Friday, June 11, 2010
Can't blame KU's Perkins for stepping down
By ESPN.com staff
Realignment news and unplanned travel kept me from getting to this Thursday, but Kansas athletic director Lew Perkins says after September 2011, he's done in Lawrence.
He announced the news in a meeting with Kansas Chancellor Berndette Gray-Little on Thursday, who maintained it was his decision.
"I have not asked him to retire, and I have not asked him to resign," Gray-Little said.
Perkins had a meeting with her Thursday at which she expected him to talk about Big 12 matters and conference realignment. Instead, she said, he told her of his plans to retire.
"I was not expecting this," she said. "I was surprised by it."
I don't know Perkins' exact reasons for retirement. But scrounging up a few guesses isn't a tasking ... task.
He's in the middle of a messy ticket scandal involving his signature basketball program. He's answering endless questions about a blackmail scandal, an investigation of which cleared him of any wrongdoing. He just fired a football coach after another messy scandal. He's getting rounds of golf interrupted by TV reporters asking if he's going to resign. He's breaking into tears during interviews and after the death of his sister, called this year the worst of his professional life. And now his entire university looks headed down the hallway toward joining a non-BCS conference.
All of that is outside of his normal job duties.
He's 65 years old. He's been in college athletics for almost half a century. He's headed major programs at Maryland, Connecticut and now Kansas, winning a couple of national titles along the way. There's not a lot left for him to accomplish.
He deserves some blame in those scandals concerning his program. I can't say how much. It looks like he doesn't want to wait and find out.
I can't say I blame him.