Originally published May 26, 2010 at 01:22p.m., updated May 26, 2010 at 11:38p.m.

More than $1 million worth of KU basketball, football tickets involved in ticket scam

AD Perkins: "I accept responsibility. I don't accept responsibility for anything criminal or any of those things."

KU Athletic Director Lew Perkins, from left, Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, University General Counsel Jim Pottorff and Jack Focht of Wichita law firm Foulston Siefkin prepare to take questions from the media after releasing Foulston Siefkin's investigation into a ticket scandal in KU's athletic ticket office.

KU Athletic Director Lew Perkins, from left, Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, University General Counsel Jim Pottorff and Jack Focht of Wichita law firm Foulston Siefkin prepare to take questions from the media after releasing Foulston Siefkin's investigation into a ticket scandal in KU's athletic ticket office.



KU ticket investigation press conference

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KU officials speak with the media regarding an investigation into alleged violations in KU's ticket office.


KU Athletic Director Lew Perkins was the last to leave a press conference at the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics on Thursday May 26, 2010. He and other KU officials and investigators talks about alleged violations in KU's ticket office that led to the diversion of $1 million or more from the university. Six employees were blamed and are no longer with the university.


Kansas University officials and their attorney face a crowd of media as they discuss the findings of an investigation commissioned by KU into alleged misconduct in its ticket operations.


Attorney Jack Focht of Wichita law firm Foulston Siefkin explains a report on missing tickets his law firm generated at the request of KU. In the report, released Thursday May 26, 2010 at the Dole Institute of Politics, thousands of misdirected tickets and more than a million dollars diverted from KU.


Lew Perkins, KU Athletic Director, prepares to take questions from members of the media after a report detailing improprieties in its ticket office was released to the public Wednesday afternoon. In the report, six employees of Kansas Athletics are described as taking part in a scheme to divert tickets and funds to their own benefit and away from KU.

Reader poll

Who should shoulder the most blame for the Kansas Athletics ticket scandal?

  • The staff members involved 47% 1745 votes
  • KU Athletics leadership 46% 1727 votes
  • University administrators 5% 214 votes

3686 total votes.


6News report on ticket investigation

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KU Athletics released a report today from an investigation into athletics tickets.

Five employees and a consultant at Kansas University Athletics Inc. improperly used and sold for personal gain nearly 20,000 KU basketball and football tickets during the past five years, costing the department at least $1.03 million in revenue, the university disclosed Wednesday.

And an investigator from a Wichita-based law firm hired to review problems in both KU’s ticket office and Williams Educational Fund suspects that the totals will only get worse, once results of federal investigations are revealed.

“It wouldn’t surprise me at all,” said Jack Focht of Foulston Siefkin, hired by Kansas University four months after athletics officials learned of suspected ticket irregularities from federal investigators late last year. “The federal government has the power of the grand jury subpoena, the FBI, the IRS, everybody else. I had four, five attorneys and an audit team to look at records. …

“I would not be at all surprised if the government figures are much larger.”

Focht joined KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, general counsel Jim Pottorff and Athletics Director Lew Perkins at the Dole Institute on Wednesday to distribute and discuss the results of the university’s 60-day investigation.

The investigation, which included work from the BKD accounting firm, concluded that the six individuals schemed to profit from tickets, a scam involving both seats at Memorial Stadium for football and in sold-out Allen Fieldhouse for basketball. Also involved were parking passes, and passes to the Arrowhead Club in Kansas City, Mo.

Former employees implicated

The report identified the six individuals, who no longer work for the department:

• Charlette Blubaugh, former associate athletics director for ticket operations, who “seemed to be directly responsible for creating the climate of an ice cream store where the employees feel free to sample the wares without paying for them.” Two employees sold more than $200,000 worth of tickets to brokers with her knowledge and consent, according to the report, and Blubaugh herself is suspected of misappropriating $3,400 of tickets sold following a KU loss in an NCAA tournament.

• Tom Blubaugh, Charlette Blubaugh’s husband and a former contracted consultant, who earned $115,000 from Kansas Athletics from August 2007 through January 2010 without Perkins’ knowledge — and had access to ticket accounts that appear to have been “parking places” for tickets “not paid for but sold to brokers or others.”

• Jason Jeffries, former assistant director for ticket operations, who received 56 tickets that normally would have been made available to Williams Fund donors as part of the “Select A Seat” process, during which fans choose their fieldhouse seats in accordance with their placement on the fund’s points list. The seats were sold to a broker in Oklahoma.

• Rodney Jones, former assistant athletics director for the Williams Educational Fund, who was known in the community as “the man to see if you wanted a free ticket to athletic events,” handing out tickets to teammates on his softball team. A “large percentage” of tickets sold to brokers, according to federal investigators, came from an account assigned to “Rodney Jones, Donor Development.” Face value of such tickets from that account and sold to brokers during the past five years: $197,695 for basketball, and $35,460 for football.

• Ben Kirtland, former associate athletics director of development, who was Jones’ boss and admitted selling more tickets to donors than the donors had qualified for, then pocketing the difference and splitting it with Jones.

• Brandon Simmons, former assistant athletics director of sales and marketing, who arranged to sell tickets, with Jeffries, to a broker friend in Oklahoma.

Federal probe ongoing

The investigation did not specifically address tickets for postseason basketball games — including those during KU’s three trips to the Final Four — stretching as far back as the 2001-02 season.

But that’s what federal investigators are looking into and more, said Carl Cornwell, attorney for the man he describes as the whistleblower for “business as usual” in KU’s ticket office.

Officials with the IRS, FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office all have declined to discuss any pending investigations, or whether they even exist.

But a spokesman for Kansas Attorney General Steve Six confirmed Wednesday that the U.S. Attorney’s office had a “current investigation” ongoing. Like Six, Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson stands ready to help Lanny Welch, the interim U.S. Attorney for Kansas.

“Their office has taken the lead on the review and investigation of the matter,” Branson said. “Our office will assist if and when necessary.”

The whistleblower, David Freeman, is scheduled to report to prison June 27, but Cornwell is counting on his client’s assistance in the tickets case to keep him from having to report.

“It seems that but for David Freeman, it’s business as usual at KU,” Cornwell said. “He came forward and told what he knew as part of the investigation.”

Freeman disclosed details about the tickets situation to federal investigators, as he already was providing information as part of a deal with prosecutors in the Junction City bribery case. In that case, Freeman admitted to paying a Junction City commissioner $19,000 to secure contracts said to be worth $12 million to a construction company in which Freeman was a partner.

As part of those disclosures, Cornwell confirmed, Freeman told authorities that he had partnered with Jones and Roger Morningstar — who is a former KU basketball player, and father of current player Brady Morningstar — to profit personally from the sale of KU tickets to postseason tournaments, including Final Fours in Atlanta and New Orleans.

Freeman, Morningstar and Jones received “hundreds of thousands of dollars” from the sales of such tickets and others, including regular season games at the fieldhouse, Cornwell said.

“These were the seats that are coveted,” Cornwell said Wednesday. “These are the seats that people want — great seats.”

Morningstar did not return a message left on his cell phone. Jones’ attorney did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Al Bohl, who was KU athletics director during the 2002 and 2003 Final Fours, said that Jones — then director of the ticket office — was the man in charge of the physical distribution of tickets at the time.

“I can’t recall anyone ever complaining about Rodney, or having any suspicions of him,” Bohl said Wednesday. “But when people are doing things they’re not supposed to be doing, they don’t go around broadcasting it to people. In fact, they befriend people.”

In 2004, following Bohl’s firing by Chancellor Robert Hemenway, Jones would be promoted to director of the Williams Fund, the donor organization that finances scholarships for student athletes and other athletics operations. Last year, the fund’s 4,200 members generated $15 million in revenue.

Kirtland, who was Jones’ boss, told the internal investigators that “Jones carries a big wad of cash and likes to flash it around,” according to the report. Kirtland estimated that Jones could have earned up to $100,000 a year from selling 100 extra tickets to each game.

Overall, the report said, KU could have lost as much as $3 million in revenue during the past five years.

Changes ahead

During the afternoon event at the Dole Institute, Perkins and Gray-Little pledged to work to prevent such problems from ever surfacing again. Among the safeguards to be implemented:

• Strengthen internal controls for the handling and distribution of tickets to include: clear segregation of duties within the ticket office; a “dual key” system for access to ticket inventory; a tracking system for complimentary tickets that verifies which employee requested that complimentary tickets be distributed and who is receiving those tickets; monthly ticket reconciliation via a Total Ticket Accountability Report, reviewed by Kansas Athletics’ chief financial officer; and limiting employee access to the ticket management system to only those modules necessary for each employee’s job.

• Hire a full-time forensic auditor to ensure financial integrity in areas including, but not limited to, donations, tickets and travel.

• Establish a hot line for whistleblowers that is independent of Kansas Athletics and located in KU’s Office of Internal Audit.

• Enhance transparency during Select-a-Seat events, as was implemented at the recently concluded football seat selection.

“The University of Kansas will take decisive action to restore trust, and we will pursue appropriate legal avenues to recover money from the tickets those individuals diverted,” Gray-Little said. But the implications of the scam may go much farther than just tickets.

Perkins, who described the ticket diversions as a “curveball” that he’d missed, said the ticket problems did not represent a violation of NCAA rules.

But the activities of the six individuals had embarrassed the university and had violated the trust of KU fans, he said.

“I think it’s important, right off the top, that I accept responsibility,” Perkins said. “I don’t accept responsibility for anything criminal or any of those things. I accept responsibility because I am athletic director and this happened during my watch.”


Jerry Rockhold 11 years, 5 months ago

Interesting sidenote on Roger Morningstar: he was the contact person listed on this year's Jayhawk Invitational AAU Tourney held in Lawrence. Hope it's only a coincedence & not something more in terms of recruiting. And yes, this is public knowledge.

Benjamin Piehler 11 years, 4 months ago

bunch of rich white dudes? slap on the wrist... maybe at most some time in club fed.

Topcitykid10 11 years, 5 months ago

My guess for the football tickets they were for the orange bowl and the games in KC.

cjv 11 years, 5 months ago

The criminal activities were being run on the premises of the AD, in offices in the same building where the presser was. KU should get the Death Penalty.

Scatterhawk 11 years, 5 months ago

Right. The Athletic department loses money, gets screwed out of millions of dollars by its employees, and it should be punished. Makes sense.

jchief40 11 years, 5 months ago

What purpose do you serve in life? BTW it was stupid for you to paste the exact same thing you posted in another comments section on this site.

Jaminrawk 11 years, 5 months ago

It always cracks me up that simpletons like this guy don't realize KU and the alumni are the victims. Keep wishing, loser.

Andy Tweedy 11 years, 5 months ago

Move on? If this had happened at Misery, I'm fairly sure we'd all have this one in our back pockets as ammunition. It will be a while before we live this one down, and quite frankly it should. This is pretty embarrassing!

jchief40 11 years, 5 months ago

I think we should move on. You chose to comment on his comment rather than cjv's... nice.

Andy Tweedy 11 years, 5 months ago

jchief40, I didn't comment on cjv's because it wasn't worth commenting on. Since you seem to be taking this personally, you shouldn't, I'm just saying it will take a while to move on from this. And as for the "embarrassing" comment, I hope you don't think I meant your comment. I meant the scandal.

cklarock 11 years, 5 months ago

It's not entirely over yet -- the criminal investigation isn't wrapped up. This was just KU's internal investigation.

Tony Bandle 11 years, 5 months ago

I would caution all, that, on first blush, it appears there are no NCAA violations, HOWEVER, if one cent of that money scammed by these fools was ear-marked NCAA money, they will come down on KU like a ton of bricks.

Is it about education?.....NO. Is it about the welfare of the student athlete? NO. It has been, is and always will be about the money with the NCAA!!.

N othing but C ash, A ll the time, A lways.

Steve Brown 11 years, 5 months ago

mostly over, move on.

you aren't serious.

the break in at watergate hotel has been reported and it is just beginning.

We should hire character every time and teach skillls not hire skills and hope for character.

cklarock 11 years, 5 months ago

"We should hire character every time and teach skillls not hire skills and hope for character."


FreddyinLA 11 years, 5 months ago

There have been a number of signs over the past few year which use to run against the core values of what Kansas means. Maybe the people in Lawrence now embrace this crap.

Having the highest paid AD in the country. Hiring staff at a salary which is WAY too much. Providing multiple mothers of basketball players employment opportunities locally. Too much construction too fast on athletic facilities. A new points system for seats largely based on financial contributions. Coaches creating not for profit foundations. IMG talent agency representing your head coach. Getting your a$$ handed to you in the tourney and then showing up in New York the following weekend to promote yourself.

Did I miss anything? Go ahead, show your true colors and defend this current administration. This reminds me of the WSU basketball program in the 70s and 80s, out of control.

Andy Tweedy 11 years, 5 months ago

Hiring a high-priced AD was done because all our teams were dreadful, save basketball, and it needed to be done. The points system is hardly unique to Kansas. Not even going to respond to the a$$ comment. This administration has certainly got some issues, but get real! This sounds like sour grapes.

jchief40 11 years, 5 months ago

Perkins has done a great job and I consider KU lucky to have him. Perkins is taking the blame even though people betrayed his trust and abused their positions of power. Before getting your feathers too ruffled over this I would instead worry about other more important matters. Like what you are going to have for dinner tonight.

gutter 11 years, 5 months ago

Are you 100% sure Perkins is the highest paid AD in the country? You shouldn't be.

The SCHOOL provided the Mother's of the players jobs? Really?

Too much construction too fast? Not sure what that means. Would you prefer no construction or too little construction at too slow a rate?

I will give you the points system. That is something we agree upon.

There is a problem with a coach creating a not for profit foundation? What is it?

What's wrong with IMG representing our coach? You do realize it helps bring in money to charities and KU - right?

Getting our ass handed to us and then showing up in New York? What does that mean? Who promoted themselves?

I am not going to defend the current administration so much as I am going to ask you where and why you came up with some of your nonsense.

totty90 11 years, 5 months ago

did you learn a bunch of big words just to try them out together?

How are nonprofit organizations corrupt? Granted, some people may be corrupt but people are people everywhere you go and there will be corrupt people in every institution no matter how great it is. Example: Some people in The Williams Fund at KU.

And how are altruistic views destructive to morality? Please enlighten me.

HawkInAL 11 years, 4 months ago

Soobawls, Hey I'm still waiting to hear who you think would have been a better hire for KU football head coach than Turner Gill. You know, because the only reason he was hired was because of the "knee-jerk conformist whatever blah-blah-blah" you said. You talked a bunch of smack on Coach Gill and his hiring being a race thing, but you never said who you thought KU should have hired instead.

areyouserious 11 years, 4 months ago

I disagree with soobawls more than anybody, but i can think of one. He has a national championship, multiple conference championships in the best football conference in the country, has a winning record, and can recruit all over the south. He is a stand up person, who cares about the community he lives in and he really wanted the KU job, and he interviewed for it. His name is Phillip Fulmer!

KCHawk81 11 years, 4 months ago

A 60-year-old who was fired from his last job after going 5-7? Don't get me wrong, Fulmer's had a great career, but I don't think he'd be seen as "the future" of the program--a little "Bill Snyder-ish," if you ask me. We talked to choice #1 (Harbaugh) and he either wasn't interested or wasn't interested enough. We hired the the second-best available coach, who also happened to want the job enough to assemble a staff ahead of time. And for the record, Tommy "Pine Box" Tuberville would have been a long way down on my list. He'll be Tech's second attempt at revitalizing a program with a coach who's already secured his fame elsewhere. The first didn't really work out.

HawkInAL 11 years, 4 months ago

The problem with Phil Fulmer and Tommy Tubberville, coming from my perspective (living in AL and getting SEC football shoved down my throat), is that both of them lost their fire for the game. And when I say that, I mostly mean recruiting. They both got mauled on the recruiting trail, which meant the end for them both. That's why I was very happy with Gill's comments about having a heavy emphasis on recruiting.
"It's about the Jimmy's and Joe's, not about the X's and O's" -Barry Switzer "Yeah, we need the dudes!" -

Dan Pawlowski 11 years, 4 months ago

Dear Webmaster, Please execute due diligence in vetting the claims of people who post on this site. Oh, wait a minute. That is what these sites are for, giving voices to the tired , the wretched and those that are poor of knowledge and scholarly techniques.

Benjamin Piehler 11 years, 4 months ago

funny how their input to capitalism is way more than kansas. including agriculture.

Dan Pawlowski 11 years, 4 months ago

Interesting how some people treat capitalism as a panacea.

cjv 11 years, 5 months ago

Doesn't the State of Kansas have an Attorney General responsible for ensuring criminal activities do not occur on state property? Why do only the IRS and FBI appear to be investigating?

Brak 11 years, 5 months ago

Considering that the state of KS probably has no jurisdiction here because it involves money changing hands in multiple states and people making money that isn't reported as income, kinda sounds like something that the FBI and IRS should be involved in huh.

WilburNether 11 years, 5 months ago

Wrong. This was theft of property within the State of Kansas, and the State most certainly does have jurisdiction over that aspect of this case.

Ron Prichard 11 years, 5 months ago

The investigation started as a federal investigation into activities unrelated to KU. Through evidence uncovered in that investigation, this investigation was launched. I'm not sure what everyone is charged with, but I am guessing federal tax evasion (IRS) and possibly violations of the RICO act (federal).

Tuskin 11 years, 5 months ago

During the press conference, it was clarified that this report has been given to the District Attorney.

Sweet_Sandbags 11 years, 5 months ago

Does anyone know if KU has someone serving in an ombudsman capacity (or something similar)? It would not appear so based upon reading the exhibit and the recommendations, but I do not know. The ombudsman office is certainly more commonplace in big business today and I am surprised it did not appear to be in place at KU.

Not to say that having one during this period would have directly kept these activities from occurring, but it would have given employees an avenue to discuss things they were seeing without fear of possible retribution by superiors. Perhaps it could have been stopped sooner.

Based upon the report findings, it does seem odd if employees did not even feel that they could go to Mr. Perkins in this situation if they suspected abuse was going on. Is that an indictment of Lew as a "chief" level officer where he did not foster that kind of environment from the top-down? A statement on how widespread this situation was within the KUAD? Both? Neither? I wonder?

Live and learn. Such an office at KU will be in place going forward, that seems clear.

A sad and unfortunate day for KU. It also seems that more may be coming as the government agencies completes their investigations.

I feel an ESPN Outside The Lines coming soon with a lot of information based in Lawrence.


Sweet_Sandbags 11 years, 5 months ago

Guess not based upon the press conference.

Per KUSports, "KU will establish a hotline for whistleblowers that is independent of KU Athletics and located in KU’s Office of Internal Audit."

Ron Prichard 11 years, 5 months ago

This isn't over, and it shouldn't be brushed under the rug. At the same time, quit trying to make it something it isn't.

cvj...know something before you come on here making ridiculous comments. This is not an NCAA investigation. This is a Federal investigation. People will go to jail. There will likely be restitution paid. However, as things stand right now, this is not an NCAA issue and should not affect KU's athletic teams.

Further, cvj...there no "premises of the AD" and you have no idea where the illegal activities were taking place. I'm guessing many of the transactions took place far, far away from campus. Finally, the "presser" was at the Dole Center, not the athletic offices.

Athletically speaking, this really shouldn't affect KU. From a perspective of integrity and pride in our school, this is a huge black eye, regardless of what transpires from here on.

I'm extremely disappointed this has happened because I do take pride in being a KU alum and like to think being a Jayhawk is just a little bit better than being an alum from most other schools.

FreddyinLA 11 years, 5 months ago

Athletically speaking, this really shouldn't affect KU.

That's encouraging since I think we finished in the bottom of the Big 12 in every sport except for men's basketball. I would hate to mess up a good thing.

Ron Prichard 11 years, 5 months ago

I guess I should clarify...From an NCAA point of view, this shouldn't affect KU. There were no NCAA violations, so there can't be any NCAA sanctions.

Dyrk Dugan 11 years, 5 months ago

freddyinLA is right. the AD forgot what his core job is...and that is to build a championship overall athletic program...and not dedicate yourself to fundraising...and increasing the budget.

most of this happened under Lew's watch...and what are the common denominators? increased revenue.....vast increases of revenue with the new "points" system. so all of these dollars are flowing...and nobody guarded the hen house.

this has truly been one of the worst off the playing field sports years in KU's history...and sans mens basketball, one of the worst on the field too. and this news is just icing on the cake....what an embarrassment.

somebody's head(s) will roll....this can't be left out there with just these no names getting thrown under the bus. we haven't heard the end yet.

Ron Prichard 11 years, 5 months ago

I have to disagree with part of what you and FreddyinLA say. Lew's primary job is to put the athletic department in a position to field competitive teams. How does the AD do that? 1. Hires competent coaches, and 2. Provides those coaches (and their teams) with the necessary resources to be successful.

I think Self is the best basketball coach in the NCAA (I'm biased). I think Coach Gill is going to be very good, and I generally think people are happy he was hired. Bonnie, by all accounts, is supposed to be a fantactic coach. I know she hasn't had as much success as hoped, but it seems she is improving recruiting and becoming more competitive. I know Self was not a Perkins hire, but Perkins did give him a new contract to keep him here long term, so give some credit there.

With regard to facilities, you may recall Self's primary concern when he re-negotiated his contract was that we improve facilities asap (and improve assistant coach salaries). I love Allen, but overall, our facilities were so far behind the curve it made it difficult to compete. Everyone on here (except for the trolls) wants KU to compete and win in every sport, especially football and basketball. To do that, you have to have money. Plain and simple. How do you compete and entice quality coaches and recruits? Improve facilities. How do you improve facilities? Money. Why is the Big 10 suddenly so attractive to other schools? Money. Why is Texas so powerful? Money. Money, money, money.

As for the comments on coaches creating not for profit foundations, I think it is great. To whom much is given, much is expected. I think that is one of the things that makes Coach Self (and the other coaches) the all-around great people they are. As for Self showing up in NY after losing in the tourney, he!! yes, I want him to do that!! Promote KU however and whenever you can, all day, everyday.

Brak 11 years, 5 months ago

Don't fool yourselves into thinking this is only going on at KU. The Pumps know alot of people at alot of colleges and I would bet that they were getting tickets from many other sources, and hopefully they will have criminal charges filed against them as well.

Sweet_Sandbags 11 years, 5 months ago

Agreed. Based upon the report, the folks in Norman at least should also be looking at their ticket operations while Blubaugh was there.

I suspect a lot of schools will be looking very closely now at their ticket procedures, both past and present.

Rivethead 11 years, 5 months ago

If you read the report, the University of Oklahoma is indirectly implicated as having these types of events occuring their too.

I wouldn't be surprised to hear of a OU internal investigation starting soon.

areyouserious 11 years, 5 months ago

What did the Pumps do that has been determined illegal? Take tickets from Kansas? NO - Rodney did. I am not condoning what they have done, because it sounds shady and pisses me off as a KU supporter, but running a ticket scalping business and coaches retreat is not against the law! What is against the law is when the Pumps don't report it on their income.(which should be investigated)

Make all of these scums pay the amount in Williams fund donations that would have been required to attain those seats! That is where fraud has occured against KU!

Andy Tweedy 11 years, 5 months ago

It should be easy to eliminate the schools that are NOT involved. I can't imagine tickets at ISU, CU or Baylor bringing a handsome profit. The other 8 schools in the Big XII might want to take a look around before the FBI comes calling.

MichaelC 11 years, 5 months ago

The yahoo sports article covers years 2002-03. This report doesn't even address that time period. Looks like we could have another press conference soon. Why even get these people together when we all know that the rest of the information will keep coming out? Not to mention, yahoo sports was able to come up with a lot more specifics about what happened. Stay tuned....

RockChalkGuy 11 years, 5 months ago

Here's what I want to know: Will my season tickets get better? I don't donate a mountain of cash, but compared with how much I make, it might as well be. It seriously boils my blood to think that freeloaders were sitting courtside, while I continually bang my noggin' on the rafters while cheering!

On that note, it also irritates me that I'm up there cheering my butt off while the freeloaders sit on their hands; diminishing the effect of home-court advantage. I understand the benefits of the point system, but I'm not sure it truly is the best thing for KU. The 'loudness' and 'intensity' in AFH peaked in 2007-2008 and think it has a lot to do with the point system. How about interspersing some low-budget season ticket holders into the good seats? I'm not talking about going all Robin Hood on the system or anything, but surely they could spare 10-15% of the good seats for us crazies?!?!?!?!

Pause....deep breath....exhale....

This next season is going to be incredible no matter where I sit. Come on Late Night, I'm tired of waiting.

areyouserious 11 years, 5 months ago

How do you determine who is a "crazy" fan, and worthy of a lower seat? I agree, atleast put the students on the sides next to the court, but you either have to completely rearrange the system or leave it alone. Money drives all decisions for Lew!

p.s. if lew had to make it such a big point to start his part of the presser that he "knew nothing about this", then he probably really did. But when teams are winning, everything is overlooked, just look at the Mangino situation. Its starting to be a common theme for Lew. He knows nothing until its too late.

RockChalkGuy 11 years, 5 months ago

I think they should randomly select lower-point members to participate in the first day's select-a-seat. Surely they could transparently run this operation.

I think it would be awesome to give the students rows 5 through 10. There would still be plenty of seat to sell to the big corporations and it would infuse those sections with some life.

areyouserious 11 years, 5 months ago

randomly selecting people provides another "opportunity" for corruption and will require more oversight and resources..............How does Duke manage such a small arena with so many students next to the court?

Andy Tweedy 11 years, 5 months ago

I would like to see a seat map from the '80s and one from today, just out of curiosity. When I was at KU ('86-'90), we lined up early as well, but we ALWAYS went for the seats behind the basket. The few times I sat on the side, we sat fairly high up. I've only been to a few bball games in the last 10 years, as I am THAT fan that is at more football games, but is the student section badly placed these days?

Ron Prichard 11 years, 5 months ago

I think it is generally the same as it was in the 80's. I was a student in the early-mid 90's and the seats were behind the baskets and a couple sections on the side behind the bench (plus the corner above the player entrance). When we camped out, we would go for the seats behind the basket. I don't think they have taken any seats away from the students, but I don't know if they have increased student seating, either.

jayhawkinATL 11 years, 5 months ago

I hear nose-bleed seats for the OB make more sense now.

jayhawkinATL 11 years, 5 months ago

Nothing to see here, folks...just a rag-tag collection of rogue employees.

Scatterhawk 11 years, 5 months ago

I'll admit, I'm a KU fan. Not an alum, I have no connection to the university. So for me, all I care about is if this is going to have an effect on the basketball, football (and to a lesser extent baseball and women's basketball). I can't see how it would. I admit I don't know the ins and outs of the NCAA's rules, but this seems to me that the Athletics Department in no way profited from this. No recruits were effected by this. Games weren't thrown. So, seems like it shouldn't effect the sports themselves.

I do feel weird having Brady on the team if his dad was doing this. Though I'm not sure Coach Self can punish the kid for the moral failings of his father.

Ron Prichard 11 years, 5 months ago

I totally agree with the comment on Brady. At the same time, he probably just had his whole world turned upside down.

tahawk81 11 years, 5 months ago

I wonder if Roger offered the police who arrested his son tickets to the final four to get him out of it.

100 11 years, 5 months ago

Six guilty employees fired. System will be much more professional. The facts are out. People are taking blame. It's a bad headline for our University but a great day for KU people who want a fair ticket system and a fair group of employees running it.

And by the way, looks like CJ henry just stepped up a couple spots in the rotation...

Sweet_Sandbags 11 years, 5 months ago

Remember way back to only a couple of months ago when Coach Townsend giving tickets to Samantha Ryan was the big tix "scandal"?

Sigh...simpler times.

murph 11 years, 5 months ago

Let me get this straight. Lew says he "accepts responsibility" but, oh - wait - he doesn't accept it.

This happened because Greedy Lew threw out the seniority seating chart and went the way he goes with everything - straight for the dollars. Surely the old charts are still around somewhere - let's get back to them ASAP.

And remind me again why this disgrace of a person is still the AD here?? The moving vans must be finished unloading Mangino in Florida. Bring 'em back and clean out Perkins' office and house. Yesterday.

Chicago_JHawk 11 years, 5 months ago

He's still the AD because he doubled the athletic budget in 7 years. Doubled it. That's his job, and he's done it well.

Ron Prichard 11 years, 4 months ago

Wrong. According to the reports, this was going on before Lew got here (2002 or earlier). If you want to blame Lew, i'm okay with that, but have a valid reason. Don't simply bring bitter grapes about your seating or your friends seating, etc., into the argument.

Steve Brown 11 years, 4 months ago

bitter are you kidding, I got better seats for less on web sites so some of us gained.

Aligned 11 years, 5 months ago

"Send in the Clowns"... That's the most appropriate thing I've read in this collection of Bozofied comments. Sad but true, bush league indeed.

Ron Prichard 11 years, 4 months ago

I think I've read this post before. Oh, another article.

Ron Prichard 11 years, 4 months ago

That would be nj's post I'm referring to.

Tony Bandle 11 years, 5 months ago

HawksfromHays..maybe, but 1970 wasn't too hot Big Eight title, a crappy football team, martial law with the National Guard and, oh yeah, somebody pretty much burnt down the Union!!

stravinsky 11 years, 5 months ago

Yeah, I'm a little curious how a secret ticket selling conspiracy is a reason to start blaming Lew for everything again.

I mean, I'm not an expert in illegal activities, but in something like this, its sort of the point to be secretive.

Njjay, I think that Perkins quote is acceptable. He said he accepted the responsibility for it having happened while he was AD, but not accepting criminal responsibility because he didn't do anything criminal. I think that's fair.

Our oversight wasn't fantastic, that part is our fault. But every time you set rules, people are going to find a way to circumvent the system and take advantage of things. See also, financial crisis of 2007-2010...

jhokfan 11 years, 5 months ago

6 employees steal money from their employer. How does that result in sanctions against the university?

jhokfan 11 years, 5 months ago

I agree with HawkfromHays, worst athletic year ever!

Seven game losing streak by football team Allegations and subsequent firing of Mangino Fights between basketball and football players Second round departure in tournament Cole leaves for NBA Xavier leaves for NBA Plans of Big 10 expansion and rumors of Big 12 demise Ticket scandal

Did I leave anything out?

jayhawkinATL 11 years, 5 months ago

Did I miss something? Did the Liebsch (sp?) chick not get fired?

cklarock 11 years, 5 months ago

My gut feeling after watching the press conference is that Lou knew. If the federal investigators finish their work and disagree, then I'm wrong and that should settle it. Hopefully, this really is what the KU internal report presents -- a limited conspiracy of employees defrauding their company.

But it seems to me that the corporate culture of profit-uber-alles that defines big time college athletics has been unabashedly embraced at KU during Lou's tenure. This scandal is at best a by-product of a greed culture, and at worst the tip of an iceberg.

This will be a great off-season for Misery and the Grapes.

Ron Prichard 11 years, 4 months ago


I agree with almost everything you say. However, I wonder how the NCAA would have the right to require KU to implement the oversight measures. As long as KU is in compliance with NCAA rules, I don't think they could attempt to dictate how KU runs it's athletic department. From everything I have seen and heard, I think this is strictly a federal and (eventually) state investigation. The NCAA may follow it closely, but I don't think they have any grounds to launch an independent investigation (what would they find out that the feds wouldn't already have uncovered, anyway) or make ultimatums.

That's just my opinion. I don't know all the NCAA guidelines/rules, so I could be wrong.

Steve Brown 11 years, 4 months ago

kinda makes you wonder if the FBI were at brady's house the night before the free throw debacle.... makes you wonder.

jhokfan 11 years, 5 months ago

Actually I thought the porn star thing was kind of funny. The student kickoff chant was an embarrassment. I think it was a topic on one of ESPN's talk shows.

Athletes committing crimes is part of college sports. There are very few programs without any blemishes. Unless it is epidemic it’s not that big of a deal as long as it’s dealt with appropriately. Gill did the right thing and kicked him off. His mentor would have promoted him to a starting position.

LibertyHawk84 11 years, 5 months ago

The Chancellor gets credit for her candid comments (what else could she do) except for the part about saying this had "minimal" impact on donor seating. Are you kidding me? 17,000 scammed tickets didn't affect whether alumns received inferior seat assignments? (than they would have otherwise received)

This could have far-reaching consequences we can't even imagine now; will contributions decrease? do you compensate alumns who thought they should have received better tickets?

Steve Brown 11 years, 4 months ago

if everyperson gets move back only 2 rows even, don't believe that is it, but if it is, then the 50,000 people times two rows is a lot of people moving toward the goal lines...

FreddyinLA 11 years, 5 months ago

I find it really hard to believe that more tickets than what is needed to fill AFH were inappropriately handled and no one currently working in the Athletic department knows anything about this.

Ron Prichard 11 years, 4 months ago

Actually, six people in the athletic department clearly knew about it.

FairgroveJayhawk 11 years, 5 months ago

I have a feeling the ball is just beginning to roll.

I'm surprised the system of checks and balances recommended by Gray-Little and Perkins were not in place prior to this scandal.

Steve Brown 11 years, 4 months ago

the reason you have a 'point' system is like vegas using chips, it is not real money, so hard to audit and oversight is limited.

how do you audit comp tix and created 'points'. you can't that is why you have points, you can manipulate them.

Tony Bandle 11 years, 5 months ago


It appears many of the tickets were to NCAA Regional and Final Fours plus the Orange Bowl and the Border War games in KC. Many more tickets available.

I have a good friend way up in the Williams Fund who has indicated that the actual number of suspicious tickets in Allen is relatively small. Now whether this is 16 or 160 or 1600, I have no idea, but even one seat handled in this fashion is unacceptable.

Lew has to be one of the three..not telling the truth, incompetent or not focused on his main responsibilities. None of these choices are good.

Steve Brown 11 years, 5 months ago

three items would sink the AD.

  1. Federal inditement for fraud or tax evasion.
  2. NCAA death penalty or remove our 2008 banner.
  3. Alumns found the truth about the point system sham and how comp tix percentage of great seats grew to above and beyond just player families. Once the 1st class people find out they were moved not just a couple rows but into business class and the biz class folks were moved to coach, and it couldn't be fixed with just more donations as was the game, as the best seats at the front of the plane were taken by non rev flyers........... then the cards fall.

DevilHawk 11 years, 5 months ago

Removing our '08 banner would be interesting - terrible, but interesting. It would mean that no championship game was played that year because both teams in the final had their appearance revoked. I highly doubt that we will see that happen.

Steve Brown 11 years, 4 months ago

ticket scalping may be fine, allows excess seats to go to highest bidder to see the games, depending upon your point of view.

yet scalping by those inside by those who were in charge of deciding where you sit and what seats they get to sell and for personal gain outside the ADept. budget is another matter, as we all agree.

yovoy 11 years, 5 months ago

i'm pretty sure that some of the fb AND bb tix went to (little) kids and their parents, and often to those that couldn't afford them. i've taken kids on those tickets, mostly to football, but i've been to hoops games as well. i haven't gone in a couple of years, but i think it was one of the accused that gave those tickets (and there were a bunch and they were FREE!). i can't be sure about who it was though.

i CAN tell you this: from what i could tell NO one knew what the 'f' was going on around there. that was obvious.

i will also say that if you shut down a store for profiting off of school trade-marked gear, these guys better burn, or at least be prosecuted with the zeal that joecollege was. sheesh.

seriously though, didn't we all "feel like" something unsavory was most likely going on? i've felt that way for years. i don't really care how this all shakes out. i'll still go to the fb games, watch us toil and win 3 or 4 games, watch bb on tv until we flame out in march, we'll win an nc in bb every 20, and order will be restored to the universe.

Tim Orel 11 years, 4 months ago

A quote that I find disturbing:

"During the afternoon event at the Dole Institute, Perkins and Gray-Little pledged to work to prevent such problems from ever surfacing again."

Does anyone else feel uncomfortable that this doesn't say "happening" instead of "surfacing"? Could just be the JW's choice of words, but I very much want this to never "happen" again.

caribhawk 11 years, 4 months ago

Lew has outlived his usefulness at KU, lack of focus and attention to detail, relying on and hiring too many cronies, trying to live off past accomplishments, intimidation, ego, lack of vision, unscrupulous spending of money, and his excessive salary are contributing issues. I don't think he was directly involved, but the buck has to stop at him...he no longer commands the respect or can justify being the 2nd highest paid AD in the country. I agree that collusion among employees involving fraud can be very difficult to identify, but given the number of employees involved and their lack of character, Lew is accountable for hiring these people and letting them run amuck. Lew openly ignored wealthy alumni's pleas that the points system wasn't properly awarding seats, and he ignored or deferred to others who ultimately were involved in fraudulent activity. A wider net of problems will be revealed with other sideplayers which can't be named by the current KU report because they were not employees. This is not going away for awhile. At the minimum, I think this greatly tarnishes the good things that Lew has done at KU and drops his ego down quite a few notches.

Steve Brown 11 years, 4 months ago

hire character teach skills

set the mission statement

Ron Franklin 11 years, 4 months ago

can somebody please explain to me how the point system works? it is supposed to work.

Steve Brown 11 years, 4 months ago

the larger you donations and the longer you have donated and the longer you have owned season tickets the higher your point standings.

unless you were given a pass to 'create' past donations prior to the system could moniter. and if the person assigning the points had other agendas, like best seats for his scalper pals....

who hired the auditors, Lew or Bernette? What were they asked to investigate missing funds or created point standings?

jhokfan 11 years, 4 months ago

My concern is that it goes beyond those who have been implicated. Hopefully no players or coaches were involved. An embarassment to the university yes, but not worthy of NCAA sanctions.

ku_foaf 11 years, 4 months ago

Perkins is guilty of complacency. It sounds like this was going on before he ever got to KU. The crooks were there and pulling their scam. I see no excuse for not having someone independently audit people who handle millions of dollars! If all the cross checks are by a few people in on the scam, that is a terrible system. If state laws hamper doing this, as implied, then maybe the laws will now be changed.

Benjamin Piehler 11 years, 4 months ago

as a KU fan ill take the rap. it sucks but i mean, this is what college basketball has become. until we put the student back into student athlete, there will always be the john caliparis and the lew perkins out there. I'm sure we are totally in the dark about recruiting practices and all the shady things that go on there. I wonder what it took calipari to get jones to switch from washington to kentucky....

FreddyinLA 11 years, 4 months ago

I guess our new chancellor is fine with the performance of the athletic department since Lew was not put on notice to get his ship in order. Be prepared for business as usual after this wind storm blows over.

She had an opportunity set the tone at the top and in true KU form, fumbled.

Clarence Haynes 11 years, 4 months ago

Unfair assessment about the Chancellor. You are not in her head and thus you do not know what she is thinking or contemplating!

Frankly, there is so much speculation going on here in this blog. Let's let this thing play itself out and bear the consequences!

Scott Smetana 11 years, 4 months ago

So somebody scalped tickets for more money... big deal. I sell my Broncos tickets on Ebay all the time. Where's the crime? Looks a couple of KU employees abused their 'free' tickets and should be punished internally or fired. THE END.

Clarence Haynes 11 years, 4 months ago

Unless these individuals reported the income, one can be in a heap of trouble with the Revenuers.

Steve Brown 11 years, 4 months ago

you paid for your tickets so you may sell them it 's a free county.

These folks got tickets from the vault for free and selected what seats and rows they would get and gave them to a broker to sell for a kickback and made millions, So pikes peak do you still have no issue with this.

What if your Broncos ebay seats were on EBay competing with inside staff with Broncos access to free better seats for sell.....

Scott Smetana 11 years, 4 months ago

Good points csh and lighthawk, but I still see no crime. These people somehow had access to prime seats. Even though they abused their power, I don't see a crime. They should have never been given these seats, but that's not their problem. If you, lighthawk, were given those tickets and could legally sell them for big bucks, would you? I think those who should be fired were NOT those with the tickets, but those who were in charge and gave them away.

Steve Brown 11 years, 4 months ago

your point is valid who owned the tickets who 'stole' them if anyone and who was harmed.

Ron Prichard 11 years, 4 months ago

As much as it pains me, I have to agree with lighthawk. These individuals were taking tickets that did not belong to them and selling them to brokers. That is theft. The bigger problem for them may be the failure to report the income. Even assuming they were "given" the tickets, they still sold them for a huge chunk of change. That is reportable income, and if it wasn't reported, the IRS and FBI will not go away quietly.

Smitty, as stupid as it sounds, if you buy your Broncos tickets for face value and then resell them for $1,000 in profit, you have to report that as income. Most people don't, and when it is done on a minor scale, the IRS doesn't really pay too much attention (it would be virtually impossible to catch everyone or anyone not reporting that type of income). However, when it involves hundreds of thousdands of dollars, there has been a real crime, and the government does take notice.

KCHawk81 11 years, 4 months ago

By this rationale, the members of the Kansas Board of Regents should all step down, since this happened under their watch. It also means your boss is responsible for your hypothetical lack of employee oversight. And her boss, by extension, should step down as well. (I'm assuming, of course, that you're not your own CEO, or else you wouldn't be a regular poster here.)

Your post also neglects the fact that the bulk of the impropriety went on before Perkins was AD--as many people have pointed out before.

KCHawk81 11 years, 4 months ago

Is the gold at Fort Knox worth more than the gold elsewhere? At my Fortune 500 company, we spell operations and scandal differently, but perhaps that's what's given yours an edge. Keep up the good work!

Steve Brown 11 years, 4 months ago

what's really funny is that the KUAoffice was encouraging us all to not sell tix on line, but to 'turn' them in to them, don't bring them to the sidewalk of the game, so that we would not add to the supply, thus creating more demand for they ones we stole. ... or reallocated for personal gain.

who did audit of the ones we turned in unused,who sold those on line auctions and who got that money...... more to the be revealed.

Martin Rosenblum 11 years, 4 months ago

What about the students who camp out for up to a week for games?

The precious entry into AFH for games is sacred to the vast majority of fans. There is a ton of irony in these recent revelations.

With our home streak and the legacy of AFH, to think that these folks were only interested in profiting from the tickets is unconscionable. They should be forced to attend all home games in the Octogon of Purple Doom. Then, they should be paraded down Mass. Ave. for a showing of appreciation by true Jayhawk fans. If they still don't have the Jayhawk pride, they should be forced to go to Columbia and sit in the Antler's section when we play there.

Steve Brown 11 years, 4 months ago

they will be watching games in leavenworth on cable evasion is no small matter.

MGJayhawk 11 years, 4 months ago

Can someone please explain to me what is the big deal here? I'm not educated on this issue very well. Who got screwed? Who benefited? Who cares that people who buy tickets, scalped them? I have to be missing something.

(not a lawyer or willing to investigate on my own)


Steve Brown 11 years, 4 months ago

You run my pizza shop and I give you and the crew one large pie at the end of each night to celebrate your hard work. After a while you make 12-20 large pies and you get tired of pizza as you get them each night, so your pals back at the apt. start selling them. Then they want the ones fresh out of the oven at dinner time, my regular customers get pushed back to after dinner. Your pals make millions selling my pizza and don't have to buy a single oven or peporoni. YOu now run a large underground economy for products and sercvices based upon my pizzas. I enable this because a few years ago I stopped taking cash for pizza but funny money that I printed and sold as a season pass worth of hot pizza.

I'm a little tweaked but can't see that my funny money that now everyone is engaged in actually fueled the whole conspiracy.

LJW: how's that?

MGJayhawk 11 years, 4 months ago

That's a great explanation. I guess it's a level of skimming, money laundering and fraud. Thanks lighthawk!

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