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Friday, June 5, 2009

K-State in dickens of a mess

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Anyone who considers Kansas a capsule of dullness should check the current administrative-academic-athletic mish-mash of the state’s two major universities. Charles Dickens on a cocaine binge couldn’t fashion a scenario more diverse and intriguing than what’s been going on at Kansas and Kansas State this summer. There are character matchups and unusual situations to burn.

We can only hope things are eventually resolved as neatly as Old Charlie used to be able to do with his Copperfields, Nicklebys and Scrooges. Don’t bet on it.

Right now, KU looks to be light-years better off than K-State with all the changes taking place. At least KU isn’t in danger of a $3.2 million ripoff, which K-State could face in the 2015-2020 period, if the Ron Prince-Bob Krause football agreement proves to be legal.

First at KU. Bernadette Gray-Little is succeeding Robert Hemenway as chancellor this August and has had big-time schooling about the local scene from the likes of Kansas exes Jim Moeser, Dean Smith and Roy Williams. They all know the territory well and can offer her tremendous advice on countless things. But since none of these North Carolina powers ever has dealt directly with athletic director Lew Perkins, Gray-Little may have to wing it in handling the clout of Perkins, providing he selfishly decides to go his way rather than Gray-Little’s.

In his six years, Perkins pretty much has been handed blank checks by the departing Hemenway. Lew’s just banked a tax-free $2.05 million bonus for lasting this long. Are there further bonuses for extended longevity for a guy making $900,000 a year; if so, how will Gray-Little respond in the light of a sagging economy and a new all-university fundraising venture?

Yet this is small potatoes compared to the Three Stooges fire drill in which Kansas State is ensnarled. Kirk Shulz is succeeding Jon Wefald as president; there’s a new athletic director in John Currie; Bill Snyder, who helped Wefald micromanage KSU for 17 years, is back as football coach; ex-AD Krause is in trouble for that outlandish deal he made, supposedly without Wefald’s knowledge, to pay the fired Prince a ton of non-earned money, since Prince was fired in favor of Snyder’s return.

Wefald indicates he feels betrayed by Krause, a 23-year colleague and the son-in-law of one of KSU’s main sugar daddies. K-State has taken legal action contending the Prince-Krause deal is not kosher and should not be honored.

What a chain of personalities, with so many riddles to solve: Wefald, Snyder, Schulz, Currie, Krause, Prince … KU has to feel pretty good about its administrative changeover prospects. At least the Perkins bonus caper is out in the open and wasn’t signed by candlelight at midnight in the bowels of that remote little zoo they have in Manhattan.

Prince, never noted for his cuddly-dog fuzziness at KSU, is now in Virginia arrogantly contending he’s entitled to that $3.2 million ripoff even if he got a $1.5 million settlement when he was canned — after signing a new five-year contract. Just what did Krause have in mind for himself if he bypassed Wefald and other K-State authorities with that 2015-2020 deal?

I’d love to bring back Charlie Dickens to see how he could work his way through this mess and make sure the good guys are rewarded and the bad guys are pilloried.

Comments

100 5 years, 3 months ago

Speaking of Cocaine binges & Wildcat teams, CBS has reported that University of Kentucky Wildcat center Robert Dozier reportedly didn't take his SAT test either.

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Carter Patterson 5 years, 3 months ago

sidenote to 100: Robert Dozier played at Memphis.....

What is it that the LJW staff has against Lew? He makes a ton of money...yes. He's earned every dime he makes. The man sits on the Board of Directors for Gatorade and shares a Superbowl suite with Peyton Manning. He's got more friends with money than T. Boone Pickens and T. Boone is a close friend of his. He's raises alot of money, hires the right people, and our facilities are finally catching up to the power houses in the conference. The results are clear....we are getting better in nearly every sport. Our University has a positive spot light on it for the nation to see.

Keep up the good work Lew. I hope you are the AD at KU for another 20 years.

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Robert Brock 5 years, 3 months ago

Charles Dickens? I think that a local author should come back and write about the K-State mess. Of course, I am referring to William S. Burroughs. Drugs, depravity, cockroaches...fun stuff.

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theajayhawk 5 years, 3 months ago

I don't quite get Bill Mayer's articles in regards to Perkin's salary ever so often. Perkins has done nothing but improved the KU Athletics since he has been at Kansas. And by the way, the revenue has gone up a lot more than Perkins has been paid. The guy is paying for himself and so many more. There is cost associated with people who deliver. Shut the hell up.

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rccoleon 5 years, 3 months ago

Doesn't KUAC pay Perkins' salary? He raises the money. Please look at the increase in funding and revenue increases that Perkins has made since he took the job in 2003. It is nothing short of extraordinary. He deserves every single penny.

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Rick Arnoldy 5 years, 3 months ago

"the state’s two major universities"

Wichita State folks probably take offense to that. They are Division I even if they don't have football.

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Waylon Cook 5 years, 3 months ago

its called little man syndrome-thats why even though he writes for a Lawrence paper-he usually dogs KU-grow some balls buddy-KU is your bread and butter!

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RckChalkJeff 5 years, 3 months ago

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

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KCatty 5 years, 3 months ago

I can't keep silent any longer. We need to be more conscientious of ourselves on this board. First off, did anyone see the kid from Wisconsin that de-committed because of message board and local paper articles? Well, he did. This article in a round about way implies that Perkins is a crook for his salary, which is completely out of line considering the salary was bargained for and our program has improved exponentially since he arrived at KU. So I think we should try to avoid making our program look shady for no reason. This is a local paper, why would we imply such things?

Second, Robert Dozier played at Memphis. Kids (recruits) read message boards. And this message board is often times FULL of stupid comments and complete inaccuracies that anybody who reads Sports Illustrated or watches ESPN would pick up on immediately. There are regularly posts that get players’ schools wrong and/our sports statistics/history wrong. Granted, usually they are corrected by someone down the line, but none the less it sill makes KU fans look less than knowledgeable, if not down right stupid. If you’re going to post about a player or program, get your facts straight so Kusports.com (the local newspaper most recruits are going to be reading) and its posters/readers don’t seem completely incompetent to these recruits that read the articles/posts. I am not trying to be the message board police, but the innaccuracies and mistakes are way too common here. Whether you like it or not, this board is "Kusports.com" and we represent KU, so if you don't know what you're talking about don't post. Little things do matter, especially to recruits who live and die sports.

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Hays_Hawk 5 years, 3 months ago

KCatty,

Thanks for stepping up. It seems too many people get bored after the 3 major sports seasons have ended...and then the spring semester ends...so everyone gets on this site and starts posting all sorts of ridiculous stuff. KU is KU for lost of reasons and one is class...so let's show some.

  • Hays_Hawk
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Carter Patterson 5 years, 3 months ago

KCatty...I did not see that article. Do you have a link? I have a hard time believing that a kid would decommit over message boards. We'd probably have lost him anyway. Your point is good though.

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KCatty 5 years, 3 months ago

It wasn't our recruit, it was a Wisconsin recruit. The article is entitled "Wisconsin decommitment a lesson for message-board miscreants."

http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/story/11776517

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Joel Hood 5 years, 3 months ago

KCatty,

Just my casual observations, but I think the KU Sports message boards typically are relatively civil. I check out the message boards on Zagsblog, the KC Star, etc. Those get really nasty. When it comes to KU recruits, I saw some posters express frustration with X and Stephenson, but there were always many others who were the voice of reason and put the negative posters in their place. I’d be shocked if we lost a recruit by what was posted on these boards.

But, I totally agree with you about posting unsubstantiated gossip or just plain old ignorant opinions. It’s embarrassing and it does reflect badly on the KU sports fan community.

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Jim Williamson 5 years, 3 months ago

At least there wasn't a mention of the 1932 Kansas State Normal Hornets rousing win over the Kansas A&M Aggies.

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KCatty 5 years, 3 months ago

My point is people, more particularly recruits, read message boards. So lets try not to not make the university look bad, or its fan base look like idiots by posting items that are completely false to anyone who pays attention to sports. I agree that for the most part our message boards are very calm and civil.

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KGphoto 5 years, 3 months ago

KCatty,

I can really appreciate your enthusiasm for an intelligent forum to represent KU. And like a lot of others here, I don't understand the jab at Perkin's $$$. But in the grand scope of message boards, this one is pretty good.

Message boards are a very pure reflection of the community that posts there. KU has a nice loyal following that occasionally let's their emotions get the best of them. And occasionally posts bad info. Sometimes by mistake. (I'm sure the Dozier/Kentucky thing wasn't much more than a typo. An honest mistake.) But mostly this board is well-informed, respectful and creative. Try reading sports comments at the KC Star for about 10 minutes. It'll make you crazy.

Generally I've found that college sports boards are immensely preferable to larger non-collegiate forums like the Star, or even ESPN. With those sites you have to trudge through 20 spiteful idiots to find one insightful morsel.

The whole idea of being anonymous is why message boards are so popular. And it's why you get to see honest opinions. I don't like the idea of a 15-year-old kid feeling crappy because some anonymous posts took it too far. But at what point do you stop letting anonymous people decide your life? He's 15. He still lives with his parents. Someone needs to step in there.

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justanotherfan 5 years, 3 months ago

KCatty has made a very good point.

Something else to think about:

When Houston Nutt was run out of Arkansas, some of that stemmed from message board postings and subsequent requests/investigations/etc.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espnmag/story?id=3620040

So although I am all for expressing opinions on the boards, and I love hearty discussion, let's keep it civil. If a guy isn't knocking down shots, feel free to say he isn't knocking down shots, but don't question his manhood or maturity because of it.

Far too many times I have read on this board where a recruit chooses another school and he gets labeled as a headcase, a diva, or a thug. Maybe he just wanted to play closer to home, or for another coach, or in a different system.

Good job KCatty for pointing that out.

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KCatty 5 years, 3 months ago

I agree with you about message boards and how much better our message board is, and I agree we shouldn’t let 15 year old kids dictate our speech, but it doesn't change the fact that recruits are still reading the boards AND being influenced by them. And it doesn't change the fact that there is OBVIOUSLY bad info posted on this board pretty regularly (typo or not . . .mixing up Kentucky Wildcats and Memphis Tigers is more than a typo - Calipari and blue uniforms are about all they have in common). Please don’t think I am saying anyone on the board is malicious or out of line, because 99 times out of 100 posters are not, but we don’t have to be posting degrading comments to come off poorly, stupidity can do the trick, too.

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KGphoto 5 years, 3 months ago

This is exactly why I love these boards. The article is about academic, economic messiness. And we end up bending it into something that interests us more. Message board ethics. It happens all the time. I love it. And you rarely have a small enough group to pull this off on a big board like the Star.

You certainly won't find the loyal fan base, caring enough to contribute to a good KCatty proposition. And work out a few board kinks to improve our overall image.

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100 5 years, 3 months ago

Carterpaterrson,

Thanks Man. For some reason I've been getting the Memphis Wildcats confused with the Kentucky Tigers lately.

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KUFan90 5 years, 3 months ago

KCatty - good point, but also note that nothing is stopping fans of other teams from coming here, creating an ID like "#1Jayhawkfan" and then slandering recruits or posting inaccurate info. So it's impossible to police, and while your message is well intended, I don't think it's going to change anyone's behavior.

Regarding the actual article, I disagree with the comment that Prince is "arrogantly contending he’s entitled to that $3.2 million ripoff". KSU administration (Krause) is the one that screwed up here and should never have made the deal. The fact that Prince accepted it and now expects KSU to follow through doesn't seem arrogant to me. An agreement is an agreement. No one should be looking to Prince here to say "KSU should have never offered me this, so they can keep their $3.2M." This is KSUs mess, they are accountable, and they shouldn't be looking to the other party to get them out of the situation their administrator created.

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alucard 5 years, 3 months ago

If Lew's salary is really a problem, they could always bring Al Bohl back and pay him minimum wage.

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STL_Jayhawk 5 years, 3 months ago

alucard,

I was thinking the same thing!

Mayer always sounds like a jealous, grumpy old man ranting about about how much Lew gets paid. Here's a thought, tell us which AD has done a better job for less money? Or, which AD's have seen the fundraising at their schools increase faster than KU has experienced under Lew (in this economy)?

Across the department, Lew has raised tons of money to improve facilities and retain deserving coaches. Our program is light years ahead of where it was when he arrived. Personally, I would buy tickets to see Lew give a presentation on the improvements being made at KU.

Mayer should get out from behind his desk and do some real reporting. Walk around the campus Bill and see the new facilities along with the pride in the athletic department. Then, if you still can't get over the fact that college sports is BIG business these days, please retire or go write articles on pets in need of rescue.

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100 5 years, 3 months ago

To those KU fans who think the following is not relavent to KU basketball, I respect your opinion but respectfully disagree:

ESPN's cover story on college basketball is a story about Robert Dozier. Why does it matter? Because the NCAA title game, not the 2008 I'm talking the 2010, one featuring possibly an undefeated KU team, could be affected by all of this. In short Calipari is in one heck of a pickle now.

It's the obvious reasons of why he left that the NCAA will begin delving into in the next few months, making 25 million dollars more off of a two kids who weren't even eligible to play to begin with, and the players at least, did so knowingly. Calipari took the money and bolted.

And, thanks to this Dozier story coming out bigime (ESPN) the day before the NCAA talks to Cal, more than likely the NCAA will begin to really question the integrity of Cal. Paying Rose's brother is no small deal either. But TWO (2) players and counting on Cal's teams that didn't take the SAT, and TWO (2) players and counting that have been paid extra benefits (with rumors swirling in Memphis it was much worse on the second count).

How can we, as college basketball fans (and who have been in direct competitionwith Calamari) not be the slightest bit interested?

From the NCAA's perspective, he not only flew trouble, he made 25 million by doing along with TAKING his recruits who wouldve suffered big probation with the Memphis Wildcats.

Anybody else find Calipari's presumed innocence (and stated innocence by the President of the Kentucky Tigers) absolutely baffling?

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Doug Merrill 5 years, 3 months ago

Mr. Mayer is not the problem. The person who isn't editing his columns is the problem. The allowance of speculation that ought to live inside the brain and to not spew out onto the paper is simply bad judgement by the editor, over and over again. Impugning Mr. Perkin's future work with the new Chancellor is poor journalism and poor taste. The rationale is inscrutable in view of the fact that Mr. Perkins has come in and done EXACTLY what he is being paid for. I also agree that this board too often strays into the kind of screwy personal comments that (if I were a recruit's parents) would make me reconsider the atmosphere of the school (rightly or wrongly). It seems like it has gotten worse the better our teams play, which is probably some kind of well known psychological weirdness. LJW should edit Mr. Mayer, but we need to edit ourselves.

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Lone_salina_kufan 5 years, 3 months ago

I agree with whoisjohngalt. Personally I find Mayer to be boring, confused, and way-out-of-date references that are a sad attempt to be funny but fall laughingly short. (See what I did there) I usually am against bashing journalists personally, but it does seem at time Mayer has lost touch with reality a little. Just an opinion

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Lone_salina_kufan 5 years, 3 months ago

I agree with whoisjohngalt. Personally I find Mayer to be boring, confused, and way-out-of-date references that are a sad attempt to be funny but fall laughingly short. (See what I did there) I usually am against bashing journalists personally, but it does seem at times Mayer has lost touch with reality a little. Just an opinion, so please dont rip me KCatty

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thiknthinhawk 5 years, 3 months ago

I am yet another lifelong KU fan that doesn't get what the problem is with paying good money for success. Lew Perkins is an AD dream come true. Finally- KU is doing what it takes to rise above the mire of mediocrity. Keep up the amazing work, Lew.

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Dirk Medema 5 years, 3 months ago

Usually, I appreciate Mr Mayer's historical perspective on KU athletics, but to even mention Lew in the same breath as the fiasco at KState is ludicrous. The response of the posters (or author in this case) are exactly why I appreciate this site. The response are generally intelligent and respectful.

As for the original "Dozier" comment, I thought it was some sort of attempt at a joke that I just didn't get. Sometimes there are subtlties that people are thinking/intending without appreciating the limitations of the typed language. I actually think it is rather ironic that KCatty goes off as he did - seems to be as spastic as those he derides, and much more than what has been posted here.

Mostly tho, let's hope Lew outlasts Mayer, and at least one can find someone exactly like him as a replacement. Long live Lew!

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Dirk Medema 5 years, 3 months ago

Usually, I appreciate Mr Mayer's historical perspective on KU athletics, but to even mention Lew in the same breath as the fiasco at KState is ludicrous. The response of the posters are exactly why I appreciate this site. The response are generally intelligent and respectful, and bring the errant poster (or author) back to reality.

As for the original "Dozier" comment, I thought it was some sort of attempt at a joke that I just didn't get. Sometimes there are subtlties that people are thinking/intending without appreciating the limitations of the typed language. And sometimes people just goof. Generally tho, the posts here are far more factualy based that on other boards. I actually think it is rather ironic that KCatty goes off as he did - seems to be as spastic as those he derides, and much more than what has been posted for this article.

Mostly tho, let's hope Lew outlasts Mayer, and at least one can find someone exactly like him as a replacement. Long live Lew!

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Dirk Medema 5 years, 3 months ago

Usually, I appreciate Mr Mayer's historical perspective on KU athletics, but to even mention Lew in the same breath as the fiasco at KState is ludicrous. The response of the posters are exactly why I appreciate this site. The response are generally intelligent and respectful, and bring the errant poster (or author) back to reality.

As for the original "Dozier" comment, I thought it was some sort of attempt at a joke that I just didn't get. Sometimes there are subtlties that people are thinking/intending without appreciating the limitations of the typed language. And sometimes people just goof. Generally tho, the posts here are far more factually based that on other boards. I actually think it is rather ironic that KCatty goes off as he did - seems to be as spastic as those he derides, and much more than what has been posted for this article.

Mostly tho, let's hope Lew outlasts Mayer, and at least one can find someone exactly like him as a replacement. Long live Lew!

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speedy 5 years, 2 months ago

for all of you who think lew is walking on water i for one am not satisfied with the minor?? sports that are ignored and lew needs to earn his pay by improving them. the womens softball needs a WOMAN coach. try try Cat Osterman! and do something about the discrace that is track and field. i do not hear much about the other minor teams but thats probably because they are neglected too. lew gets rich and the univ. gets shortchanged. and i don,t care who,s friends with lew.

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100 5 years, 2 months ago

Speaking of Wildcat teams in trouble...

  1. UK basketball just got hit by minor infractions today for eating free food at a local eatery.

  2. A list of basketball academic grades were published by UK, and much to the embarrassment of many in Lexington, the University pulled a rule out of their brown underwear to block the names. I wonder why? Because their grades were so high? On the contrary the rumor is the two lowest GPA's on the team were Patterson & Meeks, thus the brown stain blockage.

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