All but one of the seven men and women charged in connection with the ticket scam in the Kansas University athletic department have pleaded or are expected to plead guilty.
In most every case, the individuals, with their attorneys at their sides, have issued statements in which they say they regret their actions and the embarrassment they may have caused the university or Kansas Athletics.
It’s more likely the only thing they really regret is that they got caught. They probably would still be wheeling and dealing in the sale of prized tickets to KU football and basketball games if they had not been caught. They were making big bucks and probably were trying to figure out how they could make more.
Even though it may look like the investigation is wrapped up, it is difficult to believe others were not involved, either inside the athletic department umbrella or on the outside.
Long-time basketball and football ticket holders, individuals who had been generous in their fiscal support of the athletics program through the Williams Fund and others, were extremely upset by the manner in which seat locations were assigned. The continuing concerns expressed by long-time KU basketball and football season-ticket holders about the changing stream of “strangers” seated near them, the arrogant manner with which long-time fans were treated by athletic department officials, the fact that many fans changed their giving plans to the university because of their anger and disappointment with the athletic department and its leadership, the disappointment of many faculty members over athletic department actions and policies all combined to make long-time, loyal Jayhawk fans wonder what was going on over an extended period of time.
Time and time again, spokespeople for the athletic department claimed everything was on the up and up, that there was no justification to question anything in Allen Fieldhouse.
Doesn’t it seem reasonable that senior athletic department people would have launched an investigation to try to find out what was behind all the anger and frustration directed at their department or its leader, Lew Perkins? Wouldn’t any employer in most any other business try to find out what was going on, why all the complaints, why the unknown people were sitting in high-priced seats and whether everyone sitting in a defined area had indeed donated the same hundreds and thousands of dollars, plus the regular ticket price, to obtain seats in a supposedly sold-out arena?
Over and over, those asking questions were rebuffed and told to stop complaining. If they wanted better seats, they would have to come up with more dollars.
How could something like this go undetected for such a long time? Either people within the department were blind, deaf and arrogant, or they really didn’t want to dig and find out why all the complaints.
Could those who ran the scam have operated without help from the outside? Who was taking care of all the $400 and $500 money orders? How many ticket brokers or scalpers were involved? Are there others who used the availability of tickets to gain personal or business favors from others?
It may be that each and every person directly involved in the scam has been identified and is facing the possibility of severe penalties. At the same time, could there be others who weren’t directly involved but helped make the scam workable and profitable? Could there be others in the fieldhouse, or outside the fieldhouse, who knew something was wrong or illegal but didn’t say anything or “blow the whistle”?
How could so many people so close to the situation, individuals who were hired because of their knowledge and expertise in intercollegiate sports, be unaware of what was going on under their noses?
It will be interesting to see whether the investigation is indeed over and everyone involved in the embarrassing and illegal scam has been identified.
What assurances does incoming KU Athletic Director Sheahon Zenger have that there will not be additional disclosures to rock the KU sports scene? Are there others inside Allen Fieldhouse who played a role in the embarrassing and illegal ticket scheme who are holding their breath, hoping they will not be exposed?
Again, how could something this big be hidden so that no one in the department knew or suspected something funny was going on?
University officials must be hoping everyone will plead guilty so there is no trial. A trial that hangs the athletic department’s dirty laundry out for the public to see could be extremely messy and embarrassing for the entire university.
Zenger and all those genuinely interested in the welfare of the university need to be assured all law enforcement agencies have finished a thorough investigation into the ticket situation and that all those involved, directly or indirectly, have been identified and will face punishment.
On the other hand, if further investigation is needed, it is hoped it will continue until there is no question that all guilty parties have been exposed.
Were there only seven people involved in what was going on — both on and off campus?