Archive for Sunday, September 19, 2010

New A.D. will have full slate of projects

Investments in future of athletics clear from fundraising activity, debt

Rock Chalk Dancers, from left, Molly Ryan, Jade Daniels and Brooke Ryan pose Wednesday during a shoot for the Rock Chalk Dancers calendar with photographer Tamalee Baker in the west hallway of Allen Fieldhouse on Sept. 15, 2010.

Rock Chalk Dancers, from left, Molly Ryan, Jade Daniels and Brooke Ryan pose Wednesday during a shoot for the Rock Chalk Dancers calendar with photographer Tamalee Baker in the west hallway of Allen Fieldhouse on Sept. 15, 2010.

September 19, 2010


Kansas University’s next athletics director will be coming into a department with new and expanded facilities developed during Lew Perkins’ seven-year tenure on campus.

And raising money to pay off those bills will be a priority, just as it is today.

“We want to continue fundraising … (and) swinging the pendulum forward,” said Sean Lester, interim athletics director, on the radio this past week.


Kansas Athletics Inc., the not-for-profit athletics organization at Kansas University, reported $93.67 million in total liabilities for the 2008-2009 year, up nearly 55 percent from a year earlier.

The bulk of the increase: More than $32 million in bonds sold to finance construction and remodeling projects at Allen Fieldhouse, the Horejsi Family Athletic Center, the Wagnon Student Athlete Center/ Parrott Athletic Center and vicinity.

Those bonds are in addition to the $17.8 million the department borrowed in 2004, to refinance the remainder of $27.2 million in bonds that had been issued six years earlier for upgrades at Memorial Stadium and the fieldhouse.

In all, those two bond issues leave Kansas Athletics responsible for paying about $3.3 million a year for principal and interest through the year 2033.

The department is up-to-date on its payments, backed by the operations and assets held by Kansas Athletics, said Jim MacMurray, vice president for finance at the Kansas Development Finance Authority, which issued the bonds and has served as an intermediary between the department and its bond holders.

And whoever ends up leading the athletics department will be responsible for seeing that the ongoing performance remains strong on the financial scoreboard, through whatever challenges and opportunities arise.

“It’s a business,” MacMurray said. “They’re going to have to operate it to basically pay the bonds. A lot of things can happen over 25 years.”

Among developments during the past year, after the department filed its latest audited financial statements and other documents with the IRS:

• The department cut a $3 million check to Mark Mangino, satisfying the financial portion of a settlement for him to leave as KU football coach a year after leading the team to an Orange Bowl title.

• Perkins himself retired Sept. 7, cutting short previous plans to stay on the job for another year. KU said that Perkins would receive a $600,000 retention bonus that Perkins would have received by staying on the job until next June, and that Perkins would be receiving about $2 million from KU after the Sept. 7 announcement — all of it from Kansas Athletics, not taxpayer sources.

Pledging to pay

Susan Wachter, the department’s chief financial officer, said private donations were being used to cover bond payments. Debt for the Anderson Family Football Complex — a project whose planning was taking shape just before Perkins’ tenure — was financed in part by a $6.5 million loan from the KU Endowment Association and backed by pledges and contributions from donors.

Athletics paid back endowment for the bridge loan, and athletics continues to collect on pledges.

“I’m on plan and on target,” said Dana Anderson, whose family’s name is on the complex and is paying about $400,000 this year. “Haven’t missed a beat.”

While some donations haven’t always come in as planned — the department previously has acknowledged that Thomas Kivisto, for one, had been behind on at least some of his contributions — the project’s bills have been paid going forward.

The department can turn to reserve funds or other sources to make ends meet, Wachter said.

“You go get it where you’ve got the funds to do it,” she said.

Pushing ahead

The department’s long-term debt ranks sixth among athletics departments in the Big 12 Conference, said Jim Marchiony, an associate athletics director. And the department has no plans to stop pushing forward on initiatives to bolster KU fields and other sites for athletes and fans.

The department still has plans to build a Gridiron Club on the east side of Memorial Stadium, locate an “Olympic Village” for nonrevenue sports — including soccer, softball, and track and field — southwest of Allen Fieldhouse, and provide millions of dollars to the chancellor’s office for use in academic and other areas as she sees fit.

The Gridiron Club originally had been sold as a project slated to be open this fall and to be financed solely by club memberships bought by donors. At last check, the effort had generated about $4 million.

“We’re having discussions, both internally and with donors and people with vested interests in Kansas Athletics, and we’re keeping those projects alive,” Marchiony said. “We’re talking about all of it because the Gridiron Club can make all of the rest of it happen.”

While the club and its associated projects have no specific timeline, he said, “we want to do it as soon as we can, but we’re not going to do it without the funding.”

Overall donation levels remain strong among alumni and friends, Marchiony said, and contributions are coming in at least as strong as last year.

“Kansas Athletics has very loyal and generous donors,” he said.

Building success

Investments in new, expanded and refurbished athletics venues have been and will continue to be essential in the world of intercollegiate athletics, Marchiony said. The recent rumblings of conference reorganization only reconfirmed that spending money at Memorial Stadium, Allen Fieldhouse and other KU venues was paying off.

“What we needed to do, and what we always need to do, is put Kansas Athletics in a position where we can compete on a national level and in the Big 12,” Marchiony said. “And these renovations have done that.”

It’s important for the Big 12 to remain strong, he said, and for KU to remain strong in the conference it needs to good coaches, student-athletes and facilities.

“It’s very important to position Kansas as a leader in intercollegiate athletics,” he said.

Dale Seuferling, president of the Endowment Association, acknowledged that Kansas Athletics has worked to improve its assets through upgrades to venues and related work. Such moves are decided by the department, one that is slated to get a new leader in the coming months.

The association last year held $47.6 million in deposits for Kansas Athletics.

“You have to make a conscious decision about making an investment in the future and determine what is needed to build success,” Seuferling said.


ralphralph 7 years, 7 months ago

No mention of the inevitable "lack of institutional control" finding from the NCAA after the investigations are completed. It IS inevitable, isn't it?

nobody1793 7 years, 7 months ago

No, I think "lack of institutional control" usually refers to recruiting violations, agents and boosters paying players, etc., not just general business incompetence.

lionheart72661 7 years, 7 months ago

Good riddens Lew you money hungry thief. You got paid hundreds of thousands of dollars and still charged the school so your greedy butt could fly to games that cost thousands of dollars. Yes you laughed all the way to the bank. You need to be investigated and included in the civil suit an the ticket scandal. Funny just days after you abruptly step down an announcement is made of a suit being filed. Was that a plea bargain with the chancellor? Am I the only one to see that? I think the school needs to go back and see what Greedy low life Lew charged the school and make him pay it all back. Then give Joe College his money back. That lawsuit was all Perkins and Mangino. Or should I say Frick and frack. I am only one of many glad to see those 2 gone. Na na na na, Na na na na, hey hey goodbye!

Frightwig 7 years, 7 months ago

The guy that ran Joe College was a d-bag who knew he was in the wrong but continued to try to sidestep the law anyway. He was taking money away from honest vendors who followed the licensing agreement. I'm glad he was shut down.

ralphralph 7 years, 7 months ago

Well, we don't yet know where the millions of dollars went, I don't believe. You think, perhaps, any of it went from boosters (cough Roger! cough) to players, some of whom might even be related to players? It seems that such has been hinted, but we'll have to see what the investigations find. IMHO, it is hard to conceive that corruption on such a massive level existed in isolation from booster-athlete relations. Just sayin'. We've heard very little, it seems, on the bowl-game tickets. Waiting on that.

nobody1793 7 years, 7 months ago

No we don't know all the details yet, and you could be right. I was just sayin' that it wasn't "inevitable".

KEITHMILES05 7 years, 7 months ago

The new AD MUST get rid of all the Perkins AD's who have had long time association with him. They are total liabilites in the "trust factor" the Chancellor speaks about. Nothing else matters and there will be no trust developed until these people are GONE.

WaxAndWane 7 years, 7 months ago

The sports facilities are much better now than they were 8 years ago. I hope the new AD continues to follow this trend.

PugnaciousJayhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

Any thoughts on whether this will be a caretaker AD, hired to last until the next Chancellor, or one capable of staying a while and making an impact?

lionheart72661 7 years, 7 months ago

onceagain (anonymous) says… Step 1 for new AD. Hire a football coach. Dump the buddy Lew hired.

Did you want Mangino fired his first year?

Haiku_Cuckoo 7 years, 7 months ago

Really? Mangino's first and only job as a head coach was at KU. Plus he never played college football. Gill, on the other hand, played college ball, worked in the NFL and had experience as a head coach before he came to Kansas.

lionheart72661 7 years, 7 months ago

but still Mangino's first season he had only 2 wins! Give Gill a break. New coach new team. My predictions last year were as follows. KU would not even hit .500 they went 5-0 then lost then started their losing streak. prediction #2 Mangino would be fired. #3 he would leave with 3 mil. all came to be. This year KU will still not reach .500 but Gill will win 4 games. Thus surpassing Mangino by 2. take that to the bank once again!

riverdrifter 7 years, 7 months ago

How do you know this? Tell us what you know. Back up what you say.

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