KANSAS CITY, Mo. —Kansas athletic director Lew Perkins didn't want reporters following him to the bathroom during the Big 12 Conference meetings at the Intercontinental Hotel today, so he called an impromptu news conference to essentially say he couldn't comment on the blackmail investigation.
But Perkins did comment.
"I think it's very clear if you take some decent and logical thoughts you can figure out what this is all about," Perkins said. "I hate to use the word, but I'm the victim. I've turned everything over to the police department."
Perkins filed a police report on April 16. A free loan estimated at $15,000 in exercise equipment is at the center of the Lawrence Police Department's investigation into the alleged blackmail.
The story surfaced over Memorial Day weekend — a few days after Perkins was part of a Kansas basketball ticket scandal news conference — and the Big 12 meetings started today. Perkins was approached by reporters early. He refused to answer questions on the investigation.
"I couldn't get from one meeting to the bathroom without somebody following me in there," Perkins said.
Perkins spent the majority of the 20-minute news conference discussing the future of the Big 12, which is the focus of the annual meetings.
"If I said I wasn't worried I'd be a fool," Perkins said of the issues facing the Big 12. "I'm worried every day about what happens. This is serious, serious, serious stuff."
Perkins said the other issues — KU's ticket scandal and the alleged blackmail — pale in comparison.
"What's gone on the last couple of weeks is no way as important as this stuff," Perkins said of the conference's future.