K-State scandal points to reform

Kansas State University officials have filed a lawsuit in Riley County District Court to cancel an agreement made by its athletic director to pay a former football coach $3.2 million in additional severance pay.
According to editorials in the Hutchinson News and the Topeka Capital-Journal the commitment was made to former football coach Ron Prince by former AD Bob Krause without the knowledge of President Jon Wefald or any other university official.
Prince was fired and was paid $1.2 million to void his contract with the university. The additional outlandish severance agreement apparently was made in secret.
Speculation on the outcome of a lawsuit is foolish. What is apparent, however, is that K-State and the other universities in the regents system need to rein in their athletic directors and sharp-ly curtail their authority to commit university assets, including athletic department funds, re-gardless of how those funds were raised.
It is preposterous that Krause signed such an agreement without making it public or without President Wefald’s concurrance.
While it is unfortunately true that football and basketball coaches at K-State and KU command incomes far greater than those paid to the president and chancellor, and that some athletic directors are wildly overpaid, their compensation should be made public in full.
The public, including all of the thousands who contribute to university athletic programs, have the right to know how tax money, tuition income, federal grants, and contributions are spent. The power to allocate re-sources also should be clearly spelled out and readily accessible to anyone who wants the information.
Our state universities belong to the people of Kansas. They should be run with that thought uppermost in mind.

— Emerson Lynn, jr.