Archive for Wednesday, May 26, 2010

More than $1 million worth of KU basketball, football tickets involved in ticket scam

AD Perkins: “I accept responsibility. I don’t accept responsibility for anything criminal or any of those things.”

KU Athletic Director Lew Perkins, from left, Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, University General Counsel Jim Pottorff and Jack Focht of Wichita law firm Foulston Siefkin prepare to take questions from the media after releasing Foulston Siefkin's investigation into a ticket scandal in KU's athletic ticket office.

KU Athletic Director Lew Perkins, from left, Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, University General Counsel Jim Pottorff and Jack Focht of Wichita law firm Foulston Siefkin prepare to take questions from the media after releasing Foulston Siefkin's investigation into a ticket scandal in KU's athletic ticket office.

May 26, 2010, 1:22 p.m. Updated May 26, 2010, 11:38 p.m.

Advertisement

KU ticket investigation press conference

KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little begins the conference, and Jack Focht of Foulston Siefkin discusses the report made of their investigation.

KU Athletic Director Lew Perkins was the last to leave a press conference at the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics on Thursday May 26, 2010. He and other KU officials and investigators talks about alleged violations in KU's ticket office that led to the diversion of $1 million or more from the university. Six employees were blamed and are no longer with the university.

KU Athletic Director Lew Perkins was the last to leave a press conference at the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics on Thursday May 26, 2010. He and other KU officials and investigators talks about alleged violations in KU's ticket office that led to the diversion of $1 million or more from the university. Six employees were blamed and are no longer with the university.

Kansas University officials and their attorney face a crowd of media as they discuss the findings of an investigation commissioned by KU into alleged misconduct in its ticket operations.

Kansas University officials and their attorney face a crowd of media as they discuss the findings of an investigation commissioned by KU into alleged misconduct in its ticket operations.

Attorney Jack Focht of Wichita law firm Foulston Siefkin explains a report on missing tickets his law firm generated at the request of KU. In the report, released Thursday May 26, 2010 at the Dole Institute of Politics, thousands of misdirected tickets and more than a million dollars diverted from KU.

Attorney Jack Focht of Wichita law firm Foulston Siefkin explains a report on missing tickets his law firm generated at the request of KU. In the report, released Thursday May 26, 2010 at the Dole Institute of Politics, thousands of misdirected tickets and more than a million dollars diverted from KU.

Lew Perkins, KU Athletic Director, prepares to take questions from members of the media after a report detailing improprieties in its ticket office was released to the public Wednesday afternoon. In the report, six employees of Kansas Athletics are described as taking part in a scheme to divert tickets and funds to their own benefit and away from KU.

Lew Perkins, KU Athletic Director, prepares to take questions from members of the media after a report detailing improprieties in its ticket office was released to the public Wednesday afternoon. In the report, six employees of Kansas Athletics are described as taking part in a scheme to divert tickets and funds to their own benefit and away from KU.

Related document

Supporting exhibits for KU's investigation ( .PDF )

Reader poll
Who should shoulder the most blame for the Kansas Athletics ticket scandal?

or See the results without voting

-->
-->
On the street

Should athletics director Lew Perkins resign as a result of the KU ticket scandal?

If he was aware of the situation when he took the job and did not make the effort to correct it, then he ought to look for work elsewhere.

More responses

Five employees and a consultant at Kansas University Athletics Inc. improperly used and sold for personal gain nearly 20,000 KU basketball and football tickets during the past five years, costing the department at least $1.03 million in revenue, the university disclosed Wednesday.

And an investigator from a Wichita-based law firm hired to review problems in both KU’s ticket office and Williams Educational Fund suspects that the totals will only get worse, once results of federal investigations are revealed.

“It wouldn’t surprise me at all,” said Jack Focht of Foulston Siefkin, hired by Kansas University four months after athletics officials learned of suspected ticket irregularities from federal investigators late last year. “The federal government has the power of the grand jury subpoena, the FBI, the IRS, everybody else. I had four, five attorneys and an audit team to look at records. …

“I would not be at all surprised if the government figures are much larger.”

Focht joined KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, general counsel Jim Pottorff and Athletics Director Lew Perkins at the Dole Institute on Wednesday to distribute and discuss the results of the university’s 60-day investigation.

The investigation, which included work from the BKD accounting firm, concluded that the six individuals schemed to profit from tickets, a scam involving both seats at Memorial Stadium for football and in sold-out Allen Fieldhouse for basketball. Also involved were parking passes, and passes to the Arrowhead Club in Kansas City, Mo.

Former employees implicated

The report identified the six individuals, who no longer work for the department:

• Charlette Blubaugh, former associate athletics director for ticket operations, who “seemed to be directly responsible for creating the climate of an ice cream store where the employees feel free to sample the wares without paying for them.” Two employees sold more than $200,000 worth of tickets to brokers with her knowledge and consent, according to the report, and Blubaugh herself is suspected of misappropriating $3,400 of tickets sold following a KU loss in an NCAA tournament.

• Tom Blubaugh, Charlette Blubaugh’s husband and a former contracted consultant, who earned $115,000 from Kansas Athletics from August 2007 through January 2010 without Perkins’ knowledge — and had access to ticket accounts that appear to have been “parking places” for tickets “not paid for but sold to brokers or others.”

• Jason Jeffries, former assistant director for ticket operations, who received 56 tickets that normally would have been made available to Williams Fund donors as part of the “Select A Seat” process, during which fans choose their fieldhouse seats in accordance with their placement on the fund’s points list. The seats were sold to a broker in Oklahoma.

• Rodney Jones, former assistant athletics director for the Williams Educational Fund, who was known in the community as “the man to see if you wanted a free ticket to athletic events,” handing out tickets to teammates on his softball team. A “large percentage” of tickets sold to brokers, according to federal investigators, came from an account assigned to “Rodney Jones, Donor Development.” Face value of such tickets from that account and sold to brokers during the past five years: $197,695 for basketball, and $35,460 for football.

• Ben Kirtland, former associate athletics director of development, who was Jones’ boss and admitted selling more tickets to donors than the donors had qualified for, then pocketing the difference and splitting it with Jones.

• Brandon Simmons, former assistant athletics director of sales and marketing, who arranged to sell tickets, with Jeffries, to a broker friend in Oklahoma.

Federal probe ongoing

The investigation did not specifically address tickets for postseason basketball games — including those during KU’s three trips to the Final Four — stretching as far back as the 2001-02 season.

But that’s what federal investigators are looking into and more, said Carl Cornwell, attorney for the man he describes as the whistleblower for “business as usual” in KU’s ticket office.

Officials with the IRS, FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office all have declined to discuss any pending investigations, or whether they even exist.

But a spokesman for Kansas Attorney General Steve Six confirmed Wednesday that the U.S. Attorney’s office had a “current investigation” ongoing. Like Six, Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson stands ready to help Lanny Welch, the interim U.S. Attorney for Kansas.

“Their office has taken the lead on the review and investigation of the matter,” Branson said. “Our office will assist if and when necessary.”

The whistleblower, David Freeman, is scheduled to report to prison June 27, but Cornwell is counting on his client’s assistance in the tickets case to keep him from having to report.

“It seems that but for David Freeman, it’s business as usual at KU,” Cornwell said. “He came forward and told what he knew as part of the investigation.”

Freeman disclosed details about the tickets situation to federal investigators, as he already was providing information as part of a deal with prosecutors in the Junction City bribery case. In that case, Freeman admitted to paying a Junction City commissioner $19,000 to secure contracts said to be worth $12 million to a construction company in which Freeman was a partner.

As part of those disclosures, Cornwell confirmed, Freeman told authorities that he had partnered with Jones and Roger Morningstar — who is a former KU basketball player, and father of current player Brady Morningstar — to profit personally from the sale of KU tickets to postseason tournaments, including Final Fours in Atlanta and New Orleans.

Freeman, Morningstar and Jones received “hundreds of thousands of dollars” from the sales of such tickets and others, including regular season games at the fieldhouse, Cornwell said.

“These were the seats that are coveted,” Cornwell said Wednesday. “These are the seats that people want — great seats.”

Morningstar did not return a message left on his cell phone. Jones’ attorney did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Al Bohl, who was KU athletics director during the 2002 and 2003 Final Fours, said that Jones — then director of the ticket office — was the man in charge of the physical distribution of tickets at the time.

“I can’t recall anyone ever complaining about Rodney, or having any suspicions of him,” Bohl said Wednesday. “But when people are doing things they’re not supposed to be doing, they don’t go around broadcasting it to people. In fact, they befriend people.”

In 2004, following Bohl’s firing by Chancellor Robert Hemenway, Jones would be promoted to director of the Williams Fund, the donor organization that finances scholarships for student athletes and other athletics operations. Last year, the fund’s 4,200 members generated $15 million in revenue.

Kirtland, who was Jones’ boss, told the internal investigators that “Jones carries a big wad of cash and likes to flash it around,” according to the report. Kirtland estimated that Jones could have earned up to $100,000 a year from selling 100 extra tickets to each game.

Overall, the report said, KU could have lost as much as $3 million in revenue during the past five years.

Changes ahead

During the afternoon event at the Dole Institute, Perkins and Gray-Little pledged to work to prevent such problems from ever surfacing again. Among the safeguards to be implemented:

• Strengthen internal controls for the handling and distribution of tickets to include: clear segregation of duties within the ticket office; a “dual key” system for access to ticket inventory; a tracking system for complimentary tickets that verifies which employee requested that complimentary tickets be distributed and who is receiving those tickets; monthly ticket reconciliation via a Total Ticket Accountability Report, reviewed by Kansas Athletics’ chief financial officer; and limiting employee access to the ticket management system to only those modules necessary for each employee’s job.

• Hire a full-time forensic auditor to ensure financial integrity in areas including, but not limited to, donations, tickets and travel.

• Establish a hot line for whistleblowers that is independent of Kansas Athletics and located in KU’s Office of Internal Audit.

• Enhance transparency during Select-a-Seat events, as was implemented at the recently concluded football seat selection.

“The University of Kansas will take decisive action to restore trust, and we will pursue appropriate legal avenues to recover money from the tickets those individuals diverted,” Gray-Little said. But the implications of the scam may go much farther than just tickets.

Perkins, who described the ticket diversions as a “curveball” that he’d missed, said the ticket problems did not represent a violation of NCAA rules.

But the activities of the six individuals had embarrassed the university and had violated the trust of KU fans, he said.

“I think it’s important, right off the top, that I accept responsibility,” Perkins said. “I don’t accept responsibility for anything criminal or any of those things. I accept responsibility because I am athletic director and this happened during my watch.”

Comments

Kent Fisher 5 years, 3 months ago

No mention of Morningstar. Presumably since he is not employed by the university. If involved, his fate will be in the hands of the feds apparently.

parrothead8 5 years, 3 months ago

I'm guessing that's why he said, "I accept responsibility."

Steve Clark 5 years, 3 months ago

ummm right, responsibility for anything not really important like not illegal and stuff like that. Right, that's accepting responsibility...

Steve Jacob 5 years, 3 months ago

Nothing mentioning David and Dana Pump? The yahoo report is more harmful, especially this

"summer traveling teams financed by the Pump brothers have featured at least nine players who went on to play for the Jayhawks. Among them were nationally recruited players Mario Chalmers, David Padgett, Omar Wilkes, Tyrel Reed, Elijah Johnson, Jeff Withey, Travis Releford and Brady Morningstar."

It also says Manning and Self kids are currently on Pump's summers rosters teams, I would hope they quit immediately and KU break all contact with these two.

Evan Ridenour 5 years, 3 months ago

The yahoo report is based on a lot of hearsay with no proof.

Vinny1 5 years, 3 months ago

The Pump brothers haven't had anything to do with the KC team for 3+ years.

Reed and Releford were local kids who weren't going to go elsewhere. Morningstar is a legacy kid.
Withey transferred. Didn't commit here out of high school so there goes that one. Padgett transferred. Mario came here because of his dad, not because of the Pumps. And that was completely legal.

You're left with EJ as your only source of a KU recruiting pipeline. And considering he didn't even play last year, if you want to call KU guilty, go right on ahead.

frank mcguinness 5 years, 3 months ago

Hey Moderators................

Any chance next time we have an important conference to watch this joke of a company can disable the stupid commercials.

6 commercials in 20 minutes what a freaking joke.

Robert Rauktis 5 years, 3 months ago

Why doesn't Lew have a cigar in his mouth? Words don't fit him. Shouldn't one of his toadies like Marshmellow be leaving messages for the press?

classof75 5 years, 3 months ago

I hate to see Roger implicated by yahoo. This info is from the Wichita Eagle (www.kansas.com):

"Freeman has had dealings with athletic department officials, civic figures and lawyers, according to interviews and documents. For a time he was a partner in the construction business with former KU basketball standout Roger Morningstar, whose son, Brady, currently plays for the team.

Freeman also built a seven-bedroom house that he eventually sold to KU basketball coach Bill Self."

Zachary Stoltenberg 5 years, 3 months ago

"Freeman also built a seven-bedroom house that he eventually sold to KU basketball coach Bill Self."

That's really only a half truth. Freeman built a monstrous house for himself and ran out off money before it was complete. It sat empty until he thought he was going to lose it so he put it up for sale. The Self's bought it and finished it. All of it on the up and up... just another example of Freeman's downfall.

kanshawk 5 years, 3 months ago

also only a half truth, Freeman was the owner.. he did not build the house he hired someone to build the house for him.

Michelle Derusseau 5 years, 3 months ago

Some of it is on Lew but it started before Lew got here.

Shardwurm 5 years, 3 months ago

The Education Industry is totally about money. The entire system is corrupt. To think otherwise is to fool yourself. This isn't surprising at all.

JJTitan83 5 years, 3 months ago

I'm just upset that 6 News can't even get their microphone situation figured out on the live press conference. We can't hear the questions, and only get bits and pieces of the answers. C'mon World Company, you are Lawrence's biggest monopoly. Can't you afford to cover a press conference?

Jonathan Kealing 5 years, 3 months ago

This was actually KU's problem. They required everyone to use a single microphone feed and failed to provide a crowd mic. We had no control over that. Sorry for the inconvenience though.

Vinny1 5 years, 3 months ago

It was terrible coverage. Along with the commercials all the time.

BrianR 5 years, 3 months ago

Ok NBC, this is the next big thing:

Law & Order: Forensic Accountants

Ricky_Vaughn 5 years, 3 months ago

What's the phrase I'm looking for..."Lack of Institutional Control"?

otto 5 years, 3 months ago

This investigation only went back to 2005 -- prior to that is what Dave Freeman was talking about at the Yahoo site. Alot more money lost I'm sure.

BruceWayne 5 years, 3 months ago

I agree this is ALL on Lew. Time for him to go. As far as Freeman, what a punk. If he doesn't get got to while in the big house, I am SURE the line will be long here in Lawrence when he gets out. Snitches get stiches.

Vinny1 5 years, 3 months ago

All on Lew?

Did you even listen to the guys talk? Said no AD would find this stuff out. Multiple audits failed. Multiple other checks failed because people who were checking each other were in on it together.

But oh of course Lew's fault.

parrothead8 5 years, 3 months ago

How do you figure this is ALL on Lew? He's in charge of an Athletic Department with hundreds of employees, and six of them conspired to secretly defraud KU. Saying that it's ALL on Lew is like saying a parent should be able to control every action and decision made by all of their children at all times...except instead of 2-3 kids, Lew has a few hundred.

devobrun 5 years, 3 months ago

First, Lew is responsible for accounting. Second, Lew is responsible for hiring. Third, Lew is responsible for reporting accounts, records, activities and everything else to the Kansas University Athletic Association board of directors.

Things didn't add up.

The onus is on Lew.

His head is on a stick. And his butt is in a sling. And his .... is grass. And his ... are in the chancellor's grip. And he's gone.

mr_right_wing 5 years, 3 months ago

"I think it's important right off the top that I accept responsibility," Perkins said during a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

Oh, come on Lew...what are you, a republican or something?! Do what all good liberals do; blame it on George W!!

It still works for the obama administration!

mdrndgtl 5 years, 3 months ago

What the hell is this nutjob talking about?

slowplay 5 years, 3 months ago

No idea, but you can claim that about all of his posts.

KLATTU 5 years, 3 months ago

He's saying "A black man got elected, and I'm so freaked out it's all I can think about!" It's the barrypenders posts that are incomprehensible.

mr_right_wing 5 years, 3 months ago

I can still remember my first exposure to "prejudice". My sister and I were about 5 or 6; we were playing in a prodomanently african-american neighborhood playground. This young black kid comes up and asks if we want to play with him..."of course!" He then tells us that his dad instructed him to not play with anyone who is "prejudice". Neither my sister or myself had even heard that word before! So we asked him what he meant, and after his explanation we thought it was the most idiotic thing we'd ever heard! That's why I can remember it so vividly to this very day. I'll now correct you...this president comes from a mixed-race marriage. Our first truly 'black' president is yet to come; and I hope he is of better character than the one in office now. (I don't judge by skin color, but by character.) People like Republican David Duke AND Democrat Robert Byrd have no place in our government!

missmagoo 5 years, 3 months ago

Can the Joe College guy do some "FIRE LEW" shirts? I'll buy!

Seriously though, Mr. Perkins, you are correct to accept responsibility. Lack of institutional control is spot on, and it's amazing to me that all of this got by you and Mr. Jones and Mr. Kirtland have remained employed by KUAC throughout the past YEAR you've known about this. I'm sure it was just a plot to catch them in the act, but seriously. Get your head out of your a** and pay attention. You obviously need to quit your job as the "consultant" in OP and quit attending sporting events for Gatorade and DO.YOUR.JOB, remember.. you ARE the KUAC Athletic Director? Idiot.

parrothead8 5 years, 3 months ago

They remained employed because, when the Feds approached Lew last year, they told him there was an investigation underway and asked him to keep it a secret so they could continue to gather evidence. What's he supposed to do? Say no?

Steve Clark 5 years, 3 months ago

He makes millions of dollars a year. Corruption is a minor consideration. Money is easy. Culture has a way of skewing values and Lew's are skewed. Skewed valued folks attract other skewed values folks which attracts more corruption and lack of attention to honesty and integrity. Its not brain surgery.

Jhwkgrly 5 years, 3 months ago

Ha don't forget what happened to Joe College!!! KU couldn't condole with the vulgarity of their t-shirts!

Jonathan Becker 5 years, 3 months ago

If you do the sums, they sold an Allen Fieldhouse-worth of tickets and only got $60 for the tix? These folk were not dumb; they were money-stupid. If you are gonna steal, steal big!!

Now they get to deal with the problems for unreported income, tax evasion, and basic theft. They get hit by the IRS and Kansas Dept. of Revenue for unreported income, federal criminal charges (for the tax evasion, mail and wire fraud), and simple theft in Douglas County. If they sold tickets to Arrowhead and Hilton, Devaney, Gallagher-Iiba, and various other venues outside the friendly confines of Kansas, then they are looking at more federal charges -- mail and wire fraud, and then more state charges in each of those other states to which they sold tickets.

If you are the recipient of their 'largesse', you may wish to consult your tax advisor because you paid a price for something illegal.

On other news fronts, Charlotte Gray-Little and Lew Perkins announced a new look to the Jayhawk, Beginning now, Jayhawk and Baby Jay will sport orange, yellow and white prison garb over their traditional feathers. "I think it's a hip with-it look," said Lew Perkins. Jayhawk had no comment.

beatrice 5 years, 3 months ago

So who am I supposed to get my tickets from now?

Uhjh 5 years, 3 months ago

Just a mess of crap as usual. Lew fogs all the issues how can the people who get tickets trust the point system. Oh, Lew said it is perfect what a comfort.

smallone1 5 years, 3 months ago

What upsets me is that for the past three years we have increased our Williams Fund donation to be able to upgrade our seats for basketball but never was offered any better seating. And now we find out that an average of 3,500 tickets per season were sold by these individuals! I think the Williams Fund should do something for their members who have been increasing their contributions during that time frame.

Horace 5 years, 3 months ago

"I think the Williams Fund should do something for their members who have been increasing their contributions during that time frame."

No doubt they will -- They'll ask for more money.

smallone1 5 years, 3 months ago

yep, to make up for the dollars they lost in the scam!!

nut_case 5 years, 3 months ago

So what else is new...loose millions then come crying to the taxpayer because you need more money. Government does it, businesses do it, why can't schools get in on the action too.

It will be a sad day if taxpayers ever wake up and say enough is enough.

Sara Garlick 5 years, 3 months ago

Just another thing to be disgusted about. I can't believe that these ppl honestly thought they weren't going to get caught.

malyksmom 5 years, 3 months ago

Maybe that's why my tuition is increasing for next school year at KU...they gotta make up for those tickets!

Flap Doodle 5 years, 3 months ago

iZ in Yr depArtMent, steelin' Yr tikkets! LOLZ!

irvan moore 5 years, 3 months ago

When the chancellor was up there it kind of reminded me of the times when the politicians have their wives at the press conference after they are caught cheating. Lew raises a lot of money but so far his signiture hail Mary hire is Turner Gill, hopefully that will work out better than his other "big" hire Bonnie.

riverdrifter 5 years, 3 months ago

Smells like, sniff-sniff, sniff, a Misery or K-SUck being to me.

ralphralph 5 years, 3 months ago

Nope. Read the Exhibits now ... sounds even worse. You can't miss all of this unless you don't WANT to see it.

Institutional culture is Top-down.

opobserver 5 years, 3 months ago

I hope they have it on tv when they arrest these crooks and take them in handcuffs. Jones won't have to worry about flashing his money in prison.

4everahawk 5 years, 3 months ago

Does anyone besides me find it a conflict of interest for athletics to have for their attorney, the wife of the university attorney??? Each are going to keep the other one informed of all legal matters......just kinda stinks to me.

MyName 5 years, 3 months ago

Can you even conceive of a situation where the interests of the Athletic department (which is part of the University, though separately funded) would conflict with the interests of KU? This is like Coke suing Coke Zero kind of logic here.

friendlyjhawk 5 years, 3 months ago

Bye bye Lew. You got the dirt on you whether or not you knew about it. Man up Chancellor and do your duty!

pizzapete 5 years, 3 months ago

Sounds a lot like Clinton saying I did not have relations with that woman.

MyName 5 years, 3 months ago

Well yeah, and I'm assuming you're referring to Hillary Rodham Clinton here ;-)

devobrun 5 years, 3 months ago

Nice one wilbur.

Wants to spend more time with his family.

There's a lot of people in the country spending time with their family right now. Maybe Lew will lead all those folks to righteous glory on the field of battle in the athletic contests of truth, justice, and the American way.

Nah, he'll just grow fatter than Mangino and fade into Florida like all the rest of the failed business people of the country.

jaywalker 5 years, 3 months ago

"It shouldn’t be shocking that Perkins didn’t know about the alleged illegal scheme, Focht said, because some of the best auditing firms in the country worked on KU athletic accounts and also missed it."

That's for all the mopes on this string who are taking this opportunity to rail against Lew. Not gonna stop 'em or change their pea-sized minds, I know this.

Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2010/05/26/1972836/ku-report-6-individuals-diverted.html#ixzz0p585g5dx

MyName 5 years, 3 months ago

Maybe he wasn't fired because he didn't do anything wrong. Just reaching out on a limb here...

Jeff Kilgore 5 years, 3 months ago

Oh no! You're not reading the board! You don't need to have an independent mind. Just blame Perkins and be done with it! That's the easiest thing to do.

Scott Overfield 5 years, 3 months ago

Who should be held accountable for it then? Doesn't it always go to the department head that should have put accountability in the system somewhere? This is not Lew's first Rodeo! Why does he get payed millions?

Jay Keffer 5 years, 3 months ago

Why are you such a religious bigot? So much for the vaunted tolerance you profess. Why so much hatin'??

ralphralph 5 years, 3 months ago

The culture of an organization descends from its leader. At KU Athletics, that means it's all about the money. That's the core of Lew's approach.

Time to try "top kill". Fire Lew.

Steve Clark 5 years, 3 months ago

Agreed, its about the culture of the organization....

ralphralph 5 years, 3 months ago

Clintonesque, I believe, is the term you were after.

Steve Clark 5 years, 3 months ago

Lame Clinton bashing. There are plenty of South Carolina governors that could be namesakes for this as well...but that'd be silly now wouldn't it.

MyName 5 years, 3 months ago

Well if you're talking about someone who is forced to apologize for lying about something that isn't very important, versus someone who feels obligated to apologize for something that they didn't do, there's a slight difference: one person is guilty of something, and the other isn't.

Jeff Kilgore 5 years, 3 months ago

Jaywalker, I'm with you. If top accounting firms missed it, then it's likely that the AD would miss it as well. People are so quick to criticize and the worst critics are more than likely the ones with the least information or sense.

Certainly, Perkins is embarrassed and saddened. To me, he's like a business owner who hires people who steal from his company. His crime? Trusting people who let him down. That's a fixable problem. I'm just glad that this didn't trickle down or hasn't trickled down. I really have wondered about that.

Don Whiteley 5 years, 3 months ago

This isn't a lack of oversight, but this is a problem that starts at the very top, putting KU athletics above education and everything else on campus, including any student not on the Athletic Department's payroll (sometimes referred to as athletic scholarships). How many problems like this do you think UNI or Bucknell have? Remember those teams? True athletes who played for pride and dignity; not a group of over-hyped, over-rated athletes whose only purpose in college was to go Pro.

Scott Overfield 5 years, 3 months ago

I'm still perplexed why none of the reporters asked Perkins about his relationship with the Pump brothers, since according to Yahoo's story he attended their annual meeting with Self for head coaches and AD"s

4everahawk 5 years, 3 months ago

MyName: I wrote a reply to your comment almost as long as Jaybate usually writes, then decided that it really wasn't worth the argument..........you are clearly one of the Lew lovers and can't see the forest for the trees so go ahead and 'keep the faith'.........this situation is far from over.

Scott Overfield 5 years, 3 months ago

I agree 4everhawk - more to come! This isn't even what the Fed's have dug up!

MyName 5 years, 3 months ago

I don't need to "keep the faith" I don't really care whether yet another millionaire gets forced out of the Athletic Department at KU. I just haven't seen any evidence that says Lew Perkins did anything wrong. It was basically the equivalent of 2 people in accounting conspiring to skim money off the books and bringing in their husband and subordinates in on the gravy train.

The culpable guy is the one who know something was wrong, but didn't do anything about it or pay attention to how wrong that was, and that would have been Kirtland.

7texdude 5 years, 3 months ago

The only way Lew leaves is if he quits. The chancellor and the university can't afford to fire him. Wait a minute, what about a breach in the morals clause or something like that. Wasn't that how he fired Mangino and didn't have to pay him a lot of money. Oh......

The next question is who do you hire after Lew leaves? Who is going to want to step into this mess? Massive fundraising projects, mediocre teams and a major credibility problem with us fans. If attendance goes down for football and basketball games, that hurts Lawrence. We need to careful here, folks. A half-empty Memorial Stadium will stab a deep wound into the local economy, so maybe we have bigger problems now..

Scott Overfield 5 years, 3 months ago

But how is it not effected now? Lew is now the poster boy for bad thinsg at KU Athletics, its kind of like the C.E.O. at GM when that went down. Replace the top, put in accountability and things will correct themselves.

gl0ck0wn3r 5 years, 3 months ago

The university could - and should - fire Lew for cause and would not have to pay him. Indeed, one could argue they could seek repayment of some bonus money during this period if they wished.

slowplay 5 years, 3 months ago

What's all the fuss about. KU is the victim. You had some very qualified people in upper management. The problem was they were crooks. This is a potential problem for any organization the size of KU Athletics. I would like to know who was responsible for hiring them in the first place.

7texdude 5 years, 3 months ago

I don't like Lew, but did he hire these people? Who did? Did they profit from this in any way? The questions are just starting now.

4everahawk 5 years, 3 months ago

Lew hired Charlette and Ben, promoted Rodney the first year he was here as well as the other two received promotions by Lew. I still wonder who wrote the check (or was he paid in cash?) to Charlette's husband...story has it he was receiving $115,000 annually for several years. How the hell did Lew not know that??? Oh, and MyName..........I know of several instances where athletics staff wanted to report to the university about improprieties, but knew it would fall on deaf ears because of the husband/wife team for athletics and university. Just saying...

gl0ck0wn3r 5 years, 3 months ago

Exactly. The biggest problem here is a total lack of institutional control. Lew didn't know the husband of a person with whom he had a close working relationship - Charlette - was working for $115k a year as a consultant? Where was the CFO when these reports couldn't be reconciled? Why wasn't the CFO raising red flags when reports went missing? How is it that the institution went from one in which people felt they could discuss ethical issues to one in which people felt ethical issues were ignored?

MyName 5 years, 3 months ago

The report told who wrote the check to hire Charlette's husband: Kirtland. The totem pole goes: Simons and Jefferies, who were subordinates encouraged by Blubaugh (and Blubaugh's husband), and then Assistant AD Jones who was the supervisor of ticketing and was in on all of it. They all reported to Associate AD Kirtland who according to the report "was the direct supervisor of Jones and had done nothing about his beliefs [that tickets were being sold] - much less pass them on to his supervisor [Lew Perkins]."

Now if Lew had been in on the scam, or had done nothing upon being informed by Kirtland or the other people who kept silent about this, then he'd be culpable too. Now maybe you think Lew should have known about it, or actually did know about it but has Kirtland and other people lying for him (and risking jail for obstruction), but I don't by it.

In any case, it doesn't really matter how you feel about Lew, they've already found the fall guy, and they put it in the report. So unless the Feds find something new on their own, that's who is going to get the blame.

gl0ck0wn3r 5 years, 3 months ago

You are suggesting that in a corporation that small that the AD wouldn't or shouldn't know about a consultant making $125k a year who also happens to be the husband of a direct report? That in itself is lack of institutional control.

ralphralph 5 years, 3 months ago

Maybe a few spiteful professors of humanities or some such, with a couple of accountants to sort it out, would make a good auditing committee.

MyName 5 years, 3 months ago

If you had read and understood the report, you'd see that Blubaugh knew how the system worked and put all of the comp'ed ticked into a few General accounts (named "General" or "Comp'ed tickets for Development") and at that point it's not really traceable unless you have the ability to check people's IDs at the gate and tie those IDs to individual tickets. Which we don't have and don't really want for obvious reasons.

So as far as the accounting goes, they were theoretically given to the right people instead of being sold during the time period, but there was no way for this to be traced and verified.

opobserver 5 years, 3 months ago

At least Leavenworth is not far up the road for this elite six.

ralphralph 5 years, 3 months ago

66048 ... the new ZIP Code isn't that much different, either.

justsayin 5 years, 3 months ago

So what about the people who purchased the tickets? Are those people going to be investigated by the feds?

MyName 5 years, 3 months ago

The brokers might be, depending upon whether the knew the tickets were stolen and whether they reported the profits from reselling the tickets on their income tax. The people who bought it from the brokers probably won't be.

whats_going_on 5 years, 3 months ago

Doesn't seem like that many tickets could go unnoticed. I don't know the full details, but seems like SOMEONE should have noticed earlier...the ticket problems have been going on for a few years. A few friends got booted from fairly good seats to a few from the top in one year... the change in the "point system" was partially to blame, but it sounds like this scandal may have played a part. I've noticed several regulars sitting low at the games who, according to their behavior and appearance, I can't imagine being able to afford lower section season tix. Also, they used to EASILY get tickets for tournaments and lately they have been mysteriously gone before they even had a chance.

gphawk89 5 years, 3 months ago

“I accept responsibility. I don’t accept responsibility for anything criminal or any of those things.”

What in the hell does that mean, Lew?

“I accept responsibility." = "I'm going to pacify a good portion of the public by sounding like I'm doing the right thing."

"I don’t accept responsibility for anything criminal or any of those things.” = "I didn't do anything wrong and I'm not going to resign."

Uhjh 5 years, 3 months ago

I certainly hope the investigations by the IRS and FBI are thorough and do extent the time frame now under consideration. For the point system to become legitimate more information needs to be made public. For example total tickets and how they are allotted like how many complementary; how many for students and those available to William Fund members. How many points, the number of tickets a donor gets with those points and the location. I believe it should be points per seat so a fan say with 400 and wants just 2 seats (200 pts/seat) is given the same consideration as a fan with 1200 points who wants 6 seats. So far their explanations of the system are somewhat fuzzy and it appears as a cover for shenanigans. Lew need to concentrate less on his legacy (Gridiron Club) and more the fans. A half empty stadium with a full elite section, where I believe we are headed, will be pitiable.

riverdrifter 5 years, 3 months ago

I like Lew. Why? Because he is not always nice. He knows how to swim when there is blood in the water. Neither the NCAA nor the Big-12 is a goldfish pond. Both are piranha pits. Conference realignment is on the horizon. Gray-Little had best reconsider firing Lew at this point. I'd hate to think of her and some neophyte AD at the helm in the near future. Lew nailed the dubloon to the mast and best to follow him for now. I know: "Ye dammned whale..."

slowplay 5 years, 3 months ago

I truly don't see Lew here much longer. An agreement will be reached to buy him out. I'm guessing Gray-Little is going to let Lew take the brunt of this for a month or so and then fire or ask him to resign. I've met this lady and she is a strong personality who is not going to let this slide. She has him by the short hairs and you know he's going to take the hit for this especially if he signed off on the hiring.

Graczyk 5 years, 3 months ago

I hope that Gray-Little will make a change. But I do worry about the impending conference realignment. KU needs a strong presence with industry connections to make sure it lands on its feet.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 3 months ago

Junction City fraud

http://cjonline.com/news/state/2009-06-08/feds_charge_jc_developer

Boom Town for Lawrence Developers http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2006/aug/20/fort_rileys_boom_boon_lawrence_developers/?print ============== http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2009/sep...

Freeman also said Tuesday that he and Wunder helped another Lawrence company - http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2009/oct... ========================== Lawrence Scuttlebutt http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=153x924 ========================== None of the imagined new growth took place which has left Junction City taxpayers holding the bag. When local government officials preach " we must plan ahead" grab your wallets.

It's time local taxpayers took charge. It's time to allow voters the opportunity to make final approvals at the polls once a year.

“Barnes was enthralled with this Freeman guy,” said Pete Robertson, a Junction City lawyer who worked with the Junction City Taxpayers Association, which raised a red flag about the city’s rising public debt and the activities of some of the developers."

http://cjonline.com/news/state/2009-06-08/feds_charge_jc_developer

missmagoo 5 years, 3 months ago

Charlette Blubaugh, who worked for Jones in the ticket office before taking over its management after Jones’ promotion, left Kansas Athletics last month to take a job as executive administrative assistant to the athletics director at the University of Central Oklahoma.

Contacted Wednesday morning, Blubaugh declined to discuss her departure.

“It has absolutely nothing to do with anything there that may have been going on,” she said.

Jim Marchiony, an associate athletics director for Kansas Athletics, agreed, saying that Blubaugh had left for family reasons: “It had nothing to do with anything you might be asking about.”

---from March 24, 2010 LJW story.

Maybe Marchiony is in on it too :)

ALL LIES!

ralphralph 5 years, 3 months ago

"family reasons" = my husband is about to be indicted; and me, too.

Thats_messed_up 5 years, 3 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

6thstreet 5 years, 3 months ago

per Oklahoma newspaper, Charlette Blubaugh has resigned from her current position.

So it looks like not only is the going to possible involve many members of the KUAD, but also even the basketball programs. Plus all the other schools that may have been doing similar things with the help of the Pump brothers. This could turn out to be the biggest story in college athletics... making conference realignment look miniscule. If they follow the money far enough you could possible see many universities in some trouble.

Also how deep is this involved in Lawrence.... looking at the LJW mugshots...woops I mean thumbnails, they have all the big wigs in town involved in some way with this scandal. Self, Lew, and Compton. How funny would it be if all the big boys running this town found themselves doing time in Leavenworth? Send the paddy wagon out to baur brook !!!!

Lets stop all this bashing of N. Lawrence, East Lawrence, Topekean's, KC'ers and focus on the true criminals in this town ---the big $ developers who living out in West Lawrence in their nice mansions.

gl0ck0wn3r 5 years, 3 months ago

Charlette was promoted repeatedly within the organization from a very low-level management position to a very high-level position that made it increasingly easy for her to hide problems within her reporting lines. These promotions were made either with Lew's knowledge or by Lew directly. Her actual expertise is very, very narrow: the Paciolan ticketing software. The software is so proprietary that a legion of relatively unskilled athletics workers have made careers on being experts at gaming that mess.

MyName 5 years, 3 months ago

Charlette wasn't "promoted repeatedly" she was hired from being the "Operations Manager for the OU ticket office" to being the "Associate Ticket Manager" at KU, which is basically the same job as she had at OU, depending on how it was organized. She was then promoted once, basically to fill in for Jones' promotion and given the additional responsibilities as head of marketing.

I agree that less than stellar people sometimes get promoted up the chain simply because they are a known quantity, and their boss got promoted or left, but this isn't any more than the usual level of corporate business BS.

gl0ck0wn3r 5 years, 3 months ago

Not true. She was also promoted or given additional responsibility for IT at some point as well. Essentially she went from a middle manager job to a position in charge of tickets, marketing and IT directly reporting to the AD. Notice a trend there? She not only wasn't qualified for her wider responsibilities, but the promotions allowed her to insure was at the top of the reporting chains that could have independently questioned her activities.

If the JW had any real ability to do investigative reporting, it would look at the salaries of these people since Lew arrived. Who was rapidly promoted and who left? It would make for interesting reading.

drywaller5100 5 years, 3 months ago

good idea to go outside of lawerence cops 2 find out who did this . lawerence cops could not find there hands in front of there face unless some one told them it was there . and then they would arrest the wrong hand

anon1958 5 years, 3 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Kookamooka 5 years, 3 months ago

Basketball is just a game. I think this gaff is hilarious. Karma anyone?

yankeevet 5 years, 3 months ago

These college kids play these games with their hearts too win for their school; while the KU Athletic Dept "adults" sit back and STEAL money. Those young college kids; have alot too look up too.............an example; a bunch of thieves; crooks; and liars. America; capitalism; land of crooks............from the top too the bottom; and all the way down too KU. I hope all of these bums get locked up for a long time. It was not enough that they had good paying jobs; they had too steal money from KU also. If Perkins did not know this was going on; he should of; he was and is in charge.

4everahawk 5 years, 3 months ago

Jones, Simmons, Blubaugh, Hossain........all worked at OU and went to Central Oklahoma ...was this group intentionally hanging together because they had all this shared knowledge of stealing tickets?? One of her last responsibilities at athletics was to oversee and supervise the staff in charge of computer systems for all of athletics. In that position, and with her knowledge, she could access absolutely every facet of the departments operations....anyone else besides me think this strange?

riverdrifter 5 years, 3 months ago

That was @ 4everahawk. The big b is an outsider.

headdoctor 5 years, 3 months ago

Putting all the Lew bashing aside, does it bother some that it would seem there may be something missing from this picture? Last I knew Freeman didn't have enough brains to pound sand in a rat hole. One could very easily get the idea that if he was involved enough to know what was going on, how many of his business cronies also knew and were involved? It isn't like his buddies hate KU athletics. For attention sake at least one of his old partners use to love name dropping people he knew personally in the athletic department and in a twisted sense would have had every excuse to profit anyway he could from the athletic department. Oh well, I guess Freeman is willing to take the fall for a variety of people.

MyName 5 years, 3 months ago

Freeman didn't mastermind any of this. He was just a bagman, similar to the guys on the bottom of the totem pole in the AD department only he didn't get a direct salary.

pace 5 years, 3 months ago

Lew suddenly isn't the one in charge or knew what was going on over there in the athletic department. It is a corrupt pool and his frog on the lily pad pose sucks.

thinkagain 5 years, 3 months ago

Where did the rest of the photos go that were in the photo gallery yesterday, namely Morningstar, Compton, and Sinks?

Tom McCune 5 years, 3 months ago

If James Naismith could see this, I believe his ghost would rise from his grave in East Lawrence and smite every "professional" manager all up and down the line of KU Athletics with a flaming sword.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 3 months ago

Fraud/Theft in a rather large fashion = big time jail sentences or should!

Seems like some of our local builders are drawn to corruption. Can we say Junction City too!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.