Originally published April 22, 2009 at 02:46p.m., updated April 23, 2009 at 08:02a.m.

New retention agreement ready to keep Perkins here past June 30

Bonus would equal more than $3 million


Should Kansas Athletic Director Lew Perkins receive his first retention bonus of $2.05 million on June 30, the clock begins on another tax-free payment for Perkins.

According to amendments to Perkins’ contract provided by Kansas University, if Perkins stays with the university from July 1 through June 30, 2013, he would receive another $1.2 million from Kansas Athletics.

Perkins would be paid $600,000 if he stays through June 30, 2011, and an additional $600,000 for staying through June 2013. As with the first retention bonus, all money used would come from Kansas Athletics funds with no state taxpayer dollars involved.

Lynn Bretz, a KU spokeswoman, said retention agreements were not uncommon in athletics, and reflected a desire to ensure Perkins remained on as athletic director. She highlighted several accomplishments during his tenure, including a 2.99 fall 2008 grade-point average for all student-athletes in KU’s 18 sports programs, which represented an athletic department record for a fall semester.

Also, several of the sports programs have achieved postseason success, including conference titles, two consecutive bowl victories for football and a men’s basketball national title.

Kansas Athletics will be on the hook for more than $1.5 million to cover Perkins’ personal income taxes in addition to his upcoming $2.05 million bonus, according to estimates from a certified public accountant.

Using a formula outlined in his contract and taking into account Perkins’ current salary and existing tax rates, Kansas University would write Perkins a $3.59 million check in gross earnings from athletics funds so that he can take home $2.05 million in net bonus pay, according to an estimate from Randy Renfro, a CPA with Roark & Associates, PA, who agreed to assist the Lawrence Journal-World with the calculation.

A similar calculation would be done on the next retention payments using the tax rates from that particular year, according to the agreement negotiating the payments. That document was signed by Perkins on March 25, 2008, and Chancellor Robert Hemenway on April 12, 2008.

Perkins makes an annual salary of $800,000 plus an additional $100,000 for media relations work. Bretz said that work included engaging in public relations efforts, meeting with the media, making news announcements and appearing at recognition and other ceremonies and at sporting events.

The $800,000 salary was raised in July 2008. When he was originally hired, it was $400,000.

“In essence, Lew’s salary was changed to reflect unparalleled excellence on many fronts,” Bretz said.

As part of renegotiating Perkins’ salary, a previous portion of Perkins’ contract allowing him a $75,000 annual performance bonus if Perkins met certain criteria was removed.

KU pays a part of Perkins’ salary through state funds to support institutional control. In the current fiscal year, $194,011 of his salary is paid using state funds. The balance comes from Kansas Athletics funds.

Additional documents provided by KU on Wednesday afternoon showed that Perkins’ employment contract at KU had been extended by two years, through June 2015.


arcticjhawk 10 years, 9 months ago

I still say that it sucks that Lew is collecting his big payday, KU Athletics is forking over >1.5 mil. and those consession workers still managed to lose their jobs. Lew is worth his weight in gold, but unfortunately it comes at the cost of others. Something seems wrong with this situation.

DCJayhawks 10 years, 9 months ago

Give it up, LJW.

He's worth every penny.

Marcia Parsons 10 years, 9 months ago

Since most of those concession jobs are part-time, I suspect that any who are interested will be able to hire on with the new contractor. Besides, it's pretty hard to compare the two occupations since the work performed by Perkins brings in big bucks for the Athletics Department--way more than enough to cover his salary and certainly at no cost to the concession workers. I don't know why people continue to try to paint Lew as the bad guy when he has brought about so many positive changes.

KEITHMILES05 10 years, 9 months ago

LJW can investigate all the want. There is nothing they can do about it.

Andrew Moore 10 years, 9 months ago

Worth every penny. Big Lew is irreplaceable at this point. He has done such an amazing job handling the high profile sports, but he's not complacent. He's pushing hard for all of the sports to improve.

Lew is the #1 AD in the country. You get what you pay for, Lew's solid gold!

KEITHMILES05 10 years, 9 months ago

Slow day at LJW!

Sad commentary when on the even of signing one of the highest recruits ever in KU history this newspaper has to go on a witch hunt.


Robert Murphy 10 years, 9 months ago

Just like the banksters and the CEO's college athletic directors and coaches are getting paid outrageous amounts of money while the players (those actually doing the entertaining) get nothing in comparison. Coaching is not exactly teaching rocket science. Pass the ball, dribble the ball, put the ball in the basket. Athletic directors raise ticket prices and conn alumni into building better practice facilities and luxury housing for student athletes. If the University has gobs of money then lower ticket prices, give the deserving more scholarships or start paying the athletes money so they might feel like staying around a few years or until they graduate. This would build a better brand and give the athletes a more carefree youth before turning pro and living a life of drudgery. Lew does not need another million dollars. How much money do any of these people need? My opinion only, but I feel, in our society our priorities are completely out of whack.

KUGreenMachine 10 years, 9 months ago

lol @ comment about consessions workers losing their jobs...are you kidding me? it's part time work that can be found almost anywhere. i'm sure if they love their consession job so much they can find work with the new company. sounds like the journal world got what it wanted in tricking the public.

cre017 10 years, 9 months ago

Would some people rather have a guy who has a garage sale to sell off all the KU merchandise he horded or maybe a guy who talks about feeling like a "crushed dove"? Come on LJ World give us all a break. This is the top Sports Director/CEO in the United States and he is worth every cent.

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