Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Five-year plan update


Here we are early in the fourth year of Lew Perkins’ five-year strategic plan for Kansas University athletics, and, in many ways, the KU athletic director’s grand vision appears on target.

When Perkins announced the plan in January of 2006, he said, “You will note that many of our goals are quite ambitious — a deliberate decision on our part — and we expect you to hold us accountable.”

Officially, we can’t hold KAI accountable until January of 2011, but we can provide an update. Here are some of the basics:

• Significantly increase individual, corporate and philanthropic support in order to fulfill the plan.

Done, and then some. Turning Allen Fieldhouse into a cash register provided the impetus, then the 2008 NCAA men’s basketball championship and back-to-back football bowl trips spurred additional wallet emptying.

• Being a national leader, never a follower, in setting the highest standards for academics, athletic competition, ethical behavior and fiscal responsibility.

On track on every count except athletic competition, but more about that later.

• Providing KU student-athletes with the best college experience in the country through improved support programs and a re-dedicated focus on the specific needs of our student-athletes inside and outside of athletics.

You won’t hear any KU student-athletes complaining about the department’s academic and life-skills support. Nor should they because KAI spends well over a million bucks each fiscal year to implement those programs.

• Being responsible to our fans and the community at large, providing a family entertainment experience unparalleled in the country, and an extensive commitment to service and outreach outside our campus borders.

Right on. KU’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, for example, is actively involved with city schools, promoting reading and fitness and providing role models.

• Achieving a Top 25 ranking in the Director’s Cup, the annual rating of the best overall NCAA Division One athletic programs in the country.

Better hurry.

With about two years remaining in KU’s strategic plan, the Jayhawks haven’t made much headway in their bid to reach the coveted Top 25 as compiled by the National Association of College Directors of Athletics (NACDA).

Six months after Perkins announced his strategic plan, Kansas finished 60th in NACDA standings. The following year (2006-07), KU dipped to 66th. Last year, however, KU climbed to 54th, thanks in large part to those memorable men’s basketball and football seasons.

NACDA publishes updates as the school year progresses, and the 2008 fall standings are out. They show Kansas in 56th place.

Will the Jayhawks climb any higher when the winter and spring updates are released? Not likely. Men’s basketball will score high, but most of the other men’s and women’s winter and spring sports are projected as second-division finishers in the Big 12 with little chance of compiling bonus points for NCAA postseason participation.

Unparalleled Excellence is the official name of Perkins’ five-year plan. Unparalleled, however, means the best, and that’s difficult to determine. Certainly KU is parallel in many areas, but not in athletic competition.


Cody Stumma 9 years, 2 months ago

Maybe if Lew would be more supportive of the other sports, Kansas may actually be able to reach the Top 25...

lance1jhawk 9 years, 2 months ago

I belive Lew is being supportive of the other sports. I seem to remember a new Boat house grand opening for the rowing team. New baseball clubhouse. Swimming and Volleyball have been addessed, and so on. All these updates to facilites take time, and once the recruits see the commitment that KU is taking... the rest should fall into place.

kranny 9 years, 2 months ago

The categories that are listed for NACDA points are as follows with KU's score:

Women's Cross Country - 0 pts. Mens CC 0 pts. Women's Field Hockey 0 pts. Football 50 pts. (26th place ranking in nation Women's Soccer 45 pts. (17th ranking) Mens Soccer 0 pts. Women's Volleyball 0 pts. Men's Water Polo 0 pts.

We can't do much about Water Polo but I think as we get Football paid for, the revenue generated by football will allow us to invest more in Cross Country, Soccer and Volleyball.

Kyle Rohde 9 years, 2 months ago

I'd say Lew has fulfilled his end of that entire plan, except for the top 25 ranking. He's significantly behind in that area. The two coaches delivering the most success right now were not hired by him (Self/Mangino) and his big hire (Henrickson) has not shown any real progress yet. The volleyball and baseball teams have regressed from where they were 3-4 years ago, when each was in that 4th/5th place, on the cusp of success spot. The other sports aren't doing much now, nor were they before. We're a LONG way from being in the top 25.

topekahawk 9 years, 2 months ago

Code_2008, More supportive of other sports? By other sports, I assume you mean sports other than football and men's basketball. Let's list them out, shall we?

Men Baseball - New $2 million clubhouse. Held the KU-MU game at Kauffman Stadium to generate support in KC. Cross Country -5 runners academic all Big 12 Golf -- new golf facility constructed which includes six all-weather hitting bays, each with its own launch monitor viewing and video swing analysis. Track and Field -- upgraded locker rooms

Women Basketball -- construction of a new practice facility Cross Country -- 7 runners academic all Big 12 Golf -- new golf facility constructed which includes six all-weather hitting bays, each with its own launch monitor viewing and video swing analysis. Rowing -- Construction of a new $6 million 16,000 square foot rowing boathouse on the Kaw. Soccer -- Construction of new dedicated locker rooms. Newly resurfaced soccer field. Softball -- Construction of new dedicated locker rooms. New lights at Arrocha Ballpark. Swimming & Diving -- facility upgrades planned in the Master Plan Tennis -- Six new outdoor courts and an additional indoor court built, as well as a new lounge and new lockers. Track and Field -- Construction of new dedicated locker rooms Volleyball -- renovations of the Horejsi Center within the $55 million major reconstruction effort.

In addition, the facilities master plan calls for upgrades in track, softball and soccer, including permanent grandstands, a merchandise location, press boxes and public restrooms.

Last, but not least, there's the $55 million for major renovations to Allen Fieldhouse, Horejsi Family Athletic Center, the Wagnon Student-Athlete Center and the Parrot Athletics Complex. This is used by ALL athletes and includes the new basketball practice facility that will be used by both men's and women's basketball.

Seems to me that an amazing amount of resources, financial and staff, is being dedicated to sports and athletes that are not generating revenue for the University.

indianajayhawk 9 years, 2 months ago

I agree that there are a lot of big plans in the works/completed, but we should also look at the competition in terms of sheer numbers. It is challenging to move up with out a ton of success in every program when you have so few. I understand too, that you can't fund every sport, but giving yourself more opportunities to score points in the Director's Cup standings would be helpful -- adding men's programs seems to be politically incorrect these days, but it is difficult to make a cost-prohibitive argument when the sports sponsored by KU for women and not men (soccer, tennis, swimming) use the same facilities and if I'm not mistaken at least for tennis & swimming utilize the same coaching staff and travel arrangements?

For some schools around the 25-level ranking BYU = 19 Iowa = 21 Ok. State = 16 James Madison = 17 Boston College = 29 West Virginia = 16 Nebraska = 21 Utah = 17

KU = 16.

I'm not saying that we can't find success in the Director's Cup only 16, as OK. State & Tulsa & WVU show -- but that is definitely at the lower end of the sponsorship numbers for that type of ranking. (those numbers might not be exact, just somthing i pulled off their sites quickly)

Anyway, just a thought -- back to work now.

While several of the sports sponsored by other schools at the 25-level ranking would be quite expensive (lacrosse for men & women, wrestling, gymnastics) the previous 3 aren't.

FlaHawk 9 years, 2 months ago

KU will never crack the Top 25 for two big reasons. Football does not generate enough revenue to add additional sports. Without more sportd KU can not score more points in the Directors Cup race.

This will just not EVER occur at KU.

Lew has gone and done a fantastic job and he is focusing on the revenue sports which is the only way to get additional funding for minor sports. His only real failure is with Women's BB. Coach Bonnie is killing his reputation and needs to move on or go back to the Valleys of Western Virgina!

omng392 9 years, 2 months ago

FlaHawk. I have to agree with you. Though, time will tell. If the football program continues its success over an extended period of time, we could see some of the other sports progress, and thus we could improve our ranking in the directors cup. Though, KS is known as a basketball school. If you look at a TX for instance, you know from growing up (I swam), that Texas was known as a top 10 swimming school as well as Football, baseball and basketball. Just like Iowa is known as a wrestling school. The only way to improve that is to go get a couple of big time coaches for those programs and build excitement... That will be tough to do, without a lot of CASH

Dirk Medema 9 years, 2 months ago

Flahawk - It was surprising to see your pessimism so late in the list of responses. Fortunately, your almost as wrong as you are negative. The easy evidence is available about a hundred miles to the north.

NU has plenty of cash to fund many men's and women's sports in large part generated by filling an 80 some thousand seat FB stadium most Saturdays in the fall. You astutely would point out that KU doesn't have that many seats or as much interest in the FB program, but NU didn't either 50 or so years ago. They made a concious effort to develop the FB program because they knew that it would fund the rest of their athletics. It is not because they are developing so many 5-star athletes in NE (~TX).

So how does KU compare to NU otherwise? Rather similarly (states as a whole, proximity to large city/airport, etc.), except that KU is a heck of a lot nicer place to visit & live. The state is burdened by the wart to the west (ksu), but surely you wouldn't base all of your negativism on the purple people?

I haven't gone back and checked specifically, but I'm guessing you would have also said that there would be no way of KU ever filling the FB stadium for a non-con season full of nobodies, and yet this happened last year. It is very reasonable to believe that it will happen in '09 as well. They can very reaslistically finish 9-4, and go to an upper tier bowl game. The real test will be whether KU/Mangino+ can continue the success past this present SR class. If that happens, the track will be moved and capacity incrementally increased, the state of the art facility that has been planned for track (soccer?) near AFH will be built, the recruits will come, and the directors cup will come much closer.

Rock Chalk

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