May 13, 2011

An article distributed by the Associated Press reviews the Ron Prince and KU stolen ticket scandals.

May 7, 2011

Kevin Haskin of the Capital-Journal reminds us of some aspects of the case that may never be widely known.

May 6, 2011

Kellis Robinett of the Kansas City Star filed this report on the settlement.

May 6, 2011

It was a tremendous week for K-Staters, as we unloaded Ron Prince and Osama bin Laden in the same week. Word came this weekend that Kansas State University and Ron Prince settled out of court for $1,650,000. Austin Meek of the Capital-Journal announces the settlement in this story.

September 10, 2010

In an opinion column in tonight's Manhattan Mercury, Cole Manbeck compares our current good times to the aftermath of the Ron Prince scandal just one year ago.

September 10, 2010

Kellis Robinett of the Kansas City Star reports no immediate decision in the motions for summary judgment.

September 9, 2010

Kellis Robinett of the Kansas City Star has an update. Michael Hunter Schwartz of Washburn Law believes that K-State will be hard pressed to argue that Bob Krause lacked the authority to sign off on the secret buyout. This is a real interesting look at the case.

July 26, 2010

Cole Manbeck of the Manhattan Mercury has an article in today's paper that claims Ron Prince didn't inform his agent about the once-secret memorandum of understanding, as to do so would have increased the percentage owed him.

July 25, 2010

Cole Manbeck of the Manhattan Mercury has a story based on Jon Wefald's deposition, in which he said, "It took me maybe three or four months to realize he did not have the qualifications to be the athletic director."

I don't personally agree with that. Bob Krause had supervised Intercollegiate Athletics since he came to the university in 1986. He had to have been in on every major decision... every bit of inside knowledge, spanning 23 years. Some schools have a major in sports administration, but most athletic directors are hired after holding positions of increasing responsibility over the years. Bob Krause was at least right alongside numerous athletic directors. The problem is that he exercised extremely poor judgment. His reported friendship with Ron Prince may have left him too close to be objective. We all know that Ron Prince could be a very persuasive man. Also, somewhere along the line, Mr. Krause lost the value of a dollar. It was as if $3,000,000 didn't seem like real money to him. Then there was his delusional belief that he could keep a multimillion dollar payoff secret from the public over more than a decade.

I still am not persuaded that Jon Wefald knew what Krause was up to.

July 24, 2010

In the Topeka Capital-Journal today, Austin Meek reports input from legal experts who believe it's hard to prove that Bob Krause didn't have authority to make a contract provision with Ron Prince.

July 23, 2010

In the Topeka Capital-Journal, Austin Meek looks at the deposition that Tim Weiser gave regarding the Ron Prince contract situation. Here's the story.

July 22, 2010

In the Wichita Eagle, Kellis Robinett looks at Jon Wefald's reaction to Bob Krause's deposition regarding the facts of the Ron Prince $3.2 million secret buyout memorandum. Here's the story.

July 22, 2010

In the Topeka Capital-Journal, Austin Meek reports that Jacque Butler, K-State attorney at the time, followed instructions from Bob Krause to remove clauses from Ron Prince's contract which paved the way for the secret memorandum of understanding and gigantic buyout clause. Also, Riley County District Judge Meryl Wilson, a K-State alumnus and long-time sports fan, has recused himself from the case.

The paper has made available a PDF of Butler's deposition.

July 18, 2010

In this story, Cole Manbeck of the Manhattan Mercury sorts through his own thoughts after interviewing Bob Krause regarding the state of Ron Prince's contract, and then considers the interview with the value of hindsight.

July 16, 2010

In the Wichita Eagle, Kellis Robinett focuses on the primary issue of the Ron Prince vs. K-State lawsuit: whether Bob Krause had the legal authority to sign the $3,200,000 secret buyout agreement with Prince, without the knowledge or signature of Jon Wefald. Here's the story.

July 14, 2010

The Topeka Capital-Journal has obtained transcripts of a deposition given by former vice-president Bob Krause. Here's Austin Meek's report.

I've been saying all along, and one of the first commenters on the article agrees, that Bob Krause failed to listen to fans in terms of the Prince situation. There already was a big storm brewing over Prince's performance. We all knew he was extremely arrogant, and this arrogance led to foolhardy decisions. This arrogance also led to Prince hiring substandard assistant coaches. He didn't want veteran coaches who might upstage him.

I, for one, was in favor of Bob Krause's appointment as director of athletics. He had intimate knowledge of every major decision for two decades. My complaint with him in all this is making the secret deal, working outside the Intercollegiate Athletics advisory committee and the knowledge of K-State fans. In my opinion, the writing was on the wall by the start of Ron Prince's third season that he would have to be fired, and yet he received a contract extension instead. Prince was presiding over a dysfunctional football program, yet he was rewarded with an extension. I'm still mystified by that decision, two years later.

Anyway, if you're still reading all this, here's a link to a PDF of the deposition given by Bob Krause in July of 2010.

March 22, 2010

Here's an AP article by Doug Tucker, filed during the NCAA Tournament.

November 14, 2009

Here's an in-depth review from the Kansas City Star of the Bob Krause / Ron Prince secret deal.

June 21, 2009

In an Associated Press story in today's Topeka Capital, Jon Wefald demonstrates anger over Bob Krause's secret dealings with Ron Prince, and claims he has not talked to Krause since he was given the boot.

June 19, 2009

The audit that apparently is routinely conducted when a university president leaves office has been made public. The Board of Regents resisted, but apparently the Attorney General's office intervened at the request of the Manhattan Mercury. I have it downloaded, but I'll refer you to the Mercury, since they went to the effort to get it. They will have more on the subject on June 21. The Kansas City Star has a lengthy evaluation in today's paper. The Topeka Capital has a story, Audit lines blurred at KSU, and an Austin Meek piece, Audit shows need for accountability. (June 20: Austin Meek follows with a column today, Was Krause Wefald's Cheney?.

June 16, 2009

Austin Meek reports in a story today in the Topeka Capital-Journal that if senior associate athletic director Jim Epps is fired, he'll suddenly be worth about $900,000. Seriously, isn't it time that someone forced the public release of the forensic audit conducted by the Kansas Board of Regents recently?

June 10, 2009

Various sources announced today that Senior Associate A.D. Jim Epps and Bob Cavello, associate A.D. for business, have been placed on administrative leave while John Currie, our new director of athletics, investigates the Bob Krause / Ron Prince scandal. The Wichita Eagle was one of the first to break the news. Here's the Topeka Capital's version of the story.

May 25, 2009

Oh, boy... where do you even start?

On April 4, 2008, Vice-President Bob Krause was named as K-State's Director of Athletics. His contract was for June 15, 2008 through June 14, 2013.

On August 7, 2008, in appreciation for his blockbuster 12-13 record, Krause awarded Ron Prince a new, five-year contract, with a $1,200,000 buyout. On August 7, 2008, Krause and Ron Prince also secretly signed a buyout agreement which would supplement his buyout package if he were terminated "without cause" in various date ranges. On November 5, 2008, four days after KU defeated the Cats 52-21, it was announced that Prince would not return as coach. This termination date kicked in a clause in the agreement memo which obligated K-State to pay him $800,000 on 12/31/2015 and 12/31/2016, followed by $1,600,000 on 12/31/2020.

What kind of creative logic indicated guaranteeing a $4.4 million buyout to a sub-.500 coach, who every Wildcat with basic common sense knew was going to be fired after the upcoming season? Now, an argument could be made that a modest extension might help with recruiting, but so could a competent head coach in place of the current coach, whose team had become dysfunctional, and whose staff was in constant turnover.

The $1.2 million drew widespread ricidule and anger on sports message boards, because a good percentage of fans didn't want Prince to even begin the third season. Both Prince and Krause must have known the supplemental $3.2 million buyout was beyond outrageous, as neither had revealed it over the course of the subsequent nine months leading up to May 2009. Clearly the team of K-State lawyers, or at least Dick Seaton, would have looked over the official contract, but none knew of the one-page, $3.2 million deal. I know this to be true. Just look at the simplicity of the language in the Memorandum of Understanding, compared to the main contract.

Here are some questions I have:

  1. The buyout, now in effect, is to pay Prince in increments of $800,000 and $1,600,000. The payments are to be made six, seven and 11 years from now. How on earth does one keep secret writing a check that large, and following a timeline that would be completed when Bob Krause (born 9/12/45) would be 75 years old? Given the fact that his boss and benefactor, Jon Wefald, would have been retired 11 years earlier, was Krause presuming that he'd still be athletic director at that age, and on site in Bramlage Coliseum to manipulate the books to get that final $1,600,000 check written with no one noticing?

    (I don't use the word benefactor frivolously, given the $298,437 in "consulting" fees that Wefald and the I.A.C. had paid Krause, above and beyond his vice-president/athletic director salary, which had risen to $219,466 in September of 2008. The "consulting" fee also rose to $75,000 annually with the new A.D. contract.)

  2. Why were the payments to be made so far into the future? Could it be to avoid angering the next coach, if he found out?

  3. Is our athletic department not audited on some kind of regular basis?

  4. K-State has a track record of going to court to settle disputes. An example would be the very public lawsuit with Morris Communications over the WIBW radio rights contract, or the ongoing lawsuit with Tim Tibesar, who can't seem to understand why he was fired with Ron Prince, after producing a defense that was #117 of 119 Bowl Subdivision teams. Again, most everyone knew Prince was a short-timer. Why not trust your lawyers, rather than creating the equivalent of a loss of a $4,400,000 court decision?

  5. If the purpose of Prince's contract extension was to make him look stable to recruits, what could be more useful than public knowledge that he had a $4,400,000 contract buyout?

  6. What if the previous $300,000 buyout were not sufficient to keep Ron Prince onboard? There's your out right there. You tell him bye, and count your blessings. He was 12-13, and coming off a 5-7 season. Big deal if he walks.

  7. Does Ron Prince have something on Kansas State University, or have some kind of actionable complaint about his tenure here? Was there a fear that he would spill his guts about something if not rewarded handsomely on his departure? I have no reason to think so, but sometimes unspoken fears carry more impact than actual threats.

  8. Is Ron Prince hireable as a head coach again, anytime in his life, after pressing for this ridiculous buyout? It's already a national story.

  9. How could Jon Wefald have no knowledge of this agreement, after he's micromanaged Intercollegiate Athletics in recent years? Tim Weiser is gone because of the dispute with Jon Wefald over increasing Prince's buyout from $300,000 to $1,200,000. As Weiser told Austin Meek of the Topeka Capital, "I felt it was not in the best interest of the university to adjust the buyout, because I felt there had not been enough of a track record or frame of reference to increase it. President Wefald felt that to be competitive in the Big 12 relative to other coaches, the buyout needed to be increased." Then Weiser is replaced by Wefald's closest associate over the past 22 years, and leaves with an approximate $1,900,000 buyout of his own. But, by all reports, the president was completely blindsided by Krause's move.

  10. Just checking on something: Did we really let Ron Prince teach a leadership class here? (The answer is yes.) I wonder if there are any books on ethics in Prince's well-publicized library. I wonder if any of his books recommend against going through life as an arrogant, self-serving jerk.

  11. What is the Intercollegiate Athletic Council doing to prevent future occurrences of outrageous management like this? Why did they not know of this Memorandum of Understanding?

There's ongoing discussion as to whether fans should withdraw financial support of K-State athletics, as reported in this Associated Press story in today's Manhattan Mercury. By the way, the Mercury is running a poll now: Is Bob Krause

  • a numbskull?
  • corrupt?
  • a fall guy?
  • unlucky?
Currently 54% believe he's corrupt, vs. 26% who believe he's a numbskull. Whoops! Those percentages combine for 80% of fans with a very unflattering assessment of the former administrator. Krause has to be a little numb to have believed that the agreement would remain secret through 2020, and/or that what he did was a prudent business decision or a positive public relations move, if found out.

This whole scenario is hard for me to forgive. Prince's buyout is 100-plus times many K-State employees' annual salary, and Athletics, between donations and ticket prices, is getting a percentage of my take-home pay that I'm too embarrassed to itemize here. I want to look toward the future. It's the only rational thing to do. But the new director of athletics, John Currie, is going to have to take the department to an incredible level of financial transparency if he wants my money. He's going to have to endure all kinds of second-guessing by donors. The one thing in his favor is that K-State is undergoing an almost complete reset in its administration, and there seems to be hope that we're entering a new era of competence and businesslike decisions. (You know... the sort of thing Tim Weiser was trying to do.)


Just after I posted this, I discovered an interesting theory put forth by Austin Meek of the Capital Journal. He has interviewed people who believe that Krause was so intent on becoming athletic director, after being the supervisor for 20 years, that he started taking actions to enlist the future support of head coaches when the position became vacant. If this hypothesis is true, it would support the idea that Jon Wefald knew nothing of the Krause/Prince agreement.

Early in Bob Krause's time here, I heard him speak several times. One of his favorite themes was the idea of win-win situations. If you look at his decisions over the years in dealing with university departments, that concept seemed to guide his actions. I think he thought both he and Prince would win from this agreement, as long as it remained unknown to the public.


Regardless of any theories on Krause's motivation, the nation now knows that he has squandered $4,400,000 of Cat fans' hard-earned money, and has resigned/been terminated from the university in disgrace. If Tim Weiser were still in Bramlage Coliseum, Ron Prince would have been fired at a cost of $300,000.


This just in on May 28: Joe Posnanski of the Kansas City Star published a blog today entitled "Prince: No More Candy 4 U." It's a biting and pretty funny assessment of this colossal mess.


The more I've thought about this, the more I've considered others' theories, I'm currently subscribing to the theory of some fans who say to consider Occam's Razor. One application of the theory is that the explanation of any phenomenon should make as few assumptions as possible. What do we know?

  • President Wefald wanted Ron Prince hired. In the announcement press conference, he quoted Rev. Martin Luther King, and framed the choice as a diversity hire. The president went on and on with this theme. (I thought Wefald should have let the hire speak for itself, but he chirped on and on about it, as he is inclined to do.) One knew he wouldn't want to cast aside this accomplishment very soon. By the way, I haven't made it known yet in this essay that I was completely sold on Ron Prince at the time of his hire, and predicted that he would be very successful here. By the end of the first season, I came to realize that extreme arrogance guided Prince's actions and decisions, and would be his undoing.

  • Tim Weiser wanted to fire Ron Prince after two seasons.

  • Tim Weiser's contract was bought out for $1,900,000 after he didn't get his way on firing Jim Wooldridge and Ron Prince. The president wouldn't spend that kind of money if he intended for Weiser's replacement to be allowed to fire Prince.

  • The 2008 football season went even worse than most would have predicted, with losses such as 58-28 (TTU), 58-35 (OU), 52-21 (KU, the last straw), 41-24 (MU) and 56-28 (NU).

  • Bob Krause knew that the chain of events that placed him in the A.D.'s office were tied to his predecessor's desire to fire Ron Prince. Whether made an explicit condition in his selection or not, he knew the president's wishes.

  • Ron Prince had to know that Bob Krause was A.D. because the president didn't want to fire him. He wasn't our most successful coach, but he is smart, and certainly connected the dots. He knew he was in the driver's seat, and he took advantage of the circumstances in a major way.
Why would Ron Prince especially care if he were fired, with the buyout package he had in his hip pocket? From my cynical point of view, what difference did it make if the Cats had the aforementioned embarrassing losses? The worse the Cats got beaten, the more likely he'd be out of here in short order, with a jackpot of $4,400,000 on its way.

Bob Krause couldn't see what most every Cat fan knew: Ron Prince needed to be fired for his dysfunctional football program, the great majority of fans wanted him fired, and the president would have to accede to their demands in short order, or face a major uprising among them.

I don't currently believe that the $3,200,000 buyout was involved with corruption, but rather the actions of a man who spent a good part of his career carrying out President Wefald's wishes. With a serious lack of critical thinking, he thought he was going to accomplish that, secretly, while leaving the president plausible deniability.


Does Ron Prince have absolutely no shame? Now he wants $3,000,000 in punitive damages from K-State. Huh? The first payment of the secret buyout doesn't come due for six more years! How does this supposedly intelligent man believe he will ever be hireable as a head coach at any level, now that his actions are known? This just astounds me. Here's the story from the Capital.


My work this summer has distracted me, but I wanted to add this column from Austin Meek of the Capital on August 11. It deals with the claims from the Prince camp that several people in the university, especially attorneys, knew of the buyout and assisted in finalizing it. K-State's university attorneys deny this, and I believe them.


November 5, 2008

Here's Jason's column in the Kansas City Star. He favors the return of legendary head coach Bill Snyder. I personally have no idea if he would agree to return, but it will be fascinating to see.

September 21, 2008

Mark Janssen pulls no punches in today's column with this title on the state of K-State Football.

July 20, 2008

The Oklahoman has compiled a look at coaches' base pay, plus extras. How do these guys make ends meet?

July 7, 2008

Tom Keegan has an interesting interview with Athletic Director / Vice-President Bob Krause in today's Lawrence Journal-World.

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