Archive for Thursday, December 16, 2010

Bubba Cunningham staying at Tulsa

December 16, 2010, 4:38 p.m. Updated December 17, 2010, 12:00 a.m.


Kansas University’s search for a new athletic director, which had reached its destination at the doorstep of Tulsa University’s Bubba Cunningham, has resumed.

Cunningham, who according to multiple sources was offered the KU job earlier in the week, signed a contract extension to stay put.

Tulsa president Steadman Upham announced the deal late Thursday afternoon, sending shock waves throughout KU’s national fan base.

“Bubba and I have a great partnership,” Upham said, “and his service to TU has been marked by exceptional progress by our student-athletes, including 31 Conference USA championships. We’re on a roll and I’m confident we’ll continue to build on our remarkable momentum and national visibility.”

Cunningham was not made available for comment.

The last time Kansas was in the market for a new athletic director, it didn’t get its first choice, either, and was rejected by an athletic director from the same city.

After Al Bohl’s departure, then-chancellor Robert Hemenway first offered the job to Oral Roberts athletic director Mike Carter, who when pressured for an answer, declined because of family considerations.

It’s not known what inspired Cunningham’s change of heart. KU chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, in staying consistent with her no-comment policy on the search, did not issue a statement in response to being turned down by the athletic director from a school that competes in Conference USA.

Gray-Little, according to multiple sources, also interviewed Notre Dame deputy athletic director Bill Scholl on the recommendation of the search committee headed by Ray Evans. Some of those same sources indicated that does not mean he is next in line and the search is expected to continue. The committee had contact with athletic directors from several schools and could resume contact with candidates it found most impressive.


Dadof2 7 years, 6 months ago

ouch - another bit of bad news for our Hawks. What's next?

squawkhawk 7 years, 6 months ago

What next? Take your pick...more money scandals, academic fraud, coaches beating players, players beating players, players beating other students, players shooting old ladies, player exhibitionists, player DUIs, embarrasing losses to nobody teams (BB and FB). Get the point? Nobody will want this job.

TopJayhawk 7 years, 6 months ago

Squawk That is a good name for you. Negativity is no challenge. So if one single person wants the job, you will be proven wrong, and all you will be doing is squaking. What a little Squawk bucket you are.

huskerpower 7 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

LTownBaby 7 years, 6 months ago

Roy said the same thing before he bolted to UNC!

Bill Lee 7 years, 6 months ago

Oh, get over it. If Roy had stayed, we wouldn't have Bill Self, which seems to have worked out.

puddleglum 7 years, 6 months ago

I am very very pretty, but Roy can kiss my ass as welll......also, I need Dean Smith to drop dead.

Romans832 7 years, 6 months ago

Reminds me a lot of the headline "Dewey beats Truman." They had "sources" too.

squawkhawk 7 years, 6 months ago

Yeah, KU got played like a worn out drum.

kernal 7 years, 6 months ago

I don't recall the LJW actually said he had accepted the job. I thought LJW was just following up on the Oklahoma media's suit which said it looked like Bubba was coming here.

irvan moore 7 years, 6 months ago

so how do you go after a 1st rate ad when they know the ad at Tulsa turned you down?

huskerpower 7 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Bruce Rist 7 years, 6 months ago

Any bets that Momma didn't want to leave T town for Larryville?

RandyW 7 years, 6 months ago

As per my other post, she needs to go.

blindrabbit 7 years, 6 months ago

A little Jayhawk egg yolk on our faces; time to eat some crow!!

yankeevet 7 years, 6 months ago

Ho; ho; ho;....what a christmas surprise.............

Fred Whitehead Jr. 7 years, 6 months ago

I told you so!!!..."Dewey Defeats Truman...I told you so!!! This newsrag and the local bucolic news media just cannot contain itself to real news and facts. "Sources" my backside, what a really poor way to "run a railroad"! They had this guy moved in and settled in their news articles. I told you so. Given the recent bad news and bad behavior at Kansas atheletic offices, I would not want to come here either. With a goofy football coach who takes the names off the uniforms to punish the team, with a basket ball team that goes whole hog until the really big dance, with all the stupid and dumb decisions about football game venues, I think I would stay at Tulsa anyway. When is Self going to wake up and go back to OSU?? Can't wait for the JW to start that rumor again.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 6 months ago

Passing on an AD job at a BCS conference school and choosing to stay in a mediocre CUSA program? KU has problems right now, but this to me says that "Bubba" does not belong in the big time.

KU is well rid of him. Next....

And please.... Bubba? This isn't Starkville, MS or Clemson, SC. Stay in the south, Bubba (I know I know, he's from MI).

WhiteDog 7 years, 6 months ago

"Before word broke that Cunningham would be staying at KU..." needs to be fixed.

RandyW 7 years, 6 months ago

As a KU alum, I think KU should go looking for a new President. You never make an offer on that level that you don't already know what the answer will be. Monumental mistake on her part. This whole thing has been mismanaged from the start and it rests on her desk.

blueberries 7 years, 6 months ago

Do you mean chancellor? KU doesn't have a president.

And, what makes you think there was an offer? There is no reporting of that.

dinglesmith 7 years, 6 months ago

Read Self's comments. It sounds like he wasn't aware an offer had been made. If he wasn't aware, I'd bet no formal offer was made.

KU did not announce anything nor did Tulsa. The only announcements can from newspapers and bloggers. The Chancellor should be fired over that? I don't think so.

blueberries 7 years, 6 months ago

I'm curious who these "sources" were that led to LJW touting very confidently that he was the next AD on the front page of the website and paper.

cowboy 7 years, 6 months ago

Good thing we didn't get him cuz he's obviously quite short in the brains department not to come to KU

Rich Noever 7 years, 6 months ago

I think there is a shorness of brains but it may be you. Good grief!

Bill Lee 7 years, 6 months ago

It's easier to deal with the devil you know that the devil you don't know. If you were thinking of changing jobs and you were offered a lot of money to stay, what would you do. Sometimes the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence, but after you jump over you discover brown grass. Just as Lawrence is the only town in Kansas I'd live in, Tulsa's the only one in Oklahoma.

squawkhawk 7 years, 6 months ago

Cowboy, have you had your head in the sand for the past 5 years. Just what exactly do you think is so great about what has been happening at KU lately. Would you hire on to the Titantic as a crewman if you knew it was going to sink?

WaxAndWane 7 years, 6 months ago

Yep, nothing good happened here in the past five years. Well, except for the NCAA championship, the Orange Bowl, new facilities, record level fundraising, etc. Are you off your meds?! Drama happens at every major college athletic department. Check out ESPN every day. There's always a new story about a school having athletics issues.

squawkhawk 7 years, 6 months ago

Wax, what meds are you on? What has happened at KU the past several years does NOT happen at every major university. KU is the exception! Sure you have player incidents periodically at any university but all the other stuff puts KU in a league of its own. I'm glad you can feel good about a purchased Orange Bowl win a a national championship, but anything positive that has happened at KU the past few years has forever been tainted by the abuses and corruption at KU. And as for checking out ESPN...I do and all I usually see are articles about KU. Seems like you have your head in the sand too.

Bob_Keeshan 7 years, 6 months ago

Sounds like the search committee should have done a little more vetting before sending names to the Chancellor.

This guy and his family clearly didn't want to leave Tulsa. According to his bio, he has 4 kids and I'm guessing some of them are in high school. Always tough to pull kids out of high school.

anonyname 7 years, 6 months ago

Lisa Love. GREAT idea. How about someone who was associate AD at U$C during the Reggie Bush era. Do you really want a person from one of the most scandal-ridden pro teams - I mean, college programs around heading KU Athletics?? $C was under NCAA probation before they paid Bush...all while Love was associate AD. Not to mention, U$C was also the training ground for Barbara Hedges, who presided over athletics at the University of Washington. Hedges' tenure saw multiple scandals, including a team physician who handed out prescription drugs for nearly 20 years, and the hiring of the oh-so-successful Tyrone Willingham.

Steve Jacob 7 years, 6 months ago

Just a slap in the face for KU. You can't take it any other way. But not the first guy to turn an interview into a new contract.

jhoxnoh 7 years, 6 months ago

Two negative articles about Kansas on ESPN's College Basketball front page. The fault of Little and Keegan. Both should have known better.

Rich Noever 7 years, 6 months ago

In this economy it is not wise to choose your boss by his first name idiot!

Bob Forer 7 years, 6 months ago

Why do we have to blame anybody. The scenario that just unfolded is not without precedent in both college and professional sports. An administrator or coach is convinced to make a job change, an agreement is reached in principle, and in the time it takes to schedule a news conference and draw up the contract, the candidate has second thoughts, and/or is offered a salary increase and/or other concessions to stay, and bingo, all deals are off. Its part of the human experience. There's no blame to hand out. Its called life, and the mature and reasonable folks amongst us should just forget about it and let the process be renewed and completed.

PugnaciousJayhawk 7 years, 6 months ago

I wonder if Mr. Cunningham was given any material information relating to the ongoing FBI/IRS investigation. If he was and chose to back out as a result, it certainly gives credence to the rumor that more indictments are coming down the pipeline.

equalaccessprivacy 7 years, 6 months ago

It must have been that compliment I gave his tie.

squawkhawk 7 years, 6 months ago

You mean he probably looked at Gill's contract and realized he'd only be making a fraction of what a second rate head coach is making!

VTHawk 7 years, 6 months ago

Care to be more specific or would you rather just nonsensically rant against our former AD?

squawkhawk 7 years, 6 months ago

You mean ticket scandals, FBI investigations, bankrupt athletic department, pi$$ed off donors, overpaid coaches...what part don't you understand?

Adam P Atterson 7 years, 6 months ago

is it the same one who said Mizzou to Big 10?

kujayhawk 7 years, 6 months ago

True, but then Mizzou is in the Big 10, KU is in the Big East and EJ transferred to UNLV.

VTHawk 7 years, 6 months ago

If I had to randomly guess, this was the result of KU giving a low-ball offer. KU certainly has (some) prestige in the athletics area, so choosing not to come on board could be due to the dollar terms. I wasn't sold on the "hire" in the first place, though. Now, unfortunately, KU looks week and any candidate will feel like a second-choice candidate.

irvan moore 7 years, 6 months ago

when i heard that "personality" talking on another radio show this evening it seemed to me that he laid the blame on the chancellor. should hired a search firm.

kernal 7 years, 6 months ago

Was their any substance to the "blame" or was it just conjecture?

gl0ck0wn3r 7 years, 6 months ago

hahahahahaha lol lolzcopter hahahaha

Perhaps it is time for Mangino to come back as AD?

squawkhawk 7 years, 6 months ago

Seriously people, what decent AD in the country would want to come to KU with all the mess that has been going on for years. There are player problems of all kinds, there are coaching issues of all kinds, there are money issues of all kinds, there are legal issues of all kinds. And to top it off, there is a chancellor who doesn't have a clue what she is doing regarding athletics, donors who are ready to boycott and a juco head football coach making more money than a new AD ever will at KU. You tell me what reputable AD wants to come to KU and be a puppet cleaning up all of Lew's messes? Really!

Bill Lee 7 years, 6 months ago

Some of you seem surprised that there was a search committee. When has an AD been hired without one? Even if a school already knows who they want, there are laws that make it necessary to do a "search" and take applications. The NCAA wants schools to be sure to take applications from interested mnorities. That's usually done with a search committee. The Chancellor did what anyone else in her position would do. I've turned down jobs before, and I've wanted jobs I wasn't offered. I'm guessing that's true of many posters here.

melott 7 years, 6 months ago

I'm relieved. A guy named Bubba from Oklahoma?

squawkhawk 7 years, 6 months ago

He's from Michigan...he just works in OK.

kernal 7 years, 6 months ago

Please tell me how and why Fescoe would know all this and no one in Lawrence does?

stlcards515 7 years, 6 months ago

Honestly, I wonder how many of you know that neither Tulsa nor KU, not anyone close to the situation has actually confirmed it. The LJW said it was happening where, although only the student newspaper, the Kansan was still saying it was only speculation. ALSO, on the 14th, the day all the speculation started, Bubba was on the radio confirming he was still Tulsa's AD

cowboy 7 years, 6 months ago

Seriously folks , the KU AD job is a great job if you have integrity and can show progress from year to year. You have a flagship program with one of the top 3 coaches in the country. You have a football program that already has hit bottom and can go nowhere but up. It's easy to come to a position where everything is a mess. You can be a hero quickly . I reiterate that to turn down this job will be this guy's big career regret.

RiverCityConservative 7 years, 6 months ago

I heard LJW got it from the latest batch of wikileaks cables.

Pitt_Mackeson 7 years, 4 months ago

uh my name is rivercityconservative, I like men and meaty sausages

ajmag 7 years, 6 months ago

Bubba can't come to KU because Bubba is too busy knowing all that there is to know about the shrimpin' business.

TopJayhawk 7 years, 6 months ago

You guys are a bunch of drama queens.
Sycophant is right, it is just business.
You guys should try to hide your petty, bitter immature feelings. We wil get a good AD.
Then I will expect all of you clowns to get on here and admit you were wrong.

ksriver2010 7 years, 6 months ago

Do we really need an AD named "Bubba" after the debacle that was Perkins?

anonyname 7 years, 6 months ago

"Phog" is quite an unusual name too. Seems to me he did pretty well.

Paul R Getto 7 years, 6 months ago

Probably a good move on his part. There are probably lots more rocks to kick over and look under, after the right people squeal to avoid long jail terms.

BruceWayne 7 years, 6 months ago

Tom Keegan wrote "Theoretically, he could always back out, but he won’t." More quality reporting by Keegan.

squawkhawk 7 years, 6 months ago

Today KU is the butt of the sports world...again!

Jake1552 7 years, 6 months ago

Who want to be athletic director at tulsa? what does he make 1 dollar?

ltljim64 7 years, 6 months ago

Lets see.....

Replacing an individual that left under less than a favorable situation (who replaced a guy who left on poor terms.)

Major portions of the current operations subject to federal investigation at any time, if any of several people already indited can see a way to ease their sentencing by stirring up more of a mess.

A conference that was on the verge of imploding less than 6 months ago, and isn't much more stable now. (let alone, being a historically weak football school, in what is for all reasons is a 'football economy)

A football program that has worked it's way quickly back to an afterthought to basketball in just a couple seasons.

A fan base that is tired of making the news..... for all the wrong reasons....

A football coach that showed little his first season under an expensive contract, and has moved fan expectations back 10 years

A basketball program that has the run of the department, with a coach that could (not that HCBS would!) make your day to day dealings a mess....

.... yea.... who WOULDN'T want this job!?!

kujayhawk 7 years, 6 months ago

If he can't deal with it then he should stay at Tulsa. ANY BCS school has these same issues, many are much worse.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 7 years, 6 months ago

So many idiots willing to ignore criminal activity in the athletic office and look the other way when clearly visible illegal activity is occuring.

JustNoticed 7 years, 6 months ago

OH! I've got it!

Ron Olin, KU Athletic Director

rgh 7 years, 6 months ago

It would be refreshing if "sources" would keep their mouths shut until the deal is signed and delivered! These people are as bad as wikileaks and hurts our chances. It's obvious that Bubba is happy in his role at Tulsa. Taking on KU is not an easy job and a move to a BCS school is not for everyone.

Jacks_Smirking_Revenge 7 years, 6 months ago

Hey, I'd take the job if it were offered. I mean, I'm a KU grad, I like living in Lawrence and I think I could do as decent a job as the last AD... oh wait, that's not a good measuring post. I'd do as good a job as someone with no previous cronyism in the collegiate ... oh wait, you'll never get an interview without that. Hrm... Well I'd be good at controlling the players... oh wait, I don't have babysitting skills either.

No wonder finding the right AD is hard. Good luck Chancellor finding someone who has been around long enough to know how, but not be embroiled in scandals, and still willing to weather the KU storms.

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