Saturday, June 5, 2010

Self voices support for athletic director Perkins

Kansas coach Bill Self cracks a joke as he recognizes members of his staff for their contributions in this 2009 file photo. Bill Self took time during his Elite camp for blue-chip high school prospects to meet with the Journal-World in support of Perkins.

Kansas coach Bill Self cracks a joke as he recognizes members of his staff for their contributions in this 2009 file photo. Bill Self took time during his Elite camp for blue-chip high school prospects to meet with the Journal-World in support of Perkins.


Bill Self stands behind his boss, Lew Perkins, during this trying time for Kansas University’s athletic director.

“The biggest thing is I want what’s best for our university. I want what is best for our athletic department and I want what’s best for our basketball program, and I believe Lew Perkins can provide the leadership at a time when we need strong leadership to do what’s best for our school,” Self, KU’s basketball coach, said.

He took 30 minutes out of an unusually busy Friday — the first day of his weekend Elite camp for blue-chip high school prospects — to meet with the Journal-World in support of Perkins. KU’s seventh-year AD is under university review regarding allegations from a former employee that Perkins received exercise equipment in return for access to better basketball seats.

“This conference deal is a big-time concern,” Self said of talk that five Big 12 South schools plus Colorado may be invited to the Pac-10 and reports the Big Ten might land Texas, Missouri and/or Nebraska. “One reason why I feel strongly we are going to be OK is because I think we have the right guy fighting for us. I think with Lew’s experience, contacts and knowledge of the college environment and the vision one needs to move forward ... I am glad Lew Perkins is our athletic director.

“Lew brings a pretty big bat to the plate. People will listen to him,” Self added. “That is evident since he’s been here how some things have been achieved. He has talked to me about conference realignment for six months. He said, ‘Bill, this is a big deal.’ This is not news to him. This is not a time we need to be half-stepping. We need to have somebody in there fighting hard.”

Self said that man should be Perkins.

“One thing I know about Lew is he will not run and hide and will do what he needs to do and will make sure the department does what it needs to do to win the trust back of our faithful alums,” Self said.

“It’s easy to feel the frustration. Heck I feel it. I think everybody associated with the university feels it, but it’s not the time to throw in the towel. It’s not time to quit fighting and certainly not the time to jump to conclusions.

“If there are problems, and we obviously have problems, so we’ve got to address them, whether it be individually or department-wise,” Self added. “If you fast forward this, 10, 20 years and look back, I think there will be a lot of coaches, a lot of student-athletes well pleased they have these facilities and have the ability to train, to be educated in what we believe to be the best of the best from a facilities standpoint.

“Certainly there’s been some things that have happened that have been disappointing like in all businesses. There’s been decisions made not popular with some, but you also look at it...where would we be if in fact Lew was not here the last seven years? Would we have the facilities? Would we have doubled our budget and maybe changed the recruiting landscape forever at our university? I really believe we owe a lot to his leadership.”

Self has not encouraged Perkins to get KU aligned with any new conference.

“As far as geography and natural rivalries, this league is great for us,” Self said of the Big 12.

Yet, KU has no power to stop schools from leaving the 15-year-old league.

“I’m selfish when it comes to our program. I do not want to see schools leave,” Self said. “We will survive no matter what, but I think for our chances to compete at the highest level’s imperative we keep a BCS Conference alignment.”

He said he can understand why reports indicate the Pac-10 would only be looking at Texas, Texas A&M;, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Colorado.

“Geographically those others probably fit better when you stop and think,” Self said. “Oklahoma is probably not going without Oklahoma State. The Texas schools will probably not go without each other. And Colorado is closer. I can see why there would be an attractiveness to those schools. From my vantage point, personally, we are definitely tied in with Kansas State. I can’t see us doing something unless K-State is in on it as well.”

What about Missouri?

“I don’t know about Missouri and Nebraska and all those things. I believe there’s obviously talks and talks could become serious (with Big Ten),” Self said. “It could be a situation where everybody is investigating and it could stay status quo or it could change the landscape of college athletics totally.”

The long-standing KU-MU rivalry would be jeopardized if the teams enter different conference alliances.

“Personally, if it was up to me, I am not going to be so upset that I’d never play (MU again). I would do what’s for the good of our athletic department. That would have to come with consultation of administrators.”

Self was asked if “the Big 12 could be saved?”

“Very easily if one school says, ‘Let’s make this work.’ Let’s just call it like it is, Texas carries the most weight in my opinion,” Self said. “You’ve got three of the top 10 television markets, an unbelievable budget, you’ve got easy travel, flying directly into a big city. You have a lot of things that Texas can obviously sell. To me, Texas carries a big, big, big stick in this fight.”

Would Self encourage Texas to announce that the Longhorns want to stay put?

“I think that would be great if they do that. But I’m not in on the meetings. I don’t know the financial ramifications. That’d be a question for the presidents,” Self said.

In a worst-case scenario, KU, K-State, Iowa State and maybe Nebraska could be left standing alone to join some conference like the Mountain West.

“We will be fine no matter what,” Self said of the third-winningest program of all-time, “but I do think the conference realignment could certainly make the landscape different over the way we’ve had it over the last 50 years.”

Perkins is the one man left to sort it all out and do the negotiations needed for KU to remain in a BCS Conference.

“We all know this is a delicate time right now and understandably so,” Self said, “but it is not a time with so many different things going on that we keep the eye off the big picture prize and the big picture is we need as strong a leadership as we can have going into the changing college climate and conference affiliation. We need to get to the bottom of our internal problems so we can move forward. I know everybody at KU is excited about the future.”

Self applauds conference for keeping hoops tourney in K.C.

The Big 12 announced Friday that the postseason basketball tournament will remain in Kansas City, Mo., for the next four seasons.

“That’s good,” Self said. “I thought Oklahoma City did a good job of hosting the Big 12 tournament, but not like Kansas City. I think K.C. is the premier host. Kansas City has always been a great supporter of the postseason tournament dating to the Big Eight. With the success of Missouri, K-State and us, it guarantees a great crowd.”


Eurekahwk 8 years ago

I get tired of hearing about this being a 15 year old league. This is the Big 8 plus four. It has been around for 100 years since it was called the MVIAA. Just because Texas decided to join, that doesn't make it a new league. Did the BIg East just start when they decided to make it a super conference? NO!!!

The name has changed, but it is still the same conference. No one is talking about tearing apart the SEC or the ACC, so why are people seriously considering taking apart this league? Take apart one of the flagship conferences in the NCAA, and you might as well take apart the NCAA. They are in need of an overhaul.

cklarock 8 years ago

Meh, if we're to be buffeted about on the winds of revenue, why should I to care about a conference alignment that doesn't include us whipping Missouri and K-States a$ses twice a year?

Big money is changing college basketball, and not for the better. Lew Perkins is definitely the dog you want in the big money fight, but how great is victory when the battle itself is flawed?

Born a Jayhawk, die a Jayhawk I guess, regardless of where we end up or who we end up beating twice a year. Rock Chalk?

Thank god there's another sporting event to keep my attention this summer. When does Late Night start?

KEITHMILES05 8 years ago

Pretty obvious Self has tied himself to Lew. No doubt Dr. Gray-Little knows this also.

The entire dynamics of this situation is very powerful and it'll be interesting to see the outcome.

KEITHMILES05 8 years ago

Pretty obvious Self has tied himself to Lew. No doubt Dr. Gray-Little knows this also.

The entire dynamics of this situation is very powerful and it'll be interesting to see the outcome.

KU79 8 years ago

That was not an Obama-esque type statement where he tries to cover his bases without really saying anything. Self is making a bold endorsement for Perkins and Miles05 is right, the dynamics of this thing will be interesting to watch. We've lost one successful basketball coach over dealings with an AD, I'd hate to lose another because this thing is handled poorly.

theajayhawk 8 years ago

Self's contract has a stipulation that he can leave if Perkins were to go. Independent of anything, I whole heartedly agree that Lew is the right leader.

DoubleDD 8 years ago

Man the Big 12 is sorely missing some serious leadership. First you have to ask the ??? why is the Pac 10 and Big 10 wanting to raid the conference. Um maybe becuase they see a gold mine. What the big 12 needs to being doing is talking about expanding the league to 16. With new tv contracts coming up, man they could clean house. Anyhow the damage is done. There's no way this conference stays together now. There has been to much media damage to turn this thing around. All there is left to do is wait and see who is left behind. Don't take this the wrong way Wildcat fans but I wish we weren't tied together on this one. KU is going to have hard time finding a BCS landing for itself if Kstate comes with the deal.

KU79 8 years ago

I just hope we have a chair when the music stops.

Tony Bandle 8 years ago

Let's take a look at the facts:

The Jewels of the Big Twelve Conference are Kansas Basketball and Texas Football, two programs of legendary accomplishment and following.

If the Big 10 [11] added Notre Dame, Kansas and Texas it would achieve superconference status. The problem is the add-ons [ K-State, Texas Tech, etc.] that would have to come with the deal.

It's a make it or break it deal that I just don't think University Prez's will want to take a chance on!!

CaptainKansas 8 years ago

Based upon the allegation alone, I think it will be hard for Perkins to stay. What he is accused of doing is basically the same as what his underlings (who have all been terminated) did: Give away tickets for personal gain.

If the allegation is true, it is unlikely this is the only time Perkins did it. He apparently saw nothing wrong with bestowing gifts (free tickets) on friends who gave him gifts, and did not think it analogous to others selling tickets for money.

Tony Bandle 8 years ago

No doubt Lew is guilty of inattention, incompetence or intentional wrongdoing...however, with this conference issue heating up, you need a great white shark in the pool to protect your interests.

When it comes to money on the table, KU has the greatest White Shark of them all. If Lew was the Big 12 Commissioner, this problem would have disappeared long ago.

I totally agree with drgnslayr....this is what Lew does best.

Suffer the short term embarassment for the long term good of KU's future!!

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