Thursday, June 5, 2014

Heavy topics dominate Kansas Athletics meeting


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.


Carter Patterson 5 years, 2 months ago

I was hoping that there was some discussions on plans for upgrading our Division II Football field.

Titus Canby 5 years, 2 months ago

I know I'm stating the obvious here, but we need to sell some tickets before we have the money to do that. And we probably need to win some games before we can sell more tickets.

David Lara 5 years, 2 months ago

I was going to respond to that last idiotic take, but it looks like it was taken down. All the same, you can choose to not like Lew Perkins for a few reasons, but he is NOT the reason we can't get our football field revamped. That comes down to money, and he made huge strides that got our revenue structure in place to be competitive in the modern landscape of college athletics. That shining jewel we call the Anderson football complex was needed long before any effort to remove the track and it was upgrades like that that were largely lacking before he got things on course. His efforts to focus on revenue weren't popular with some, but money was, is, and will continue to be among the most important factors in college sports. Preferring to live in the dark ages is D1 athletics suicide, and god only knows where we would end up come the future machinations of conference realignment without getting our house in order when Lew was here. Even if that's his only accomplishment it's implications are too vast to be able to imagine our current state of affairs without him.

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