Archive for Friday, June 4, 2010

Regent: KU must rebuild support

June 4, 2010


No matter what comes of federal investigations or personnel changes or anything else relating to the tickets and blackmail issues swirling around Kansas Athletics Inc., both Athletics Director Lew Perkins and Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little will have some work to do repairing the damage left behind, the chairwoman of the Kansas Board of Regents says.

“You have to go out to every Rotary Club — to all the people of Kansas, with whatever method you choose,” said Jill Docking, who will finish her term on the regents later this month. “It’s going to take a full frontal assault on the part of Lew and the chancellor to address these issues, because of the anger that’s out there. It’s going to take more than a press conference, I do know that.

“It’s going to take a grass roots campaign in every community of the state, so that people can vent their frustration and anger, and so they can have their concerns addressed.”

Gray-Little’s portion of the road show will get an early start June 23 and June 24, when she’s expected to make a public presentation to the Kansas Board of Regents in Topeka about the ongoing tickets scandal within Kansas Athletics Inc., and Perkins’ own reports of being the victim of blackmail related to exercise equipment that’s now the subject of both KU and state reviews.

Docking, a KU graduate, said she considered Gray-Little to be in a “perfect position” to determine the employment fate of Perkins, and to steer the athletics department in the right direction following two weeks of embarrassing disclosures:

• Release of an internal investigation documenting the theft by employees of nearly 20,000 football and basketball tickets during the past five years, leading to documented losses of at least $1 million and possibly as high as $3 million. Federal law enforcement agencies also have been investigating ticket issues.

• Acknowledgment that Perkins had used rehabilitation equipment at home, equipment he didn’t pay for until after he’d filed a police report accusing a former employee of blackmailing him. Gray-Little said this week that Perkins had informed the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission about the matter, and Gray-Little expects an internal review to be finished within 10 working days.

While Docking hears complaints from friends and alumni about the problems, she rests assured that Gray-Little will deliberately — and dispassionately — decide precisely what to do, and when.

“I’m trying to shut out the noise and listen, factually, to what’s going on,” Docking said. “And that’s what she’s trying to do. That’s the only way to do it.

“The tone of everything is so shrill in the press and in the community at large that you need people who are calm, and can focus on the facts. I trust the chancellor will come up with a reasonable conclusion, or the correct conclusions.”

Kansas Attorney General Steve Six, meanwhile, said Thursday that he hoped that controversy swirling around Kansas Athletics would result in more transparency in operations.

“The challenge is you can’t operate like a private business when you have the University of Kansas name, the University of Kansas brand, and student-athletes as the people that are the main product you are producing,” Six said, following a campaign event in Topeka. “It has to be transparent.”

Six, a former judge and graduate of the KU law school, said his office was not involved in any of the ongoing investigations and that he had confidence that the incidents would be reviewed thoroughly by KU officials and the Board of Regents.

“If you are going to use the Kansas name, use some Kansas resources, the taxpayers are entitled to know how that is being run and what is going on,” Six said.

Docking said that while KU supporters and others had every right to be frustrated or worried or anything else regarding the issues, emotion should not be relied upon when it came to making decisions.

“I have clients with BP stock, so I have to listen to CNN,” said Docking, a broker for Wells Fargo Advisors in Wichita. “Talk about your clients going ballistic. They would say, ‘Let’s look at the revenue BP makes, and the company’s financials.’

“If I listened to emotion all the time, I wouldn’t have one client after March 2009. We, in business, have to sift through all this stuff. This is the chancellor’s job to do this. We’ll see how it all unfolds.”


Richard Heckler 7 years, 11 months ago

Meanwhile the Pac 10 is looking at inviting several Big 12 teams to their conference. KU is not that list.

Those listed as potential new members: Missouri Colorado Nebraska Texas Texas A&M Texas Tech Oklahoma Oklahoma State

Looks like the Big 12 could become the The Remaining 4 Conference

tophawk87 7 years, 11 months ago

Lew Perkins has lost all credibility...

Ricky_Vaughn 7 years, 11 months ago

KU's lost all credibility if you ask me. A pack of corrupt, money-grubbers they are!

fargo 7 years, 11 months ago

Hydra....Lew and the chancellor are not even at the table as the decisions are being crafted. Lew has been absent for the last two days of the meeting and the chancellor is in London. Thus, KU was minus all representation at one of the most important meetings in the history of the conference. I wouldn't count on their influnce.

KU_cynic 7 years, 11 months ago

Yeah, have Lew travel the state doing penance in sackcloth and ashes at Rotary Club meetings, that makes sense. NOT.

Let's turn the page instead, and restore credibility to KU by hiring a new AD with credibility to clean house.

workingmom 7 years, 11 months ago

Right on, KU cynic! Can't you just see Lew Perkins at Rotary Clubs? That may be the dumbest suggestion I have ever heard. Good thing Jill Docking is such an awesome businesswoman and problem solver. Let's hear more from her. NOT.

happyrock 7 years, 11 months ago

KU is about to become irrelevant in college sports and the Chancellor is in London? She should be fired. I am sure the rest of the Big 12 AD's would not touch Lew with a 10-foot pole. Is there anyone looking out for our interests?

happyrock 7 years, 11 months ago

KU is about to become irrelevant in college sports and the Chancellor is in London? She should be fired. I am sure the rest of the Big 12 AD's would not touch Lew with a 10-foot pole. Is there anyone looking out for our interests?

KawHawk 7 years, 11 months ago

There is a rancid, nasty stink in Lawrence, and it's coming straight from KU Athletics. Problem being, it's stinking up the whole university along with it.

Chancellor, CLEAN UP THIS MESS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Horace 7 years, 11 months ago

The Big 12 is falling apart, KU doesn't have a clear backup, and all Perkins can say is that he's been too busy dealing with his personal ethics scandal to deal with the Big 12 situation.

Someone needs to take action.

Ricky_Vaughn 7 years, 11 months ago

Exactly! They were the ones buying the ill-gotten tickets in the place!

equalaccessprivacy 7 years, 11 months ago

KU-Lawrence HR is an absolutely poisonous, corrupt operation. Calling them in to whitewash isn't going to make the situation smell any better. Given that the Powers that Be are so in bed with each other as the moral lizards at KU and in Douglas County, any claims to neutral fact-finding are a tragic joke. These people manufacture facts, they don't objectively discover them.

ResQd 7 years, 11 months ago

I agree with equal - The University is not what it use to be. Alot of crap goes on up there, and unless you work there, you'll never know. HR needs to get their act together and start working for the little people.

50YearResident 7 years, 11 months ago

Hey, I have to come to Lew's defense here. He has built a very profitable athletic program here at KU. Afterall he is the CEO and the benefits of that position is you can give away tickets to recieve donations. Thats exactly what he has done and very succesfully I might say. So leave him in the position and KU will continue to have support and donations to the program. This is the way business is conducted when it is succesful. "Give a little to get a lot." and it sure is working. Good Job Lew............

davidsmom 7 years, 11 months ago

What 50YearResident says seems to make sense so far.

Tom Hilger 7 years, 11 months ago

In the future, every Season Ticket should come with a small packet of K-Y Jelly.

jhokfan 7 years, 11 months ago

OMG! Talk about a rush to judgment. If it were up to the whining brigade who frequent the LJW no one would have a job.

equalaccessprivacy 7 years, 11 months ago

jhokfan, Perhaps some of this "whining brigade" consists of people who've already wrongfully been deprived of their jobs by KU malefactors? Sometimes there's a few rotten apples in the batch giving everyone else an unjustly bad rep, but at southern-justice schools like KU it's not impossible that practically the whole barrel is rotten. When these people only have jobs due to their propensity for lies and power abuse--up to and including hijacking and corrupting the local law enforcement system to act in their favor, something's wrong.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 11 months ago

Lew should go and take a few Lawrence builders with him. They all know how to screw up local economics.

Who knew how much further corruption could take place???

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