Thursday, July 21, 2005

Perkins defends inclusion of names in report


The names of Kansas University student-athletes, tutors and graduate assistants were XXXed out in KU's self report of NCAA rules violations in compliance with the Buckley Amendment.

Yet the names of coaches and boosters -- like Roy Williams, Lynette Woodard and Bernie Morgan -- were listed.

KU athletic director Lew Perkins says there's a simple reason for that.

"We talked about that 100 times. As soon as the report came out somebody would have FOI'ed us that day," Perkins said, referring to media filing a Freedom of Information report to get the names of all non-students identified.

"The last thing we wanted to do was put anybody's name in there. Our legal counsel said, 'If they FOI you, you'll have to turn it over. So why drag it out?' That's why we did it."

In an interview Wednesday with the Journal-World, Perkins addressed the issue of booster Morgan -- and coaches Woodard and Williams -- being displeased their names and alleged violations were made public in the report.

Perkins doused speculation he was trying to embarrass former KU men's basketball coach Williams.

"That makes no sense," Perkins said. "We didn't impose a penalty (on former KU boosters providing small graduation gifts to basketball players). If we thought it was a serious thing, wouldn't we impose a big penalty? It shows right there we weren't trying to do anything.

"Roy did a great job here," Perkins said. "I have great admiration for Roy Williams. I believe Roy is a person of integrity. I think it was a misinterpretation (of rule). What happened is at the end of the day we found a violation. If we don't report it and somebody finds out we don't report it, we violated an NCAA rule by not reporting it."

As far as Woodard, who is upset the report cited her for driving a recruit on campus to take a standardized test, Perkins said: "The quote from Lynette didn't come from us, it came from Tim Eatman (former KU assistant). If somebody makes an allegation, we have no choice but put it in the report.

"In my reading of the report, Rick (Evrard, former NCAA enforcement officer) tried to call her and couldn't connect. I have the greatest admiration for Lynette and Marian (Washington). If Lynette came out and said she had nothing to do with it, I believe her 1,000, 1,000, 1,000 percent."

In fact, Perkins said he was willing to amend the report.

"If Lynette called me today and said I want that put in the report 'I did not do that,' it'd be in there in two seconds. If Lynette called and says, 'Lew that's wrong I did not transport anybody,' I call Rick and Rick calls the NCAA and says we want to amend the deal with Lynette. I'll do it today, tomorrow, yesterday," Perkins said.

As far as boosters like Morgan ... "I said at the press conference I don't think boosters did anything wrong. They did what they thought was right," Perkins said. "I applaud the boosters for calling to ask for permission (to give gifts).

Perkins said the bottom line was that his hands were tied.

"Being a member of the NCAA and Big 12 Conference you don't have a choice. You have to turn it (report of violations) over. It's a violation if you don't.

"We felt very strongly once we turned this into the NCAA, with the NCAA having to still do their job, it would leak out. If we don't do it (have press conference) people will think we're hiding. If the media gets hold of it hypothetically from somebody you will bring it to us and say, 'Why didn't you tell us about this?' There was nothing strategic, lets get this, do that. There was no intent to hurt anybody in all of this."

¢ Woodard update: Reached by the Journal-World, former KU player and assistant coach Woodard said Wednesday she had no comment on KU's self report. She would not comment on a radio report indicating she was considering suing the university, and said she would save all comments for an upcoming news conference or press release.


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