Hearne: KU Women Get Short End of Stick…Again


Bonnie Henrickson
KU women’s basketball coach

It’s becoming increasing clear when it comes to the University of Kansas that money talks and pretty much everything else walks…

Even tiny amounts of money, as in a paltry $25 per student, per semester fee used to help fund women’s and non-revenue sports at the KU. Because in a startling move, the KU student senate voted to end a 35 year-old subsidy for said sports, which began as a means to help the university comply with the Title IX gender equity in education law.

And guess who’s to blame for sticking it to the so-called Lady Jayhawks?

The dudes running the Athletics Department who are poised to bestow quarter million dollar apartments on top level,  one-and-done, NBA-bound basketball recruits. Men only, of course. The women got shut out of the deal after the Kansas legislature refused to fund the folly. And because according to the KU students who voted 55-3 to kill the fees, the athletics department doesn’t need the dough based on it being a $93.6 million corporation.

A corporation where virtually anybody who’s anybody in the department gets a free car to drive every year at the expense of mens basketball and football ticket holders who are forced to pay exorbitant seating fees, not required of the participating the car dealers.

All of that said, the final outcome of the student vote hinges on whether or not KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little vetoes the student’s kill bill. And that gets even muddier based on a “deal” ousted, former athletics director Lew Perkins cut with a past student body president.

kansasjayhawkIn any case, true to form, the story didn’t even make it into the pages of today’s Kansas City Star,  which continues to make a habit of not reporting just about anything that might incur the displeasure of  KU’s athletics department.

My hunch is Gray-Little will cite the Perkins deal as an excuse to nix the student’s vote and the status quo will be upheld. Because after throwing the KU women’s basketball team under the bus by cutting them out of the pricey new apartment digs, it’s crystal clear what the priorities of both KU’s athletics department and its student body are.

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8 Responses to Hearne: KU Women Get Short End of Stick…Again

  1. Jim says:

    HC, do you know the most likely reason the Star didn’t report on this issue? It’s uninteresting. It has to do with finances related to non-revenue and women’s sports. While I’m an information junkie and glad you posted your piece, it isn’t exactly a flashy or blockbuster news story. If G-L does what I think she’ll do, it will then become a complete non-story. Men’s basketball at KU drives the bus. Always has. Always will. Any story that simply reinforces that fact, isn’t any shocker.

    • Kyle Rohde says:

      Couldn’t have said it much better myself Jim. Hearne, the criticisms you have might be fair but singling KU out continually is probably a bit unfair. Do you think that it’s not the same at Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, etc.? Or that the football team doesn’t get priority over men’s basketball and everything else at Bama, Auburn, etc.?

      • admin says:

        I knew you’d be in this mix, Kyle!

        OK, lemme address your guys issues. First it’s not a non story when the student body of the local college of note – and frankly that’s what KU is, Lawrence is arguably a suburb or satellite town of KC – votes by a landslide to stick it to the vaunted KU athletics department and women’s sports, that’s a news story.

        No matter the outcome.

        And for you Kyle (hey I even included a pic of a Mustang in Jack’s movie review today so you wouldn’t haze him so bad), we don’t live in Kentucky or North Carolina, we live here in Kansas.

        I’ll let their local writers attend to their situation unless it overlaps with us.

        Look, if I was doing a giant study on the topic or something, sure it would be interesting to compare the schools. But I’m mostly reporting the news here with a bit of commentary.


        • Jim says:

          This is what happens when people try to “read between the lines.” Was the “landslide” vote an indication that the student senate was trying to “stick it” to female athletes or merely an indication that they think “this fee” and “that fee” are just adding to the extraordinary cost of a college education? Couldn’t it be that simple? Does it necessarily have to be a referendum of women’s athletics at KU?

          • Kyle Rohde says:

            Good points all, Hearne. I do agree with Jim’s last point though, that this likely wasn’t Student Senate trying to shortchange the women but more of a statement that fees for sports are excessive and shouldn’t be covered by students when KU Athletics is a separate corporation with lots of money.

  2. Jack Springer says:

    Too many ku articles.

    • admin says:

      Maybe, but we’re in the Big Dance time of year, jack.

      I’ll calm down here in a few. Hey, I dialed in a little sex for you up top.

  3. PB says:

    Sure had an effect on that National Title-winning, White House-visiting Womens Track team.

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