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Archive for Friday, December 17, 2010

Public deserves truth surrounding Bubba Cunningham backing out of KU job

December 17, 2010

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Something happened between the time Bubba Cunningham told friends he was going to leave Tulsa University to accept the athletic director’s position at Kansas University and the time Tulsa announced Thursday he had signed a new contract with the Conference USA school.

Cunningham thought he wanted to succeed Lew Perkins, but when it came time to pull the trigger, he couldn’t do it.

He’s not the first man in sports to have a change of heart.

Former Kansas football coach Glen Mason accepted the job at Georgia as his team prepared for an appearance in the Aloha Bowl, but he changed his mind and stayed in Lawrence for one more year before bolting for Minnesota, where he prematurely was fired after the 2006 season.

On December 26, 2009, Florida football coach Urban Meyer announced he would resign after his team played in the Sugar Bowl on New Years Day. The next day, Meyer said he instead would take a leave of absence for health reasons. He coached the Gators one more year.

Former Georgia Tech basketball coach Bobby Cremins accepted the job at South Carolina, his alma mater, only to change his mind three days later, when he decided to stay in Atlanta.

Dana Altman’s heart didn’t look into it when he stood beside Arkansas athletic director Frank Broyles and sort of joined him in doing the school’s hog call.

Altman’s opening words: “I’m not sure my friends in Omaha would like to see me do that.”

One day later, he rejoined his friends in Omaha.

Cunningham didn’t make it all the way to a press conference. Why not? What happened? The time has arrived for Kansas chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little to end her silence on the AD search with the truth as she sees it.

The truth might just be that leaving Tulsa for Kansas didn’t feel any more right to Cunningham than coaching in the South felt to Mason or doing the hog call felt to Altman. If that’s the case, the search for the smoking gun will lead nowhere. Not long after unreported speculation was whispered by one voice in Lawrence, Bob Fescoe of 610 Sports tweeted words similar to that whisper: “When you agree to terms on a contract with someone, you better have those same terms on paper.”

Let’s say there were two offers, one to which Cunningham agreed, a second he couldn’t bring himself to sign.

If that happened, in the interest of transparency, the chancellor wouldn’t be harming anyone by identifying the differences. Let the public decide whether she deserves the blame for failing to make him comfortable enough to close the deal, or if Cunningham — who had convinced the search committee he wanted the job — latched onto a technicality to slip out of a move that, in the end, just didn’t feel right to him.

Cunningham was the right guy, but if another candidate of equal caliber can be landed, the first choice’s rejection won’t even be the second-worst thing to happen in the KU athletic department this week, ranking third, right behind junior college quarterback Zack Stoudt’s decision to reject KU’s offer in favor of Ole Miss. Stoudt might be more difficult to replace. The sad arrest of Mario Little early Thursday morning, of course, ranks at the top.

Comments

BrianR 3 years, 3 months ago

No, actually the public deserves no such explanation. Bubba's a big boy which means he can do what he wants.

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jackv444 3 years, 4 months ago

Look towards the chancellor and what she wanted put in the contract. She needs to go.

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Scott Morgan 3 years, 4 months ago

Hope I'm wrong..... 2-10 football 2011 massive media calls of racism reign as Gill is cannon fodder. 3-9 2012 KU hires new coach formerly special teams coach who is Asian/Muslim/Irish/Canadian from U of Nebraska Hastings 1-10 2013
Self quits to either NBA or joins X coaches living the good life on beaches club.

To a new A.D. even though silly, it looks possible.

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edjayhawk 3 years, 4 months ago

I'm starting to question the competence of the search committee and Chancellor.

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Richard Payton 3 years, 4 months ago

Sounds like some french maids could clean the athletic department. Might even sale some tickets just to watch um get dirty. Problem solved clean house and more money. Watch on the new Big 12 TV contract stations. The Feds like a clean house also!

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SamShaw 3 years, 4 months ago

BGL is going to kill Kansas. She needs to go, yesterday.

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edjayhawk 3 years, 4 months ago

Keegan, you're the one who said its a "done deal", so you have no room to gripe.

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 4 months ago

Nobody has yet been identified as the big money backer(s) on the ticket scandal?

Where did the dough come from? Who was floating this crime?

So many unanswered questions?

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TMR779 3 years, 4 months ago

KU never said he was coming.

Mr. Cunningham never said he was coming.

People in the media said he was coming.

Shouldn't the explanation owed be from the media on how/why the media lied and/or got the story wrong?

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gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 4 months ago

The public doesn't really deserve anything on this subject. Tulsa heard the rumors and made a better offer. Big deal. I think the writer underestimates the difficulty KU is going to have at getting a new AD here because of the nightmare he'd have to clean up.

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kernal 3 years, 4 months ago

Now, why is it that we have sports at KU?

  1. Gives us somthing to complain about
  2. Provides growth for sports bar industry
  3. Keeps the bookies in business
  4. Gets sports fan alumni to donate money
  5. Provides scholarships to: a. football - thugs b. basketball and the rest - students
  6. Generates income for most Lawrence businesses

Looks like a win win situation to me!

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Collegenut 3 years, 4 months ago

Any new person is going to have a lot to clean up. Maybe he just did not want to do that. Who knows.

This whole tix scandal is going to be tough for any new AD. It is a surprise that more people have not been fired/asked to leave/whatever. The ticket director that just got brought up on charges, she is dating another person working in the ticket office right now! They live together! Don't think that he had anything to do with this stuff? I am surprised that he is still there. And he is the one that works with both the ticket office and development office. You would think that would be a red flag!

The new AD needs to come in and clean house. That might be hard if the rumor that the new person is being told that they can not clean house for at least a year is true.

Lets hope that choice #2 can be great!

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MacHeath 3 years, 4 months ago

It doesn't sound to me that Cunningham ever agreed to anything. Announcing that he was sure to be our new AD was premature to say the least. Much ado about nothing.

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Haiku_Cuckoo 3 years, 4 months ago

"Public deserves truth surrounding Bubba..." = "I need to blame someone else since I didn't fact-check my previous story." Yes, the Journal-World has egg on it's face now. You can be sure that Dolph Simons' editorial tomorrow will be throwing barbs at KU to compensate for poor reporting.

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deathpenaltyliberal 3 years, 4 months ago

Question: If KU is 2nd rate institution, what does that make Tulsa? Answer: Community College (not that there is anything wrong with that)

It's OK, Bubba was too small-time for KU, they can do better.

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Alceste 3 years, 4 months ago

KU is still is a 2nd rate (if that) "educational institution" when it's all said and done. That's what matters.

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Tony Kisner 3 years, 4 months ago

I am available.

My first item of business would be to institute a new policy where by our team must score more points than the other team.

PS I will do it for 1/2 of Perkins salary, and keep track of the tickets.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 4 months ago

The answer is really easy. Perkins left a trail of messes, many of which we probably haven't heard anything about, and his successor gets to clean those up as a first order of business-- something he won't even be able to talk about, much less take credit for.

Not to mention that the Big 12-10-8 could blow up again within the next couple of years, and the KU AD will not be in a good negotiating position.

So, does he take the very messy KU job, or does he stay where he is with a nice raise?

What would you do?

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OutlawJHawk 3 years, 4 months ago

This chancellor is contrite, impersonal, and aloof. I can understand why anyone who spends more than 30 seconds around her would not want to work for her...

Good move Bubba.

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 4 months ago

Hey who would want to take on this job so long as the athletic department is under federal investigation?

Who knows what may surface?

Who knows what NCAA sanctions may or may not be imposed?

Perhaps it's best to sit back and wait until the above matter is over???

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irvan moore 3 years, 4 months ago

chancellor doesn't want to get involved with KU sports? i thought they were reporting that her involvement was the problem.

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 4 months ago

{Jack Nicholson voice on} You can't handle the truth! {Jack Nicholson voice off}

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Paul R Getto 3 years, 4 months ago

PS: I know Dolphie didn't write this (too organized and linear for his typical work) but, believe me, he approved this sentiment.

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Paul R Getto 3 years, 4 months ago

No we don't deserve an answer. This is a personnel matter and subject to privacy issues. Settle down, Dolph. Just because you can't pick Regents positions and other important jobs in the university system doesn't mean those in charge can't handle this.

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Scott Morgan 3 years, 4 months ago

my two cents. Bubba aint no spring chicken. Let's look at KU like one of those beautiful old but in need of repair Leawood or Mission homes.

KU is the old mansion. Gonna take some work, some sacrifice, probably some setbacks, but in the end the old mansion will be glorious to live in.

At a younger age how many of us would love to take the challenge of rebuilding a great old home? After a few miles on the ole highway life , many of us would rather go the comfortable route.

For whatever reason Bubba decided to stay warm and safe. He will regret this the rest of his life.

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KU_cynic 3 years, 4 months ago

I also DEMAND transparency as to why Jim Harbaugh, football coach at Stanford (11-1 this year and Orange Bowl bound) was not hired as KU football coach -- as Keegan prognasticated last year in the pages of the Journal-World.

Or maybe I could apply Occam's razor and say, "Keegan's full of excrement."

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Steve Jacob 3 years, 4 months ago

Sounds like Keegan was made a fool after his column yesterday, and is upset.

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TopJayhawk 3 years, 4 months ago

I don't think we are having a lot of trouble finding an AD. Cut the drama. You guys are funny.

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Gandalf 3 years, 4 months ago

KU athletics IS a mess! Only a fool would want follow Perkins and try to clean up his mess!

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ajmag 3 years, 4 months ago

Or they offered him more money. KU athletics must be a mess if we are having this much trouble finding an AD

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KEITHMILES05 3 years, 4 months ago

If he knows more then he needs to be honest and open and come clean.

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pigballin 3 years, 4 months ago

Well,,maybe Keegan knows more what is going on around Lawrence that you.

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KEITHMILES05 3 years, 4 months ago

Stop your whining for pete sake. The guy changed his mind and who are YOU to tell US the chancellor needs to come clean? What a crock sir and you need to report and not demand. Who are YOU to demand anything?

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