Hearne: Star Scooped on KU Athletics Soaring $93.6 Million Debt

Asleep at the wheel or clued out? You make the call…

The post Lew Perkins ticket scandal era aside, the Kansas City Star sports section has a long history of being deferential to the powers that be in KU’s athletics department. Apart from my column, the Star practically sat out Perkins wildly controversial first two years at KU when he implemented a scorched earth, pay-for-play seating system in men’s basketball and football. The Lawrence Journal World had a hey day covering the dramatic-at-times controversy but the Star dismissed it with a single front-page story with a couple quotes from boosters who said it was no big deal.

Meanwhile back in Lawrence, longtime supporters of KU sports went on the total warpath. Some reportedly literally wrote the university and athletics department out of their wills.

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10 Responses to Hearne: Star Scooped on KU Athletics Soaring $93.6 Million Debt

  1. Anonymous says:

    chuck
    Couple months ago, Soren Petro went into detail on expenditures at KU. This subject came up during the explanation of the ticket scandal (Pretty interesting actually, I am so naive, I never realized how they were prcuring some of the recruits, no diss to KU, I am sure everyone does it, anyway…).

    Soren said, the athletic dept ran around (If I am wrong I apologize,its been a while.) 50 million short every year.

    He also said, the football program, which I thought probably supported itsel, was always short 30 million and picked up donations to cover the difference every year.

    So…. (Sorry this is so long.), if that is true, than isn’t running in the red, standard procedure every year until they puch for donations?

  2. Anonymous says:

    bschloz
    AAA Investment Grade–(along with Illinois/CA)
    Hold those bonds on the come…Big Time College Athletics. Public Sector is a runaway train.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkuTm-ON904
    Next POTUS…here come the teabaggers

  3. Anonymous says:

    Tim
    No way, not the KUStar?!?!?!?

  4. Anonymous says:

    hawkfan
    I love how people that know NOTHING about finance are trying to blow this up to be a big deal. Lowest bond rates in our lifetime and you’re villifying KU for improving its facilities to keep Self happy? Come on. KU’s annual revenues are $82 million and despite all that debt, KU doesn’t have a leveraged balance sheet. KU profited $10 million or something like that last year.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Johnny Utah
    The points system, by the way, was not universally unpopular.

    Many people inherited great seats while paying squat, while bigtime boosters sat in corners. Points system was fair. You want better seats, pay for it.
    ______________________________
    HC: The point was it was a huge, swirling controversy with many, if not most of the season ticket holders and the Star sports section passed on it. Yes, there were some people who had mostly football and basketball seats from the days when KU’s sports teams didn’t draw like they have in recent years. And there were probably some reasonably big boosters with lesser seats. And there were some that had great seats that did not donate or belong to the Williams Fund.
    But it wasn’t that simple – millionaires in nosebleed looking down on freeloaders at court side. They could have phased in minimum donor requirements for the extreme cases and pissed off a heckuva lot less people.
    And some of the older folks that got dumped told Journal World staffers that they dropped KU from their wills.
    They grew up in frugal times and weren’t the Lexus-driving, big check writing types but they had serious bank and were planning on leaving some pretty big bucks, I was told to KU. No mas.

  6. Anonymous says:

    smartman
    Whaddya wanna bet that Uncle Lew figured out a way to get some points or fees on those bond issues that took place under his watch?

  7. Anonymous says:

    bschloz
    @smartman…not Lew…say it ain’t so.
    Mr.Jet Set…if he did I’m sure he can’t remember it being 65 and all.

  8. Anonymous says:

    rwetzel
    I will buy those bonds any day of the week, AA rated backed by 15 years of contracts with television, ticketing etc…Who cares? Find something relavent to write on PemDay boy.
    _______________________
    HC: Aye-aye, sir. Three bags full!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Arte
    Can we please stop with the beloved Don Fambrough crap? The only reason this guy is beloved is that he’s hung around so long and professes hate for Missouri. He was a failed football coach who not only got fired twice but nearly got KU the death penalty with numerous NCAA violations the second time he got canned. One of his assistants (reputedly John Hadl) was banned from even stepping on campus.Despite all that, now he’s considered the Knute Rockne of KU football which probably says something about the Jayhawk program over the years.

  10. Anonymous says:

    hearne
    I think Arte is on to something. Think he took KU to some minor Bowls a time or two. I vaguely recall a little ditty that went like, “Going with Fam to Birmingham” for one of ’em.

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