Kansas Athletics: Fumbling on Football


This case focuses on the University of Kansas football program’s fall from relevance over a nine-year period and the personnel decisions that were made as it happened. The case provides a background on the competitive landscape of intercollegiate athletics, including the importance of conference affiliation, the associated revenues that stem from such affiliations, and the potential threat of conference realignment to demonstrate the importance of a competitive football program. The case then walks the reader through football-related personnel decisions, providing detailed backgrounds of the coaches to identify job-market signals and assess their fit with the job and organization. Details of raises and contract extensions made by the outgoing chancellor and incumbent athletic director are also provided to examine performance standards within Kansas Athletics. As a change in university leadership takes place, the reader is asked to consider what actions, if any, the incoming chancellor should take to turn around a struggling football program and ensure a viable athletic department.

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