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Thursday, August 27, 2009

KU students can join new Junior Williams Fund to begin earning priority points for athletic events

A crowd of more than 16,000 basketball fans watch the women’s Kansas University basketball team prepare to take on the South Florida bulls in the WNIT championship game Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse. The crowd was the largest ever to watch a KU women’s game in the fieldhouse.

A crowd of more than 16,000 basketball fans watch the women’s Kansas University basketball team prepare to take on the South Florida bulls in the WNIT championship game Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse. The crowd was the largest ever to watch a KU women’s game in the fieldhouse.

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KU students get chance to earn post-grad sports tickets

The Junior Williams Fund will give KU students the chance to donate money will in school and earn points toward sports tickets after they graduate. The quality of the seats depends on the amount the person donates to the fund.

Kansas University students can start earning priority points for better seating at KU athletic events once they graduate — and at a much cheaper rate.

It’s part of a new Kansas Athletics program this year called the Junior Williams Fund. For a $25 yearly fee, students can earn permanent points in the Williams Educational Fund that will be used to determine priority seating for football and basketball tickets based on donations.

“It educates these students as to what the Williams Fund is,” said Jim Marchiony, associate athletics director. “They will naturally, we think, become more familiar with the athletic department.”

And, he said, they would potentially donate later on to the fund.

The Williams Fund provides money for all aspects of the athletic department from student scholarships and facilities to salaries for coaches and personnel, Marchiony said.

The more money a donor gives, the more points they earn, moving them up on the priority list to purchase and select football and basketball tickets. Where exactly a donor would fall on the list varies from year to year based on how much others have given, Marchiony said.

Students who donate $25 will earn:

• Ten permanent Williams Fund points per year — an equivalent to a $1,000 donation.

• Another 20 permanent points if they join the Williams Fund as an active donor with a donation of at least $100 within a year of graduation.

• Priority seating for student seats for postseason basketball and football games.

• Five permanent Williams Fund points for each purchase of a season ticket combo package for men’s basketball and football games.

• Gifts after each year of participation. The first year’s gift is a Jayhawks flag, then a T-shirt after the second year and an invitation to a Kansas football tailgate in the third and fourth year.

Participation in the program is open to undergraduate, graduate, medical and law students, but is capped at four years.

Banks Floodman, a former KU linebacker who now works as a development associate for the Williams Fund, came up with the idea.

“Being a recent graduate of KU, the Williams Fund was not something I was aware of,” Floodman said.

About 600 students have already signed up, he said.

He said the program could give students an extra boost over other recent graduates when they transfer their points to the permanent Williams Fund.

It’s a program Brian Mills, a sophomore from Leavenworth, said he might consider joining. He has a sports package, and goes to most KU football and basketball games.

He said he has some interest in buying tickets later after he graduates. The $25 annual fee also appealed to him.

“After I get my student loans paid off, I’ll think about donating,” for better seats, he said.

Students had the opportunity to sign up for the fee as an optional campus fee during enrollment, Marchiony said, but can still sign up for the program online at kuathletics.com.

Luke Chowaniec, a sophomore from Chicago and a student ticket holder, said the program is a great idea, but probably wasn’t for him.

“It’s not on my mind right now,” the pre-med student said. “I’m going to be in school for a long time.”

Comments

Waylon Cook 10 years, 9 months ago

CONGRATS TO THE AD-they are setting us up for BIG THINGS.

jaybate 10 years, 9 months ago

At first I was outraged at extorting, er, encouraging cash contributions from students for future preferred seating, but then it occurred to me...

Even poor students can take out a non recourse student loan at a low interest rate in a senior year. Borrow $5 grand and earn all the points your senior year, then sell seat for $10 grand to an alum, or maybe even $15-20k to a corporation as soon as you graduate.

This is what makes America great, right?

Now, if we could just get some Wall Street brokers to write some seat insurance the way they did for derivatives, before you know it, the Chinese and Japanese will be investing heavily in seat contracts. Arbitraging can live again on secondary markets. Why in no time at all, Helicopter Ben and Geith will be running the printing presses over time to bail out seat speculators in order to hold the global financial system together when the seat market bubble bursts. :-)

jaybate 10 years, 9 months ago

Post script: I occurs to me that KU, at least its athletic department, is being run increasingly as a private institution with public funding. All Kansans get to pay taxes to support KU basketball, but only the affluent students get to sit in the preferred seating. Man, that sends a clear educational message early on to students about our society. You ain't squat without what you've got da green.

One more inalienable right just got sent to the ash heap. It used to be that if you could figure out a way to afford the cheap tuition, books and housing at KU, you could at least be treated as a student equal to other students. Now, there is a financial caste system in place designating first and second class students. First class can contribute from Daddy's money bags to the WF. Second class students, er, the ones with Daddy's that don't got money bags, they gets to sit in the cheap seats.

Hey, is this great or what? Allen Field House is slowly becoming like the Old Vic in Shakespeare's time. The King. The aristocrats. The craftspersons. The Groundlings.

Hey, let's say students from households under certain levels of income can't even sit down. SRO.

Change the state slogan.

Ad iniquus per aspera.

jaybate 10 years, 9 months ago

Post Post Script:

May I recommend three classes of toilets.

Padded seat for students who's parents contribute to the WF for them.

Hard seats for students who's parents contribute to the WF only for themselves.

Just a hole in the floor for those that are from lower income households.

We're getting so European. Isn't it great?

:-(

jayhawk2062 10 years, 9 months ago

I would vote for a permanent ban of jaybate on all message boards........wow. Way too much time on your hands.

emillasap 10 years, 9 months ago

Jaybate,

I'm afraid that if you want to watch a national championship caliber team consistently in the modern climate, You must take a more "pragmatic" view aka sell your soul (It's much easier to deal with that way). The NCAA is a cartel. Someone please argue.

RockChalkJayBlog 10 years, 9 months ago

Is there a way to block Jaybate's posts? Straight up spam.

jahoward77 10 years, 9 months ago

From my reading of this article, it seems that the Junior Williams Fund program only involves a $25 annual fee, or $100 over the course of a four-year undergraduate education. Once you graduate, the bonus for donating more money does come into play, but even then it is just a $100 donation to get the extra 20 points (perhaps a graduation gift from grandma). After that, it is just the normal Williams Fund setup. $25 over the course of 365 days hardly separates the haves from the have nots.

I could be wrong, but if I'm not, please go find a real issue to complain about.

Michael Auchard 10 years, 9 months ago

“It educates these students as to what the Williams Fund is,” said Jim Marchiony, associate athletics director. “They will naturally, we think, become more familiar with the athletic department.”

It educates students how Lew Perkins' inner wallet fold looks like. WTF.

Waylon Cook 10 years, 9 months ago

Ya I may be a bit confused seems people who WORK and pay in taxes get less back than this program pays students back.........

So I guess the AD should have set it up so you pay in as a student and then after you grad it goes to a visiting school so they can come to away games? Would that make lefties more happy?

Michael Auchard 10 years, 9 months ago

Ten years from now, no one will be able to afford to go to KU basketball games anymore, we'll all cheer from home, watching corporation types sit in our former seats.

We'll scream and curse Lew Perkins' name. It won't matter. And we'll all be used to it. It'll be expected by then.

It'll be basketball, then football. It's a slippery slope. Money does not necessarily equal happiness in college sports.

I see the way the wind is blowing and I'm very afraid for Lawrence fans. Please don't let this happen on your watch.

jaybate 10 years, 9 months ago

jayhawk2062,

Oooooooh no, not the old "way too much time on your hands" rhetorical device! That's so 2002.

But to speak yer jabber: bettin' you have way more time than I have, pilgrim.

And now that I think about it...

I'm sick and tired of pinkos like you, jayhawk2062, and crypto lefties like onlyoneUinKansas not manning-up on this toilet issue.

What? Are you two...some kind of socialistas?

Only a communista, or a socialista, or an Islamic fundamentalista, would oppose different grades of toilets for different socio-economic classes of students at Allen Field House now that we have created seating castes for students from different socio-economic classes.

Come on, you lefty spies, man-up on toilet castes; this would be a darned reliable way to spike revenues! I mean every class of person--even you two socialistas--has to eliminate. And every red-blooded Eliminator wants to use his, or her, wallet to buy the distinction of being better than other Eliminators, right?

Its Ebay capitalism at its finest, ain't it?

Now sing along with me, you two socialistas...or its off to a torture prison with you both...

"Oh, ah'm proud to be an eliminator, Cuz at least I know ah'cn pee Its time we sit down, And start to crown God bless our toilet springs."

Why, that just makes me wet-eyed sentimental to sing it. Where's George Dubya when we need him? The country is going to heck in a pinko handbasket, ain't it?

jaybate 10 years, 9 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

jhawk23 10 years, 9 months ago

“Being a recent graduate of KU, the Williams Fund was not something I was aware of,” Floodman said.

Really?

Really?

Really?

Pathetic.

FairgroveJayhawk 10 years, 9 months ago

I've never contributed to the williams fund as I have never had the extra dough to give to make any kind of a difference since all I ever want is tickets to the basketball games.

I've been known to scalp a few tickets to big games and receive a few gift tickets to lesser games. Ala Jaybate, I suppose I'll be using the hole in the ground, but I must have unused paper.

BTW........ 7 WEEKS 12 HOURS UNTIL LATE NIGHT!!!!

Cody Stumma 10 years, 9 months ago

I'm not funding them... I won't even be able to afford season tickets after I graduate... I'll be busy trying to pay off the $60,000+ whatever it takes to give them for school.

Kyle Rohde 10 years, 9 months ago

Great...so a bunch of students are going to graduate next spring and have more points than I do in the WEF, since I can't afford to give the $1,000 a year I'd have to give to be even with their $25 donation. Pretty crappy from that point of view - there's got to be a lot of recent grads donating hard-earned money that will be surpassed by students now. $25 should be more like a $100 donation, not $1,000.

Tad Smith 10 years, 9 months ago

RTFA, Jaybate. The students who donate do not get upgraded seats. They get priority for tickets for postseason games.

KUBlue0809 10 years, 9 months ago

Kansas Athletics is a completely seperate entity from the University....So our tuition money has nothing to do with the Williams Fund. Maybe the University should take a page of knowledge out of Lew's book, obviously his business is doing a lot better than the Universities! Ha. ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK!

JHawkJason08 10 years, 9 months ago

I am one of those recent grads that thinks it's complete horsesh!t that in a couple of years, there will be 10,000 people ahead of me in priorty points. My wife and I graduated in 07 & 08, respectively, and have each been WEF members since graduation. We called and gave the athletics department and WEF an earfull of how rediculous all of this is and tried to see if there was a way for recent grads to get any sort of benefits from this and explained to them how for $25 a year they're screwing a bunch of their supporters, but they essentially said tough luck. I'm pretty pissed, and unless we hit the lotto, this pretty much craps all over any shot of us getting in Allen for the rest of our lives (season ticket wise). We're loyal, diehard KU fans, and we'll keep supporting WEF, but it's just unlikely we'll see any direct benefit (other than supporting many national championship teams, but i guess i can't complain about that).

jayhawk2062 10 years, 9 months ago

jaybate.........still doesn't get it.

Scholarship money isn't raised on wishes and dreams.....because the University doesn't charge you in wishes and dreams. They charge you CASH money to go to school here.

So, when college becomes free, jaybate, and when dorms become free, jaybate, and when facilities can be built for free, jaybate, then I guess we won't need this HORRIBLE williams fund.

I think we would all love to live in your fantasy world, yet, it's not accurate, nor is it feasible to expect the type of success and expectations that you do, without this type of dollars and cents support.

8 Days until Football....I cannot wait!

RockChalkGuy 10 years, 9 months ago

Just for the record, I don't agree with all of Jaybate's comments, but I sure do love reading them. Cease and desist the attempts to censor him.

I wish a system like this had been in place when I graduated nearly a decade ago. I'm severely lagging in the point$ race and could have used a good jump start like this. The only solace I have is in the knowing that my screaming and yelling from the upper corner of AFH actually makes it to the floor sometimes because the corporate seats ahead of me don't make much noise at all.

Honestly, I don't really care that much. Simply being in a seat at the historic Allen Field House and being blessed with the ability to be a spectator to the greatest show on earth is good enough for me. Let the rich pay for the program. Without them it wouldn't be the greatest show on earth.

P.S. - I vote to leave the toilet arrangement as is.

Kyle Rohde 10 years, 9 months ago

JHawkJason08 - you're going a little far saying you'll never get into AFH. They haven't been able to sell enough season tickets for this year as it is, even with the #1 team in the country coming back. Extended deadlines, 1/2 season packages, monthly no-interest payments - never seen ticket selling like that for KU basketball before.

But it's still complete BS that students are getting this handout. I'm writing an email to the WEF people now.

jayhawkox 10 years, 9 months ago

Can we please dispel the myth that somehow KU Athletics is publicly funded? It is a private corporation. Also, the University itself only gets 25% of its budget from the State of Kansas, so I'm really getting tired of the argument that someone's tax money earns them a spot in Allen Fieldhouse. It doesn't. It earns you roads.

phogthedog 10 years, 9 months ago

Those of you who have cheered on Lew and his exploits are getting a BIG TASTE of how he'll screw anyone anywhere to make a buck. This is completely unfair to recent graduate of KU, who now are paying off student loans, establishing careers, possibly raising families AND trying to scrape up bucks for WEF so that they can go to games. Unbelievable!

tominkc 10 years, 9 months ago

It's hard to argue that this is a bad idea from the WEF perspective. But I'm with JHawkJason. I've been contributing since graduating, but have been frustrated because it seems like I'll never have enough points to mean anything. When I think of how much I'd have to give to get where these kids are going to be at graduation, it makes me sick.

I'm sure the WEF has thought all of this through and aren't too worried about alienating current donors with this program. But it does make it seem like they don't give 2 sh!ts about people like me who contribute what they can but aren't in a position to donate thousands of dollars.

Kyle Rohde 10 years, 9 months ago

tominckc, Jhawkjason and others - I just sent the below message to wef@ku.edu and I encourage you to send similar ones:

Dear Williams Fund:

I'm writing to express my displeasure with the announcement of the Junior Williams Fund program. The idea of it is fine - increased awareness of the program is always a good thing, but the structure you've set up is a slap in the face to me and hundreds of other people in similar situations. I've been a WEF member since 2005, when I graduated, and have donated at the $250 level for the past three years, and planned on donating more as my income allows. I've donated hard-earned money to KU, rather than paying off debts or using it for other purposes and bought football season tickets annually, while dreaming of being able to afford season tickets for men's basketball. Now, you're going to let students have more WEF points than I've accumulated in four years by giving $25. By the time they graduate, they will have the equivalent of $4,000 in points, which I can't come close to matching at this point in my life. I'm fine with giving them maybe a 4x bonus ($25 = $100), but giving them a 40x bonus is way too much. Why did you feel the need to give them such an extreme bonus? By launching this program without that, you'd still achieve your goal of increased awareness and more WEF members. Does the current generation of students hold so much promise that you're convinced they'll earn far more money than people like me, so I don't matter?

Since Lew Perkins arrived, I've defended each and every move he's made to increase revenue because it's making KU's athletic program competitive with the massive spenders in Austin, Norman, Lincoln, etc. But this one isn't going to pay off like those other moves have - you're just angering the next generation of your donors, the people who you're going to be calling when the Kivistos, Hoglunds, Andersons, and other generous people have passed away or run out of money. This level of greed and disrespect for donors like myself is extremely disheartening; I sincerely doubt I would be treated as such if I was donating money that went straight to the University and not just the athletic department. I'm starting to believe the Journalism school that gave me my degree would be a better place to donate my money. I welcome an explanation from you as to why you're disregarding so many of us in the name of rewarding the current students so highly.

Thank you,

FairgroveJayhawk 10 years, 9 months ago

tominkc says "But it does make it seem like they don't give 2 sh!ts about people like me who contribute what they can but aren't in a position to donate thousands of dollars."

I would say you are 100% correct.

i would say the percentage of dollars donated to the wef would be greatly owned by around the top 20% of the donors. I have no factual numbers to include but just a bit of deductive reasoning.

The possibility of the "high donors" loosing any position with regards to the new wef policy is likely non existent. The idea is for the wef to gain new "high donors" and sucker a few more into giving that normally wouldn't since they have a few points starting off... why loose them, right? Great business decision. I'll stick to my own means of obtaining tickets, t-shirts, etc.

jaybate 10 years, 9 months ago

Not that it matters much, as many persons say they don't read my posts anyway, but for those that do, now that I find the second half of my 2-part post in this thread that began "Dear jayhawk2062" was deleted, I reckon I can take no responsibility for the first half either, as its meaning and emphasis were significantly distorted by the deletion of its second half. No doubt some few who read my posts were were mislead by seeing only the first half.

So: on behalf of whoever is responsible for deleting only the second half of my two-part post, I wish to apologize to readers, for any confusion, or consternation, that has resulted from the deletion of second half of the post. And I reckon I will disavow responsibility for any distortions and misinterpretations caused by reading only the first half out of context of both posts, because I had no hand in removing that second half.

Further, at the end of the deleted portion of the two-part post, I noted that the whole post (both parts) was meant in jest. Let me expand on this by saying both posts were meant to satirize the willingness on the part of some persons to seem to willing to let KU basketball slip further down, what in my humble opinion, is a slippery slope toward creating first and second classes (or more classes) of student fans attending games at Allen Field House, based significantly on their socio-economic circumstances. I believe it unwise for a public university to tacitly approve this sort of policy undertaken by a private athletic fund raising organization that raises money expressly for the university's sports teams and the venues where they play. In my opinion, moving in this direction is wrong, and my posts were intended as a satiric comment to that effect. Both halves of the post were written in order to make that point clear and to poke fun in the process.

And it was all opining, too.

Finally, there is no need to be contentious about this on anyone's part. Editors do the best they can in editing our posts. Posters do the best they can in writing their posts. Unfortunate circumstances arise, but actions taken in good faith help us weather them.

As always, thanks for the privilege of posting on KUsports.com.

jaybate 10 years, 9 months ago

jayhawkinnebr,

I could swear you are a Cornhusker. Get some Cornhusker lotion and put it to use pronto.

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