Friday, August 21, 2009

KU sells courtside basketball seats for $15,000 each

A crowd of more than 16,000 basketball fans watch the women’s Kansas University basketball team prepare to take on the South Florida bulls in the WNIT championship game Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse. The crowd was the largest ever to watch a KU women’s game in the fieldhouse.

A crowd of more than 16,000 basketball fans watch the women’s Kansas University basketball team prepare to take on the South Florida bulls in the WNIT championship game Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse. The crowd was the largest ever to watch a KU women’s game in the fieldhouse.


For decades, it was said the media had the best seats in Allen Fieldhouse.

No more.

Fans have purchased 40 seats on press row at $15,000 per seat for the 2009-10 Kansas University men’s basketball season, associate athletic director Jim Marchiony said this week.

The press will sit in the two end zones — where some media sat last season with KU administrators and some NBA scouts. Section 13A in the upper southwest corner remains for overflow media.

It’s not yet been determined where administrators and scouts will be seated this season, with those seats likely assigned on a game-by-game basis.

“The reason we are going in this direction is twofold: No. 1 is the revenue generation aspect,” Marchiony said. “We need to do what we can to generate revenue. This will generate well over half a million dollars annually. The other thing is it’s an issue of enhancing the fan experience. People will love the opportunity to sit that close to the action.”

The Williams Fund contacted boosters with the most priority points about purchasing the press row seats, which stretch on the east side of the court. They were gobbled up quickly.

“Many schools have already done this. We’re one of the few who hadn’t done it yet,” Marchiony said. Indeed, all schools in the Big 12 now have some sort of courtside fan seating. “It’s something we knew our fans would be very interested in. It adds to their enjoyment of the game.”

The press table will remain in place on the east side and in the end zones.

“(It’s) because we have advertising on those tables in the front,” Marchiony said. “But mostly because it’ll allow our fans to have food and drink there and keep it out of the way, rather than have them put things on the floor.”

A few media members will remain on the old eastside press row. The national or Jayhawk Network television announcers working the game and the home and visiting radio announcers will be seated in the middle, with the fans on both sides.

“The media has been good about saying their main concern is access to the event and coaches and participants. As long as that doesn’t change, we don’t expect too many (complaints),” Marchiony said.


John Randall 13 years, 3 months ago

$600K to replace 40 media hacks with 'Hawk boosters . . . looks like win-win to me. Being late to this money grabbing technique even pulls the fangs of those who will be screaming "greedy, greedy greedy." Lew da' man!

Aaron Carpenter 13 years, 3 months ago

Like the move but would love to see students along a sideline. Imagine the deafening roar on top of what is already the best experience in college basketball. Watched the pre-game video again and yep, still goosebumps. Rock Chalk!

livnlarry 13 years, 3 months ago

I can hear it already. People will be smack talking Lew for making money. I know people who are upset because they cant go to football games any more and set on the 20 yd line after paying for $12 tickets in the north bowl. And im not making that up.

jhawk23 13 years, 3 months ago

Let's not kid ourselves. The "boosters with the most priority points" are the corporations that dole out tickets as perqs to their execs and lures to those with whom they'd like to do business. That's why--now that there's a point system--there are so many empty seats with 2, 3, even 5 minutes left in the game. Now home viewers on television will get to see these visitors--not fans--leave the game from their front row seats,too, well before games' end, and before the rock chalk chant fills the place.

Kevin Long 13 years, 3 months ago

I agree acsgreens. I would like to see it be more like Duke where they are right up on ya. I still think we have a better overall home court advantage than they do, but a little more noise in the face would be good. What is that winning streak up to now anyway?

Paul Meyer 13 years, 3 months ago

Next thing you know, Lew is going to put those ugly Memorial Stadium endzone seats with cupholders underneath the hoop. How valuable are the cheerleader and band sections? Why don't we get a corporate sponsor for the mecca of college basketball? All the latest architectural renovations look like ESPNZone meets AFH. Naismith and Allen are probably rolling over in their graves, because Lew's school of big business is now ruining the "collegiate" experience.

David Black 13 years, 3 months ago

I can see it coming. All of the old fans at home are going to have to pay per view KU sports. There is just the corporate experience at Allen Field House and to hell with all the old alums who supported the place for years and years. $15,000 to sit where the media has been for several years! Wow, that is just pathetic.

Kevin Long 13 years, 3 months ago

I would rather pay more and watch a quality team in a quality venue. You pay for what you get. I don't think anyone should bad mouth Lew. Since he has got here, he has done a lot of improvements. Being at a "small market" school he has had to do it by any means he can.

I do think they are missing out on a ton of money by the football stadium not having a parking lot. Sure the people that live close to the stadium make a killing, but just think how much money that would bring in. I don't know where they could put it, but you would think something could be done. Even if it's only a somewhat small lot it would help.

Benjamin Clay Jones 13 years, 3 months ago

Not sure how to feel about this. Twenty-odd years ago I was a staff writer for the alumni magazine and sat on press row. Traditionally, the press's rightful place has been at courtside, where they can serve as the eyes and voices for their readers or listeners. Shunting them off to the stands in favor of beaucoup bucks seems a little out of whack. It will seem very strange to see fans cheering from "press row." Next, Lew will probably demand that newspapers and television stations pony up for the right to cover KU basketball. I worry that priorities have become twisted under the Reign of Lew, and Allen Field House is losing that special feel.

Rick Arnoldy 13 years, 3 months ago

Many years ago I would have supported having students right up close to the courts. Sadly, sportsmanship, even among Jayhawk fans, has denigrated to the point where the Rob Schneider cheer is popular. I’d rather see the buffer of press row between the students and court.

5DecadeHawk 13 years, 3 months ago

The Market Value of those courtside seats is a lot more than $15,000

I have no doubt that they could sell all of them for $30k each, if not more. If you think about it, each seat can more than fund a full scholarship for a student athlete.

Steve Day 13 years, 3 months ago

We all can see the financial reasons for doing this. That's a no brainer. It helps us maintain our edge.

I will say I have had the privilage of sitting courtside for 2 KU games in my life. 1 at Late Night in 1986. Me and my buddy were looking for a place to sit and the entire media row was empty. We took a shot and sat down. Others saw us do that and followed. We were never asked to leave and I will always have that memory. And it was free.

The other time was at the University of San Diego when Jacque Vaughn was a senior. The hawks played out there and I called USDs ticket office and asked for the best seats available. They had 2 courtside across from KUs bench for the bargain price of 50.00 each.

Well worth the money in both cases.

Aligned 13 years, 3 months ago

I don’t really care one way or the other, but let’s not kid ourselves. There is actually only one reason this is being done, and that’s to generate additional revenue. “Enhance the fan experience; People will love the opportunity to sit that close to the action; It’s something we knew our fans would be very interested in”? Give me a break…

I seem to remember reading KU’s athletic budget last year as being in excess of $50,000,000.

Tony Bandle 13 years, 3 months ago


Point well taken...however, at 15K a pop the only student who could afford it will be on the opposite side of the court sitting on the KU bench wearing # 13.

Joshua Hann 13 years, 3 months ago

Wow, seriously people! You are getting upset because the university is making money?'s a business as well! I don't understand why you are upset about putting fans in the seats that matter! You are ignorant, winey (can't put the word I want to here)....Good move. Awesome for the people that get to sit there and enjoy the game instead of the media who is there just doing there job.

KUbsee69 13 years, 3 months ago

Money making aside, just wait until a diving player or even just a bball comes crashing over that table and injures a wealthy "fan". Most of the media is used to that kind of action and knows how to dodge. But what about the wine and cheese fan that is there to be seen and to hob-knob with each other? When that happens, the rich may get richer and KU may get poorer ... assuming the injured has somewhat competent attorney.

Scott Smetana 13 years, 3 months ago

I have always wanted to see a seating chart with KU student's section highlighted. Then compare this diagram vs. other top programs: Duke, UNC, UK, UT, UCLA, etc. I think our program makes PLENTY of $$$ to be able to let our current students enjoy the good seats... at LEAST as good as these other programs. I'll send $10 to anyone who posts the comparison charts online.

murph 13 years, 3 months ago

KUbsee69 - You are SO right. Lovely Lew will have a fit if something mundane like the game action ruffles the feathers of his Golden Geese. What a grubby, greedy, disgusting display!

Rock_Chalk_NYC 13 years, 3 months ago

1) Great idea for the floor seats... However, based on what I'm reading they are going to have a table in front of them vs. a true floor seat where you can get hit by the sweat of the players? Thats pretty lame. I can already picture the old, rich geezers that will be sitting there. Too bad. Swing and a miss on improving the atmosphere. No change.

2) Did you notice Marchiony's comment about the advertising. IMPORTANT POINT: This ridiculous desire to "televise our advertising" vs. televising HCBS, staff and the players on the bench and our opponents DRIVES ME CRAZY!!! Anyone that watches KU home games on television knows what I'm talking about. The TV angle is on the wrong side of Allen Fieldhouse. We televise a Westlake Hardware, Lawrence Camera and Video and other local ads versus the game (I live in NYC and go out to watch many games, we get laughed at, and rightfully so!) We are the only major school who damages the broadcast of our beloved Allen Fieldhouse games in this manner. UNC, DUKE, UCLA, INDIANA, UK, UT, even K-State for god's sake all show you the benches on TV. We show Westlake Hardware (no offense to Westlake... you were my hardware store when i was in Larry... LOL)


justanotherfan 13 years, 3 months ago


I know most people think $50 Million is a huge athletic budget.

Here's the Big 12 in 2005-2006 Revenues Expenses Texas $97,756,777 $83,600,249 Texas A&M $70,923,550 $61,419,534 Oklahoma $64,521,972 $64,322,580 Nebraska $64,110,157 $63,695,479 Kansas $62,985,486 $47,554,572 Oklahoma State $53,641,925 $44,061,812 Texas Tech $53,337,766 $53,337,766 Colorado $46,871,796 $45,731,542 Missouri $45,184,835 $45,184,835 Kansas State $43,411,343 $34,834,467 Iowa State $32,541,235 $32,541,235 Baylor $32,228,960 $36,228,960

As you see, it takes at least $50M to be competitive in the Big 12, and $60M would probably be better.

Dalman 13 years, 3 months ago

Interesting that sonofdaxjones weighs in negativly. Who would think that a k-sucks fan would have that much of an interest in KU sports and our seating at a basketball game in Allen. Oh yeah, a k-sucks fan who is jealous about the amount of distance that KU is putting between KU and their program from a financial standpoint. Instead of flaming KU you would think that he would be leading protests in front of the k-sucks student union to protest the cluster f*#k that is the k-state athletic department. Under the table secret contracts, etc. Has to be painful to watch KU bring in more and more revenue from boosters who can afford to support the school, while Willie the kitty cat chokes in KU's dust further and further away.

RockChalkGuy 13 years, 3 months ago

Now I hate Texas even more...$98 million!!! Are you kidding me! Now I know how K-State feels.

I do find it interesting that I just went to my select-a-seat ritual last week for the basketball season tickets and was quite irritated that, despite increasing the amount I donate to the WEF + becoming a season ticket holder for Football, my seats improved about 6 spots. That doesn't mean I'm six rows closer. That means I moved about six seats closer to the middle on the same row...I'm pretty sure I can still reach up and touch the rafters from my new seats. The point is, KU doesn't seem to be having any trouble filling the house, even in this down economy. I don't know that I object to selling the courtside seats, but don't play it up like your in dire straights either.

Gary McCullough 13 years, 3 months ago

We need to get Don Johnson, Mandy Patinkin, or Robb Riggle into those seats like Kentucky has Ashley Judd courtside. It wouldn't hurt if we had a hot actress alum.

Marcia Parsons 13 years, 3 months ago

jhawk23: Why do you think the expensive seats go only to corporate bigwigs who buy tickets to give away to impress clients? KU is lucky to have devoted fans who are also wealthy enough to donate heavily and buy $15,000/game seats. I see nothing wrong with it, and sincerely wish I could afford to buy one.

KUTPO 13 years, 3 months ago

Maybe, just maybe, you'd be happier to be a Misery fan? They had to beg people to attend games. Their front row seats were empty until the end of last year! It's all relative! And the home win streak will probably last another year or two!
Let Lew run the deal as long as the KU program remains clean and wins many more National Championships in my lifetime. Rock Chalk.

RockChalkGuy 13 years, 3 months ago

No chance of becoming an MU fan. I can't believe you'd go below the belt like that. :)

To clarify: I don't have a problem with Lew Perkin$ doing what he's doing. Actually, I'm proud of the guy. I was simply trying to demonstrate that even with the times being tough, there's still a huge demand for the Best Show On Earth otherwise known as KU basketball and they don't seem to be experiencing any drop-off in season ticket sales.

Dr. Robert s. Mosser 13 years, 3 months ago

You want to sit in courtside seats? In old Nichols Gym at Cow College the students did sit there. In the season of 1946 when Charley Black stood out of bounds to throw in the ball, one of the students pinched him. BIG MISTAKE! Charley responded with an elbow driven into the pinchers face. Messed his face pretty badly. Courtside???

kranny 13 years, 3 months ago

Whether we like it or not, college sports is big business. More money leads to more improvements, more improvements leads to better recruits and keeping good coaches, better recruits leads to winning seasons and that's the bottom line.

Rick Arnoldy 13 years, 3 months ago

Even the Yankees can't sell their front row tickets and they're much cheaper.

jaybate 13 years, 3 months ago

Friday Burnt Ends:

"Selling Me Softly With his Seats/ Selling me softly/ with his seats..." --sung to the tune of "Killing Me Softly With His Song" by Roberta Flack

} For persons who like raising more revenues to move KU towards UT, selling those court side seats is a start. Shortly, bidding will be opened up and corporations will naturally outbid all of the alums, unless those alums are bidding through their own corporations. The corporations can afford $100K to $1M per seat easily year in and year out, and even most of KU's rich alums would balk at annual contributions of this size in addition to what they already are forking over. Alas, these amounts are what corporations pay repeatedly for advertising without blinking, and they think nothing of spending these same sorts of sums for corporate executive retreats and junkets. My guess is the going rate will be $500K per seat within a half decade and corporations will be buying two seats at a shot. Corporate boxes might be fine for the CFO and the Sales Director, but the big cheeses will want to sit court side and will pay any price to do so. A mil would frankly be a small price to pay for allowing a CEO to take a client and cement/perpetuate a lot of very big deals and expense the whole arrangement.

} The move to sell these courtside seats formerly occupied in large part by print media makes starkly clear just how inconsequential most of the traditional print media has become in the hyping and promoting of KU basketball, at least in the minds of those who manage the hype and promotion of KU basketball.

There was a time long ago, when the traditions of the press getting preferential seating probably began, back before Allen Field House was even built, back when KU then played in small town journalist E.W. Hoch's auditorium, wherein the print media cabal of the early 20th Century, one that reputedly largely and tightly ruled the politics of the state of Kansas (perhaps America's one and only print media-owned political machine) at least until the 1950s (Henry Justin Allen and his Wichita paper, Arthur Capper and his Topeka paper, Fred McClennan and Arthur Carruth and their Topeka paper, William Allen White and his Emporia paper, Nelson and his KC paper, even, I suppose, E. W. Hoch and his small town paper, might well have, through discrete back-channels, colluded and prevented the selling of these seats from ever being considered.

jaybate 13 years, 3 months ago

Friday Burnt Ends continued...

(Notice how I leave out mention of ownership of the august World Corporation and its Lawrence Journal World? That is because in the few histories and muck raking books on Kansas history that I have read, I do not recall them being discussed in this regard. But, of course, I have not read that many books on the subject and so can hardly be termed an expert on the matter one way or another. I am, as always just opining.)

But to get back to it, there was a time when college athletics desperately needed the print media to hype the team not only to get persons to buy tickets to games, but also to get people to read the papers and listen to the radio (early on dominated from tiny Milford, Kansas, by the estimable John R. Brinkley, M.D., and his goat-gland promoting radio empire). The print media's sports coverage was in those "good old days" crucial to stimulating the advertising in print and radio that stimulated Kansans to keep buying the things local corporations were making and willing to advertise in order to sell. It was all very cozy and local and since nearly every town had a newspaper and since nearly every town had local businesses that made things and/or sold things made elsewhere that used advertising to move them, the print media had considerable clout and often got the best seats at many kinds of functions then greatly of interest to the unwashed masses. Looking back, through not so much rose, but sepia tinted glasses, it all appears a very happy and prosperous, if largely undemocratic and minimally market driven print media ownership-driven political-economic machine.

Oh, but then the dreadful television technology came along, with so many of its controllers and advertisers increasingly rooted beyond Kansas and the control of the Kansas print-media machine, and then the cable networks came along, and ghettoized sports increasingly onto a sports channel, and then if all that were not bad enough for the ink stained wretches in print, the internet came along and one single website like could furnish/satisfy all the sports reporting and gossip one needed about the Jayhawks from a single site, while the big bad ESPN from far away could provide all the national and regional and local hype needed, and come March, the moribund CBS could gather its diminishing resources, but still formidable affiliate system, and hype heavens out of the NCAA tourney; and, well, a KU AD could suddenly get up one day and say to himself in the mirror, as he shaved, "By god, who needs all these medium to small market print media and local radio and local TV reporters around wasting good seats, when we could sell them for $15K a pop to alums for a few years before really making hay by selling them to corporations for $100k to $1M a pop?" And, lo, it came to pass.

jaybate 13 years, 3 months ago

Friday Burnt Ends continued...

} One tiny piece of good news about the Memphis disciplinary action is learning that if KU were ever to have to "forfeit" the W's and ring of that championship season (Note: interesting how forfeit has replaced "vacate" as terminology in the Memphis story in but one news cycle), because of Darrell Arthur's reputed high school grade changes (perhaps akin to Derek Rose's SAT issues while he too was still in high school?) making Arthur ineligible, then no one would be moved up to being champion. Alas, that would be small consolation were it ever to occur (despite Bill Mayer's assertion that it never could happen), would it not?

} Hurry Late Night. We need the grace and heroism of brave young men and valiant coaches and the beauty of play to save us all once again from the ever present materialism that eternally grasps at the knape of the greatest game ever invented.

Tony Bandle 13 years, 3 months ago


I must have been in the right place and at the right time [1966-71] The court was elevated and we schol hall guys always got front row seats on the south end of Allen. The cheerleaders did their routines right in front and above us. The view was heavenly!!

Now, those seats were worth $15,000 !!!!!

Cheerleader Captain, Karen Rengstrom, where are you????

Joshua Hann 13 years, 3 months ago

Now people are worried about the advertising and being made fun of by other fans? Wow....ridiculous!!!! If you get made fun of, it's because you look like a nerd and allow it....seriously, your team is one of the best in the land and your feelings are hurt because someone dogs on the sideline? If that's the worst they have to say to you, man up, or even little boy-up, good grief. And you should be busy watching the action, not salivating at HCBS on the sideline or even the advertising.....omg is about all there is to say....

Waylon Cook 13 years, 3 months ago

Justanother, those are from 05-06? I think KU is actually 3rd as of last year am I correct?

Larry Smith 13 years, 3 months ago

I copied this from another site.

here is a link for more info

Numbers from July 1, 2007 through June 30th, 2008

KU Revenue: $86,009,257 Expense: $65,707,114

K-State Revenue: $48,160,113 Expenses: $40,409,150

MU Revenue: $49,113,786 Exepense: $48,793,770

NU Revenue: $75,492,884 Expense: $66,862,007

ISU Revenue: $38,642,013 Expense: $38,642,013

CU Revenue: $52,631,896 Expense: $48,368,260

OU Revenue: $77,098,009 Expense: $76,945,883

UT Revenue: $120,288,370 Expense: $100,982,596

A&M Revenue: $74,781,640 Expense: $72,449,292

OSU Revenue: $88,554,438 Expense: $59,168,327

Tech Revenue: $42,844,855 Expense: $39,247,970

Baylor Revenue: $44,151,763 Expense: $44,151,763

By Revenue

UT: $120,288,370 OSU:$88,554,438 KU: $86,009,257 OU: $77,098,009 NU: $75,492,884 A&M:$74,781,640 CU: $52,631,896 MU: $49,113,786 KSU: $48,160,113 BU: $44,151,763 TT: $42,844,855 ISU: $38,642,013

Larry Smith 13 years, 3 months ago

Same time frame by Profit

OSU:$29,386,111 KU: $20,302,143 UT: $19,305,774 NU: $8,630,877 KSU: $7,750963 CU: $4,263,636 TT: $3,596,885 A&M:$2,332,348 MU: $320,016 OU: $152,126 BU: $0.00 ISU: $0.00

Aligned 13 years, 3 months ago

Interesting data. Thanks for posting the link.

Tony Bandle 13 years, 3 months ago

Maybe the Big Twelve should take over running the government.

WOW!!! KU made a 25% profit???? I think we should start the 401k Jayhawk Nation Retirement Fund immediately, available only to Jayhawk graduates.

I find the profit differential at OU staggering...what do those Sooners do, use 100 bills for pregame bonfires. Their miniscule profit margin is tragic....unless it's not true, then maybe they are pretty sharp!!

Shelly Harshaw 13 years, 3 months ago

Please Oh Please DON'T make us look at that stupid broad behind the TV annoucers again this year!!!

Jason Sinclair 13 years, 3 months ago

Wow, imagine how much money we could get for seating on (not at) mid-court.

I can hear the A.D.'s sales pitch "Now you can not only be near the action, but IN the action! We realize that having seats actually on the court is against the rules and will generate technical fouls for the home team, but 'we need to find revenue wherever we can.' We're excited to offer you this unique opportunity for only $2 billion per season".

DoubleDD 13 years, 3 months ago

If you want to win championships its takes money period. Want to keep Belf Self around and Mangino then you have to raise the prices. If you want top recruits then you have to have top of the line playing fields, workout rooms, medical staffs, and so on and that takes money. Sure KU has made some money but they've made some major improvements too. Lew Perkins is a genius.

actorman 13 years, 3 months ago

"We need to get Don Johnson, Mandy Patinkin, or Robb Riggle into those seats like Kentucky has Ashley Judd courtside. It wouldn't hurt if we had a hot actress alum."

We actually DO have a hot model who's a fan. Ever heard of Danni Boatwright? She's not quite Ashley Judd, but then who is? Of course from my understanding, Ashley often doesn't sit courtside, she sits in with the students. I'm sure many KU students would be quite happy to have Danni Boatwright sitting with them.

"Even the Yankees can't sell their front row tickets and they're much cheaper."

That's not even remotely true. I believe the Yankees were selling their "prime" seats for $2,500 a game. Even after they lowered the price to something like $1,500 a game, that's still far more than $15,000 for 17 or 18 games.

jaybate 13 years, 3 months ago

jaybate news service: Bulletin...

KU AD Lew Perkins announces that KU will add 20 feet to the length of the sidelines and 20 feet to the width of the base line in order to get more front row seats to sell for $15k/per a$$ pad.

Perkins also announced that next off-season KU plans to triple the length of Allen Field House in order to double the baseline to baseline length and double the number of sideline A$$Pads for sale at $15k per.

KUAD's Jim Marchiony flatly denied that the NCAA will challenge KU's alterations of the court dimensions this year and next.

"To the contrary," Marchiony said, "the NCAA went into emergency session to permit such court expansions so long as the NCAA gets 20% of the additional seat revenues."

Note: This is a stretcher. The NCAA would only want 10%.

jaybate 13 years, 3 months ago


I sure hope you don't mean to suggest that jaybate thinks corporations are bad!

Corporations are good!

Since the third quarter of the 19th Century, corporations have steadily lead the way in acquiring rights, entitlements, subsidies, welfare, and bailouts from the evil-doer government.

Corporations have, under just about any definition of rights, entitlements, subsidies, welfare, and bailouts, more of these than the USA constitution and laws extend to individuals.

Corporations are the role model for all citizens to aspire to.

Corporations have already gotten all the rights, entitlements, subsidies, welfare, and bailouts the human beings can ever hope to attain on this mortal coil.

Why if human beings presently had the same rights of corporations, all USA citizens would be basking in political and economic freedom and security and prosperity in which practically everything that even Thomas Jefferson ever dreamed about for Americans had already come true.

Why having the same rights as a corporation is my every hope and dream, Maxhawk!

When I lay my head on my pillow and say my prayers, this is what they are:

"Most awesome heavenly father, I beseech thee: please grant each and every USA citizen the very same rights, entitlements, subsidies, welfare, and bailouts as those granted to USA corporations for the last half century or so. Amen!"

Corporate rights are just the cat's meow. I'll trade any corporation even up for its rights. And so should you. Alas, you won't find any takers. :-)

DoubleDD 13 years, 3 months ago

Jaybate I have always found your blogs very interesting. However your sacrasm has me a little confused. Do you think that keeping things the same way will breed success. If you always do what you always done expecting a different result then thats insanity (not my quote). If KU is to continue to compete then it must adapt to the changing of times. Maybe I'm wrong (and you'll will correct me) but KU has made some leaps and bounds into the future. The football program is becoming a contender every year and Basketball program is a force to recken with. Do you think we can recruit with just we are "KU" come and join us.I"m not sure I follow you here.

cklarock 13 years, 3 months ago

This leaves me with a strong "meh." While I know that college hoops is a big business, I still cling to the fantasy that it's more than just a big business. Moves like this chip away at that belief.

There's no doubt that Darth Athleticus makes a lot of money for KU, and that money will net out in victories in the end, but it isn't as simple as just gaining more money -- we're trading bits and pieces of what we have to get that cash. As we've seen, the corporate boosters contribute the least to the atmosphere, and are always the first to leave.

jaybate 13 years, 3 months ago


No, things should change. But some change is good and other change is bad and still other change is a mixture of good and bad.

Living mythologies, like KU basketball, are rare and require living human beings participating in all aspects of them: Chancellors, professors grading players papers, ADs organizing the biz end, Coaches recruiting and coaching, players playing, fans fanning, reporters covering and hyping, and so on.

My melancholia, if you will, at selling the seats to rich alums stems from my expectation that corporations will shortly eclipse the rich alums in bidding for those seats.

Corporations are not human beings.

They are instituted organizations that exist to please shareholders transgenerationally. They don't emote. They don't go to school at KU. They don't eat and drink and sleep. Worst of all, they don't die, they just go through reorganization.

Corporations are very useful tools for organizing certain kinds of human activity.

But it was a foolish mistake to ever extend them the same rights that individuals have, and then to expand those rights so that they corporations are the first class citizens of America, and Americans are second class citizens with fewer rights than corporations.

Corporations have not had their habeaus corpus made conditional. Corporations cannot be labelled terrorists and abducted in the night and tortured 24/7 and murdered legally. Corporations have more legal protections than persons in most regards.

Taking those courtside seats away from ink stained wretches was inevitable, because the technology of media has drifted away from needing the ink stained wretches in the same numbers and kinds as before. Someone was destined to get those court side seats. I would have liked to seen them go back to the students, where they belong. Seeing them go to the richest alumni contributors would not be bad, because like them or not, they are human beings who bleed crimson and blue and who eat and drink and die, eventually. But the corporations will, as always eclipse this interim favor to the wealthy few. Corporations will own those seats in not too long and when they do, the first line of the living myth of KU basketball, the front row seats along the sacred wood, will be owned by the non-living, the zombies of the instituted realm, the corporations. And a part of the living myth will have died. And then corporations will begin to eat away at the second row around the court. And then the third. And so on. And the living myth of KU basketball will be slowly, but inexorably hollowed out by the corporations, just as those same corporations have inexorably hollowed out our republic, and our bill of rights, and our economy.

Sometimes it seems the world will end not with a bang, but an incorporation.

DoubleDD 13 years, 3 months ago

Nicely put Jaybate, as always you have a way with words. I mean you truly have a gift. Putting words in such a manner that one can truly understand the true meaning behind them is remarkable. My daughter who is very young has a gift of writing too. I'm always amazed when I stumble onto some one that can be to the point yet show compassion at the same time. I guess I'm like most zombie's in that I know some things are just bad yet I just don't see the whole picture. Though corporations look very corporate it can entice one to believe that great things will happen with their involvement. Yet I have one lingering thought or ??? how is KU to move forward in this not so new corporate world and still compete. As we have seen more and more Colleges are selling out for the brass ring. I mean the landscape of college sports has changed so much just since 1988 when Manning turned my heart beat to one of a Jayhawk. With new mega conferences, BCS bowels, coaches salaries rising, and recruiting almost becoming a sport in its self. I would hate to stumble backwards when we were always so close but unable to grab the brass ring. This would be an unfair sequence for a place like KU that has done so much for college basketball world.

jaybate 13 years, 3 months ago


These are profound issues your are raising with great gentleness.

I will begin recalling a verse from Luke.

"is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?"

I would amend this verse for our discussion this way.

"is the living myth of KU basketball profitted if it gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits itself?"

To some extent my question may be metaphysical.

The reality is that there are dynamic and inertial forces pressing KU basketball in the direction we are discussing. In this sense, Lew Perkins is doing what circumstances are compelling him towards. Its a business, as they say.

But living myths, such as KU basketball, have many realities; that is what makes them living myths instead of just basketball programs.

From the Chancellor, to the ball boy, people know KU basketball is something special. They know that it is a living goose laying a fresh golden egg each year. Lew is no dummy. He knows that he is trying to manage the earthly business of something mythic. He knows the very robustness of the living myth means he can push very far in the direction of squeezing it for dollars without hurting it. But he also knows that there is some threshold that going beyond which kills it. And were it killed, all involved would suddenly find themselves attached to a dimishing thing, a shrinking pie, a situation where one would have no choice but to gore the ox in anticipation of its eventual death.

Lew has the challenging job of squeezing the program, but not too much.

Life will go on after these seats are sold.

The sun will come up.

But it is safe to say that we are one more big squeeze closer to the threshold of the end of the living myth.

Joseph Kuebel 13 years, 3 months ago

UNREAL. I LOVE HOW THE PEOPLE ON HERE DOGGING LEW FOR MAKING MONEY (AND BEING CAPITALIST IN A CAPITALIST SOCIETY)! YOU PEOPLE are terrible and nobody needs you...keep in mind these are all the same people that are calling Obama a socialist (and don't even know the slightest difference between Socialism and Communism)

Joseph Kuebel 13 years, 3 months ago

Lets preserve the University setting...Uh the University is a business, and if you are a fan you should encourage your business to make money.

Now I don't think the extra .5 million necessarily outweighs the advantage of the fans being right on the court...

All in all its a win, more money for KU, and less media in the face...

DoubleDD 13 years, 3 months ago

CaliHawk33 I'm not sure I follow you on this. Are saying Obama is a capitalist?? Because if you are I would have to disagree with you to the highest level. As far as KU being just a University, some would disagree with you as would I. KU is a magical place, steeped in deep tradition. And I doubt any would disagree with making some money, but some are concerned how far will it go and at what cost. Let me put it to you this way I'm sure satan would pay alot of money for your soul, however the ??? is would you sell your soul to satan??? This is a point I lost sight of in my earlier blogs. KU is not just a college, it is home to history and tradition. It has changed the face of college basketball more than once. Any changes must be debated and looked at with an eye to what effects it will have on the future. As for your Obama reference you lost me besides I think you might want to leave Obama out of it he kind of has hands full right now convincing everybody a government run healthcare plan is the only answer. Oh and I more thing I do know the difference between socialism and communism and I don't like either one of them.

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