"Sometimes partnerships can't last that long," Wefald said.
When Jon Wefald said that to the Topeka Capital Journal's Austin Meek, he meant that it was an error for him to sign former athletic director Tim Weiser to a long-term contract. Little did he know, it represents almost perfectly my feelings toward he and current athletic director Bob Krause.
I already wrote extensively about this issue on Thursday, but Wefald and Krause just couldn't leave well enough alone and gave Meek more material to run with in Friday's TCJ. Now, they say, the long extension for Weiser was a mistake. They admit it, K-State fans. They're sorry. Please forgive them.
In light of all the information in Thursday's initial article from Austin Meek and Kevin Haskin's opinion column, it is more than clear that the mistake here was not that Wefald gave Weiser, a capable if imperfect athletic director, a 10-year contract that paid in the mid-to-upper ranges of six figures per year. The mistake was that Wefald, after signing his athletic director to such a long contract, wouldn't permit his athletic director to do his job. He blocked him when he wanted to fire Jim Wooldridge initially, essentially forced him to hire Ron Prince when Weiser wanted to keep looking, and then tried to cram an increased buyout for Prince down Weiser's throat. This last problem led to the impasse that caused Weiser to take a job with the Big 12 Conference and permitted Wefald to install his crony Krause as the athletic director, clearing the way to Prince's increased buyout and the waste of a bunch of athletic department money.
If all that Wefald and Krause had said in that article was that they had made a mistake in signing Weiser to a long-term contract, I probably wouldn't have been incensed sufficiently to write further about this issue. But they just couldn't let sleeping dogs lie.
"I don't think we'll be paying ADs here at Kansas State $700,000 again," said Wefald, who will retire at the end of the academic year. "Who knows. I'm only going to be the president for another (few months). I'm just speculating about the future, (but) I don't think you have to pay an AD $700,000 to have a good one."
In other words: "Hi, we're Kansas State, and we aren't willing to pay for a good AD. We don't need to, because we already have a fucking genius over in 110 Anderson Hall."
As Meek ingeniously pointed out, other schools are not of the same opinion regarding athletic director pay, including that one down the Kansas River about 70 miles.
Also, from Krause:
"When you turn staff over, you budget it as a one-time expense," said Krause, who estimated the school would pay $1.7 million in buyouts to Prince and his coaching staff. "That's what you've got reserves for."
I suppose the reserve fund can be used to buy out a coach's contracts, and Krause is correct that it is a one-time expense. But that's not the point. The point is that we wouldn't have paid $1.2 million to Prince but for Wefald's and Krause's idiotic contract extension. If we had competent athletic department leadership right now, we would have paid $300,000 to buy out Prince.
Krause could have stopped there, too, but he didn't. In this letter to K-State fans posted on the official K-State athletics site, he writes that "no new monies have been allocated for this purpose." You're not fooling us, Bob. We don't care where the money comes from, the fact of the matter is that we're spending money that didn't need to be spent, on both Weiser and Prince. We're spending money on Weiser that could have been saved had Wefald just let him do his job, and we're spending money on Prince because Wefald and Krause don't know how to run an athetic department. And he thinks we're stupid enough to swallow that letter. It nearly makes me ill.
This is the end for me. There is nothing left of Jon Wefald's "legacy" in the athletic arena at K-State. His meddling in the affairs of the athletic department have cost us $2.8 million in money that we didn't need to pay, representing the sum of Weiser's buyout and the increase in Prince's buyout. Don't let the legal semantics fool you, either. Weiser was terminated, otherwise he wouldn't have been paid a buyout if he moved on voluntarily. The University breached its employment contract with Weiser and then paid him off to avoid legal action. Then, Wefald appointed a yes-man to get Prince his precious increased buyout and in the process left us with a man who was a very nice university vice president but who is incompetent as an athletic director. Finally, now that the story is out of the bag, Wefald and Krause think they can explain it away to the press, only to make a bunch of stupid comments that only make things worse.
Two things need to happen. First, Jon Wefald needs to be muzzled for the rest of his tenure at K-State. Seriously, just shut up. You're not going to be here as of July 1, 2009, and we can only hope to God that your successor doesn't share your opinion regarding the level of pay required to bring in a competent athletic director.
Second, Bob Krause needs to go. He is not qualified to be an athletic director at any level, much less in the Big 12 Conference. Every day he occupies his office in Bramlage Coliseum - or Anderson Hall or wherever the hell he is - represents another day for him to make a terrible decision or say something stupid to the press.