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Embattled Kansas AD Perkins resigns

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Thayer Evans

Senior College Football writer Thayer Evans previously wrote for The New York Times and Houston Chronicle, as well as contributed to The Economist, USA Today, The Washington Post and more. Follow him on Twitter.

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Embattled Kansas Athletic Director Lew Perkins has resigned, according to a source close to the program.

Perkins agreed to resign during a meeting Tuesday morning with Kansas Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. The school confirmed his departure in a press release issued Tuesday afternoon, saying:  "... Perkins has chosen to accelerate his retirement plans. In the meantime, Sean Lester has been named interim athletics director."

In June, Perkins, 65, announced that he would retire in September 2011. But it’s been a rocky last couple of months for him.

He was accused of accepting free use of gym equipment in exchange for favors. An internal investigation cleared Perkins of any wrongdoing, but the matter was scheduled to be reviewed by the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission later this month. The FBI is also investigating a scam that involves the sale of basketball and football tickets.

A handful of athletic department employees, some of whom were close to Perkins, have been fired in connection to the scandal and an independent probe said the scam may have cost the school $3 million from at least 2005-10.

Perkins has not been implicated, but there has been a push for him to be fired. That’s on top of a disastrous losing season in football last year that included Mark Mangino's resignation.

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