A medical equipment company at the heart of the controversy surrounding Lew Perkins’ use of $15,000 worth of exercise equipment saw its sales to the athletic department increase significantly after the equipment was installed in Perkins’ home.
According to Kansas University Athletic Department records, Medical Outfitters and its parent company saw its sales to KU Athletics increase by more than $200,000 after it installed exercise equipment in the home of Perkins to use free of charge.
In 2004, Bi-State Medical Technologies — which was an affiliated company of Medical Outfitters — sold $1,441 worth of equipment to KU Athletics. Medical Outfitters had made no sales. In 2005, when the equipment reportedly was installed in Perkins’ home, sales to Bi-State Medical Technologies increased to $28,843. In 2006, Medical Outfitters made $73,350 in sales, and Bi-State made $5,305. Then in 2007 — just before Medical Outfitters filed for bankruptcy — sales to Medical Outfitters jumped to $296,809.
The Journal-World obtained the sales documents through a Kansas Open Records request, and received the documents Thursday afternoon.
Mark Glass, who had been a co-owner of Medical Outfitters, has said the company did not provide the equipment to Perkins with the expectation that Medical Outfitters would receive anything in return.
“I don’t feel like I got any favors,” Glass said Thursday.
The Journal-World interviewed Glass prior to receiving the sales documents from KU Athletics on Thursday. An attempt to reach Glass after the Journal-World obtained the documents was not immediately successful.
The Journal-World sought records showing payments to Medical Outfitters and Bi-State Medical Technologies from Jan. 1, 2004, to June 1, 2010. It is not known how much business Bi-State or Medical Outfitters did with KU Athletics prior to 2004, but Glass said the company did have a long-standing relationship with KU Athletics.
When reached late Thursday, KU Athletics spokesman Jim Marchiony declined to comment on the issue.
KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said during a Thursday afternoon news conference that she had only recently become aware of the increase in KU business for Medical Outfitters.
“Whether it constitutes a conflict of interest depends on the reason for the spike in business,” Gray-Little said. “That occurred during a time of expansion in athletics, and that there might have been need for more equipment and services would not be unusual.”