Fresh off of their recent stint in Dallas for the Big 12 spring meetings, Kansas University Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little and athletic director Sheahon Zenger on Wednesday needed little time to bring the Kansas Athletics, Inc., board of directors up to speed on what topics were discussed at the annual meetings.
The first, according to Gray-Little, focused on the resources available to student-athletes in the coming years, specifically the recent rule change that makes it legal for a university to provide unlimited meals to its student-athletes.
The second concerned the ongoing movement by the so-called power conferences to find more autonomy from the NCAA.
And the third was what Gray-Little described as a “very large concern” about the cost, per conference, for a defense strategy pertaining to the several lawsuits currently levied against the NCAA.
“These topics dominated the meetings,” Gray-Little said. “I don’t think we talked about anything else of substance the entire time.”
Gray-Little and Zenger said the discussions conducted by the Big 12’s athletic directors, presidents and chancellors were informal and informative and merely served as an opportunity to make sure all parties were aware of what was going on.
Wednesday’s final quarterly meeting of the board also included:
• Zenger praising the performances of the athletic department during the 2013-14 school year, when 11 of the 18 sports sent a team or at least an individual to the postseason.
“That’s the most we’ve had in close to a decade,” Zenger said. “Obviously, I’m very proud of our student-athletes and what they accomplished.”
• KAI chief financial officer Pat Kaufman providing a review of the fiscal year 2014 financial details and a look at the proposed budget for fiscal year 2015.
Kaufman said KAI was on pace to meet its budget in terms of revenue and expenses for the past year and noted that season football tickets currently are falling short of what was expected but are being helped out by men’s basketball tickets being ahead of budget.
As for the coming year, the budget for both revenue and expenses grew slightly, with expected revenue increasing by 7 percent, largely because of the Big 12’s television deals, and the expense budget growing by 4 percent, with inflation and the increase in costs for providing unlimited meals making up most of the change there.