Archive for Tuesday, June 1, 2010

KU chancellor to report on Athletics Director Lew Perkins’ job status

The Kansas Board of Regents spent time Tuesday discussing the possible future of KU Athletic Director Lew Perkins' job at the university. Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little will ultimately make the decision when she returns from out of town.

June 1, 2010


Employees diverting tickets for personal gain, his department missing out on more than $1 million in revenue, his personnel policies called into question and, now, questions surfacing about his free use of rehabilitation equipment in his Lake Alvamar home, equipment now part of a reported case of blackmail.

Throughout it all, Lew Perkins is confident he’ll weather the storm that continues to build around him as Kansas University’s athletics director.

“I’m the victim here,” Perkins said Tuesday, about the weekend disclosure that he’d reported being a victim of blackmail to Lawrence police. “If I felt like I did something wrong, would I have turned it over to the police? Why would I do it? Why would I turn it in?”

During a break from Big 12 Conference meetings in Kansas City, Mo., Perkins declined to discuss details of the case but acknowledged that fans, KU supporters and others likely had been growing frustrated by the ongoing flow of bad news out of Kansas Athletics Inc.

That’s why he’s working so hard to get things fixed, he said.

“If I should be fired, that’s somebody else’s decision,” Perkins said. “I don’t think I’ve done anything to be fired for.”

Passing judgment on Perkins’ job performance falls to KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, who thus far has offered support for the athletics director she inherited from former Chancellor Robert Hemenway. She will be expected to discuss Perkins’ future with members of the Kansas Board of Regents by the end of this month, when they meet in Topeka, or perhaps even earlier.

“I’m very confident — very confident — in our chancellor to assess things and make that decision,” said Jill Docking, regents chairwoman. “That’s her job.”

In a statement, Docking said she would expect Gray-Little to provide a “comprehensive report outlining the steps she is taking to restore the trust that has been damaged by the deeply disturbing conduct” described in the university’s own internal investigation.

‘Trusting the chancellor’

Fellow Regent Christine Downey-Schmidt, a former state senator from Inman, said Gray-Little was to be lauded for taking a “facts first, then judgments” approach to the entire situation — both regarding the blackmail said to be orchestrated by a former Kansas Athletics employee and the ongoing ticket issue that KU investigated and that the U.S. attorney’s office remains engaged in.

KU’s own hired investigators say they expect the number of stolen tickets and amount of lost revenue to rise when federal agencies — including the FBI and IRS — complete their own investigations.

“I may be enlightened after we see the details, but at this point in time I’m inclined to say: There are a few people involved here who decided there was a shortcut, and that nobody would know, and that’s the part that needs to be investigated here,” Downey-Schmidt said. “I would be way, way early in making accusations about Lew Perkins’ involvement.

“I’m trusting the chancellor is spending a good deal of her days lately trying to figure that out.”

Gray-Little was in London on Tuesday, meeting with KU alumni and supporters.

Looking ahead

Gary Sherrer, regents vice chairman and former Kansas lieutenant governor, said that calls for Perkins’ job came with the territory of being a high-profile leader.

“We all know he had detractors before all this started,” Sherrer said. “At the end of the day, what’s the best thing for the university? That’s the question the chancellor will have to ask, and that’s the question the regents will have to ask.”

Jerry Bailey, an associate professor of education, serves as Kansas Athletics’ faculty representative, a position that monitors the welfare of student athletes, compliance, NCAA legislation and other matters. He was in Kansas City with Perkins, attending conference meetings Tuesday.

Bailey, associate professor for educational leadership and policy studies, said that cleaning up “the mess” would take time.

“I think that it’s terribly embarrassing to the university that all this stuff has happened,” he said, from the conference meetings. “And I don’t think there are many people who are looking as forward to having it pass as I am. If there are people who need to be appropriately chastised by the law, I hope that happens.

“I am a supporter of Mr. Perkins. I do not believe that he, at least from my perspective at this time, that there’s any reason to think about him leaving his position. When you look at the big picture — where we were when he came, to the place where Kansas Athletics is now — there’s no question in my mind that he’s done an excellent job.”

Docking, chairwoman of the regents, said that educational leaders had “quite a bit to do” to address concerns raised by alumni and supporters of Kansas Athletics, especially as it relates to distribution of tickets.

She expects donors to receive more information about where they stand in the priority points system that’s used to determine who gets access to which seats and when, although she stops short of advocating for full public disclosure of the points list complete with names of donors, amounts of money contributed and resulting seat locations.

“I always think transparency is a good idea — then all these questions and gossiping and biting at each other goes away,” Docking said. “I’m always a believer in transparency.”


hbjayhawk 7 years, 10 months ago

So the highest paid employee in the State (Perkins) gets a "free pass"? When you look at who has ultimate authority--who is ultimately accountable for the department, it is Perkins. Regardless of the blackmail allegations, the fact is that he lacked sufficient oversight of his rogues. He FAILED to manage his area. His performance may be stellar, with the exception of the loss of millions to the University and our programs. Is Perkins sorry? Or, is Perkins sorry that these folks got caught under his watch?

Prof Bailey is kind to offer his support. In fact, I believe most faculty would be outraged if this were a stellar dean or administrator who lost oversight on a few million that was coming to the department coffers for tutoring, labs, or facilities. The provost would put them on notice faster than I could slam a Wheat State Golden at Free State after a KU bball win.

This is a tough situation. Perkins legacy is great. He has blood on his hands on this one. It is a really tough call. I guess the question is if KU is willing to spend the money needed to find a better replacement . . . We aren't talking about Al Bohl here. We are talking about one of the traditionally best AD's in the nation. One who is so cocky, confident and shrewd only he and those who serve as faculty reps on the advisory board thinks his job is safe and secure.

The KU Regents will weigh in on this issue as well. Why should they backfill KU for potential lost revenue as a result of administrator oversight (especially when he is the top paid man in the Sunflower state).

Interesting days lie ahead . . . can't wait to see what happens.

By the way, isn't Turner Gil a swell guy!

Jay Keffer 7 years, 10 months ago

Why are you such a religious bigot? So much for the vaunted tolerance you profess. Every time Gill is mentioned your bring your hate. Win or lose during the upcoming season, your comments will always be the same tired predictable rant.

God bless you girl, work your way through this anger.

7texdude 7 years, 10 months ago

He coached Buffalo to a conference title and led them to their first bowl game in decades. That was the worst program in the country when he took it over. I believe he was named Coach of the Year by several publications that year.

Fine. You can't stand coach Gill. But don't overlook his accomplishments even if you hate his strong faith.

FreshAirFanatic 7 years, 10 months ago

Pretty sure you're the one who mentioned it.

PugnaciousJayhawk 7 years, 10 months ago

"I believe most faculty would be outraged if this were a stellar dean or administrator who lost oversight on a few million that was coming to the department coffers for tutoring, labs, or facilities. The provost would put them on notice faster than I could slam a Wheat State Golden at Free State after a KU bball win."

  • Who is to say a Dean or Deans hasn't failed to keep track of millions of dollars?

7texdude 7 years, 10 months ago

1-7 in the Big 12 lat year with a senior-led team. Lost to KSU and Mizzou. That is unacceptable. I am no TG fan, but Mangino should have been fired: for his performance, not his profanity.

Steve Jacob 7 years, 10 months ago

Mangino was the most successful coach in KU history, who had a bad year. He did not deserve what he got fired.

7texdude 7 years, 10 months ago

Downward slide after the Orange Bowl. Where were the great recruiting classes to build on that? 1-7! Why would you be more optimistic this fall if MM was still around? He never fixed the defense that was just awful the past two years. It's not personal - I always liked coach Mangino - but they were terrible last year. Big 12 coaches learned how to stop his offense and he never adjusted.

Again, best of luck coach Mangino, but our last-place football team is going to keep us out of the next era of superconferences.

cg1029 7 years, 10 months ago

Being the most successful coach in KU football history is no different then being the smallest person at fat camp... you still have problems.

Phil Minkin 7 years, 10 months ago

Questions yet to be answered: Why did the investigation only go back 5 years How indedpendent was the law firm of KU Grads who do lots of business with KU Why only home game tickets, not the far more lucrative Bowl game and Big 12 and NCAA tournament games Didn't Perkins notice the everchanging people sitting in the best seats Is he inept, oblivious or very good at covering his ass

riverdrifter 7 years, 10 months ago

"So the highest paid employee in the State"

I'd wager that Perkins in is not in the top ten of Kansas employees, but we'll never know...

hbjayhawk 7 years, 10 months ago

He is the highest paid employee in the state. This is public information. He is paid more than both the KU and KSU chancellors.

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 10 months ago

Bill Self makes more money than Ms. Gray-Little. You can bet Lew Perkins makes more than she does. Maybe Ms. Gray-Little should have been a basketball coach. Nah, she's a girl. Even Pat Summit makes less than Bill Self. (Here's a few facts on Pat Summit. She is the all-time winningest coach in NCAA basketball history, men or women in any division, and one of only three collegiate coaches with 1,000 victories. She coached EIGHT NCAA Championships and is the only female coach to be inducted into the NCAA Basketball Hall of Fame. And she makes less than Bill Self. If she had been male the KU alumni would be slitting their wrists for green blood to get her. Oh the irony.)

Fatty_McButterpants 7 years, 10 months ago

My question is... how many KU alums & supporters are there in LONDON?? You can bet that she passed the charge for that trip on to the residents of Kansas!

puddleglum 7 years, 10 months ago

I second the motion! don't forget marchiony and his son in law

Brett Fuller 7 years, 10 months ago

Do your homework - his son-in-law left over a year ago!

thesloss 7 years, 10 months ago

So, the chancellor ( is paid less than LP ... way less. OK, just waiting to see the dent Dent has put in Perkins armour ... you know there are many more events of self interest to follow ... come on Lew, we can see right through this one. Chancellor?

Horace 7 years, 10 months ago

“I’m the victim here,” Perkins said

Kylee Manahan 7 years, 10 months ago

please!!!!!!!!!!! The victims were all the 50 year alumni who lost their tickets due to the "point system".

Kylee Manahan 7 years, 10 months ago

The tickets those alums had had since Allen Fieldhouse was built.

cg1029 7 years, 10 months ago

I am so tired of this argument... Sports is a freaking business and as such it is ment to make money$$$$$$$. Can you name me any other business where $$$$ is not the major objective?

Bob Fredrick was a very nice man, but was not what the university needed as an AD. During his time as AD the athletic department was a joke at KU with the exception of mens basketball. KU had one of the lowest athletic budgets in the Big 12 the facilites were a deplorable, and most of the teams were not competitive.

cowboy 7 years, 10 months ago

Good post hbjayhawk ! I find the arrogance of the bourgeois AD completely offensive. I am so completely above you all that I don't owe you a public statement on why i had 35 grand worth of equipment put in my basement for nothing. All I have to do is say I don't want to talk about it. I can rollout my big attorney to call me a "victim'. How frigging pathetic ! Listened to some of the commentary from the Big 12 conference meetings today. All they talked about was money , money , money , and money. For who , it's not for the athletes , it's for all the fat cat administrators and their fat cat staffs. We have gone way past any semblance of sanity in college athletics and the NCAA is one of the worst examples of excess. It is time for some serious reforms.

Fire this clown now , well as soon as the Chancellor gets back from her European tour. That's seems to be another story , while rome is on fire the emperor is touring England.

Have any of you University intellectuals heard of fiduciary responsibility ?

AreUKiddingMe 7 years, 10 months ago

Magina was 2 games over .500. That was after a 10-1 year in which he won aginst 7 teams that fired THEIR coach that year or the next. Saying we should have kept him after physicaly and verbaly abusing athleates and KU security becuase he was the winnest football coah in KU is like callin someone the smartest dumb kid that only bites once In awhile..... Are you kidding me????

jhokfan 7 years, 10 months ago

Sounds encouraging. I hope Lew weathers the storm just to piss off all the anti-Lew crybabies. How did we end up with so many malcontents? Fire Mangino, fire Gill, fire Lew, fire Gray-Little. Give me an effing break.

equalaccessprivacy 7 years, 10 months ago

This is all a putrid southern-justice game administrative wrongdoers at KU like Lew Perkins and those despicable monsters over in the KU Human Resources Department play all the time, and too often it works. Criminalize truth-telling, decent people while you robbber barons with the dirty cops and Douglas County criminal injustice system crooks in your pocket so willing to collude with you and hide your lies walk free and ruin the ethical standing of the community.

LloydDobbler 7 years, 10 months ago

A bigger point has been alluded to here...if this lack of accountability is happening in the Athletic Department, under the watchful eye of the Chancellor and Provost, how accountable are Deans? Given our current fiscal duldrums in the state budget, it would be even more tragic if this type of lack of accountability is broader than the Athletic Department.

jhokfan 7 years, 10 months ago

... and my in-laws, neighbors, and third grade social studies teacher.

LloydDobbler 7 years, 10 months ago

Keep looking the other way...just keep your back to the wall.

Clevercowgirl 7 years, 10 months ago

Perkins should have known about the tickets. Whether he knew or not, he should be held accountable. In any other venue, he would have been canned before the story came out. Free excercise equipment? Is Lew so delusional that he believes that the equipment was being "stored" in his house? I can't wait for the Forensic Accountants to descend on this mess.

thesloss 7 years, 10 months ago

And the equipment "loan" is just one incident that has surfaced ... how many non-disgruntled folk are keeping quiet. Anyone up for sharing one of their stories?

anon1958 7 years, 10 months ago

The academic side of KU is as corrupt and mismanaged as the athletic side. It is just that the athletic side is where the money and public interest lies. The administration of KU is more inbred than Cock County Tennessee. Cronyism is rampant at KU and affirmative action is a joke. Everyone in town knows a dozen stories about the high handed tactics that the KU administration employs on a routine basis. The Office of the Provost has about as much respect for the concept of due process as the clerics in Saudi Arabia that inforce the Islamic Code of injustice known as Sharia.

equalaccessprivacy 7 years, 10 months ago

You unfortunately have got it right, anon1958--spot-on comments about how inbred KU is and the complete lack of due-process safeguards for workers..

hawkman8950 7 years, 10 months ago

"na na na na! na na na na! hey hey hey! Goodbye!" Ok ok I know i'm jumping the gun couldn't help myself and not suprised by all this going on

thesloss 7 years, 10 months ago

Is that a storm outside? ...Or, was Lew just told he was fired?

tollef 7 years, 10 months ago

I will say upfront that I am a fan of Lew Perkins, however; he better have reported the "gift" of 35k on his tax return to the IRS!! I hope his accountant is amending his return asap if this was an oversight.

John McCoy 7 years, 10 months ago

Why would anyone hire anybody from OU? My gosh! OU is rife with cheaters, chiselers, thieves, and has the much deserved reputation as a school that traditionally has flouted the law. So we go and hire people from their ticket office? Whoever hired them should be fired.

thesloss 7 years, 10 months ago

spelling error ... correction ... Lew made off with tickets?

vuduchyld 7 years, 10 months ago

The headline to this article seems a bit misleading to me. Makes it sound as though a press conference is scheduled or imminent...when in fact, this reporting on his job status is not very clearly defined.

If a press conference were scheduled, that would be a lot more newsworthy.

Ken Lassman 7 years, 10 months ago

You gotta feel for the Special Olympics folks. In today's sports section they are advertizing for the Lew Perkins golf classic fundraiser, and, among the prizes guessed it: tickets to the New Mexico football game, and a ticket for sitting next to Lew at Allen Fieldhouse!

Not the best timing, eh? But really--it's a great organization that should be fully supported, and, hey, why not enter and go for a chance to sit next to Lew at a basketball game and get all of your questions answered? Assuming that he'll still be here, of course.

Kontum1972 7 years, 10 months ago

L.Perkins. u may say your innocent...but i think the alumni will kind of impact the final decision ,......"Boy" ...your gettin alot of bad press i have spoken to a few alumni and they are hacked off and they want you gone....don't know if the IRS has gotten hold of you yet...they are will go through all your finances with a fine tooth comb.....they will find something...believe me..they will.....I have a few friends who are agents.....

winninteam 7 years, 10 months ago

Get rid of KU athletics along with the director and get back to academics --

2002 7 years, 10 months ago

Imagine my surprise when I saw the LJW headline and story making it appear that Lew Perkins was guilty of something. The LJW has it in for Lew. The AD under Lew has been the most effective that it has ever been. Al Bohl was an incompetent joke. Fredrick was a good guy but appeared to be Roy's puppet and there were many 'questionable' dealings in the 80's.

ResQd 7 years, 10 months ago

Time to retire, Lew. I'm sure they'll pay you a huge settlement!

Clevercowgirl 7 years, 10 months ago

A lot of the ticket corruption is systemic, I'm sure. But, when you sign on to be the AD, you sign on to be responsible for what happens. If you are in charge of a department in which gross fiscal corruption is occuring, you are responsible for it. Kansas Athletics has a history of under the table dealings. Maybe instead of just dealing with Lew, we need to purge the whole department. But, at the end of the day, not a single thing was done to address this, until it became a public scandal. I believe that in order to save face for the university, Grey-Little will have to clean house.

missmagoo 7 years, 10 months ago

Innocent people are very rarely victims of blackmail.

cg1029 7 years, 10 months ago

Personally I like Lew, and feel that he is the "victim" in this situation... With that said I do feel that more investigation is warranted and if a firable offense is found then Lew should be held responsible and fired. If Lew truly is the victim then people need to get off his back.

Anyone that thinks that the athletic department will change policy on tickets / points / and seating is nieve at best. The athletic department is a business and there goal is to bring $$$ into the university. Lew has been a success at that, and while a new AD may be more personable then Lew his job is going to be to make $ as well and catering to the top Alumni is how you achieve this.

tophawk87 7 years, 10 months ago

Is athletics more of a priority at Kansas than academics? I guess we'll find out...

fargo 7 years, 10 months ago

If Lew has done such a great job in elevating the athletic department, why are all of the teams (except men's basketball) so bad? Shouldn't his report card include how competitive the KU teams are in conference play? I don't believe any of them - beyond the tradional powerhouse of men's basketball - was a threat to win a conference title. And, of course, men's basketball failed to meet expectations in the tournament. Most of the teams finished in the bottom half of the conference and several were dead last. I think we should expect more from an AD and his department, especially when you consider his paycheck and the number of assistant/associate AD's he has running around doing his work. I get tired of reading how much he's improved the department....his improvements are not reflected in conference standings which is one of the true measuring points.

hawkman8950 7 years, 10 months ago

He killed off football at Wichita St. built it up at UCONN while riding the successes of the basketball programs then comes in here and certainly helps get other facilities built and rides the coattails of basketball's already established success as well as footballs newfound youth sort of speak. Now it seems he is wanting to kill the cash cow since he got what he wanted, seems like he is just inviting to be called out and booted out. Way to go Fortune 500 Lew! How about somebody give you the black eye you have put on KU athletics thus far?

Richard Heckler 7 years, 10 months ago

I say let him go and bring the home games back home ASAP!

WE really don't know how deep Lew Perkins might be involved. Usually people don't admit guilt and a grand jury may deliver some interesting findings.

No doubt Mr.Perkins hung around with some well known people involved in real estate development. Will there be indictments ....... if so how many?

Let's see what the feds dig up on this fraudulent scheme. This activity was going on for awhile. All who purchased tickets under this umbrella could be vulnerable.

Why does KU need a high dollar AD? Championships have been won without over paid Athletic Directors. It's the coach and the team that win NOT the AD!

Bad_Brad 7 years, 10 months ago

Lew should be fired.

The lack of controls governing what is basically a cash register (physical tickets, hello!) would be enough to get a CEO or high-level manager of any private company fired.

Now this lack of common sense around the use of exercise equipment given his status as a paid employee of the state. And I don't get his lawyer's argument, that because only about $200k of his $900k salary came from state funds that he is not bound by these ethics rules? Huh? So, someone who "only" gets $200k per year in state funds for his job is not a state employee? That's more than 99.99% of state employees get from the state. Is some educated individual really making that argument with a straight face?

I didn't like the way Lew handled the Mangino situation but I was willing to give him a pass on that one given the awful circumstances - he was dealt a really bad hand to play. In this case, he is clearly in the wrong and has dug his own hole and is giving KU athletics a black eye (as if we don't have one already from the Mangino debacle).

It's time for Lew to go and it's time for us to move on.

Clevercowgirl 7 years, 10 months ago

Lew needs to go. An example needs to be set. This isin't Wall Street you know!

Graczyk 7 years, 10 months ago

You normally have good posts, but lately you are becoming a troll.

Jay Keffer 7 years, 10 months ago

Only one reason Beo hates Lew - because he hired Gill, who is a man of faith.

One only has to review a few comments (Iess those that have been pulled by the editors) to find the agenda.

Live and let live. Except for those that have a moral compass and strive for a higher road.

Jay Keffer 7 years, 10 months ago

Only one reason Beo hates Lew - because he hired Gill, who is a man of faith.

One only has to review a few comments (Iess those that have been pulled by the editors) to find the agenda.

Live and let live. Except for those that have a moral compass and strive for a higher road.

Troll indeed.

Blog entries

Perkins The Victim by Did_I_say_that 7 years, 10 months ago

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