Kansas ticket scandal goes up a notch

You might remember this story from March 25, when the Kansas City Star reported that the Kansas men's basketball program was under investigation for illegal sales of regular-season and NCAA tournament tickets by employees. The story, intriguing though it was, went under the radar for a few weeks, and nary a peep on the matter was heard.

And then came today: Yahoo! Sports is reporting that the scandal is even bigger than the Star had reported. According to David Freeman, a Lawrence, Kan.-area real estate developer who offered information on the ticket scalping to authorities in the hopes of reducing his sentence related to a federal bribery case involving a local city commissioner, the scandal included David and Dana Pump and Roger Morningstar. Morningstar is a big-name alum and the father of Kansas guard Brady Morningstar. The Pump brothers are two of "amateur" (wink-wink) basketball's biggest power brokers. Together, the group allegedly made over $800,000 on NCAA tournament tickets in 2002 and 2003, according to Freeman.

The interesting fallout here -- beyond seeing whether the Pump brothers' massive college basketball-related operations come under scrutiny -- is whether this will affect the Kansas program itself. It's hard to imagine that being the case. The fundraising arm of the athletic department was allegedly involved, but this wasn't a matter of coaches giving prime seats to boosters, or something, nor is this a straightforward recruiting scandal that could potentially land Bill Self in hot water.

Rather, the trouble appears confined to the underbelly of the program, which is where such money-making schemes, designed to bilk college basketball programs out of as much money as possible in as short a time as possible, almost always thrive. At least this one's out in the open. I guess that's a start.