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Parkinson expects 'aggressive investigation' of KU athletic department

Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson said he was "disturbed" by allegations of ticket thefts at the University of Kansas Athletic Department and said he's asked KU's chancellor for quick action.

"I expect an aggressive investigation and serious consequences," said the Democrat.

But Parkinson wouldn't say whether he thinks Athletic Director Lew Perkins should lose his job over the scandal, or allegations that Perkins accepted physical therapy equipment in exchange for plum athletic tickets.

A year ago Parkinson called on the state's public universities to aggressively pursue higher academic standards. This morning a reporter noted those comments and asked whether the scandal - as well as an earlier athletics scandal at Kansas State University - are reflecting badly on the shape of higher education in Kansas. Parkinson had this to say:

"Higher education in Kansas is doing well but can do better," he said. He said it was one of "society's problems" that "We judge the quality of a university by how the football team is ranked or by a ticket scandal."

Parkinson said he'll meet with the KU chancellor next week to discuss the athletics scandal, as well as discussions to break up the Big 12 conference - something Parkinson said he doesn't want to see.

Parkinson briefly took questions from reporters after meeting with leaders from the state's Iowa tribe to formally approve a new tribal license plate.

In appreciation of the license plate agreement, members of the tribe presented Parkinson with a thick tribal blanket to be worn about the shoulders. The tall Parkinson had to stoop to allow a member of the tribe to place the shawl over his shoulders. Parkinson thanked the tribe for the gift.

"Perfect day to be wearing this," he noted with a smile.

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