Perkins only collegiate official on Time's list of best and worst athletic executives

Monday, July 21, 2008

Something seems to be working.

Time magazine readers have ranked Kansas University Athletics Director Lew Perkins among the top 10 sports executives in the world.

In a statement through the athletics department, Perkins said he was overwhelmed by the honor.

"This is a tribute to Chancellor Hemenway, to the University of Kansas and to all of our coaches and student athletes," he said.

Jim Marchiony, associate athletics director, said it was no surprise to those who work with him.

"It's obviously a testament to the athletic successes (we've had)," he said.

The list of 35 sports bigwigs runs the gamut from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to Indian Premier (Cricket) League chairman Lilat Kuhmar Modi. Perkins is the only college-level administrator on the list.

Time asked its readers to rank the executives from best to worst and Perkins was as high as second at one point Monday night.

The analysis accompanying the survey, which appears at Time.com, says Perkins has proven to be a boon for KU and cites the rising athletics budget and the fact that Kansas is only the second school to win a basketball championship and a BCS bowl game in the same year.

As a negative, Time cited the $31 million football facility upgrade that is being completed. "What higher-ed purpose does that serve?" Time asked.

Perkins has served as athletics director since 2003 after coming from the University of Connecticut. While boosting the department's spending budget and bringing increased national attention to sports other than basketball, Perkins also has ruffled feathers by altering how tickets are sold and moving the Kansas/Missouri football game to Arrowhead Stadium.

Ryan Weaver, a KU graduate student from Canton, Ohio, said he understood why Perkins ranked so well.

"It's been a really good year, wouldn't you say?" he said. "I just hope he's able to continue the success."