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Archive for Thursday, March 25, 2010

Former KU Athletics Board Chair calls allegations of impropriety ‘disturbing’

Fans mill about before the game. Selling your tickets on campus property is prohibited, and KU has been cracking down on the practice, even assigning plain-clothes officers to monitor ticket transactions.

Fans mill about before the game. Selling your tickets on campus property is prohibited, and KU has been cracking down on the practice, even assigning plain-clothes officers to monitor ticket transactions.

March 25, 2010

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With an independent review seeking answers regarding operations involving Kansas Athletics Inc.’s ticket office and Williams Fund, others are posing questions of their own.

Among them: Is the focus limited to the actions of a single employee, one already placed on administrative leave for undisclosed reasons? Or could the probe stretch into larger policies, programs and other systems of distributing tickets for KU athletics?

“It’s obviously disturbing, and if things were being done inappropriately they ought to be investigated and an audit is something they should do,” said Mike Maddox, who recently finished four years of service as chairman of KU Athletics Board.

Fans hope ticket issue is misunderstanding

Fans say they hope the problem with KU Athletics tickets sales is overblown and that intentions were honest. Enlarge video

This week, KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said that the university had asked “outside entities to conduct a thorough and exhaustive review,” including an audit of both offices.

Off campus, ticket brokers have been subpoenaed, and the Vice Chairman of the Kansas Board of Regents has indicated that a federal investigation is under way.

“If somebody makes money and doesn’t report it on their taxes, somebody at the federal level is going to get involved,” Sherrer said this week.

Rodney Jones, assistant athletics director for the Williams Fund, remains on administrative leave. Athletics Director Lew Perkins made that move earlier this month.

Jones came to KU in 1997 and worked his way up to being manager of the ticket office before being promoted several ago to lead the Williams Fund, the department’s donor organization with more than 4,200 members. Last year, the fund generated about $15 million in donations for athletics.

Al Bohl, KU athletics director from 2001 to 2003, said this week that he was unaware of any problems that might have surfaced within either the ticket office or Williams Fund during his tenure.

“When I was there, there was no knowledge of anybody there doing anything wrong,” said Bohl, who lives in St. Augustine, Fla. “I suspect they will do a thorough job of getting to the bottom of it.”

Williams Fund members receive access to football and basketball tickets, and receive seating priority based on their levels of giving as expressed through a points system, one established after Perkins’ arrival. Donors receive points based on the amounts and timing of their donations.

Maddox describes the points system as the “most equitable” way to distribute seats, and as an appropriate method for generating revenue. But he noted that the system has been a focus of frustration for some ticket holders who remain uncertain about the basis for their seat locations or limits on their access to tickets.

“The points system’s success or failure rides on the integrity of the system,” said Maddox, who played basketball at KU and was a member of the 1988 championship team. “It’s very important that the system has integrity.

“It works based on trust — that if (people) give donations, they’ll be in the right place. If it comes out that they’re not, there will be some repair work to do.”

Comments

Uhjh 4 years, 7 months ago

The point system needs to be improved to level ticket assignments. What the point system is an Individual Seat License under the guise of donations. An example of the inequities would be: Say a donor has 1000 points they would get 4 seats (250 pts. ea.) and receives a much better selection than the guy who has 250 points and just wants 1 seat. The investigations needs to go beyond ticket thievery and review the whole damn system now in place.

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yankeevet 4 years, 7 months ago

real simple...........cheater; losers......and thiefs.........bookem;......

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windjammer 4 years, 7 months ago

Get after those players and contributors oneeye. You da man

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riverdrifter 4 years, 7 months ago

@ KRichards: Spot-on, Mon. I think this is somebody (heh-heh) that had easy access to tickets and was funneling them to a broker for a rake-off and then the broker was selling them for a fat profit. I despise ticket brokers. Scum of the earth. Someday all tickets will be sold paperlessly or at least with the buyer's name on them. A year ago KU NCAA tourney tickets were rediculously hard to come by, BTW.

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Scruggsy 4 years, 7 months ago

Wow...

Posters Alcoholically Decimated (PADs) gather up and "Roundly" decide that a "Random" profit will "Backdate" the "System" under the "Guise" of donations...

Random capital letters, random quotation marks, and Jim Woolridge live unprecedented.

Kenny Gregory bless us all...

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ToriFreak13 4 years, 7 months ago

You can't strongarm "scalpers"/resellers of tickets and threaten employees for reselling their tickets on ebay and/or craigslist...then resell already purchased and paid for STUDENT tickets just because you "know" they will go home for the holiday break...and get away with it! Notice the comment about making money and not reporting it on your taxes...can we say...busted!

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whats_going_on 4 years, 7 months ago

copying and/or making fun of Barry by doing his same sarcastic banter=just as annoying.

Just fyi.

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jfcm77 4 years, 7 months ago

Copying, making fun and sarcastic banter live unprecedented.

whats_going_on bless us all...

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lonelyboy 4 years, 7 months ago

Watch out Joe College this is going to be your fault ..

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Richard Payton 4 years, 7 months ago

The crooks got caught that's what is important. I'm glad the Feds are following the money trail and that the university is taking the corrective steps to insure no cover-up is implied.

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Mary Sucha 4 years, 7 months ago

I've heard this may involve prime time seating too, not just student or GA tickets. If true, I think KU ticket holders have the right to know how many prime seats are held back for "friends" of Lew, and how many seats are controlled by big dollar (corporate/individual) contributors.

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ralphralph 4 years, 7 months ago

Gee, Mike ... an audit? What a concept! Sheer genius! Why weren't controls and regular audits already in place?
Millions of dollars involved, and we're counting on the nobility of the staff members not to dip into it?

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Kontum1972 4 years, 7 months ago

they use to supply tickets to retired employees...then they stopped that...when perkins showed up that stopped.

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Kontum1972 4 years, 7 months ago

before long we will have to pay for it off our tv's....local blackouts....

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jhokfan 4 years, 7 months ago

Is this of any concern to the NCAA?

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jhokfan 4 years, 7 months ago

Is this of any concern to the NCAA?

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jhokfan 4 years, 7 months ago

Is this of any concern to the NCAA?

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redleg13B 4 years, 7 months ago

If it makes you all feel better, K-STATE is playing in the elite eight on Saturday! GO CATS

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beawolf 4 years, 7 months ago

jhokfan (anonymous) says…

Is this of any concern to the NCAA? March 26, 2010 at 12:28 p.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

jhokfan (anonymous) says…

Is this of any concern to the NCAA? March 26, 2010 at 12:28 p.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

jhokfan (anonymous) says…

Is this of any concern to the NCAA? March 26, 2010 at 12:28 p.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

No, No and NO!

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Kontum1972 4 years, 7 months ago

himmmmmmm....mb i missed it in here but one one said anything about the porn star Sam Ryan and her tickets.....somethin smells funny in birdland.....book em Dano!

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Uhjh 4 years, 7 months ago

I hope all the findings are made public. How tickets are distributed needs to be included. It will probably end up with just the information Lew wants the public to know being released.

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spryngs 4 years, 7 months ago

Lew Perkins is where the buck stops. I hear this has been going on about as long as Lew has been with KU. What outside firm? Is donor money going to be used to pay the outside firm? Why does the chancellor turn over all her phone calls to her communications director(who was clueless)? KU stonewalls all requests for information. Where is the FBI; the NCAA? Does anyone in the Williams Fund give a damn? They put a 30 year in charge who has a PHD in Education! What is more worthless? Couldn't they have put an accountant in charge?

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