Lawrence has been on the UT corruption scandal like flies over a cow’s head in a Damien Hirst installation.
But I wanted to make note of this story, since I don’t think it has come to his attention yet, and it also sort of qualifies as a firing.
Backgroud: until a few years back, ticket sales for UT sports were handled by the Longhorn Foundation, “the official fundraising arm of Texas Athletics”.
Historically, the Foundation has been the primary fundraising arm for UT athletics. But an internal audit reveled Foundation employees were responsible for widespread abuses regarding tickets, rewarding favored donors and printing tickets to distribute without UT’s knowledge. School officials refused to even estimate how much money had been lost over the years.
More here on the audit, which was mostly completed by June 2013, but the report “was not sent to top university officials until two years later — after UT President Bill Powers and athletic director DeLoss Dodds, in office at the time of the ticket abuses, had moved on.”
I’m just going to give that one “well” for now, for reasons that should become apparent later.
Steve Patterson, who took over as athletic director after DeLoss Dodds, took ticket selling away from the Longhorn Foundation. The foundation still existed, but their fund-raising was charitable contributions – you know, donations from rich alumni who wanted good seats for football. Patterson hired a company called The Aspire Group to handle ticket sales, and they’ve apparently done a decent job: they exceeded goals for 2015. And they have a contract through August of 2017.
But. Steve Patterson isn’t the athletic directory any longer: he lasted two years. Mike Perrin is now the AD, and he wants to terminate Aspire’s contract by August 26th of this year.
Would you like to take a guess who Mike Perrin wants to handle ticket sales now?
“I believe the direction and tone of our relationships with our incredible donor and fan base needs to be adjusted, starting with the Longhorn Foundation once again leading those important relationships,” Perrin continued.
Perrin stated it was “my intention to come to an agreement to terminate our contract this summer. I am not interested in trying to figure out a way to keep this relationship active moving forward.”
So the new AD wants to turn ticket sales back over to the same crooked organization that had them previously.
And this is where we deploy the “Well. Well well well. Well.” Seriously, just how corrupt is the University of Texas these days?