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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Keegan

KU’s new address: Elm St.

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Schadenfreude — taking great pleasure in the suffering of others — has a way of traveling the path of a boomerang.

Remember the pleasure some loyal Kansas University supporters took in the scandal that led to Quin Snyder’s departure from Missouri? Remember the laughter aimed west over the pricey parachute secretly brokered with Kansas State football coach Ron Prince? All those rock-tossers never stopped to wonder whether their school had its own glass buildings.

Things happen at every university, but the rapid succession of embarrassing incidents in and around KU the past several months blows the mind.

Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little thought the athletic department was located on Naismith Drive. She had no idea that in her first school year it would shift to Elm Street, where a recurring nightmare changes characters but has the same result: fans of Missouri and, to a lesser extent Kansas State, left in a state of schadenfreude.

Through the years, nobody has done a better job of marketing KU than its athletes. Wilt Chamberlain, Nolan Cromwell, John Hadl, Danny Manning, Bill Nieder, Al Oerter, Todd Reesing, John Riggins, Jim Ryun, Wes Santee, Gale Sayers, Lynette Woodard and so many others have burned the word Kansas on the brains of the masses in such a positive way.

That was before the move to Elm Street, where nightmares never end.

That two-day stretch of fights between the KU football and basketball players seems as if it happened nine years ago, instead of less than nine months ago. Basketball coach Bill Self clamped down on the team, implementing new rules, which made Brady Morningstar following in the footsteps of Duke’s J.J. Redick and North Carolina’s Ty Lawson in getting arrested for drinking and driving even more embarrassing.

Next came the very public, prolonged termination of football coach Mark Mangino’s KU career, which triggered embarrassing revelations from former players and resulted in him taking a $3 million buyout.

Then came the ticket scandal. Six members of the athletic department resigned or were fired for lining their pockets with money from ticket brokers for selling seats that should have gone to loyal donors, who in many cases sat in worse seats than they earned.

In an unrelated matter, former football player Vernon Brooks, already dismissed for violating team rules, and Jamal Greene, who had been expected to compete for a starting spot at defensive tackle and since has been dismissed from the team, were charged with one count of aggravated burglary and three counts of aggravated assault with a firearm and one count of conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery after they allegedly entered the Tuckaway Apartments wearing ski masks and gloves and armed with semi-automatic guns and reportedly ordered four people to lie down on the ground.

Now, the chancellor has appointed two senior KU staffers to “fully review and bring closure to the allegations that have been made,” against athletic director Lew Perkins regarding exercise equipment put in his home.

Nobody wants to wish a summer away, but can we fast-forward to the next school year?

Comments

waywardJay 4 years, 3 months ago

Give it a rest Kegparty.

Another Op -ed Piece on how the world is going to fall because Lew accepted a stairmaster.

Ok, two can Play at this game.

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jchief40 4 years, 3 months ago

haha funny.

but I just love myself some Keegs

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joeh80 4 years, 3 months ago

And the LJW just keeps heaping it on also. I guess thats what it takes to sell a newspaper these days.

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Robert Brock 4 years, 3 months ago

They are waiting with great new stories: Perkins gets fired and his replacement leads KU into joining Conference USA.

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Kevin Studer 4 years, 3 months ago

Relax, children. Nothing in this story is untrue or conjecture. Killing the messenger because KU has had a ridiculously embarrassing year is juvenile. When things go great, journalists write about it. When things go horribly (like, say, right now), they write about that. If you have a problem with that, quit coming to the website.

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dragonhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

You know what Cusack? You are wrong. Once in a while Keegan will have a positive article but over all he looks for the negatives. Yes, we have had a bad stretch. Ok, report on it but why does he think he needs to write this??

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murph 4 years, 3 months ago

Keegan thinks he needs to write this because it's happening, and it's a disgrace! It absolutely is his job to write this. He's not a paid cheerleader for the University of Kansas. He's a journalist, and his job is to expose bad things that are done by, to and at an institution which depends heavily on public tax money.

The Chancellor's job - and I really hope she's up to it - is to get the mess cleaned up so Keegan and all the others who get paid to report the news don't have it to write about any more.

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1983Hawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Notwithstanding the schadenfreude from misery and grape fans, we need to hope Perkins can survive this mess.

One of the groups pushing behind the scenes for Lew's ouster is the anti-athletic faculty, associate profs making 85k a year who aren't getting a raise this year and are furious about Lew's balloon retention payment getting his salary last year up to 4.4m or whatever it was. They were embarrassed with the perception that the athletic dept had run amok during the fball/bball skirmish last fall; the Mangino abuse stuff; and now with the public black eye from the ticket scandal.

They will push the Chancellor to replace Lew with a Bob Frederick milquetoast type who they feel will be easier to control. In short, someone who won't fundraise worth a damn, won't ruffle feathers, and will be totally out of his depth when it comes to throwing sharp elbows in the smoke-filled rooms where conference realignment will be decided.

As for fundraising, any new AD in fact will be quietly told they need to stop altogether any athletic fundraising momentum that we had the last 5 years. The new capital campaign for general fundraising is finally about to come out of dry-dock, and there have been growing concerns that people have reduced their general giving tendencies to compete in the Williams Fund points lottery.

All of this of course is a recipe for long term disaster on the football field and the basketball court. It ain't 1957 anymore, and if we hope to stay in the same conference as Texas and Nebraska, let alone compete with them, we have to maintain and enhance facilities on an ongoing basis. Yes, it's an arms race, but that's the reality in 2010.

And when an NBA team comes after Self in a couple of years, will the anti-athletic faculty snobs who successfully installed a new AD to preside over our downward spiral through mediocrity all the way to obscurity really allow him and Gray-Little to break the bank in an effort to retain Self?

Just wondering ...

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tis4tim 4 years, 3 months ago

What about maintaining order and a sense of ethics in addition to facilities? Seems to me that a lack of righteousness and decency is just cause for an even quicker slide into mediocrity and possibly irrelevancy. People will only contribute money to KU Athletics if they believe their trust is being upheld by those in charge of dispersing that money. Without integrity, all the stadium upgrades and other things are a moot point.

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sevenyearhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Add in the complimentary tickets given to a porn star by an assistant coach and the women's basketball and baseball teams failing to meet expectations ...

... it has been a pretty awful year for our alma mater.

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Damian Glaze 4 years, 3 months ago

I wouldn't go so far as call her a "star". Not many heard of her before it was written about here.

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Mike Bratisax 4 years, 3 months ago

Maybe Miss Ryan was making a donation to the athletic dept...

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Kent Wells 4 years, 3 months ago

Maybe Ms. Ryan was accepting a donation from the Athletic Department.

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Danny Hernandez 4 years, 3 months ago

I doubt our assistant coach even knew she was in the adult movie business anyway. I wish that story would dry up.

Yeah, the recent news has been embarrassing but it's more blown up than anything.

So, it's Lews fault that 6 people decided to line their pockets with ticket money, even though some of it happened before he was hired as AD? In every company where there is theft, we'll just call for the CEO's head next time as well. GMAFB

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sevenyearhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Any of these issues, taken by themselves, aren't that big of a deal ... even the ticket scandal.

But when you lump them all together ...

I honestly can't remember any University having this many problems in a single year.

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justinryman 4 years, 3 months ago

Where there is smoke, there is fire. Plain and simple.

No the A.D. can not watch over the hundreds of 20-something athletes, but he can watch over the coaches, the administration and himself.

Does this need to be written about in every days paper? Probably not, why beat a dead horse?? And perhaps Keg's should take a little self-advice and not throw too many stones. What happens when he wants to interview someone from the Athletic Department? Do you really think they will be running to his tape reacorder? No!

Now is the the time for the Athletic Department to ban together and boycott Keg's, what's a sports writter without something to write about? Just an editorialist and well who cares about self loathing blathering????

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Ron Prichard 4 years, 3 months ago

Unbelievable, Keegan. Simply unbelievable.

Through all of the people complaining about where Keegan voted KU each week of the basketball rankings and his articles up to now, I supported him. Now I wonder why.

Go back and read all of Keegan's articles over the past two weeks, then go back a little farther and read the last month. Half of them don't make any sense. Some of them start off strong and then just end without explanation. But consistently, the recent articles are nothing more than speculation, what-ifs, and bitter ramblings. There is no research and not even any real thought going into the articles. They are the same thing, over and over and over and over.....

I'm not a huge fan of jaybate, but he (concisely) provided more actual intellectual thought and cursory investigation on this issue in two paragraphs and five minutes than Keegan has in the last two weeks.

Keegan, if you have a personal vendetta against Lew, then come out and say it (actually, say it clearly). Don't try to tell me KSU and MU fans would be supportive if we had sympathized with their problems as opposed to reveling in them. I don't like MU. I don't like KSU. But guess what? They don't like KU. They never have and never will. Everyone on this board knows that.

To end your article, you state: Nobody wants to wish a summer away, but can we fast-forward to the next school year?

How about writing an article about football or basketball? That might actually help instead of perpetuating the negative news you want to fast-forward away.

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Ben Kane 4 years, 3 months ago

as I said yesterday, I'm done reading keegan. I agree with many of the posters above that he writes mostly negative speculation stories and I'm just tired of reading them.

while we may have multiple black eyes right now, they will heal and it is still an exciting time to be a jayhawk fan with a great basketball team returning next year and a new football identity.

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sevenyearhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

A "great" basketball team that still struggles with mid-major competition and a mediocre football coach ...

oh, boy - be still my beating heart.

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Ron Prichard 4 years, 3 months ago

  1. Are you honestly not excited about basketball next year?
  2. Give you rationale that Gill is a mediocre coach. I'm not saying he's not, but what are you basing your statement on?
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sevenyearhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

  1. Not really - if they can't do any better than this year with that amount of talent and leadership ...

  2. He was 20-30 in the MAC with exactly zero wins against any BCS conference schools.

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4 years, 3 months ago

“If there's not drama and negativity in my life, all my songs will be really wack and boring or something.” - Eminem

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sevenyearhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

wow ... you, of all people, quoting Eminem?

ROTFL! :D

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4 years, 3 months ago

It was either that, or this gem:

"I think there's an enormous value to being negative. The world we live in today, negativity is not permitted." - Godfrey Reggio

I was just torn as to which artist you were modeling your glass-is-not-only-half-empty-but-getting-ready-to-get-knocked-over attitude after :^)

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gchawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Keegan: This article should finally earn you that elusive Pulitzer Prize you've been dreaming about for years. What on earth could you possibly be thinking writing a piece of trash like this? We're aware, and somewhat ashamed, of our problems, but you just won't give it a rest. All you're doing is fanning the flames with these stories, and continuing to bring up old news is just irresponsible. It appears fairly obvious that you're getting too much "schadenfreude" from our problems. Please slither back to Missouri where you belong.

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thomc6 4 years, 3 months ago

The misplaced emphasis in college on sports at the expense of academics is valid issue. However, a good AD who builds an excellent sports program can bring in millions of extra dollars for the university as a whole. So paying such a productive AD will net far more money for the university community as compared to having its members split up the money saved by lowering Lew's or other AD's salary.

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dnvrhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Unfortunately, that seems to be the media's job these days. Constant sensationalism of everything negative. They regurgitate it until the next negative happening occurs, then they dwell on that until the next story happens. Must not take much to be a journalist anymore - just a snarky attitude.

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jhokfan 4 years, 3 months ago

Granted there is some smoke but I’m not seeing the fire.

Ticket scandal: Unless Lew showed gross incompetence or fostered an environment in which employee theft was encouraged I don’t think he should lose his job over an employee theft issue. And since he is about the money I can’t see that being the case.

Exercise equipment: Hard to believe he could be so careless on what could be a conflict of interest issue. Especially for something with a relatively low dollar value. After the lack of institutional control label was slapped on us it seems unlikely he would do something that was not in compliance.

Fighting between football and basketball players: That falls more on the coaches than the AD.

Mangino abuse allegations: Resolved.

I wouldn’t be so quick to judge the situation based on comments posted in the LJW. But if he’s gone, take your pick, Conference USA, Missouri Valley or the WAC. Those concerned about losing Gill if he succeeds in Lawrence will find their fear justified. Our football program will be nothing more than a stepping stone. All the malcontents calling for Lew’s job will have something new to whine about.

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gardenjay 4 years, 3 months ago

Good points Thom.

However, there are a lot of great, unemployed and highly motivated managers out there - I previously brought up the example of the Detroit area for hungry unemployed management and someone denigrated that idea. I stand by it. It shouldn't cost $1 million a year to hire someone who uses expensive attorneys when there is a failure. Someone at $200K a year can use expensive attorneys too. The point is to find someone who has enough management talent to clean house, institute rewards for self-reporting and make positions a matter of pride and privelege rather than abuse. That is a sign of good management - and it comes from the top, i.e. the Chancellor needed to be a ($%$ lot more involved in KUAD. Clearly it is not run like she is purportedly running her oddly separate ship.

The exercise equipment seems like a sideshow, and I am concerned that the Chancellor's internal review focuses on the scope of this article and not a picayune detail here and there. Finally, this type of management failure is not new, and the not-so-easy solutions are not new. Get it done.

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sevenyearhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Remember that Mangino's review started with just a finger poke ...

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hawkfanobserver 4 years, 3 months ago

Looks to me like life at the top is tough, and those college sports programs that are successful are always scrutinized very closely, and many times endure unfair accusations from their detractors and competitors. Why don't we wait and see what the outcome is before any more incidents (real or otherwise) are sensationlized before we pass judgement on the accused? Oh, yeah, I guess that wouldn't sell many papers.

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Eurekahwk 4 years, 3 months ago

This is Keegan's dream. The university that pays his salary by way of the LJ World has a big scandal. So he gets to spend every single night thinking up new things to libel it with. The Journal World like the rest of Lawrence would be absolutely nothing and have absolutely nothing if it didn't have the University of Kansas. Lawrence would be just another Eudora or DeSoto. Do they have newpapers?

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murph 4 years, 3 months ago

This is pathetic! The University of Kansas was founded for the purpose of educating young people in Kansas. It was not - and shouldn't be now - to provide a "farm team" for NBA or NFL or any other sports leagues.

It's no wonder the people on the academic side are furious - the numbers thrown around in salaries and "benefits" in KUAD are ridiculous. Lew Perkins isn't supposed to be the face of the university. He's supposed to be in charge (and I say "supposed to be" for a reason) of a department that provides "frosting" for the cake - nice diversions. Athletics is EXTRA, people - it's not education.

And yes, I expect Lew Perkins WAS stupid enough to accept an improper "freebie" like that sports equipment. He thinks he's untouchable because of the rantings of people like those on this board. Remember - Al Capone was brought down for income tax fraud. It's wasn't because he murdered people. He thought he was too big and too powerful to have to sweat the small stuff. This may be Perkins' IRS moment - and guess what? Jail is jail, whether you're there for income tax fraud or for murder.

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kualuminohio 4 years, 3 months ago

Listened to Lews speach during the Big 12, this guy represents the University of Kansas are you kidding me the guy could barely speak, he sounded like a mumbling fumbling fool.

Listen I dont know Lew, I dont know what he is really like, I dont think his gym equipment issue is really all that big of deal, but the ticket scandel under his watch is. And if you are at a press conference representing the University of Kansas you better be a top notch professional not a total deralict. Seriously are you kidding me where do we get these people who cares what kind of Superman feat he has accomplished with KU athletics if he cant represent KU behind the podium he needs to hit the road.

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kualuminohio 4 years, 3 months ago

Thank you Murph, took the words right out of myy mouth, this is truly pathetic... The Mangino witch hunt was pathetic and as I said during that fiasco Lew Perkins does not represent the University of Kansas.

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jaybate 4 years, 3 months ago

Reposted...

Dear Tom,

Please ask former KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway what, if anything, he knows about all this ticket diverting and scalping, and the related investigations. He appears to be the highest ranking KU official that was on duty from when the ticket diversions started apparently under AD Bohl's watch (note: Hemenway appeared to be instrumental in attracting and shortly dismissing AD Bohl) and then continued on AD Perkins' watch. Mr. Hemenway was Chancellor of the University of Kentucky from 1989-1995 before coming to KU, and at University of Oklahoma before that. Those schools have had significant sports scandals and significant clean ups. He ought to have considerable expertise to share and he is apparently on the KU faculty. A brief online search suggests Mr. Hemenway may be officed at the Hall Center for the Humanities, though I have no idea what he may do there. A phone number and an email can probably be gotten at KU's Online Faculty web page. The same brief online search suggests former Chancellor Hemenway may even be writing a book about college athletics. He seems a natural to interview on the subject. At least give him a chance to say, "I don't know diddledy squat about it," or "no comment," or "Glad you asked, here's what I know..." It seems the right thing to do.

Rock Chalk!

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jaybate 4 years, 3 months ago

Dear Lew Perkins,

In part, a man should be measured by the enemies he makes. A man who makes enemies of bad guys, soon-to-be cons, free riders, and back stabbers is a man who has probably been doing quite a bit of good. You have apparently made enemies of a man reputedly going to prison, a man the police are reputedly investigating for black mail, some alumni that don't want to pony up donations consistent with what the market will bear for their season tickets, and a local sports editor who has lost his sideline seat at basketball games because of your policies and who sticks it to players like Sherron Collins as they leave KU. Bully for you, Lew Perkins. I hope the weight equipment has an acceptable explanation, so the Chancellor does not have to let you go.

Rock Chalk!

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gardenjay 4 years, 3 months ago

Thank you Murph.

I also think restructuring KU ath. dpt. is in order, independent of Lew's issues, to make the students at KU happier during their life there. No one at KUAD seemed to care much about them, or KU alum donors.

For the Chancellor: the 'data' is already in - the Title IX 'solution' mess has been causing pain for years now, and this past year has been a substantive mess that an inquiry at this point would sort of seem passe.

Also Murph, please consider those stats about males in jail - in my experience, I don't believe that males are more evil than females, but it seems society and the legal system are two different animals. Perhaps next society will require 2 million women in prisons to meet Title IX, since men are getting way over-funded by the prison industrial complex.

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ChicagoJHawk 4 years, 3 months ago

I agree with Keegan. I'm a loyal KU fan but I gotta say I am really disappointed with KU Athletics right now. Between the fights with the football & basketball players, Mangino's abusive practices, the Lew Perkins investigation (still innocent until proven guilty though!) & the ticket scandal it's really not a good situation at all.

I always pride myself in the fact that we run a legitimate, classy program but with the way things have been going lately I'm really start to question things. I'm still a KU fan for life but it's time we got our sh*t together & make sure this crap doesn't happen again!

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opobserver 4 years, 3 months ago

Until the thieves are arrested, it will be hard for KU to move on. Articles are only rehashing the same inormation. New news? It will be when they finally indict the six people in the ticket scandal.

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Kent Kossoy 4 years, 3 months ago

Oh come on. Not to get personal, but give Lew a break. I mean. Look at the guy. He needs a stairmaster. Didn't KU offer Mr Mangino gastric bypass surgery??

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