Archive for Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Lester ‘shocked’ by Perkins’ resignation

Sean Lester addresses the media at a press conference Tuesday afternoon at Allen Fieldhouse. Lester was named interim athletics director after Lew Perkins resigned Tuesday morning.

Sean Lester addresses the media at a press conference Tuesday afternoon at Allen Fieldhouse. Lester was named interim athletics director after Lew Perkins resigned Tuesday morning.

September 7, 2010, 1:41 p.m. Updated September 7, 2010, 4:29 p.m.


Lew Perkins retires

Former KU athletics director Lew Perkins announced his retirement Tuesday, effective immediately. Perkins oversaw many positive changes in KU sports during the past seven years.

Reader poll
How would you grade Lew Perkins' tenure at KU Athletics?

or See the results without voting


Athletic Director Lew Perkins

KU Athletic Director led the Kansas Athletic Department for seven years and retired on Sept. 7, 2010. Look back at his time at KU.

Lew Perkins will retire from his position as Kansas University’s athletics director effective immediately, according to a release from KU.

“There is no question that Kansas Athletics has benefited from Lew Perkins’ leadership,” said KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little in the release. “One need only look at the academic success of our student-athletes, at KU’s trophy cases and at our state-of-the art athletic facilities to see those benefits. I appreciate his service and understand his decision.”

Perkins had previously announced he would retire next September. Sean Lester, an associate athletics director, has been named interim athletics director.

In a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Lester said he was shocked by Perkins' resignation and that he only found out about the situation Tuesday morning.

Men's basketball coach Bill Self told the press he heard the news when the chancellor called him Tuesday morning. He then called Perkins who confirmed the news.

Self said there is a plan in place to find a new athletics director, and that he would be happy to give his input during the process.

"I want someone to come in here and love this place as much as we love it, and to be able to sell it and have a passion about it," Self said.

Lester spent eight years as a senior administrator under Perkins at the University of Connecticut before coming to KU in 2003 — the same year Perkins became athletics director.

As part of a retirement agreement, Perkins will receive an amount equivalent to his salary through the end of his employment, which was otherwise set for Sept. 4, 2011.

All told, Kansas Athletics will pay Perkins $2 million before taxes following today’s announcement.

That figure includes payment for a retention bonus due to Perkins if he were still employed on June 30, 2011.

No taxpayer money or tuition dollars will be used.

He said the decision would allow him to stay involved in the Lawrence community in different ways, and allow him to explore other professional opportunities.

“I am grateful that Chancellor Hemenway allowed Gwen and me to come to Lawrence to be part of the great university,” Perkins said in the release. “We love this community; we consider it home.”

Check back with for updates.


Mike Hock 7 years, 7 months ago

This means there is news on the horizon with the ticket scandal.

Kent Fisher 7 years, 7 months ago

Or news from the Kansas Ethics Committee regarding improper benefits.

ksjayhawk74 7 years, 7 months ago

I think you have to violate ethics laws to get the sweet full pay without working deal.

mdrndgtl 7 years, 7 months ago

I didn't get a chance to say goodbye.

FrankDrebin 7 years, 7 months ago

Just a side note: The Capital Journal in Topeka beats the LJWorld to the punch again, with a release 7 min ahead. But what would you expect, it only happened 10 or so blocks away from the office.

slowplay 7 years, 7 months ago

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

slowplay 7 years, 7 months ago

Disappointing to whom? Those that have countless idle hours to surf LJW's competitors for "scoops"? How many of those who post here actually buy the hard copy to support the newspaper?

skinny 7 years, 7 months ago

I agree with Frank. The LJWorld does a poor job reporting the local news. When they do report the news they leave out the names and then you have to go read the KCstar or Topeka Capital to find out anything. Crazy!

2002 7 years, 7 months ago

Why should KU ever give the LJW the opportunity to get the first shot on a story when the LJW consistently focuses on trying to make the University look bad?

Mandie Eutsler 7 years, 7 months ago

We have all determined that the LJWorld is a little slow. Since 7 mins. is such a big freaking deal to you, go to the CJOnline forums...

GUMnNUTS 7 years, 7 months ago

I nominate Kevin Pritchard, former KU baller an ex GM for the Portland Trailblazers and a class act.

vuduchyld 7 years, 7 months ago

You mean the guy who drafted Oden ahead of Durant? I mean, nobody is perfect, but...

kujayhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

His retention bonus should be used to pay Gill's salary.

missmagoo 7 years, 7 months ago

there is definitely more to come from this story..... stay tuned.

frank mcguinness 7 years, 7 months ago

Best news all day! Please take Gill with you. Pretty please.

Mary Darst 7 years, 7 months ago

2 million !!!! makes me sick to think he gets that that to retire. I don't care how much he did for the athletic program.

RoeDapple 7 years, 7 months ago

Probably cheaper than keepin' him . . .

alm77 7 years, 7 months ago

Am I reading too much into his thanking Chancellor Hemenway?

You can become Gray-Little's fan on Facebook:

vuduchyld 7 years, 7 months ago

I thought that was interesting, as well.

Fred Vance 7 years, 7 months ago

All I can say is IT'S ABOUT TIME!!! I hope Lew takes Terry Allen (oops Turner Gill) with him. Yes, Lew made KU a lot of money. But, sounds like many sold their souls to the devil. The spirit in the football stadium and Allen Fieldhouse just is not the same as it used to be. We have lost our swagger due to all the scandals. I feel we took one step forward and two steps back...

LogicMan 7 years, 7 months ago

And this time get a "football" AD, for once.

Oh, wasn't that prior guy ... that they canned ... well ... maybe he's still available?

bad_dog 7 years, 7 months ago

If you are referring to Al "The Crushed Dove" Bohl, that's just illogical, man...

PugnaciousJayhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

I hope Lew takes the Chancellor down with him once whatever led to this announcement is made public.

KEITHMILES05 7 years, 7 months ago

The Ks. Ethics Commission has yet to rule on his ethics charge. Perhaps the chancellor got early word Lew is gonna be guilty for his acceptance of the exercise equipment which he totally forgot about and never used (look at the size of the man!) yet when it was discovered in his basement he quickly wrote a 15 grand check for it to smooth over things. No way he can direct the KUAC and be unethical.

drnater 7 years, 7 months ago

Thank You Lou for your time spent here and the advancement of KU Athletics while you were here. Funny that everyone has something to complain about, well I'll join in its absolutely rediculous that you gave an extension to a coach that won us a national championship. Ludacris that you would try and help out our chances with top recruits by making our facilities top of the line, and above all hire a coach who is the exact opposite of what our last coach was. (if I remember right after the mangino allegations everyone was on here asking for a lynch mob!) If you don't get the sarcasm out of this ill spell it out, Lew did what an AD is suppose to do. He did it very well also. Everybody wants to connect him to all these bad things but how about you remember that with him as the AD, our stadium now looks awesome, our practice facilities are top of the line. We won a National Championship in basketball, a Girls Rowing National Championship, and a BCS Bowl Game in football all in the same year. I can't understnd how all you can do is bash him, he made the school a lot of money. Bottom line is haters will hate its what you guys do best. While Lew and his past with athletics proves his success, you all can continue your complaining and conspiracy theories, and he'll be content with retirement!

p.s. With those who do well comes haters so he must have done something real well. He's like the Lakers of AD's!

KULHSLIONSfan 7 years, 7 months ago

Probably a good decision for the university. In reference to the ignorant references to Coach Gill: Grow Up!! Program changes result in some difficult times. Coach Gill is coaching with what is left of a team that did not finish the 2009 season very well. The key players left and the program will be rebuilding this year. Personnel decisions and position changes will result in some difficult games this season. All new offensive and defensive schemes will require some time for adjustment. Coach Gill will get his first full recruiting class in next year. This year and next will probably be difficult, but I know we will see growth and improvement. There will always be the whiners who complain continuously. They are probably the same ones booing at the game.

jvinland 7 years, 7 months ago

This is not about Gill but Lew Perkins!! Stick to the subject!

Zoee 7 years, 7 months ago

Yes because last years football team was so awesome. Was Saturday pathetic? Yes, but so was all last year. Mangino only won 2 games his first season.

CLARKKENT 7 years, 7 months ago


KU_cynic 7 years, 7 months ago

Sean Lester as interim AD? That guy is as obsequious and smarmy as they come -- a Lew Perkins' rotten apple that did not fall far from the poisonous tree.

Showing Lew Perkins the door demonstrates the Chancellor Gray-Little's good judgment.

Naming Sean Lester as interim AD shows bad judgment and a lack of an eye for talent and character.

missmagoo 7 years, 7 months ago

couldn't agree more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ConcernedCynic 7 years, 7 months ago

I agree as well, after all KU_cynic has proven that he/she knows what's best for KU. In fact, Chancellor Gray-Little, I think that you should step down as well, so that that our Savior KU_cynic can take your place and show everyone the way. Let's all get down on our knees and thank KU_cynic for his/her toughtfulness and all knowing what is best for KU. KU_cynic is our shepherd.

KU_cynic 7 years, 7 months ago

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

KU_cynic 7 years, 7 months ago

Opinions are like belly buttons; everyone has one, including me.

I'm willing to let time tell whether my call on this is correct.

d_prowess 7 years, 7 months ago

You had to pick someone already in the department since Lew is stepping down a year before he was scheduled to. No one good would be available to take the job at this time. Be patient and wait to see who the permanent hire ends up being. that should be done some time in the summer since no one worth it would leave their current school in the middle of the year.

platypus 7 years, 7 months ago

And to think poor Mangino took one in the tush. He was a scapegoat, but now the "stuff" is actually rolling uphill instead of down. All of this KU mess should have started with Lew in the first place.

WaxAndWane 7 years, 7 months ago

A heartfelt thanks to Lew for all the good he has done for KU. The sports facilities are much nicer now than before he came to Lawrence. His negotiation skills also brought us the Orange Bowl. If it wasn't for Lew, Mizzou would have gone instead. I've never had more fun cheering for KU than I did while he was here. All the best to him.

Mr_Missive 7 years, 7 months ago

Sean Lester is no friend of KU. Get him out quick. He makes Smarmy look good.

Ricky_Vaughn 7 years, 7 months ago

Let's see...

He didn't hire Mangino or Self, so I find it hard to give Lew credit for their successes.

So how did Lew exactly better the athletic department? I know he raised ticket prices and I'm sure that generated some new found revenue, but KU has endured academic violations, ethics violations, and is currently being investigated by the FBI and IRS for the ticket scandal.

@ drnater: You're calling Lew a success? What kind of grass are you smoking?

Kylee Manahan 7 years, 7 months ago

I thought the football team got us to the Orange Bowl.

CLARKKENT 7 years, 7 months ago


jvinland 7 years, 7 months ago

Perkins' helped create some of KU's best times but sadly he also helped create some of the worst times for KU. It only took 2 million dollars to get him out the door? Enough about greed! Now,let's clean up the KU Athletic Department!!!

Richard Heckler 7 years, 7 months ago

Bring KU home games back home.

Locals need the business and local taxpayers need the revenue.

Why should KU give Lawrence tax dollars to KCMO?

Ricky_Vaughn 7 years, 7 months ago

Why does KU care as long as they get theirs?

Patti Hadl 7 years, 7 months ago

Miracles do happen! Now, let's get the report on the ethics violation and the ticekt scandel and make sure he doesn't get another dime from KU. For those of you who support Big Lew, I must question your business ethics. Building facilities and raising cash is nothing compared to the taint he has brought to KU. None of it was worth it since all we received was a HUGE negative spotlight across the KU Nation that will take years to rebuild the trust he violated. He didn't win us the National Championship or the Orange Bowl. Self and Magino accomplished that with their coaching skills and team players. Big Lew swaggered us right into the East Coast dirty business spotlight. Thanks for nothing, put the for sale sign out front of your house soon and go back to where you came from. Good Bye!

studakota 7 years, 7 months ago

Take on for your country. Hire that stupid Obama and do the rest of us a favor. Insist he start Friday..

Sean Livingstone 7 years, 7 months ago

We should give the credit to the new Chancellor! After this, I'm sure she'll lead us to new heights! Well done Chancellor!

4everahawk 7 years, 7 months ago

The best news I've heard in 7 years! There are so many of you that are spot on in your opinion of him and his east coast mentality.......we certainly don't need that in Lawrence, KS! Suspected that this would happen, but it's a little sooner than I thought it would be. I agree that perhaps indictments are coming soon and he certainly didn't need to be on staff when that happened.

Farewell Lew - don't let the door hit you in the a$$!!!!!!!! For years I have dreamed of saying that.

Frightwig 7 years, 7 months ago

That is perhaps the smartest comment on the board. It's nice to see some common sense among all this emotional tripe. Love him or hate him, Lew brought KU to a level of fundraising and facilities enhancements of which no previous AD was capable. The most effective business decisions often ruffle some feathers. That's just the way it goes. Look at how successful (and yet disliked) George Steinbrenner was. Fundraising will not, and must not, return to the way it was pre-Perkins. To eliminate those sources of athletic department income would be a huge detriment to the sports program. So, no, you won't be getting grandpa's half-court tickets back, and yes the KU/Mizzou game will still take place in an NFL stadium. It may not be popular, but it's smart business. Rock Chalk Jayhawk, Thank You Lew!

overthemoon 7 years, 7 months ago

2 million. I have a hard time understanding how anyone does anything in a year that is worth that much.

irvan moore 7 years, 7 months ago

if ya wanna know which way the wind is blowing, ask a weatherman. One Eye got it right in his predictions a couple of months ago.

kusp8 7 years, 7 months ago

When will I be able to log into the stream?

Richard Payton 7 years, 7 months ago

Sean Lester needs to establish a point value sysytem that offers transparency in seating based on donors dollars given.

drnater 7 years, 7 months ago

@Ricky, Im not smoking anything, before Lew got here there were 26 infractions that came up in an investigation, how many have come up since Lew was here? He may not have hired Mangino or Self but he is responsible for keeping them here. (both received 2 extensions since he was hired) Why does it matter that they play at Arrowhead? Not only does it make a good recruiting ploy, but the school makes a million per game they play. Do we not remember who cut the squabble between our athletic teams? It wasn't the coaches! As far as allegations against Lew, he hasn't been convicted of anything, but he was Time Magazines Top AD of the Year, which is pretty impressive. I find this funny, its kinda like Jon Calipari everyone hates him but why? Its because he wins and the funny thing is he hasn't been convicted either! Although he is making substantially more money than any other coach! (go ahead point to priors with Calipari, but he can't know an agent paid Camby, the NCAA dropped the ball on Rose since they cleared him to play, and the allegations against Kentucky were all false) So in retrospect yes, the Perkins era was a success, not only did he make a lot of money for the school but he won championships! (he won 6 while ad at Uconn, and won 3 here) pretty impressive for an AD who was a complete failure according to how you make it sound.... Im still baffled.

d_prowess 7 years, 7 months ago

The next AD really has only one main job: Do whatever it takes to have us be in a favorable position the next time conference realignment comes up!!
The Big 12 is stable for now with only 10 teams, but the way money rules at all schools, this is only temporary (3-5 years?). We can't be left out in the cold again, which is what we were headed for this summer until the remaining North schools paid Texas to stay.

irvan moore 7 years, 7 months ago

so does the son in law go too? i like the new guy, did you watch the presser? great tan.

Haiku_Cuckoo 7 years, 7 months ago

His son in law has been gone for several years.

classof75 7 years, 7 months ago

Too bad you couldn't hear the questions being asked at the press conference. Some you could just figure out by the answers, but others...well I wish they would have repeated them.

hbjayhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

I called it when the ticket scandle broke! I knew KUAC would keep Lew around through the start of the Fall semester, ensure his retention bonus, and then he would announce his retirement. View my comments on the earlier stories! This is commonplace in athletic depts in the NCAA for folks to do this.

Additionally, for all you Turner Gill haters out there, stop your whining! My goodness! You are the same folks who ran Mangino out of town after his first loss and we have an Orange Bowl trophy. Give the man a few seasons. No reason to call for his head.

With Lew gone this is an interesting time for KU athletics. We need a great Athletic Director and unfortunately, there aren't many out there. Maybe D-Rad from Georgia Tech (he is their AD) can tour our facilities this weekend and see if he is interested?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 7 months ago

My guess it that there is nothing "criminal" about to drop; otherwise, he wouldn't have been given $2 million merely for walking away.

I think that for whatever reason, the Chancellor just didn't want him around any longer, and wanted to move ahead with finding a replacement more quickly without his looking over everyone's shoulders.

4everahawk 7 years, 7 months ago

drnater: Lew did not win either of those championships.......nor did his money, his influence, and certainly not his personality - the coaches and players own those championships and we would have had them regardless of who was AD.

Frightwig 7 years, 7 months ago

Not true. As you may recall, Mizzou was heavily favored to go to the Orange Bowl. It was Lew who successfully campaigned for KU to get the invite instead. Look up the archived story on LJW or ESPN and see.

Linda Aikins 7 years, 7 months ago

Actually I believe it was a lot due to Pepper Rogers. He of course was a coach at KU and also is a big shot on the FedEx board. And it was a FedEx game. I think Pepper did a lot of lobbying for KU.

overthemoon 7 years, 7 months ago

“We love this community; we consider it home.” And their house goes on the market tomorrow and they'll be moving back to Connecticut or New Jersey or wherever they came from originally.

friendlyjhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

Doesn't matter what the reason, just nice that he is Gone, Baby, Gone!

scaramouchepart2 7 years, 7 months ago

Bozo; I normally agree with you, KU might believe being less connected when the FBI is done might be more favorable to KU. I liked the Channel 5 news. They did a really nice job of connecting the dots. Perkins cost KU $2000 for private jets per game to the MU basketball games and the ticket scandal. Along with the other stuff like the gym equipment and of course Gill and KU football against NDSU. Who offered Perkins a job? According to the news he plans on staying involved in Lawrence.

Austin Bergstrom 7 years, 7 months ago

Maybe a lil ironic but does Lew looked handcuffed in the first pic of the thumbnails gallery?

Kylee Manahan 7 years, 7 months ago

It seems to me that alot of that money he raised went to pay his salary.

scaramouchepart2 7 years, 7 months ago

jsthefacts; KU had a better football teams along with their basketball teams and what is more important respected by the other universities and less scandal under Bob Fredericks. Met both and Bob was not a snob.

commonsense1 7 years, 7 months ago

And did you ever look at his overall record? Not a winning one!

wastewatcher 7 years, 7 months ago

KU athletics will never get another unrestricted dime from me, for thaat matter all of KU is immediately on on my " no longer elgible for funding" list. It is a shame how they spend money.. I would like to get a list of Regents school employees who are getting paid not to work. They make a drunken sailor look like a fiscal conservative.

Linda Aikins 7 years, 7 months ago

Please don't punish the academic students because of the mess in Athletics. Donate money to a specific cause or school. Contact KU Endowment and you can find out where your money can be used. 785.832.7400

swampfoxrides 7 years, 7 months ago

Larry Brown: "What a scumbag!" Ed Manning: " Word" Roy Williams: "Where's the loyalty..the commitment?" Mangino: "Where's the pizza?"

CheneyHawk 7 years, 7 months ago

Having a UConn flunkie yes man follow 'Mafia Lew' is akin to Bob Valasente following Mike Gottfried @KU or Mike Cohen following Eddie Fogler @ WSU. Not a good move even in the interim. Any connection to Lew @ this point is reflects badly (even if short term) Lew'$ resignation is loooonnnnnng overdue. Please bring back some Kansas work ethic and integrity back to the KUAA and some recognition of loyalty of long time fans rather than corporate donors.......

Scott Overfield 7 years, 7 months ago

BREAKING NEWS! Mark Mangino Dies - of laughter!

NOTcrusher 7 years, 7 months ago

Now, let's get rid of Lester. He's obviously a Perkins clone and will try to cover up for his prior boss.

Uhjh 7 years, 7 months ago

Lew did want he was asked to do. Take football to the next level. That takes revenue and there seems to only be three sources: Donations; Marking and TV; Tickets sales. Lew took advantage of each one to maximize revenue as really was required for KU not to be second rate in sports. I not sure he was involved in any of the ticket shenanigans. When multiple employees game the system it is almost impossible to detect it. Let the chips fall and if Lew is involved so be it. For now I will give Lew the benefit of doubt and wish him well. If I am proven wrong then I will take a mea culpa.

Mandie Eutsler 7 years, 7 months ago

Should we really be this hard on Lew? I think that any successful Athletic Department deals with the same thing. Those tickets are worth too much money not to have somebody take advantage. I for one think that this happens all over the country in college sports and I'm sure there's even a darker side to all of this that none of us want to hear about. We want to cheer, and talk about our team, rub it in your rival's face when you win the big game. Pay whatever they ask us to pay just so we can see the game. Fans love their sports and it's good for the community. We need this outlet and it's fun. Unfortunately ticket scandals, ncaa violations, negetive media attention come along with it. If you want to win and have success and money for your program you have to deal with these problems. You can well guarantee that other schools are having the same dirty deals, they just haven't gotten caught yet.

Rex Russell 7 years, 7 months ago

I sincerely expect another shoe to drop. You can only stack - - - - so high, before it topples. It's a dirty business that involes unimaginable amounts of money, power, and influence. It's impossible to due that job without getting your hands dirty. A lot like polotics. Eventually your hands just stay dirty and you rationalize the rest to yourself.

Kylee Manahan 7 years, 7 months ago

Remember, Lew said he was going to continue to reside in Lawrence because he has made so many friends. Everyone that is his friend, raise your hands, oh I mean, post your friendship.

commonsense1 7 years, 7 months ago

What do all of you people want? I don't get it! There is no perfect world-noone wins it all-noone has everything-get a life and live with it.

riverdrifter 7 years, 7 months ago

I want another operator who will make fools of MU & KSU like Lew did, sans the half-assed, hands-off season ticket crap. Say what you will about the greed, the money, blah, blah, blah of college athletics today. It is what it is and sure as hell Lew didn't create it. Lew knew this: Stay out in front of it or it will run over you.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.