Saturday, October 11, 2003

KU eyes plan similar to IU’s

Indiana staff no longer awarded free tickets


Indiana University now is making athletic-department employees pay for their football and basketball tickets. At Kansas University, a similar strategy is not in effect ... at least not yet.

"Everything we do here is under review," KU senior associate athletic director Jim Marchiony said Friday. "And I wouldn't exclude that from that review."

Wednesday, Indiana athletic director Terry Clapacs ended the longtime practice of giving two season tickets for football and basketball to the department's employees each year.

"It's just something that we have to do," Clapacs said. "There are policies that say that all university employees need to be treated in the same way, and you can't give certain employees special perks and benefits."

Clapacs also cited shortfalls in the Indiana sports budget.

Instead of receiving free tickets, IU athletic-department employees will be able to buy them at a 20 percent staff discount. The change is expected to add at least $120,000 in revenue from basketball and $70,000 from football.

Football tickets for the current season already have been given out. The department's 189 employees must start buying tickets for the coming basketball season.

Under established policy, the KU athletic department gives its full-time employees two season tickets for both football and men's basketball. However, the cost of the tickets is added to their taxable income as a benefit.

For example, two men's basketball tickets in prime locations in Allen Fieldhouse would add $898 to an employee's taxable income, while two nonprime seats would add $822.

Kansas University faculty and staff members currently are offered football and men's basketball tickets at a 20 percent discount -- the maximum allowable under federal taxation laws.

Lew Perkins, who took over as KU athletic director in early July, has announced he will establish a priority points system for seating in Allen Fieldhouse for men's basketball games. That program, still in the works, won't be implemented until the 2004-2005 men's basketball season.

Perkins has stressed no one will lose their seats because of the points system, but that seat location will be determined by a formula involving longevity, donations and other factors.

The Associated Press contributed information for this story.

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