Kansas hires Sheahon Zenger as AD

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Kansas has hired Sheahon Zenger as its athletic director.

The former Illinois State athletic director will replace Lew Perkins, who retired in September after a ticket scandal and accusations of personal misconduct.

Five former athletic department employees who were either hired or promoted by Perkins have been indicted in an alleged ticket scam that cost the school as much as $3 million.

Perkins has not been implicated in the scam but was accused of personal misconduct involving exorbitant travel costs and the accepting of gifts that violate state ethics.

It was a spectacular fall from grace for Perkins, who helped raise millions of dollars and spearheaded a much-needed building program that included improvements to Allen Fieldhouse and badly needed new football facilities.

Zenger, from Hays, Kan., will start on Feb. 1. Larry Lyons will be Illinois State's interim athletic director.

Zenger coached football at Drake, Kansas State, South Florida and Wyoming. Before becoming athletic director at Illinois State, Zenger held a number of fundraising positions at Kansas State in the athletic department and business school.

"My earliest memories are in Lawrence, Kansas, watching KU football and basketball games," Zenger said. "Sometimes in life things come full circle. The opportunity to stand side-by-side with KU's student-athletes, coaches, administrators, donors and fans gives me great joy."

Kansas chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said in a statement that Zenger could make sure "our programs operate with the utmost integrity" and called him "the best choice to lead Kansas athletics into the future."