Archive for Sunday, September 27, 2009

Perkins upset about fights

KU athletes’ brawls ‘a black eye on our university and the state of Kansas’

September 27, 2009


Following a particularly embarrassing week for the Kansas University athletic department, in which police responded to multiple incidents involving fighting between members of the school’s football and men’s basketball teams, KU athletic director Lew Perkins has found himself in the middle of a national story that has placed a harsh light on an otherwise promising sports season.

Speaking with members of the media prior to Saturday’s football game against Southern Mississippi at Memorial Stadium, Perkins shed little light on the details of the past week but insisted it was a matter being handled with the utmost importance.

“I’ve been doing college athletic administration for over 40 years,” Perkins said, “and I’ve never experienced anything like this.

“This might be the most complicated thing I’ve ever dealt with in my whole life,” he added. “There’s all kinds of different issues involved, all kinds of different people involved, and every time we kind of get where we are, another thing pops up.”

No disciplinary measures

As of Saturday, no players had been publicly disciplined for their roles in the fights, despite witness accounts that multiple football and basketball players had thrown punches during a Wednesday morning scuffle outside Wescoe Hall on the KU campus. The night before, police had been called to the Burge Union, where another fight had broken out because of a dispute between a basketball and football player over a woman. The Tuesday night fight left Tyshawn Taylor, a starting guard for the basketball team, with a dislocated left thumb that could sideline him for up to four weeks.

Kansas football coach Mark Mangino, who has already held standout receiver Dezmon Briscoe out of one game this season, said Wednesday he hadn’t been presented with information that would warrant suspensions, while men’s basketball coach Bill Self indicated the following day that any disciplinary measures involving his players would be handled internally.

Perkins said Saturday that he’s always allowed coaches to handle disciplinary issues on their own — but, he added, he wouldn’t hesitate to step in if he thought the situation warranted it.

“I’ve always had a policy that I’ve allowed our coaches to handle discipline the way they want to with their teams,” Perkins said. “Now, if it would ever escalate, or anything should escalate over and above what I would think coaches should be doing, then I would want to step in and deal with it. We’re still gathering information, to be honest with you. We have to be very very careful with what we say and what we can’t say and what we know and what we don’t know, because if we’re wrong for one reason or another — not that we’re afraid of lawsuits, but we don’t necessarily want lawsuits.”

He also said he understood if at some point the university would elect to issue discipline in the matter.

Ongoing feud?

Perkins also addressed reports that a feud between the school’s football and basketball teams had been festering for some time. Both Self and Mangino said this week they don’t believe this to be the case, though a former football player on Wednesday told the Journal-World that issues between the university’s two major programs have been evident in recent years, including an incident last year that began at a local bar and resumed at Jayhawker Towers, where many of the school’s athletes reside.

“There’s been some discussion that maybe this has been going on for a long time,” he said. “I’m quite honest as I am always: We did not know if it was factual, if it was, in fact, going on. And I honestly wish if some people knew, I wish they would have come told us so we could have dealt with it. … Right now, I would ask them to come talk to us.”

‘Really an embarrassment’

At the moment, Perkins is working with university and law enforcement officials to piece together the particulars of the week’s events, though he admitted specifics might never be pinned down.

“Will I ever know what the total story is? I don’t think anybody will, the police, (anybody),” Perkins said. “I don’t think the kids know. You talk to one kid that was there, you talk to another kid that was there, and you maybe get something similar, but it’s not all similar. I think it happened so quickly, it happened so spontaneously, that it just got out of hand.”

One thing was made clear at a Wednesday afternoon meeting between Perkins and the football and basketball teams: Perkins will not tolerate any future fights between the two squads.

“I made a deal with the kids, what we say in here will stay here,” Perkins said of the meeting. “There was no mistaking what I said, no mistake where I was coming from. I’m 64 years old. I’ve been doing this for over 40 years. I can honestly say I was about as mad as I’ve been in a long time, and embarrassed, and told them that.”

He used the word “embarrassed” several times in his 20-minute chat with the media.

“I think it’s been said over and over: This is really an embarrassment to our university, to our athletic program. I’ve been doing athletic administration for over 40 years, and I’ve never experienced something like this. I was very, very embarrassed and very hurt by it, too. I think it was a black eye on our athletic program, a black eye on our football and basketball teams, a black eye on our university and the state of Kansas. We just can’t have that kind of stuff happen.”


svenway_park 8 years, 8 months ago

“This might be the most complicated thing I’ve ever dealt with in my whole life,”

For $1.5 million per year, I think I could figure out this piece of rocket science.

kujayhawk 8 years, 8 months ago

“I’ve been doing college athletic administration for over 40 years,” Perkins said, “and I’ve never experienced anything like this.

Then he hasn't been paying attention for 40 years. Usually it's in fighting within the program, not necessarily fighting between programs. Although I believe OU had a incident a few years ago with involving the football and baseball program.

Michael Throop 8 years, 8 months ago

The Kansas City Star has some of his other comments,including his trying to get a handle on the "hip-hop" culture, and its influence on some segments of the student-athlete population. Perkins says he's looking to some of the younger staff to help him in this culture quest,which apparently includes being mouthy, taking instant revenge for a perceived slight, and demanding this a poor/middle class situation, racial, what is is it?

KEITHMILES05 8 years, 8 months ago

What is "unsettling" is the fact white America wasn't involved in the culture that many of these young men were raised in. It is a culture thing, more or less, and has been around for years and years. This isn't anything new. However, white America is now shocked to learn black youths use certain terminology and they are outraged.

Newsflash. Who's "fault" is it?

Something to ponder.

Robert Rauktis 8 years, 8 months ago

Maybe one of those 140,000 dollared assistant AD's can go undercover. Just don't ask a suit to dance.

MaryKatesPillStash 8 years, 8 months ago

Keith, what are you talking about? Some of the players involved in this 'incident' were white.

KEITHMILES05 8 years, 8 months ago

It seems people are more upset of the "language" which is used daily by many of the minority kids. That is what I am referring to.

White America mostly does not understand the context when used amongst themselves. This is why these kids struggle when they are told to "stop talking like that."

This isn't about being "thugs" or "misfits."

Fred Whitehead Jr. 8 years, 8 months ago

I guess no one has been paying much attention to the political news scene lately. People attending meetings about current issues regarding the health care reform. Idiots disrupting the proceedings with shouts, screaming, and rude and offensive behavior towards there elected representatives. The question has been asked "What has happened to civility in our society?" I think a lot of it is in the lap of these knuckle headed idiots that call themselves "talk show hosts", the outrageous and vicious language that you hear from the likes of Limbaugh and Beck, egging people to embrace their own lack of civility and decency. What do we expect with these examples loose in the society? I noted the reference to the "hip hop culture", but Ireally think it is the "incivility culture" that has been set loose where decent discourse and polite discussion have become distant elements of the common culture.

jhawks22 8 years, 8 months ago

I'm sure Rush would be suprised to find out that he caused the University of Kansas' Football and Basketball teams to start fighting...great correlation frwent, I like how you put things in perspective so logically.

yankeevet 8 years, 8 months ago

wow faceit;

someday tell us how u really feel; lol..........

rgh 8 years, 8 months ago

National Championship and Orange Bowl wins mean nothing; Come on Self and Mangino let's start getting rid of these high priced babies.

There is no player bigger than the team or the university. We've got more players that could easily step up. The other members of the teams who stood by should have been men and ended it also.

I am truly disappointed there was no immediate and substantial punishment dealt out to those involved. Tyshawn's an idiot for posting racial and threatening messages on Facebook. We already had a Morris twin in trouble before last year even began by shooting some innocent person with a pellet gun.

I love the Hawks but this nonsense has got to stop or the players will never learn and I'm paying too much money for tickets and my kids' tuition for these guys to go to school for free and watch them act like junior high children.

uofk03 8 years, 8 months ago

Faceit: Who do you think is worse, Lew Perkins or..... Hitler?

Seriously, the guy just proposed a $40mil contribution to academics and you're calling him a "parasite."

When you cough up $40mill, then I'll shut up. Until then, you should shut up.

ralphralph 8 years, 8 months ago

If Lew was really upset, he'd let the KU Police do their jobs, and the kids would eventually come to associate "bad behavior" with "unpleasant consequences". But he won't, so they don't, and they won't. KU Police = Shameful failure of duty.

shepdog 8 years, 8 months ago


Smith1000 8 years, 8 months ago

The hard part about this is that the athletic dept. is yet to figure out a way to sell front row seats for these fights to the highest bidders.

KEITHMILES05 8 years, 8 months ago

I thought Lew said Wed. there would be no further comment about this situation? LMAO

He needs to STOP talking to the public and do something. We've all heard enough. He's in charge. Make sure to apply the rules fairly and equitably.

Self and Mangino will do their job. Will Lew do his?

Stop the jabbering and move on.

uofk03 8 years, 8 months ago

"Part of the money did come from my pocket, so you're welcome," said Faceit.

Wow! You've already purchased your seats for the Gridiron Club? I bet you actually haven't, and just pulled that out of your rear.

kcmetro 8 years, 8 months ago

Coming from someone who I believe and was there when the first altercation took place, here is what went down and why. I have no reason to make this up and frankly dont care I am not even a KU fan or hater. Starting cornerback for KU, I believe it was Anthony Davis was in one of the school halls, and was sitting down. He was rumored to have slept with Tyshawns girlfriend. So a few KU hoops players were walking by and kicked his bag and then he stood up and then punches started getting thrown. A few other football players saw it, and ran over and then the fight was basically over. Also heard that Sheron Collins was there and he ran back to Allen Fieldhouse for security. There have been a total of 3 fights that I know of. That is the facts, no reason to lie, dont really care.

Ricky_Vaughn 8 years, 8 months ago

It's nice that Lew's upset, but it'd be nicer if he'd actually do something about it.

Jim Williamson 8 years, 8 months ago

I find it really interesting that so many people assume that nothing's going on, and if there is, they have a right as a fan or alum or as a resident of Lawrence to know about it.

Ricky_Vaughn 8 years, 7 months ago

Hey they're winning so why complain? Who cares if the athletes at KU do things the right way? The ends justify the means, right?

Where's your dignity, Lawrence? KU fans make me sick...

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