Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thought on Lew Perkins and the KU ticket scandal

1. I'm always really, really pissed off when tickets are distributed straight to scalpers*. It completely undermines the system because the whole idea of printing tickets with a value on them is to set their price. All tickets should be sold directly to the fans at face value, with a limited number being set aside some for players' families and other big friends of the department. Zero should be distributed to known scalpers. The athletic department's job is to make money but also to put fans in the seats and give them a good experience. Giving them to the Pump Brothers or anyone else who resells them is ripping off your fans. Period.

2. As for Lew's culpability, an AD should have some idea of where the tickets are going if he's making true fans pay out the ass for them in the form of donations. Maybe not Lew, but somebody Lew employs, should know who's sitting in the best seats and if he doesn't know who they are, he should know how they got their tickets. Maybe that was Rodney Jones, which would be the ultimate betrayal, but as somebody said previously. If big donors, or even medium donors, aren't getting good seats, that is something that should be looked into. I don't know if Lew should get fired for this because it's a decision outside my level of knowledge and expertise, but I think he should be giving the exact same length of rope as other employees fired by him.

3. The exercise equipment is probably not a big deal and he has already paid fair rental value, but I also think anyone who deals with NCAA compliance and ethical rules would absolutely know it's wrong to accept a gift like that. How can he negotiate the morass of ridiculous NCAA regulations and think it's totally fine to accept a high value gift for free?

4. I think one of the major problems we have here is that the Athletic Director has too many responsibilities. They're managing the athletics side which deals with hiring/firing coaches, addressing issues with players like fights and grades, NCAA compliance and making other decisions that affect players and fans. Then there are the business decisions like raising revenue and building new facilities. I honestly think they could be two different jobs just like with professional sports where you have both a general manager and a president of operations or whatever they call it. Maybe they already do divide the labor, and if they do, it should be more apparent to the fans and media who's in charge of what so we know whose head to call for (if
one needs calling for).

*This is especially true with TicketMaster and tickets for concerts. I know a person in the ticket industry who has kenfirmed to me that tickets that never go on sale to the public and are set aside for the secondary market aka scalpers.

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