Topeka Gov. Mark Parkinson on Friday said he is “very disturbed” about the ticket scandal at the Kansas University athletic department.
“I expect an aggressive investigation and serious consequences to take place as a result of the scandal,” he said.
Parkinson said he is confident that KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little will handle the situation and that changes will be instituted “so that it won’t ever happen again.”
KU recently revealed an investigation that disclosed an alleged ticket scalping scam that cost the athletic department up to $3 million.
Athletic Director Lew Perkins wasn’t implicated, but five department employees and a consultant have been accused. Perkins is also under fire for receiving athletic equipment, which a former employee alleges Perkins took in exchange for access to premium men’s basketball tickets. Perkins and the company that supplied the equipment deny that allegation. KU officials are reviewing the situation.
Parkinson said he is also concerned about reports that the Big 12 may be splitting up with six teams going to the PAC-10. According to the reports, KU and Kansas State University would be left behind. “Our involvement in the Big 12 conference for KU and K-State guarantees both of the schools a good amount of money. If they are not in a major conference, that guarantee goes away,” he said.
He said he plans to speak next week with Gray-Little about the athletic department problems at KU and conference realignment.
Parkinson said the athletic department issues and ones earlier uncovered at K-State should not reflect on the schools’ academic standings.
“Higher education in Kansas is doing well, but can do better,” he said.