Cliff's Notes version: Lew Perkins press conference, 6/16/2010


Here is the Cliff's Notes version of Kansas athletic director Lew Perkins' comments at his press conference today.

Full audio has been posted.

Perkins says KU is unbelievably happy that all 10 schools were able to stay together in the Big 12. There's lots of value in that.

In Perkins' opinion, it is one of the greatest things to happen in intercollegiate athletics in a long time. Ten is a great number for the Big 12. Some things are still unanswered, and the league is trying to work through those as quickly as possible. Basically, it's like starting a new conference with all the details that still need to be worked out. This will not be finished for a long time.

One of the questions he gets asked most is about the conference name. Perkins doesn't know the answer, and he believes everyone in the league will have to talk about whether a name change is needed.

Though he thinks many of the reporters will want to know about the numbers, Perkins doesn't have completely accurate numbers right now. Things could change over time. He doesn't think any Big 12 schools would have accurate numbers right now.

No one in the Big 12 is interested in expansion right now. The schools like having 10 teams. Perkins believes that perhaps this could start a trend for schools to go smaller. KU coach Bill Self said it well yesterday when he talked about the new Big 12 being like the old Big Eight.

KU worked hard behind the scenes to keep this thing together. There are always going to be disagreements. That's never going to go away. But Perkins came away thinking this was the best thing for the Big 12, for the 10 teams still involved and for intercollegiate athletics.

Perkins believes the basketball league will be stronger.

Perkins said he kept KU's coaches in the loop throughout the process as much as he could.

Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe deserves to be thanked. He has been blamed for a lot of things, but he and his staff might have saved intercollegiate athletics as we see it today. Perkins doesn't think the change would have been best for the student athletes involved.

KU chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little was a rock star, and she and Perkins were in constant contact through the whole process.

• If Perkins ever had to "go to war," he'd want to do so with Kansas State's president Kirk Schulz and KSU athletic director John Currie. Everything between KU and KSU was done step in step.

As the five "leftover" Big 12 schools looked at things — Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Baylor and Missouri — they came up with a business plan to try to keep the Big 12 together. Perkins compared it to a starting five of players and an institution trying to keep a good basketball coach. The schools knew what the other schools were being offered by other conferences.

The five leftover schools then tried to figure out what they had to do to keep those other schools on board. Perkins said that the five leftover schools agreed to help subsidize the other three schools — Texas, Oklahoma and Texas A&M — if they didn't make a certain number of dollars. The "leftovers" were going to make more money with 10 teams in the Big 12 than if they were left on their own. At the end of the day, the leftover schools might have to pay a little bit, and they might not have to pay anything. Those leftover schools will guarantee, though, that those other schools would make at least what they would have made elsewhere.

The five leftover schools hope they won't have to give additional funds to the other three schools. That's not guaranteed, though. Time will tell. The agreement just allows the leftover schools to guarantee that the Big 12 schools that were thinking about leaving, even with a worst-case scenario, will make at least as much money as they would have made in other conferences.

The Big 12 schools signed an agreement to stay in the conference 10 years. If other things happen, it could be longer. Perkins says he has no reason to fear that any other Big 12 team will bolt on the league. All indications are that the teams are in the Big 12 for the long haul.

Perkins says his only concern was the Big 12 during the process. His only concern now is the Big 12. He won't address the other hypotheticals and things that might have taken place in previous weeks. Everything else is meaningless now.

Perkins says not to focus on liquidating damages. It's a non-factor in this whole situation.

Perkins says it doesn't matter if this situation could have been averted. It doesn't matter now. There are a lot of coulda, woulda, shouldas. Things happen. Everybody wants to point a finger at somebody. Perkins says he's not going to worry about yesterday. He feels good that the 10 teams are in this for the long haul.

Perkins' guess is that it's going to take a year to put everything in the Big 12 back together, because the conference is starting at zero.

Scheduling is very important, but no one has gotten that far yet.

A previous version of this entry incorrectly quoted Perkins' description of KU chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. He actually called her a rock star, as is reflected above.


topcityjayhawk 11 years, 11 months ago

I was wondering if KU BBall had another scrimmage game today in the Horji Center? If so what time and are fans allowed to go?

KUshark 11 years, 11 months ago

Ugh, has Lew gone crazy? His rambling, incoherent responses were very odd. And, ending the press conference after Amy Hawley got to ask a question....embarrassing.

Viggo3003 11 years, 11 months ago

Anyone who wants to say how thankful we should be to have Lew just needs to listen to that press conference. That was embarrassing.

John Randall 11 years, 11 months ago

Some people put their effort into moving forward and maximizing results from the present into the future.

Others spend their time fruitlessly dissecting hypotheticals that never happened.

You pays your money and takes your choice ... neither type is likely to have much patience with the other.


Joel Hood 11 years, 11 months ago

That is why Jim Marchiony is typically the voice & face of KUAI.

finestack 11 years, 11 months ago

I actually prefer leftovers in many cases to fresh meals. Pizza, Thai, hot dish (casserole) among other things are so much better for the cooling off and gelling together time in the fridge.

Go Tasty10 conference!! Rock chalk.

Dirk Medema 11 years, 11 months ago

I rather respect him sticking with his guns - You air the video, I don't talk to you. He didn't say that she couldn't report the news, just that they not air the video. No different than talking off the record in a buisness meeting.

Good job Lew.

Joel Hood 11 years, 11 months ago

The way she constructed the question implied that he had a history of "bad things" following him and that "other people" were asking the question regarding his job status.

Lew could have handled the interview better, but she was clearly trying to push his buttons. He will be gone in a year and KSHB can stew for a year. Nothing wrong with how this turned out for either party.

finestack 11 years, 11 months ago

I would think if Lew didn't like the cameras so much, he'd take a different courtside hoops seat than the one he has, showcasing his special AD headphone feed behind and to the left of the key on-court camera angle? Just sayin.

jhokfan 11 years, 11 months ago

And the biggest winner is mizwho. They shot off their mouth about leaving as if it were a done deal. Their fans were bragging relentlessly because the Big 10 wanted them and no one wanted KU. Truth is KU was closer to joining the Pac 10 than mizwho was joining the Big 10. Were it not for all the negotiations that transpired during the last week and subsequently buried their story they would be the laughing stock of college sports.

Spencer Goff 11 years, 11 months ago

Was watching PTI just now, the question of "is the Big 12 better now."

For basektball, both Wilbon and Kornheiser agreed it was hands down better.

For football, not losing Nebraska, and I kinda agree.

But after that, Kornheiser stated that he sees Texas gone in two to three years regardless. I wonder what else he thinks about this whole thing. It would interesting to see what the overall ESPN crew feels about it, because you know they were in every meeting or at least had their ears in every meeting.

The second go-around of this will be interesting, because the Pac-10 just added Utah to go to twelve, so that takes one spot if it ever comes back. Sometimes I think it is better to get on board when you can than wait for the inevitable.

I hope like hell I'm wrong.

hawksince51 11 years, 11 months ago

I hope you are wrong too, and believe you are. Lew says they have agreed for 10 years and I have to think no one is going to want to go through this again before then. Maybe in 10 years we can be consistently respectable in football and have more options. For sure I would never pay any attention to Kornheiser. He was a poor imitation of Howard Cosell on MNF and how tough can that be?

Spencer Goff 11 years, 11 months ago

I don't know Hawks, unless it is in writing with serious consequences I don't buy the "handshake and a smile" ten year league promise.

Look at it this way, since they got our buyout from NU/CU, they already have a downpayment towards leaving should they decide.

I hate this entire deal, and I promise that I have tried to think about it from both sides; until I see it working in a positive manner for us I'll be extremely skeptical and voiceably critical. We need to use this time to increase our value, but it will be tough to do in this league.

Steve Brown 11 years, 11 months ago

sad to say you are right. wish not. just listen to the whole media conf. from Texas and hear what they claim and then listen to the stunned M Alden saying, "no way I'll nip that in the bud" we won't convert our share of buy out $#20m to horns, so either MU KState KU are hiding the truth or else, and more likely, Beebee told the weak sisters that if they were a bit flexible ( to define flexible = $20million later) they could keep Texas and her sisters, for a few years longer. Especially as Horns can now leave in 2-3 years and avoid the Cornhusker penalty fee and they can have time to arrange who goes with the, the threat of ATM to SEC frosted their walnuts.

Spencer Goff 11 years, 11 months ago

That is so HOT! We would be loaded.

Free ten minutes for all recruits. Unlimited minutes upon signing.

jaybate 11 years, 11 months ago

I believe even I could marry Cameron Diaz, if I guaranteed her that I would never let her income fall below its high point. This sounds horrible for the Little Five including KU, unless...

Unless the remainders wait till Texas has its own network, and the Little Five dumps Texas and merges East.

jaybate 11 years, 11 months ago

Post Script: There is a whole lotta turd polishing going on here.

jhokfan 11 years, 11 months ago

Same group of outsiders who intervened on behalf of the Big 12 would likely do the same next time Big 10, Pac 12, SEC or ACC tries a wholesale raid on another conference.

jhokfan 11 years, 11 months ago

That's my theory.

Strike one on the mega-conference.

Steve Brown 11 years, 11 months ago

who's a pal and who's a foe. Do the TV networks fear four mega conferences controlling all 64 team FB + 1 as the bidding would go to the moon.

Paula Unseth 11 years, 11 months ago

First time ever Jaybate made a post with 12 words or less!!!

jhokfan 11 years, 11 months ago

I think a serious blow was dealt against the mega-conference concept but if ACC, Pac 10, SEC and Big 10 all eventually become 16 team conferences, at least one of them will extend an invitation to KU.

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