All’s quiet on the multiple investigations front in terms of the Kansas University ticket scandal. So quiet that if you listen closely you might be able to hear a sweat bead drop.
This much did make its way to my keyboard, delivered courtesy of a guy we’ll just call Nellie the Whisper: The feds have started to ask those on both ends of ticket transactions whether they engaged in any trade-out activity. Hypothetical example: You put a new roof on my house without charging me and I’ll move you up the ladder on the Williams Fund points list, enabling you to bypass donors who give more than you do.
Nellie the Whisper didn’t tell me that sort of stuff definitely had been going on, but he did say the feds are looking into it. And when the feds ask questions they tend to get honest answers. Those answering the questions know if they don’t sing, sing, they could be headed to the equivalent of Sing Sing, as in stir, slammer, big house, pen, up the river, hoosegow, clink, iron bar motel, cooler, can, pokey, tank, can’t you tell I watched a lot of Dragnet and heard a lot of Joe Friday lectures in my youth? The mere threat of all those words pours truth serum down the throats of born liars.
Now, if someone traded tickets from his or her personal stock in exchange for services, then that’s a no harm, no foul. But let’s say it didn’t happen that way. Let’s say someone received significant value in the way of a trade-out in exchange for either moving a donor up the list or just switching envelopes to give the less deserving donor the better seats. And let’s say that someone didn’t report that on his or her income taxes. Well, in the event something like that did happen, that someone would be guilty of defrauding the government and defrauding his or her employer by using something of value for the benefit of the individual instead of the university.
It’s comforting to know those questions are being asked because that’s a sign of the thoroughness of the probe. The more in-depth the investigation, the more you know you can trust those standing at the end of the seven-figures scandal.
This is not an ideal time for KU athletic director Lew Perkins to pull daggers out of his back and there is no other way for Perkins to look at those working under him turning their access to tickets into their own little profit centers.
With the Big 12 a threat to be raided as big-time college athletics appear headed the way of super conferences, Perkins is too busy to stop and lick his wounds over the embarrassing scandal. You can bet he’s pro-actively looking at any and all possibilities to ensure Kansas doesn’t get left out of the power-conference realignment.
If he hasn’t already, expect Perkins to look into seeing whether Kansas could qualify as a fit in the Big Ten, a move that at first blush would infuriate many of the boosters with the deepest pockets. Longer road trips to cooler climates tends to make blue blood boil. Plus, the plodding style of basketball doesn’t float the boats of Kansas fans. Still, Perkins must make sure Kansas remains in a powerhouse conference. Next to tradition and a great coach, nothing aids recruiting and finances like a loaded conference, not even snazzy facilities.