Archive for Saturday, June 12, 2010

KU playing catch-up while neighbors leave Big 12

June 12, 2010


The departure of Nebraska to the Big Ten Conference and Colorado to the Pac-10, along with the possibility of a number of Texas and Oklahoma schools bolting the Big 12 for the Pac-10 conference, leaves Kansas University in an extremely weak and vulnerable position.

Longtime, loyal, generous and helpful KU fans have every right to know how and why KU has ended up in such an embarrassing and exposed situation. They all are major investors in KU.

They want some answers, not self-serving explanations from the athletic director, his lackeys and the chancellor.

Some of the questions include:

• Who at KU fell asleep at the switch? Who allowed KU to be a school on the outside looking in with the other conference schools determining KU’s fate?

• Why hasn’t KU been looking out and planning for the university, taking the initiative and protecting the schools’ future?

• KU officials must have known there was going to be movement within the Big 12 and other athletic conferences. Why wasn’t KU prepared to be ahead of the game rather than being caught in such a weak position with university and elected officials trying to get other conference schools to help them out?

• Soon-to-retire Athletic Director Lew Perkins owes the state and KU alumni and friends an explanation of how and why KU has been placed in such a vulnerable position. Was the conference breakup another “curve ball” missed by Perkins? Why hasn’t the reportedly highest paid AD in the country had a press conference? He should have daily reports to the people of Kansas. He needs to do the speaking rather than telling his hired help to make face-saving statements.

• What is KU planning for its future athletic programs? It’s a certainty the musical chairs game involving various schools in various conferences is not over; there will be further movement. How does this impact KU? What are KU’s options? Does it have a plan?

As one observer has noted, “The proverbial 900-pound gorilla is here. It’s in our living room right now.” What are we going to do about it? Said in a different way, the horse is out of the barn. Now a 12-stall barn is about empty. What do Perkins and (Chancellor Bernadette) Gray-Little intend to do to fill the empty stalls and find the revenue to pay expenses of the barn? How will the barn’s athletic debt be paid off with far fewer quality race horses in the barn?”

It is wrong for people in the KU athletic department to say or act as if they didn’t know this was a strong possibility. They did, or they sure as hell should have known if they are as good as they keep telling us and as good as their huge salaries and huge staff would indicate.

We were and continue to be blind and ineffective in the AD’s office as well as in the chancellor’s office. It’s a sad, sad state of affairs that will impact the entire university in many ways.

• • •

These are very bad, extremely dangerous and embarrassing days for KU.

In past years, KU was looked upon as a leader and star in the former Big Six, Big Seven and Big Eight conference alignments. Even in the early years of the Big 12 conference, KU was a leading institution.

KU enjoyed the respect and admiration of all of the conference schools. Its leaders were looked upon as powerful, effective spokespeople for KU, as well as for the entire higher education field.

KU was a leader. It was one of the first universities, if not the first, in the former conferences to become a member of the prestigious American Association of Universities. The KU Endowment Association was the leader and looked to as the model for other schools to emulate. The athletic program was sound, with KU basketball teams regularly winning league and national titles. The football team made occasional appearances in post-season bowl games. KU was one of the first universities in this part of the country to start area studies programs for Central and South America, Eastern Europe and Asia.

KU was a leader in every respect.

My, how times have changed.

Growing numbers of loyal KU supporters are asking how and why KU has slipped so far.

The current firestorm over whether the Big 12 conference will disintegrate, leaving KU on the sidelines, has caused alumni and friends, many of whom seem to have had no awareness or concern for what has been going on at KU, to suddenly wake up to the fact that things are not right on Mount Oread.

Nebraska and Colorado already are on their way out of the Big 12. If other reports are accurate, the Big 12’s Texas and Oklahoma schools may be moving to the Pac-10 conference. So far, Missouri, which had thought it was the top choice of the Big Ten, has been left dangling in the wind. Consider the impact of the conference’s breakup on Kansas City if Big 12 schools do not highlight football games in Arrowhead Stadium and post-season basketball games are not played at the Sprint Center.

Former Chancellor Robert Hemenway, Gray-Little and Perkins have let leaders at the other conference schools decide their fate. It didn’t have to happen, and serious finger-pointing is under way. If KU is left on the sidelines, perhaps along with Iowa State, Kansas State and Missouri, there will be many costly consequences.

Granted, the civil war among the athletic conferences currently focuses on the athletic programs at the schools, but the fallout from this self-inflicted injury will affect the entire KU operation:

• The school will try to find an affiliation with another conference, but will this new association have the same academic environment as the current Big 12? Not likely!

• Private fiscal support will shrink.

• Outstanding faculty members are likely to be more receptive to offers from other schools.

• Enrollment numbers probably will drop.

• School spirit and interconference rivalries will be a thing of the past.

• With KU in a lesser conference, it will be much more difficult for KU coaches to recruit top high school athletes.

• High-profile coaches such as KU basketball coach Bill Self are likely to move to other schools or professional teams, where they would have more opportunities to maintain their high exposure and huge salaries and test their skills against other nationally ranked teams.

• Lawrence will suffer in many ways with KU out of a strong Big 12 conference.

Sports, like it or not, often serve as a front porch of a university in that many individuals develop their first relationship with a university through its sports programs. In KU’s case, its long-standing successful basketball program has attracted thousands of fans and donors who eventually became much larger donors for academic programs. Young fans often turn into ardent, enthusiastic students on Mount Oread.

Records show that after KU teams have played in a national championship game or made a major bowl appearance, enrollment increases, as does private giving to the school.

All of this impacts Lawrence and the entire state, not just KU.

Why has this happened? Why wasn’t Gray-Little at the conference meetings in Kansas City? There’s the old saying, “If you’re not at the table, you are on the menu.” This is what happened at the long-planned conference gathering.

The chancellor can try to telephone other conference presidents and chancellors and plead her case, but she would have been far more effective sitting at the same table, talking face-to-face with her counterparts. Knowing well ahead of time about the Big 12 meetings, could she have postponed her trip to England?

How much did she know about the conference alignment matter and when was she told how serious it was? Why didn’t her close advisers and associates in the chancellor’s office alert her to the matter and bring her up to speed on what needed to be done to keep KU in a strong position?

Once again, where was the Kansas Board of Regents and its CEO? Did they realize the significance of what might happen to KU and Kansas State if the conference fell apart? It continues to be a puzzle what the regents do other than look at budgets. Shouldn’t they be far more aware of and concerned about what goes on at the schools they are supposed to oversee?

Why haven’t some of the so-called “big cigars,” the big donors, who are so quick to claim they are “insiders” at the athletic department, or the university as a whole, speak up about the weak and dangerous situation at KU?

How about those who talk out of both sides of their mouths here in Lawrence, as well as elsewhere? They publicly are so supportive of the highly touted Perkins and Gray-Little but privately are quick to find fault with the two leaders. Why haven’t they had the courage to demand better leadership?

In the end, it’s a matter of leadership or, more accurately, the lack of leadership, at KU and the arrogance of those in the athletic department. Part of the reason few, if any, within the athletic department are willing to speak up is that they are afraid of Perkins. They know he has a violent temper, perhaps equal to or worse than, the much-criticized temper of former KU football coach Mark Mangino. They fear losing their jobs if they go public with this criticism.

KU coaches do not want to speak up because Perkins has been their sugar daddy, providing their huge salaries and much-improved facilities.

The resignation by Perkins probably came as a big surprise to many. However, it isn’t too surprising that he selected a date for his departure that probably will qualify him for a $600,000 bonus payment. Money is what counts with Perkins. However, the resignation does give the relatively new and untested Gray-Little an opportunity to take command of the athletic department and demand that Perkins perform in a manner that shows class and effectiveness. Gray-Little could, and perhaps should, have called for his resignation now and demonstrated who is running the university. He’s a lame-duck AD, and it’s doubtful he will give his full attention to the critical situation facing the school. And he’s not likely to enjoy the same respect from other ADs or chancellors.

A lot of the present problems are rooted in the freedom Hemenway gave to Perkins. Hemenway saw himself as a highly knowledgeable and nationally recognized authority on intercollegiate sports. He once held a high NCAA position. Frankly, he didn’t display this talent in his handling of his athletic director. Now, the entire school may be paying a very costly price for Hemenway’s lack of oversight, discipline and control of Perkins.

This offers another example of the consequences of the Board of Regents not carrying out its responsibility to monitor the performance of the chancellor.

It’s a very sad story, one that didn’t have to unfold in the manner it did.

Again, it’s a lack of leadership, vision, commitment and ability to build KU into an even greater state-aided university. The assets have been present, but leaders have failed to take advantage of these opportunities.

Unfortunately, today’s KU leaders don’t enjoy the respect as their counterparts in the pre-Hemenway years. They do not play the leadership roles their predecessors enjoyed among conference schools and at the national level. It is clear KU has not been a major player in what used to be the Big 12.

• • •

Whether or not listeners or viewers agreed with all of the facts and reasons presented Friday afternoon by Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman and Athletic Director Tom Osborne in asking the school’s board of regents for approval to seek membership in the Big Ten conference, the fact is they did a professional job in stating their case.

They said their first priority and first loyalty was to Nebraska students, athletes, faculty and the state. They said their responsibility is to do what was in the best interests of the school.

They said they were aware the level of solidarity among Big 12 schools was very fragile and that numerous schools were investigating affiliations with other conferences. Consequently, they decided to initiate a possible tie with the Big Ten to see whether it would be a good fit and beneficial for Nebraska, rather than to sit and let other schools decide their fate.

Consider the Nebraska approach compared to the dumb, disorganized, wait-and-see strategy of KU!


guess_again 7 years, 10 months ago

If Gene Budig and Bob Frederick had still been around and in charge, this situation would not have happened.

They would have picked up on the conference discord much earlier, and either solved it, or led KU out of it.

Budig was well connected and respected by conference officials, especially NU. As a Nebraska native, he was especially tied in to Nebraska political and civic leadership. They would have communicated frankly, much more early in the process.

Likewise Frederick was respected and admired by the conference athletic officials. This situation would not have been a weekend surprise to him either.

They would have worked behind the scenes and under the radar to shore up the conference, or if it was necessary, do what Nebraska just did.

They would not have been overseas, or absent two days from a conference for a two-hour grand jury appearance.

The Chancellor is a newcomer to the state, the region, and the conference. She is in a difficult situation. The athletic director is both radioactive, and a lame-duck, wanting his contract bonus.

tomyzeb 7 years, 10 months ago

Probably right. But they could not have done that much do fight the underlying factors. See my post later today.

cowboy 7 years, 10 months ago

When nearly the entire staff is busy lining their own pockets they probably had little time to actually do the jobs they were hired for. They should immediately let noted KU alums form a search committee and make the new hire ASAP ! Clean house of all the Perkins hires and clean out all of the apologists. Revise the management structure to put some reporting structure integrity back into the system.

Phillbert 7 years, 10 months ago

So I take it that all those previous Saturday Columns blasting KU for spending too much time, money and effort on sports are, in the words of Nixon's press secretary, "no longer operative"?

jayhawklawrence 7 years, 10 months ago

You can't have it both ways. Dolph is always complaining about KU.

Just because there is a big change taking place does not mean it is a bad thing. It could be the best thing that has happened in a long time.

Dolph always thinks the glass is half empty.

jayhawklawrence 7 years, 10 months ago

Personally, I was very tired of the rivalry with Missouri. They don't seem to have a lot of class and even some of our newby fans were starting to act like Missouri fans. Not good.

If we want to be the kind of world class educational institution we always talk about, maybe it is time to get some new friends who might be a better fit for us. If you look at the grades our athletes are turning in these days, I think it is very impressive

KU has a ton of good things to offer and maybe we need to go where we will be more appreciated.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 10 months ago

"He’s the guy who doubled the athletic department’s budget"

Maybe this more about reckless spending than an achievement?

A full and compete investigation could not be done in 10 days. Let's not kid ourselves. My speculation says the self imposed 10 day deadline was an effort to quell those that are demanding transparency and ethics. I say it isn't working.

The chancellor walked into a bad situation and doesn't know anyone well enough to decide. She can only believe what the KU insiders are telling her. Not a great situation.

The big 12 split up I say is being moved forward due to so much Lawrence corruption by our locals. Do other Big 12 schools know something that WE Jayhawks cannot see or hear?

Has something been going on for the past few years that has pissed off Big 12 Schools? After all of these Big 8 and Big 12 years it is difficult for me to believe that the number of houses in a community has suddenly become the large issue???

The New chancellor should not be in the spot light for she did not create this mess. I say it is the KUAD bad boys and girls and a few local developers that deserve the spotlight. Leave the investigation to the FBI,IRS and let the chips fall where they may.

jayhawklawrence 7 years, 10 months ago

Remember that offensive pass interference call on Charles Gordon? If Texas had lost that game, a lot of things would have been different that year.

Mangino said it was all about the money.

Time to find greener pastures.

puddleglum 7 years, 10 months ago

you mean the time KU beat texas and vince young, but a very very very late flag came out and magically tried to get Texas into the national title game? yeah, I remember that very well. Mangino was calling lt like It was, and the big 12 came down on him. wait-wait, didn't the same thing happen this year? when colt mccoy lazily threw an incomplete pass as time ran out and nebraska won the big 12 title game???? oh yeah, here come the officials again, putting 1 second back on the clock so that texas could kick that field goal and go on to SMOKED in the title game by ALABAMA. f- texas and the big 12... tired of King mack brown and texas getting ALL the calls against everybody.

1julie1 7 years, 10 months ago

If Dolph's "column" is going to be a novella every week, then maybe the paper could spare him a few chapter headings. What would he do if he was forced to have concise thoughts and make concise points? Reading the Saturday column is like being tossed in a clothes dryer, around and around, never coming to a stop or getting a chance to get a breath of air. Some advice: Edit, edit, edit!!

WilburM 7 years, 10 months ago

Whatever the merits of this piece, it's basically unreadable -- a way-too-long screed. Dolph, edit yourself down to 700 words and you may have a chance of thinking more clearly and communicating your thoughts. As is, this is a garbage dump.

(Old dogs, new tricks?)

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 7 years, 10 months ago

Another day, another anti-KU article from the Journal World. Go figure. The only person who comes off looking bad here is Dolph. He really should have waited 24 hours and then read it again before deciding to publish it. A whole lot of whining and sour grapes. I don't know what his personal gripe is but he really comes off looking like a crybaby. The truly sad part about it is, not only does it make him look bad, it makes the Journal World look bad as well. The venom displayed here makes it clear that Dolph is the motivating factor behind the daily anti-KU articles. Any trace of credibilty that Dolph had within the community is waning a little more each day.

Phil Wilke 7 years, 10 months ago

a 60" column with 5" inches of material. Another gem.

BigAl 7 years, 10 months ago

Wrong..!!! I couldn't disagree more. Everyone I have talked with this morning agree with me that Dolph has taken this too personal. He doesn't like Perkins, never has, and he is letting his emotions get carried away. I have always supported this newspaper but I am getting real tired of Dolph doing nothing but slamming KU, KU Athletics, Lew Perkins and everyone associated with the dept.

This isn't journalism. This is a childish rant.

Rich Noever 7 years, 10 months ago

I agree. The naysayer's gripe about the column but I think he made valid points. With this crowd, Dolph would never do anything right. Sounds like envy to me.

fuel_for_the_fire 7 years, 10 months ago

99.9% of thoughtful people in Lawrence know he's right!!!!!!

kubacker: You should realize that your hyperbole makes you appear as ludicrous as the author of this twaddle. (I'm betting Dolph needs to look up the word twaddle in a dictionary.)

How many times has Dolph complained about the negative impact that moving games to Kansas City, MO has had on the city of Lawrence. Now he's upset that Kansas City, MO will lose money if the Big XII goes under. Just who is doing the talking out of both sides of their mouthes, Dolph?

jayhawklawrence 7 years, 10 months ago

I like the idea of competing with Stanford.

Maybe we could start an Oakland-KC kind of rivalry like the old days.

In the process, some of that Stanford educational success might rub off on us.

They also have great sports programs and more geniuses on their faculty than anybody in Missouri, Colorado, Oklahoma or Texas combined.

It would be a blast to go out there for KU games!

Jeff Kilgore 7 years, 10 months ago

The real problem for KU is that people don't care that much for football. Attendance has improved but is still lagging. My kids and I attended the last KU win versus Iowa State, and the student section emptied out at the beginning of the second half in a close game! Also, does anyone else remember Vince Young and UT playing here, the "dollar signs" game in which the announced attendance was 18 or 19 thousand? There's the real problem, Doolph, and it has nothing to do with anyone being asleep at the switch.

Humorously, this writer is making comparisons of the Leave it to Beaver days versus the year 2010. Things change. Society values money more than anything.

If anyone or anything is at fault, it's the women of Kansas who should have had two or three more kids per family so that our population base would be higher so that we would be more attractive to the likes of the super conferences! It's simply a matter of priorities. We men fell asleep too early in the bedroom!

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 10 months ago

Mr. Simons is absolutely correct here. Leadership at KU is/has been abyssmal, and not just on the athletic side.

"Consider the Nebraska approach compared to the dumb, disorganized, wait-and-see strategy of KU!"

Indeed. This same statement could be applied to the research and instructional arms of KU as well. Wait-and-see has been the approach, and it has been disastrous.

devobrun 7 years, 10 months ago

I agree with you nightmare. And not only that, the same statement could be made for BP, and the oil industry in general. It could be made for virtually every scientific and societal malady of our time.

Let's wait until there are so many illegal Mexicans in the U.S. that we can't do anything about it anyway.

Let's ignore the fallacy of computer models and just invest in securities that nobody understands. Let's make a stab at alternative energy, but not really, no wait, the economy is bad....never mind.

The world of today is spineless and KU is a prime example of following along just to be with the "in" crowd.

KU is not a leader in anything. I'm starting to think that it never has been a leader in anything. Just a close follower......the Harvard of the Midwest.


nobody1793 7 years, 10 months ago

Dolph has not been paying attention. The whole realignment has been about Football Revenue. FOOTBALL. Nothing else. The only ones with any real power in all this are Notre Dame, Nebraska, Texas, and A&M. Nebraska shot first. (The Pac-10 didn't really want CU, they only wanted the Denver TV market.) KU is not the only one being treated like a pawn in all this.

Now maybe you all will understand why Lew Perkins has spent the past few years trying desperately to build the football program into a money maker. New facilities, expanded seating, getting games on tv, the arrowhead games. All the things that this newspaper has been complaining about.

jayhawklawrence 7 years, 10 months ago

This competition for more money is what made everyone unhappy despite more external successes and better facilities.

We have been trying to compete with the likes of Texas and Nebraska, but maybe we should think about being different from those schools and better in other areas.

Maybe we can do with less money in athletics and end up happier. I would like to see cheaper tickets to games, not the high prices we have seen lately.

How about getting excited about educational achievements a little more than beating Missouri? Maybe it is a good time for a change.

jayhawklawrence 7 years, 10 months ago

If we can successfully promote KU on the West Coast, it could be a game changer for us.

We need to do something revolutionary to get out of this midwest mindset we have been locked into for too long.

Otherwise, scale down your future expectations for a world class institution.

We have something to sell. Let's go sell it.

fuel_for_the_fire 7 years, 10 months ago

Dear kubacker: Hyperbole is a noun in the English language meaning an obvious exaggeration. Specifically, the statement "99.9% of thoughtful people in Lawrence know he's right" would be hyperbole. Moreover, your claim that "virtually all of Lawrence" does not like Simon would also be a specific example of hyperbole, although I am more inclined to agree with this statement.

Unless you have surveyed 100% of the population of Lawrence, or at the very least, a large enough sample from which the results could be extrapolated to the larger population, your statements are ridiculous exaggerations, i.e., hyperbole.

While you were looking up the word twaddle in the dictionary, you should have taken the time to peruse the H section for the word hyperbole. If you look in the E section, you will find extrapolate; also, the word peruse can be found in the P section. I'm just trying to be proactively helpful for your next reply to me.

Kendall Simmons 7 years, 10 months ago

I love it!

A guy claims "99.9% of thoughtful people in Lawrence know he's right" and is accused of hyperbole...and he asks "What specifically in my post and Simon's piece is hyperbole or incorrect?"

What a perfect "Duh" moment :-)

BruceWayne 7 years, 10 months ago

Dolph- EVERY other media source in the country is reporting that KU is being approached by the mountain west...why is the LJW not reporting on this? Is it because you are staffed by a bunch of high school newspaper "journalist" at best? you hate Lawrence and KU...and the feeling is mutual. Take all your money you have made by being a monopoly (which is against the law) and leave.

4everahawk 7 years, 10 months ago

Great article Dolph..........agree with most all of it. Many of the people who are hanging on to their loyalties to KU, KAI and Lew have never experienced the negativity and failings of the administration first hand. The majority of the posters here have never even met any of the KAI staff so have no idea how they are....just saying. I believe many just like to hang on to the coattails of the rich because it makes them feel 'connected' with these a$$holes and makes them feel a part of something bigger than they are........pathetic.

puddleglum 7 years, 10 months ago

man, when I first saw the headline, I thought that yellow house was leaving the big twelve...

Kendall Simmons 7 years, 10 months ago

Nope. It's an obvious exaggeration...period.

That's the downside of using unsupportable figures as declarative standalones, rather than as "I'll bet that" or "I wouldn't be surprised but what" type figures.

To be honest, I'd be far more inclined to argue that a significant percent of thoughtful people in Lawrence...certainly more than 0.1%...don't give two hoots what Dolph has to say.

The perceptive, thoughtful folks I know have figured out that Dolph uses his forum to complain, but basically never offers any sort of concrete, practical solution. It's easy to find fault. But what's needed are workable solutions...and Dolph apparently doesn't have any.

jaywalker 7 years, 10 months ago


Not for nothin', but just about ALL of those questions you started that long-winded piece with were the same question; singular.

Personally, I'm blown away by all this. And where the hell is the NCAA? They stick their beaks in and over-control everything else; why would they allow this travesty to occur? They're not gonna say a word when this is going to mean there is NO major conference from the Mississippi to the Rockies?? I can actually see Colorado and Nebraska's moves as practical for their football programs, but when it comes to Texas and OU....??? What they hell are they thinking? They own the Big 12, but now they want to subject their fans and their teams to 4 hour flights and 2 hour time differences? Not to mention the fact that the Pac-10 is rarely on TV nationwide, it just doesn't make much sense. Screw Texas and their brethren; they came in and blew up the Big 8 14 years ago and now they bolt? Couldn't stand their inclusion to start, learned to tolerate it and their heavy handed ways, now they're essentially ruining the conference when they could have been the anchor that held it together.

BruceWayne 7 years, 10 months ago

how does Dolph have ANY insight into what KU is doing or not doing about reallignment? He doesn't. none.nill. his sports editor is a joke. he doesn't care who we play as long as he can sit in his suite at the football games and look important.

BruceWayne 7 years, 10 months ago

I for one could give a flip about Colorado or Nebraska leaving...take Gill with you. Mangino was SCREWED.

JustNoticed 7 years, 10 months ago

Now is the perfect time to scrap football at KU.

kanham99 7 years, 10 months ago

Trying to hold the Big 12 together becuase it is what is best for the school is doing nothing? Not jumping off the ship and showing no loyalty is doing nothing? Missouri certainly did something.

I think KU is one of the smart ones trying to hold the Big 12 together. It is the smart choice if anyone is thinking beyond dollar signs. As someone who has been able to follow the team when it plays in the midwest and attend Big 12 tournament games I know I won't be able to go to LA or NYC or Chicago. Maybe everyone else can. Maybe the average KU supporter won't mind traveling to a tournament in Indianapolis. But hey I guess that works since TV rights fees are driving this. The further you have to travel the more your supporters will have to watch you on TV.

No, to say KU was doing nothing is in fact incorrect, it was trying to hold the Big 12 together because it was in its own best interest to do so for itself and in fact for the midwest. How sad to see all these schools chasing after the east and the west like they are so much better. please.

tomyzeb 7 years, 10 months ago

"Trying to hold the Big 12 together becuase it is what is best for the school is doing nothing? Not jumping off the ship and showing no loyalty is doing nothing? Missouri certainly did something."

Yea, MU did something. "Uh, if anyone would like to invite me to the prom, uh, I wouldn't say no." They may be the ones that jostled the wood sticks enough to start this process and NU bolting. It is not good to make these kind of public statements. The Big 10 has stayed at 11 schools instead of 12 for 20 years. An expansion to 12 was going to happen. But, they should not have publicly said they were maybe looking for 16. I put a lot of the greed label on the PAC 10. It is irresponsible and shameful what they are doing.

tomyzeb 7 years, 10 months ago

"No, to say KU was doing nothing is in fact incorrect, it was trying to hold the Big 12 together because it was in its own best interest to do so for itself and in fact for the midwest. How sad to see all these schools chasing after the east and the west like they are so much better. please."

No, these schools are not chasing to the West (none are going to the East so far, Big 10 is not really East). They are being financially bribed by the wealthy organizations in these other conferences. It is IDENTICAL, to a corporate buyout by the bigger company for the cherry assets, and closing the smaller, less profitable operations. Why do they do it? Because they can.

Yawnmower 7 years, 10 months ago

Both Texas and CU in the PAC 10 ? Its like a roadmap of where NOT to go. All thanks to the PAC 10 for gambling on the Terrell Owens's of the Big XII.

KU and KSU both have class and should find a conference that fits them in that regard. I really think the MWC is a great fit for KSU. Not a slam on them at all. There are some great schools in there.

KU can hold their own with the big boys of the SEC and the Big 10, if necessary. For better or worse the Jayhawks are a basketball school. Who ever heard of Duke football, and who gives a s#$% ? A baskeball centric conference would work for the $$ concerns.

tomyzeb 7 years, 10 months ago

KU and KSU both have class and should find a conference that fits them in that regard. I really think the MWC is a great fit for KSU. Not a slam on them at all. There are some great schools in there.

They should, but you cannot create schools out of thin air that takes 100 years to develop, and you cannot change geography. Get out your map of the US and see why people are upset.

tomyzeb 7 years, 10 months ago

Major factors causing the breakup of the Big 12 and the demise of major college sports in KS for decades:

1) Relative population density and population growth trends 1 farmer now feeds 100. AND lack of major metro markets that follow KU and KSU. Only part of KC follows KU and KSU and KC is not considered a high growth market. Look at KC vs. Denver vs. Phoenix vs. Dallas over the last 50 years. Even Indianapolis has caught up to us. On paper Indiana Univ. is not much different than KU (a little better academics) but the Sate of Indiana has almost 3 times the population of Kansas.

2) Football as a major media content

3) Development of Cable/Satellite TV technologies and $ size of assoc. industry

4) Greed (= Me,Me, Me and screw You, You, You. You worry about yourself) attitudes in US. In other words, capitalism.

5) The decision years ago for a rather non-wealthy, low-population, low-growth state like Kansas to attempt to support two major college sports programs. It is now backfiring in Iowa and Kansas both. However, Iowa Univ. was fortunate enough to be closer to higher pop. density areas and invited to a stable conference in 1899. NU was lucky because they focused on football and poured all of their resources and energy into one institution.

6) Lack of NCAA "balls" and intelligence. They easily could have enacted rules years ago requiring approval of any major realignments. They also could have come out two weeks ago and declared that NO single conference, no matter how large, will ever have more than ONE automatic BCS bowl participant. By letting what has developed, they have SIGNIFICANTLY weakened the overall financial value of the total Tier one college product that will take decades to repair. AND, reduced the quality of college life for a lot of already stressed, college athletes that will do a lot more travel time.

6) Development of safe and more efficient jet aircraft.

tomyzeb 7 years, 10 months ago

"Why has this happened? Why wasn’t Gray-Little at the conference meetings in Kansas City? There’s the old saying, “If you’re not at the table, you are on the menu.” This is what happened at the long-planned conference gathering."

I believe she was hired because there was a perception that male-dominated administrators and executives were getting out of control with efforts to grow the sports programs and there needed to be a better balance with academics. Careful what you wish for.

anon1958 7 years, 10 months ago

If Kansans had their priorities straight for their system of higher education and placed academics above entertainment then this huge mess wouldnt matter at at all. Im calling BS on every claim that athletics matter to the university experience because none of this is about the student athlete.

Big time college football and basketball has not been about the college athlete for about 40 years. KU basketball and football is pure entertainment for KU students and makes no meaningful contribution to their physical health. They might as well be playing with an XBox as watching a KU game.

prf 7 years, 10 months ago

Dolph seems to think that the KU administration doesn't recognize the current situation as an opportunity to upgrade. I think he's giving them too little credit. First of all, the fit with the Big-12 (and the Big-8) was never all that great. KU is a basketball school in a football conference. Imagine them in the Big East or the ACC. Now we're talking. It's easy to dismiss the Mountain West, but its football potential over the next 10 years is as good as the Big-10's -- not up to the SEC or the possible Big 16, but pretty good. But what does offer in the way of basketball, which the Big-12 could never provide and left KU less than fully prepared for NCAA conference play? It appears now that colleges are going the way of mega business, with mergers and buyouts becoming routine. I wouldn't be surprised if in the next few years we see Oklahoma State making an offer for Wichita State's entire sports program. Sound ridiculous? Why not, if it benefits both parties? Dolph thinks that KU should get on the realignment bandwagon now. I say wait for the right offer, whether it happens next week or two years from now.

olddognewtrix 7 years, 10 months ago

It seems to me that Mr. Simons has gone bombastic in crticizing the Chancellor and Perkins. AdmittedlyPerkins is at best now a tarnished if not toxic asset of KU. But blaming either or both of them for the impetuous decisions of CU and NU is a litle like blaming Pres. Obama for the BP blowout oil well in the Gulf--it is convenient to find a sacpegoat or two, but what could they have done to stop the runaway motives of CU nad NU

jaywalker 7 years, 10 months ago

Now there's a whole bunch of talk about KU being invited into the Pac-10. What the hell's going on?

John Hamm 7 years, 10 months ago

This is one editorial that is right on dead center!

Denny2009 7 years, 10 months ago

Nobody really fell asleep at the switch, it just boils down to football and t.v. markets. The reason KU and ksu are left out is the lack of a major tv market. Topeka doesn't cut-it and KCMO is technically considered a Mizzou Tv Market. The reason MU may still get picked up by the big 10 is because they have two big markets (STL and KCMO). Its a shame what could happen to the big 12 but KU fans need to hope for the best and hope a major conference will pick them up down the road. For now if the big 12 folds it looks like KU is going to the Mountain West Conference. However regardless of tv contracts and $$, I still find it REDICULOUS that theres a possibilty KU could get left out. And I believe anyone affiliated with the university deserves a timeline of how all this played out.

dubujg 7 years, 10 months ago

Is there any truth to the rumor that Lew will be leaving early to star in the upcoming remake of the Hills Have Eyes?

jj14 7 years, 10 months ago

I am a lifetime resident of Lawrence, former KU Student, current KU employee, and KU sports fan - but I've HAD it with the athletic department. KU is not a sports franchise, it's an ACADEMIC UNIVERSITY. I'm so tired of the goons at the KU athletic department defining the entire face of KU - it's disgusting. They are literally costing us academic donation dollars, research dollars, technology dollars. The face of KU Athletics has been reduced to money hungry ego driven thief's & thugs with no ethics what-so-ever. All you hear on the news about KU is one athletic scandal after another, and obviously the perception has begun to bleed over to the rest of us on the academic side. Oh how I miss Dr. Frederick!!

volunteer 7 years, 10 months ago

Good editorial again. This makes two great Saturday columns in a row. Perhaps disaster brings out the best in Mr. Simons. Gloves off and naming names.

Kendall Simmons 7 years, 10 months ago

The sky isn't falling. Lawrence isn't going to become a semi-ghost town. The end of the world is not near. And Dolph Simon is panicking. Big time.

He's no longer just an angry man who resents being left out of the loop. He's also frightened.

And we should listen to someone who has no insider information and is panicking...why?

Consider this. Up until recently, Dolph went on and on and on and on about the lack of a KU Capital Campaign. You couldn't read a Saturday Column with a KU focus without his belittling and demeaning people for not planning and implementing a Capital Campaign.

On April 3rd he wrote "nothing is being done at this time with untested Gray-Little..." He continued to complain in his May 8th column.

However, it turns out that a capital campaign had, indeed, been in the works. That the silent phrase was already going on. That the organizing committee was already meeting. That Dolph's claim that nothing was going on was wrong.

Dolph's response?

Utter silence.

Not even an "it's about time" from this Life Trustee of the KU Endowment.

Heck, even in today's diatribe, Dolph says absolutely nothing about the the latest capital campaign and how the current conference realignment might seriously affect it. Personally, I'd think that a reasonable man who'd been pushing so hard for a successful capital campaign would at least mention this. It does seem rather important.

But Dolph says nothing.

Instead we listen to his standard kneejerk complaints. The KU administration was "dumb" and "disorganized". KU "fell asleep at the switch". Was somehow surprised. That these are "very bad, extremely dangerous and embarrassing days for KU".

He claims that KU is letting "leaders at the other conference schools decide their fate". Assumes that Gray-Little wasn't brought up to speed. That...gee, what a surprise...the Regents are nothing but losers.

And Dolph knows all

That's the point. Dolph does NOT know any of this. He's NOT privy to this information. He's NOT an insider. He hasn't a clue what's going on behind closed doors or in private conversations. He has no idea what KU's options and opportunities are. What its plans and backups are.

So, instead, he freaks out. Even acting as though KU should have been the first school to jump ship!

But why? And where?

Dolph never says. Because Dolph doesn't know.

He's entitled to his opinion. But it's a darned good thing that Dolph isn't in charge here.

PalinPalms 7 years, 10 months ago

hey there! you know the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) is a fine fine conference, I know some folks there maybe I could say some nice words for you'alls. ever think competitive snowmobile it's a hoot! luv, sp

whatifeelfyi 7 years, 10 months ago

I believe Lew Perkins is the biggest criminal and scam artist in the world. He has enriched himself at the expense of KU and Lawerence and neglected his responsibilities. My son is going to graduate from KU next year and we have lived in Lawrence for 20 years. I happen to live in Nebraska right now because that is where the job market took me. My head is hanging because of what KU officials have done, and that is the first time in my life that has happened. Shame on them.

wastewatcher 7 years, 10 months ago

Mr Simons is 100% right on target once again. Why is it that KU is the one on the outside looking in, with our recent successes we should be a hot target for any conference. But when you are not at the table, your voice is not heard. Dolph, keep the pressure on, maybe the "leaders" will start thinking about what you are saying.

Woody Cragg 7 years, 10 months ago

Seems like most of the posters are missing the target here. It's all about money. Booster money is down, tax revenues are down, and salaries are way down. Unless you one of the chosen few in the sports world or politics, you're doing alot less with a whole lot less money. All this movement is about keeping the cash cow getting fatter. Nothing else. Lots of people have been caught off guard. The one guy you really have to point a finger at is Beebe. If he was half way connected at all, this should have been on his radar. And very few basketball programs make any money anyway. Football rules the roost if you have a winner. Lew's a sports guy, not the business honcho the commish should be. And he's a damn good sports guy too. Complian all you want, hindsight's 20/20. I didn't hear all this when they won the Orange bowl or the Nat. Championship.

Martin Shupert 7 years, 10 months ago

KU may need to establish itself as an independent for a year and see who makes them the best offer. I believe that loyalty to the conference is a good thing and commend KU for attempting to save the Big Twelve and to remain to fight for it. MU comes across as pure scum in this situation. Lying about their obvious flirtations with the Big Ten compounds this. I think the Big Twelve could (I did say "could") end up better in sports other than football. It would be great to entice strong mid majors to the Big Twelve. First on the list might be Tulsa? Wichita State also deserves consideration. SWMS, Southern Illinois, Memphis, etc. Get creative, guys.

prf 7 years, 10 months ago

Earlier in the day I wrote that Dolph isn't giving KU administrators enough credit. Since then, I've been following developments about prospective moves by Big-12 schools. It seems that now that Colorado and Nebraska have announced their plans, everyone else has been playing high-stakes poker. Texas and Oklahoma schools are brashly courting, while Bill Self is promising that KU will land on its feet. But Self doesn't offer any real information and when he's interviewed in full disco-wear, he resembles the Woody Harrelson character in White Men Can't Jump. What seems to have escaped people's attention in the Kansas media is how much attention the Big East is paying to these developments. Discussions have been occurring between Big East and KU administrators, and the Big East is interested in having KU, KSU, ISU, and MU (and if not them, then Memphis) join what would become a 12-team football conference with east and west divisions and a 20-team basketball super conference. If this is true, then Kansas is a player. What about that, Dolph?

Maracas 7 years, 10 months ago

If we hadn't neglected football for decades in favor of throwing everything at hoops, we wouldn't be in this position. It's not any more difficult than that.

Paul R Getto 7 years, 10 months ago

"Nobody really fell asleep at the switch, it just boils down to football and t.v. markets." === The heart of the matter. Kansas as a state is small potatoes; we all love it, but our population as a percent of the US population probably peaked a century ago. If you could get 15 million people to move to Kansas, we'd have enough television clout to counter some of this. Everyone needs to relax and see how this plays out. The boys and girls will still play games on the court and the field and KU will still hold classes.

Kendall Simmons 7 years, 10 months ago

I won't hold my breath waiting for Dolph to apologize for his hysterical column. Or for those fools who thought he was right.

parrothead8 7 years, 10 months ago

Most of the columns this clown writes are hysterical rants...if KU had reacted the way this guy did, they'd be in the MWC or WAC by now. Instead, the "dumb, disorganized, wait-and-see strategy" turned out to be smart, methodical, and prudent. Good riddance to Nebraska and Colorado. I'm sure their fans will enjoy having no rivalries any more.

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