will always be here whether they have a football team, good, bad, or even at all. You see more discussions about saving downtown Lawrence, but KUAC steals $$ from downtown. They refuse to participate in activities they can't control. Had to be beaten with wet noodles to get a championship parade. Send rivalry games to KC. Geez....for an organization that steals so much support and money from the surrounding community, you would think they could give a few of that million to better it just to put some lipstick on the pig! Kealing, can someone do a little research on how much the KUAC pays downtown Lawrence to litter it with their advertising? ie the KU Football banners that I see a sign company from OUT OF TOWN putting up all the time. I would be surprised if they pay anything....outraged if they pay nothing.

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remember_username 4 years, 7 months ago

The announcements timing shows how Kansas Athletics Incorporated really is a self-serving entity. It was timed to counter any opposition to proposed spending for the expansion. If they really cared about academics they would have born the brunt of the spending criticisms and quietly donated the money once the expansion is complete and the money starts rolling in. The way it was announced is only going to make our anti-education state legislature figure they can cut the university budget another 40 million starting immediately. Way to be part of the team Mr. Perkins!

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Jonathan Kealing 4 years, 7 months ago

Chuck and others-- We're asking for that sorts of stuff, and we're asking about comparable with the suites on the west side. You can expect a couple more updates on this story before the day is out.

Jonathan Kealing online editor

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number1jayhawker 4 years, 7 months ago

Good idea, but if my math is correct, that's about $24,000.00 per seat. Damn, who can afford that and how much is a seat in the suites on the west side?

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kusp8 4 years, 7 months ago

JKealing,

do you anticipate a drawing of some sort from KUAC after the press conference?

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d_prowess 4 years, 7 months ago

What "behavior" should they not be excused of...
Being good at raising money? Protecting their brand? Improving facilities for all sports?

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ilovelucy 4 years, 7 months ago

Don't want to disappoint: While this is an admirable & welcome gesture and the money is needed, it doesn't excuse the behavior of the AD and his staff.

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edjayhawk 4 years, 7 months ago

I"m not worried about that. It won't be long before we look at adding more seats so the whole thing is enclosed.

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hawkfan20 4 years, 7 months ago

Kansas, did you read the article? Revenues from the sale of seats are expected to finance the project’s $34 million construction cost and the $40 million academic commitment. The seats aren't sold yet.

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Phillbert 4 years, 7 months ago

llama - As you can see, $40 million bought Athletics a roughly half hour grace period from the haters.

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KansasVoter 4 years, 7 months ago

It's about time that KU Athletics shares with the University, but why can't they just donate the $40 million right now when it's needed most?

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llama726 4 years, 7 months ago

Wow. So I hope all the KUAC haters read this and insert foot in mouth.

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Jonathan Kealing 4 years, 7 months ago

TOB-- We had this posted before KU put out their press release. We called them about this last night, but were only able to get it confirmed a few minutes before KU decided to send out the press release. We'll be updating this soon with more information.

Jonathan Kealing Online editor

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The_Original_Bob 4 years, 7 months ago

Thanks, Stlcards. I wonder why the LJWorld excluded the details. Oh, no I don't.

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sonofdaxjones 4 years, 7 months ago

yet another example of Lew Perkins screwing everyone over, and the rest of the phogtard validators in lockstep.

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stlcards515 4 years, 7 months ago

Read the full story here.

http://www.news.ku.edu/2009/september/2/athletics.shtml

I like the idea. I also think it's funny because they probably want to build it to block the view from The Oread.

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defenestrator 4 years, 7 months ago

Let's just put Bud Light on all the new bleacher seats.

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scootterxlch 4 years, 7 months ago

budgets being slashed unless it is big money sports?????

he can't read worth a hoot but he can sure throw a football! We just need to convince the world that tv sports are the new measuring stick and forget all the math science and stuff.

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