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.


CLARKKENT 3 years, 2 months ago



missmagoo 3 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!


mscynners 3 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.


KEITHMILES05 3 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.


lv 3 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!


LJ Whirled 3 years, 2 months ago

KU Athletics is doing the right thing ... and you haven't been able to say that enough lately.

This is proper. Hope it helps Thomas through this time.


JM Andy 3 years, 2 months ago

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


kusp8 3 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.


Pywacket 3 years, 2 months ago

I think it's wonderful that they are helping this besieged family. I can't imagine losing so many close relatives in such a short span of time. I keep thinking of that little girl... As hard as it is on her brother, it must be unimaginable for her.

I just wish there were a fund to help students who are NOT sports standouts when something catastrophic happens. Remember a few years ago, a home in Olathe (greater KC area, anyway) burned down and killed both parents and some of the kids? One daughter went to KU (lived on campus) and I think her surviving brother was still a high schooler--he was the only one who made it out of the house.

I seriously doubt (please correct me if I'm wrong) that any group associated with KU or academia helped defray funeral expenses, much less footed the bill to have a dozen or so people (relatives, friends, or whomever) fly in for the funeral--or even bus over from the Lawrence campus.

All students--not just those who excel in sports--need all the support and assistance they can get at a time of unthinkable family loss. I wish I were in a position to set up a fund to help out with this kind of thing--I think it's something that would be be valuable in helping ensure that a young scholar felt supported enough to be able to work through the weeks immediately following the tragedy and continue with his or her studies.

If such a fund already exists, I hope someone will post information on that. It would be nice to know that that young lady who lost both parents and her siblings felt as loved and supported by the KU community as Thomas Robinson must feel. And I bet if you asked him, he would agree.


Christine Anderson 3 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.


Bob_Keeshan 3 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.


Starlight 3 years, 2 months ago

Haven't found it in LJW yet but this scholarship has been set up for Jayla's education: Lisa Robinson Scholarship Fund c/o SNR Denton 1301 K Street NW; Ste. 600 East Tower Washington DC 20005-3364's-capital-to-mourn-death-of-teammate-thomas-robinson's-mother


Number_1_Grandma 3 years, 2 months ago

As far as I'm concerned as long as the NCAA doesn't have a problem with helping Thomas Robinson, I certainly don't have a problem with helping him and his family! This young man has been through enough. I just hope he can stay in school in order to have a better life for him and his sister. Whatever we (Jayhawk nation) can do for him and his family to get through this awful time.


hbjayhawk 3 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.


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