Full disclosure first: I wasn't ever a huge Lew Perkins fan. I thought he was intimidating and unfriendly.... That is, until last basketball tournament. While waiting for the Jayhawks to arrive at the team hotel in Oklahoma City, Perkins hung out and talked to members of the media and seemed (for the first time to me) to be just a regular guy.
Sure, the guy has about 2 more zeros behind his paycheck than I do, and we got to OKC in much different fashions; but here's this guy talking about funny stories that have happened through the years while he smoked a giant cigar.
This was just a brief moment in my dealings with Big Lew though. Most have been professional, and unfortunately, usually when I've talked about him, it's been bad news for Jayhawk fans. Lack of intitutional control, excersize equipment, extravegant travel costs, ticket scandals, etc. There are the positives though. New football facility, NCAA title, Orange Bowl win, renovated Allen Fieldhouse, more money than ever (even if it did hack off some older fans... my folks included).
Perkins retired on September 7th, 2010; about 10 months ahead of schedule. Seemingly out of the blue. For whatever reason (see above paragraph), I can't seem to shake the idea that there's something deeper than "feeling the athletic department is in good shape." He is going to get his entire payday with bonuses, (about 2 million bucks) on top of his already giant salary. If somebody wanted to pay ME 2 mil to NOT work, I'd ask "where do I sign and am I on Candid Camera?" So maybe it's just that; Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little and KU just want a clean break from Perkins to move onto the next head Hawk. But I just think that there's gotta be something else. I wouldn't be surprised if something ELSE comes out in the weeks/months to come.
What about you? What are your thoughts on Lew Perkins? Feel free to share them here.