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Letters to the Editor

Ethical breach

June 17, 2010

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To the editor:

In the midst of the furor over the recent ticket scandal, I would like to remind your readers of an earlier breach of ethics by Kansas Athletics, Inc.

During Bob Frederick’s administration, our family and others made significant contributions to secure what were then lifetime seats in Allen Fieldhouse. We wished to keep the same seats that had been held by my late father since the fieldhouse first opened.

There was no bargaining; trustingly we contributed what was asked for by the Athletic Department in written correspondence. But then came the Hemenway-Perkins regime and the reseating of the fieldhouse through the point system. Past agreements for seating were disregarded. In spite of the contributions and years of service across generations, our seats and those of others were taken away, ostensibly to be given to larger, now more worthy, contributors. Our family’s request that our contribution be diverted to the Spencer and Natural History museums was denied by the athletic director himself.

Now we learn that our seats may not have been given to a larger contributor after all. They may have been stripped away to be clandestinely sold to a ticket broker!

Sadly the university as a whole has been damaged. The estimated loss of $3 million doesn’t begin to account for the loss of goodwill and future contributions from disaffected alumni such as ourselves. Can KU’s integrity ever be regained? Or do we have to wait for the passing of an entire generation?

Comments

roggy 4 years, 5 months ago

Interesting! I wonder what the dollar amount was that the Hill family gave to retain their "lifetime" seats?! Elitism at it's best! The amount given probably doesn't even touch the annual giving by many today but their family has been here a long time so they deserve their "lifetime" seats.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 5 months ago

If they were told that the contribution would guarantee them lifetime seats, that deal should either be honored, or their contribution returned (or given to one of the museums, as requested.)

scott3460 4 years, 5 months ago

Time value of money, early support is worth more

Chris Bohling 4 years, 5 months ago

This whole ticket/seating thing has gotten completely out of hand, but there's an easy solution. Get rid of the entire system of making donations to get good seats. Just assign all the seats a price and sell them first-come, first-serve, like you would at any other event. Why is that so hard?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 5 months ago

That would be entirely too straightforward a way to deal with it, and likely wouldn't create the slush funds the current system does.

Chris Bohling 4 years, 5 months ago

I am a student actually, and it's completely absurd what students have to go through to get tickets while all the good seats get given away to whoever is in the A.D.'s favor. We have to camp out and wait and wait and wait to get any seats whatsoever. Why can't we just go buy single-game tickets a few months in advance? Because of how impossible it is to get tickets I've basically stopped going to games.

Kontum1972 4 years, 5 months ago

we had the same thing happen to our family both grandparents taught at KU and retired from there, and we shared the tickets at each game..and when these greed-mongers came in they removed this perk and told grandma too bad....now we must pay for our seats, and they were mid-row seats. Granny didnt leave a cent to KU, when she passed on.

notajayhawk 4 years, 5 months ago

Speaking of "greed", Kontum, why were YOU entitled to these seats because your grandparents taught there?

CLARKKENT 4 years, 5 months ago

HEY LEW

THESE PEOPLE HAD LIFETIME SEATS. RETURN THEM.

remember_username 4 years, 5 months ago

A university should primarily be a place of education and the lesson the students receive from KU Athletics is "it's all about the money!". Loyalty, honesty, and integrity have a monetary value and are openly marketed without embarrassment. I might be ashamed to teach here except that the lesson is an honest one for today's America. Anymore it IS all about the money and nothing is without price!

Richard Heckler 4 years, 5 months ago

"chell: Not a bad idea: Better still, let the students have all the front-row seats, first come, first served. It's their team, after all. Other universities do this and put the real fans close to the floor. The Whine and Cheese club can sit farther from the court so the game won't interfere with their conversations."

My thoughts exactly. Thanks for putting it so eloquently.

anon1958 4 years, 5 months ago

Why do you even want your seats back? You have seen the true face of KU athletics, why give them a nickel of your money or a minute of your time? The greed is not going away at KU or anywhere else. How is wanting your seats back different than repeatedly going back to a drunken spouse that beats you up and abuses you?

The recent realignment fiasco is not going to make KU less greedy, now that their weakness has been exposed you can bet they will be doing everything they can to accumulate even more money to throw away on the football program.

VTHawk 4 years, 5 months ago

Students get their seats on a first-come, first served basis (40% of the seats) as it should be.

Why should tickets be passed down from generation to generation, thus depriving people my age from ever being able to see the games? Eliminating these hereditary perks is only fair, and determining how to allocate the tickets based on actual donations to the University makes sense. While it is obviously fantastic that KU has had fans root for the teams for generations, the notion that any seats are "theirs" strikes me as odd. The seats belong to KU, and KU should be able to decide how to allocate them.

I cannot vouch for how the previous administration handled the tickets, but a verbal confirmation is only as good as the person's ability to deliver on that promise. With due respect, Dr. Bob's "word" was unenforcable once he was no longer AD.

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