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Two things before leaving for our daughter’s graduation on Saturday from Knox College in Galesburg, IL. (Whoo-hoo!)

:: KU athletic director Lew Perkins says, “I’m the victim.”

What a joke.

Here’s the story in a nutshell. Perkins makes $900,000 a year, but he accepted a free loan of $15,000 to $35,000 in exercise equipment for four years in return for prime Allen Fieldhouse seats for the equipment provider.

Then, after the school’s former director of sports medicine threatened to go public with details of the swap unless he was compensated for the cost of storing the equipment the last year or so, Perkins went to the cops.

Not only was Perkins’ acceptance of the loan unethical, it was also illegal, in all probability. The law states that “no person subject to the provisions of this section shall solicit or accept any gift,economic opportunity, loan, gratuity, special discount or service provided because of such person’s official position.”

You know what gets me about situations like this? In many, many cases, those caught on the take are people who could whip out a check and write it for however much is needed to conduct an honest and above-board transaction. Perkins could write the check and forget about it, probably without even having to transfer funds from his brokerage to his checking account. 

But, no, he takes the freebie. I guess Perkins is so used to having people throw gratuities at him in return for low-down, center-section seats that he couldn’t push himself away from the table.

Low-down is the right term, all right. But now I’m not talking about seat location; I’m talking about Perkins’ morals. 

Last week, if you’ll recall, Perkins said, “I accept responsibility” (but not full responsibility) for a multi-million-dollar ticket scam that occurred under his nose. Now, the other shoe has fallen, and I don’t see any way that Perkins can survive. I say he’s gone by Independence Day.

:: Talk about victims.

How about the 25-year-old man and 21-year-old woman who were ambushed behind Charlie Hooper’s in Brookside last Friday morning? Two thugs beat the couple with handguns and kicked them mercilessly, even though the couple handed over their belongings.

The woman suffered a broken jaw and vertebra and three skull fractures. She was initially listed in critical condition. I don’t know what it is now, but from what I read on a KCTV-5 online story, she’s been able to communicate with police. 

The cowardice of the perps is infuriating. There was no reason whatsoever to harm the couple. And to kick and stomp on the woman? Two pieces of space junk named Durrell D. White and Andre D. Valentine have been charged. The victims identified their attackers from photo lineups, according to the KCTV- 5 story. 

I’ve been waking up early in the morning, thinking about this case, thinking mostly about the woman…a girl, really. Thinking about her parents, other relatives, friends, who have to suffer along with her. Thinking about my own, beautiful, 22-year-old daughter and how vulnerable she — and almost any other young woman — would be to such an attack. 

The unfairness of it and the inability of anyone to change what has already happened make me rage against fate…and a little bit against God. And yet, at the same time, I pray. Please, God, let both victims make complete recoveries; help them and their families to cope with the physical and psychological injuries they have suffered at the hands of  unthinking, unsympathetic individuals. I ask You, why does the world have to be like this? I ask You, don’t let anything like this happen again…And yet, I fear, I know, it will. Damn!

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