Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Kansas Shaped Up and Became 'The Model'

There was Kansas coach Mark Mangino, showing a recruit around in 2002, when he started toward his office. "Right in our path is this big bucket catching rainwater that's leaking from the ceiling," Mangino said. "I told the kid, 'Wow. That must've just happened last night. Lightning must have struck or something.' " Fat chance. That merely was the reality in Lawrence, where the Jayhawks, six years after the inception of the Big 12, still didn't get it. Facilities were outdated, if not crumbling, television and shoe contracts were among the worst in the league and even the tradition-rich basketball program was falling millions short of its earnings potential. Kansas seemed out of place among its business-savvy brethren in the Big 12. But all that has changed in three years with the athletic budget soaring $27 million to nearly $41. One Big 12 administrator now refers to Kansas as "The Model." (registration)

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