Friday, May 9, 2008

Mayer: Self’s contract complex


Simple, huh? A guy runs a stellar basketball program, wins two more league championships and the national title and deserves a new contract to keep Oklahoma State wolves at bay. Write it up, boost the pay and benefits to match other headline coaches' goodies, throw in nifty bonuses and incentives and get it signed. It's not that easy.

KU's Bill Self had a number of caveats in mind like longevity, improved facilities and such in addition to all the usual glittering gains. Then what about making it certain the arrangement will stand up even if current throne-dwellers aren't around?

Chancellor Robert Hemenway and athletic director Lew Perkins are 65-ish types who may not be on the scene 10 or 15 years down the line when Self still wants to be. Hemenway plans to teach after he leaves Strong Hall. What might a new chancellor decide?

Perkins has a $650,000 annual package plus an unlimited expense account and other benefits. He also has a $1.3 million bonus, tax-free, I'm told, if he fulfills a six-year contract ending June of 2009. How likely is it that Perkins, despite the perks, will spend another 10 years in his high-pressure job?

It's no mystery why Hemenway, Perkins, Self and high-powered attorneys like the noted Rick Evrard have issues to resolve before Self has all the things he wants and deserves. Mandatory is a longevity clause that extends beyond the tenures of Bob and Lew. Evrard is a sharp attorney, a former NCAA enforcement expert, who worked with Perkins at UConn.

Rick also helped Perkins pull strings to keep KU from getting more severe penalties than it got in October, 2006. Escaping from that "lack of institutional oversight" thicket as well as KU did speaks volumes about the acumen of Perkins and Evrard.

So Self is involved with getting a new contract that also takes good care of his staff and makes their six-figure packages even niftier. When women's basketball coach Bonnie Henrickson has a $635,000 annual take with marginal productivity up to now, you know Self will make sure his guys are generously remunerated.

Lordy, the Magna Carta was easier to wring out of the evil King John in 1215 than a contract deal this complicated. No wonder it's taking a while to finalize it. Look how long it took West Virginia to form a 10-year, $20 million bundle for Bob Huggins after he walked out on naive, too-trusting K-State?

Do lawyers rule the world?

Sometimes it seems that when folks in the KU athletic department have things moving along fairly smoothly, they form an emergency committee to determine just what unique new gimmick KUAC can devise to tick off the populace. Now comes that $6,400 KU is seeking from the chamber of commerce and Downtown Lawrence for cancellation of a basketball honor event at the Holidome. Hell, you might find that much spare change sweeping out Perkins' office every week! Have they no shame?

The New Order has accomplished many notable things and has a fabulous chance to surf on a wave of good feeling created by the football-basketball successes. Yet for all their expertise in other areas, sometimes The Suits seem to go out of their way to flunk an important test in image-repair and improved public relations.


klineisanazi 11 years, 7 months ago

Give him a break. He knows all about the Magna Carta. Hell he probably wrote and article about it when it was issued.

speedy 11 years, 7 months ago

and all of you guys get up and are grouchy too. all day you find fault.

Todd Mobray 11 years, 7 months ago

I only see one mistake in this article. Huggins didn't walk out on K-State, he tripped out.

Brandon Deines 11 years, 7 months ago

Someone explain to me how Lew could receive 1.3 million tax free dollars?I wonder if Bill's article about the Magna Carta made more sense than this one does?

11 years, 7 months ago

patton6 - not only a revisiting, but an apology as well. we expect a similar article about Sherron Collins?

63Jayhawk 11 years, 7 months ago

Mrs_Estherhouse,It sounds to me like the guarantee for Lew Perkins is that he will have $1.3 million after taxes. I assume they will pay him enough over the $1.3 million to cover that taxes.I enjoyed the article-especially the comments on the $6400.

GIHAWK 11 years, 7 months ago

I actually for once liked his column...

patton6 11 years, 7 months ago

I'm still waiting for Old Bill to write an article revisiting his "Kansas shouldn't let Brandon Rush come back and have surgery on their dime" article from nearly a year ago.

jackhawk 11 years, 7 months ago

Why are all of your articles so full of cynicism and sarcasm? Is there a feeling of inferiority and inadequacy buried deep in your psyche?

WilburNether 11 years, 7 months ago

If you want good area sports reporting and commentary, read the Topeka Capital-Journal and the KC Star.The Journal-World's sports staff goes to work wearing clown suits.

klineisanazi 11 years, 7 months ago

Give him a break. He knows all about the Magna Carta. Hell he probably wrote an article about it when it was issued. His Crankiness is right to refer to the "New Order", because he is from the old one, when players from little towns in Kansas could be the big stars from KU, and all the folks could go down to AFH and sit in their favorite seats and catch up on all the latest with their good old boy buddies. KU completes its most successful year in history, and is making and planning major upgrades in its facilities, and this is the best he can do? Please, go back to playing bingo Bill, the nurse will be be there any time with your meds.

Joe Ross 11 years, 7 months ago

Generally speaking, I was mistrusting of Lew Perkins when he arrived here. I imagined him to be something on the order of Carl Petersen, squeezing fans for their last pennies while making huge blunders with big-time decisions. While I do think Lew is money-hungry, I have to say his decision making is head-and-shoulders above King Carl's. For one thing, he knows enough to let the coaches coach and doesn't micromanage. He seems to get what he's GOOD at, and that's making connections, raising money, etc. Though the 6400 dollar fiasco is a black eye for the athletic department, the silver lining in that dark cloud seems to be they are concerned about being fiscally responsible--and maybe to a fault at that. At the very least, Kansas basketball is the cash cow of the University. There is only so much money coming in because of that. If we were a football school like Nebraska, Im sure the coffers would be full. Memorial Stadium in Lincoln holds 75,000 people! Translation? One game in Lincoln is approximately 5 home sellouts in AFH. How many games does Lincoln host in a season? They'll play 8 home games next season. Simple math shows that to keep pace, Kansas basketball would have to play 40 home games to make that kind of money.Kansas men's basketball supports and maintains other athletic teams at the University of Kansas. So what do we do? We jack up ticket prices. Come up with a new donation-based seating plan. I guess it means we argue over 6400 dollars. Why? Because Self has to be paid. Because his staff has to be paid. Because Mangino costs money while he's moving the football program in the right direction. Ironically, there are many things I dont like about "progress".

tdub 11 years, 7 months ago

Saw Collins walking from AF yesterday. Looks fine, no limp or anything.

11 years, 7 months ago

jross1972 High-powered venom? Blinded by malice? Really? Come on. Am I not free to expound other posters' remarks on articles? I generally respect your opinion as well, and enjoy your insights. However, on this particular topic, you and I will simply have to agree to disagree. I know you were one of the posters defending Mayer's article that I mentioned. I am just a little surprised at your ornate personal attack on me. In your own words, you are better than this.-- Best Regards

the_crowd_goes_wild 11 years, 7 months ago

WilburNether says: "If you want good area sports reporting and commentary, read the Topeka Capital-Journal and the KC Star.The Journal-World's sports staff goes to work wearing clown suits."ARE YOU SERIOUS???? The TCJ and KC Star are along the lines of The National Enquirer (example: If you meant to say "If you want unethical area sports reporting and commentary, read the Topeka Capital-Journal and the KC Star" then yes, you would be correct. But to essentially say those papers' sports departments are "better" than the Journal-World than you need to rethink your evaluation process!Plus, what's wrong with clown suits? Some people make a living wearing clown suits, so are you attempting to say that they aren't respectable people? At least they are not online trashing you for having no life outside of the computer you use to attack people who you personally do not know!

11 years, 7 months ago

As I have stated, I have sincere respect for Bill Mayer's knowledge and loyalty to Jayhawk Nation. I am personal friends with a gentleman who used to do radio for KU games back in the 50's, later went on to a national broadcasting career, and was a friend of Bill's back then. I just thought his article on Brandon was mean-spirited and I figured after the success BR led us to, albeit hindsight, we would at least see a measure of mea culpa from Bill. It appears I may be waiting a long time! :o)You do have a good point about letting go, however. We can't be forgiven if we aren't willing to forgive others, yes?

Joe Ross 11 years, 7 months ago

In truth, I have to say I dont agree 100% with all of Mr. Mayer's articles. I am not as blindly loyal as others are plainly blind. What I know however, is that he is a loyal Jayhawk, he has been so for longer than we have been alive, his articles generally provide a history of KU athletics that you get nowhere else, and his longitudinal perspective brings much to bear on the CURRENT state of KU sports. I will not marginalize myself against such a wealth of information by holding a long-standing grudge based on a few isolated incidences where I find disagreement with his points-of-view. This is a rational response.Are you free to "...expound on posters' remarks on articles"? The freedom of speech clause guarantees you that freedom, not my stamp of approval. I would not abridge your right to exercise that right even if I could. I don't believe in censorship. However, what I said is true: you jumped into attacking Mr. Mayer and gave NO CONSIDERATION WHATSOEVER to the substance of his article. To me, that is a matter of imbalance and it is appropriately cited.As far as the article on Rush, I think MOST people thought (and still think) that he returned to Kansas ONLY because of the injury. I think it was advantageous for him to do so as he did not have to pay for his surgery and subsequent rehab. There is no doubt that KU returned Brandon to form after he decided to bolt KU.He did nothing wrong, but neither can I blame one for being cynical AT THE TIME OF HIS INJURY. Again, you have the benefit of hindsight. As it turns out, Brandon was crucial to our championship and he is appropriately lauded for being so. My problem with this whole topic is that it is OFF topic. Speaking to those old bones won't make them rise up and walk...Honestly, isn't it time to move on?

JayCeph 11 years, 7 months ago

For those of you complaining about this article's author and how he just complains, it seems to me as though you're negating your own point.Write something relevant about the subject matter or offer up a solution to the problem you have with the author but if you are unable to do either, perhaps you aren't any better than those you perpetually castigate.This article was spot on... including the $6400 question. KU knew their responsibility when they reserved that space at the Holidome. If they wanted to bail, the onus was on them to live up to their side of the contract... not ask for (what amounts to relative) chump change from people/organizations that weren't involved in the decision to begin with. This is petty and, worst of all, just plain stupid. It makes KU look like simpering buffoons.As for Self's contract... I can't wait to see it. I'll bet it is good reading.

rhagg 11 years, 7 months ago

Mrs-it is easy for Lew to receive that money Tax Free. His bonus is most likely growing in a Life Insurance contract that will then give a tax free lump sum distribution at the time stated, Great concept, easy to do.

kevbo 11 years, 7 months ago

Evrard is a genius, and definitely runs the best ncaa sports law operation in the country. We're lucky he's a local. My guess is we'll be needing him again.

Joe Ross 11 years, 7 months ago

txrockchalk...I used to esteem you as a person of fairness. With your comments in this thread, it looks like you have turned 180 degrees from reason and are running in that direction as if your hair were on fire.The facts are these. Clearly you are stuck on an issue that happened nearly a year ago and you have had an axe to grind with Bill Mayer ever since. I suggest such grudge-holding (especially in regards to sports journalism where opinions are largely given greater latitude than in journalism elsewhere) is sophomoric and beneath you AT BEST. At worst, it reveals character flaws NOT with Mr. Mayer but with you. Simply put? LET IT GO!I'm sure such a synopsis will turn your high-powered venom toward me. Even so, the truth is the truth. How in the WORLD does one take something so personally? Jesus, man! Is life so miserable that you must be a dark cloud over even over outstanding articles? In all truth it boggles me how you continue on so!In addition you offer nothing on the substance of the article and, echoing Jayceph's opinion, you weaken your own position with hypocrisy. You afford yourself ample opportunity to err in blathering on about things which are not germane to this topic, yet on (what you calculate to be) Mr. Mayer's misfirings you allow no room for error! The fact is this piece is spot on and you had nothing to say of it! The fact is you could have learned something were you not blinded by malice. Where is the reason that was so close of a companion to you before? Do you take careful measure of what is a fair and balanced perspective before you offer yours? You are better than this. I've seen it.

11 years, 7 months ago

Jayceph would posting something akin to say, equating the young man arrested at the downtown celebration for not giving up his liquor bottle, with the plight of holocaust victims, be considered relevant in your eyes? There are times when less (or nothing) is more. I respect and often enjoy Bill Mayer's insights (and usually yours as well), I don't care how many people try to justify his 06/01/2007 article as "stirring the readers" or "offering an opinion." I stand by the fact that he owes Brandon Rush a written apology in the LJW.

actorman 11 years, 7 months ago

I think both tx and jross have good points. Like jross, I think this is an interesting article and I don't have a problem with it. But like tx, I believe that Mayer owes Rush an apology. I disagree with jross that the article was simply a matter of opinion. Yes, of course we all knew that Rush was coming back only because of the injury. But the point was not the reason he was coming back but what he was going to do once he DID come back. Everything that Rush had done up until that point had been handled in an thoughtful, respectful way and there was no reason to believe he wouldn't continue to handle things in that manner. Yet Mayer wrote a vitriolic, mean-spirited article blaming Rush for following the rules of the system and insinuating that he would coast by simply for the free medical care and wouldn't be a real contributor to the team. That is why he owes an apology, not because he was merely stating an opion but because he wrote a completely undeserved, unjustified attack piece.

davidsmom 11 years, 7 months ago

I enjoy the TCJ's Tully Corcoran's KU stuff, but I have totally given up on the K.C. Star because I can't get to the bottom of the article without seeing all the hateful, insulting, totally juvenile comments from readers (even though you have to click another page to actually read the full comments.) It is like 4th-grade playground bickering, or a barroom brawl and every bit as high-class and intelligent. And every article somehow invokes bickering between KU and MU or KSU fans, regardless the subject of the article. It's ridiculous. If they would change their format I might go back to reading their sports. I enjoy the Journal-World's sports reporting and the reader comments tend to be a lot more thoughtful, intelligent, and friendly to the Jayhawks.

Rationalanimal 11 years, 7 months ago

Yeah, what a terribly selfish guy Bill Self is: he actually is looking out for the folks that work below him, wants to be with KU for a long time, and wants to improve the facilities for all student athletes. I mean geez, couldn't the guy just demand a straight up contract. And Lew Perkins, the guys is just about money, or so you'd think from the LJWorld. The reality is, more money has been allocated to all athletic programs since Perkins arrived than every before. The only thing guys like Mayer can do is criticize. It is chronic critics like Mayer that present a greater positive contrast with those who actually go out and build the character of young men and women. Stadiums don't sell out to watch losers. You get what you pay for.

Ed Fox 11 years, 7 months ago

My problem with the article is that it's extremely disjointed. Seemed like the $6400 question came out of nowhere.

VOR_KUCO 11 years, 7 months ago

It would be a good followup for Mayer to re-visit his comments regarding Rush and how his feelings are now that a NC has been accomplished. He wouldn't seem so mean-spirited and petty regarding medical coverage benefits for student-athletes. Anyone who has been dependent upon coverage plans can vouch for how grateful they are to have been covered.

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