Kansas Chancellor Says Media Coverage Is Making AD Search More Difficult

Kansas' search for a new athletic director continues after the Jayhawks identified Bubba Cunningham as its target two weeks ago but he later backed out and agreed to a contract extension with Tulsa. At one point the committee hoped to have the search wrapped up by mid-December but the Cunningham situation may have delayed that.

Kansas Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little spoke briefly last week, according to the Lawrence Journal World, and said the media coverage isn't helping the search.

"The coverage is damaging to the search," she said, when it exposes candidates before they’re committed to the university. "I think it becomes costly for candidates to be involved. … I don’t think it’s helpful to our search and I think makes our search more difficult."

If you were ever wondering why schools spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on professional search firms, this is why. It's all about keeping things private and secret. Clearly, that's not the case here as multiple reports have come out with candidates and then the detailed accounts of the Cunningham experience.

If Gray-Little is looking to point the finger at anyone -- and apparently she is if she has public statements on it -- then it should go to the search committee, (reportedly) listed below:

Chaired by Ray Evans, the managing partner of Pegasus Capital Management in Overland Park; Kenneth Audus, dean of the KU School of Pharmacy; KU baseball coach Ritch Price; Linda Ellis Sims, an account executive with ExxonMobile Corporation; Debbie Van Saun, KU associate athletics director/senior women's administrator; and Thomas Ward, president and CEO of Russell Stover Candies in Kansas City.

If information is getting out, there are your sources. She said no candidate had backed out because they had been identified but it's happened to her in other searches.

Ultimately though I'm not sure I understand her comments and what they're supposed to mean. Is Gray-Little asking the media not to report on this? Is she making sure everyone knows how difficult this search is? Is she setting KU fans up to be disappointed (and indirectly blaming it on the media)? Is she indicating the search will now take longer? Blaming it on the media is like blaming it on the referees. Nothing good comes from it.

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