Archive for Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Kansas Athletics Inc., not KU, paying for funeral of Robinson’s mother and cost of sending team to D.C.

January 26, 2011


When Kansas University basketball player Thomas Robinson faced a tragic situation, he was able to lean on teammates and KU’s athletics department for support, both emotionally and financially.

Robinson’s story has been well-told in various media outlets over the past few days. He lost his grandfather, his grandmother and his mother in the span of two weeks. His 9-year-old sister had to make the call Friday night to inform Robinson of his mother’s death.

Kansas Athletics Inc. received permission from the NCAA not just to fly the team to Washington, D.C., for Robinson’s mother’s funeral, which is Thursday, but also to pay all the expenses for the funeral itself.

Jim Marchiony, associate athletics director, said the NCAA makes certain allowances for athletes dealing with a loss in the family. In the past, Kansas Athletics has paid for athletes’ flights home for funerals of family members.

The funds will come out of Kansas Athletics’ general revenue, which comes from donors, television contract revenue and conference payouts, among other sources.

He said he couldn’t recall if the athletics department had paid for funeral expenses or flown an entire team to a funeral for another athlete’s family member before.

“Every circumstance is different,” he said. “In this case, this is the right thing to do. We realize that, and, fortunately, the NCAA does, too.”

Dealing with a death in the family is nothing unusual for many other KU students, too.

“It happens far more often than you or I would like,” said Jane Tuttle, assistant vice provost for student success.

For those students, the office of the vice provost for student success can offer some services.

While KU doesn’t pay funeral expenses for students, Tuttle said her office can help with notifying professors of the student’s absence, getting connected with grief counseling services at KU and seeing if students qualify for additional financial aid that will help them stay in school.

Some students, she said, still find that they will have to leave the university for a variety of reasons; some are overcome with grief, and others can’t afford to stay in school anymore.

For those students, she said, the office helps them with the withdrawal process, and makes sure they position themselves so that re-enrolling is as easy as possible, should they be able to return.

“We can’t promise the world,” Tuttle said, but the office does try to help each student find the best course of action for the long term.


hbjayhawk 7 years, 2 months ago

Shame on the Colorado fans with the sign that said, "Welcome to your next funeral." I couldn't believe that and the "F-U Kansas [clap, clap, clap clap clap]" chants throughout the late 2nd half. Their fans should be ashamed of their behavior. A major "boooooo" to their student section on that one.

Jordan Lang 7 years, 2 months ago

I agree! I'm from Colorado (but born and raised a Jayhawk fan), and CANNOT stand CU, or Boulder. No one associated with that school has any class, as you could see from the other night. I never felt cu fit well with the Big XII schools, they are a lot of pompous and arrogant ____ (fill in the blank).

CLARKKENT 7 years, 2 months ago


Bob_Keeshan 7 years, 2 months ago

Well, thank heavens KU isn't paying for it. That is a weight off my mind, and the minds of hundreds of thousands of others I'm sure.

The writer of this headline has issues.

Tim Quest 7 years, 2 months ago

It's unfortunate that the editor who wrote the headline was clearly thinking ahead to the idiot commenters who were bound to pop up here whining about it during their free library internet time.

Christine Anderson 7 years, 2 months ago

This is a good thing. I wonder who the little 9 yr. old girl is going to live with? If she came to live with her brother here, she would have an entire team of brothers to look out for her.Feel so sorry for the entire family.

Nikki May 7 years, 2 months ago

However, he's still a kid really and being the only parent of a 9 year old while going to college and your commitment to your athletics would be very difficult. I'm not saying impossible, but it's probably not the best solution for either of them. I'm hoping that she can move here though so she has family around, but with someone besides her brother as a guardian. I think the proximity would do them both well.

kusp8 7 years, 2 months ago

I have no problem with the KU BBall team going to the funeral, but they need to pay their own way. I understand that these funds are coming out of the private KU Athletics Inc. However, if a regular student were in this same horrendous situation they would not be receiving the same help.

kusp8 7 years, 2 months ago

Where's the KU Student Senate, Chancellor, KU Student Alumni Association, etc., when any other student's parent(s) pass away? Why aren't they helping to differ the costs of their funeral(s)?

While it's a nice gesture it does seem to be somewhat at odds with treating every student fairly.

jayhawks71 7 years, 2 months ago

What are you talking about? If private entities wanted to fund a funeral for a "regular student" there would be NO issue whatsoever. That's what is going on here, the only difference is that without the NCAA's approval, anyone who would donate to Thomas Robinson would be putting the program in jeopardy if KU did not get an OK from the NCAA. For a regular student, people, organizations, and companies could donate with no fear that some organization would turn around and penalize the university for doing so. The same would not have been the case for Robinson because he is an athlete. The NCAA essentially puts these guys in a worse position because they are athletes. While they should not receive special treatment, they should also not be put in a more difficult situation. I back the KUAC funding 100%.

Shardwurm 7 years, 2 months ago

If you think KU isn't paying for getting the team to this funeral then you're really naive.

jayhawks71 7 years, 2 months ago

"KU" doesn't need to pay a cent. The KUAC coffers have plenty of money to handle this, and it is likely (actually reported) that there are donors. The only naive one here is the cynic in you.

happyrock 7 years, 2 months ago

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

kujayhawk 7 years, 2 months ago

Do you know how much money these kids bring in for the KU athletic department? Do you know how much free marketing they provide to the University of Kansas? Like it or not, KU's perception would be much, much different without our basketball program. They are the one's getting screwed, not the "regular student."

huskerpower 7 years, 2 months ago

If that so called regular student and his colleagues brought in millions of dollars to the university every year, I don't think KU would have a problem spending a few thousand dollars to help them with transportation...

Jillian Andrews 7 years, 2 months ago

Why is this news? I heard they bought some ballpoint pens and paper clips too.

lv 7 years, 2 months ago

I really think it is commendable that KU Athletics is bringing the team to this young man in a great tragic time of need. Having friends, teammates, and the wisdom/knowledge of the coaches there will be of great comfort and help. I think the NCAA should be more than understanding of this situation. I have heard that no KU alumni is allowed to help with the little sister, and housing here, and I think that is unheard of as an NCAA violation, given all the tragedy this family has endured!

KEITHMILES05 7 years, 2 months ago

His sister has a father who is not TRob's father. The legal process will have to take place to see who gets custody, etc.

Kendall Simmons 7 years, 2 months ago

At least the process won't involve the total strangers who keep offering to move to D.C. and take over legal guardianship of her or been offering to adopt her. That hasn't been generous. That's been creepy.

mscynners 7 years, 2 months ago

God Bless Kansas Athletics Inc.... so proud to be a JayHawk at this time. Prayers and blessing to Thomas, his sister and all those who help and support. Prayers n positive thoughts to those who doubt the sincerity of these actions.

missmagoo 7 years, 2 months ago

I don't understand this headline. People should know by now that the University of Kansas and Kansas Athletics, Inc. are separate entities. The school and the athletics department RARELY cross paths in financial matters. Did people actually think that the univerisity would single out 1 out of 30,000 students and pay for ONE student's mother's funeral? Come on, people!

CLARKKENT 7 years, 2 months ago


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