Get to know ‘KU Scoopsmeister’ Mike Vernon

Jan 9, 2021; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; A general view of the Kansas Jayhawks logo on a bench seat
Jan 9, 2021; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; A general view of the Kansas Jayhawks logo on a bench seat / Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas fanbase is one of the most passionate in the entire country. KU fans love their Jayhawks, and they love to know what’s happening with their favorite KU teams at all times.

One KU fan has taken it upon himself to better provide his fellow Jayhawks with the inside information they crave. He’s broken some of the biggest stories surrounding KU sports these past few years, and as a result, has earned the nickname “KU Scoopsmeister.”

His real name is Mike Vernon, and we sat down with him to learn more about how he got into the scoops business and why he goes to the extraordinary lengths he does for the KU sports community.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a brainwashed Kansas fan from birth (for better and worse). I grew up in Houston, Texas, and both my parents went to KU and are diehard fans. I grew up going to games as much as possible. When it came time to go to college, I only applied to one school, and it was KU. I live in Southern California now and I am lucky enough to stay connected to the KU community through sharing intel, chatter, and scoops about the Jayhawks.

Because I’m not in Kansas working for a local news outlet, I don’t rely on access from KU, which means I can be truthful without fear of repercussions that would affect my ability to do my work. When you’re there covering the team, you are often spoon-fed stories. I’ve found ways to report truthfully without needing that access.

What's your background with KU sports?

I attended KU from 2010 to 2014. Freshman year I got involved with the Daily Kansan, learning about journalism. While I was a student, I was also able to write for the Topeka Capital-Journal and decided that journalism was my passion – and I was decent at it. After college, my first job was with the San Francisco Chronicle covering sports for the University of California, Berkeley. However, I pretty quickly realized that I didn’t want to be a career newspaper man and moved to Bleacher Report where I learned more about how to deliver content for sports fans. I’ve since moved into tech and have my journalism passion fulfilled with the work I do for KU fans.

When did the scoops start?

The scoops started when former Athletic Director Jeff Long and head football coach Les Miles were nearing the end of their time at KU. Offensive coordinator Brent Dearmon left for Middle Tennessee State – which was odd – and there were a series of other odd things happening with the football staff. I remember trying to read the local news outlets and the message was kind of “nothing to see here,” which wasn’t totally accurate. I think some of the local outlets were serving the people in charge of KU and not their subscribers, which isn’t beneficial to the university in the long run.

I already had this Twitter following from when I used to cover KU, so I just started asking questions on Twitter and using those journalism skills to paint a real picture of how things were much worse than what we’d all been led to believe. Donors were upset with Jeff Long. Even Bill Self was upset with Jeff Long.

There was a vacuum of information and I just started sharing what I was hearing from credible people. I wanted KU fans to better understand what was happening, and I think I was able to do that.

What drives you to provide all this information to KU fans?

My goal is to have KU fans as informed as possible regarding the most important things happening with KU sports – good and bad. I want to build a community and I think there’s a place for independent media at Kansas. What was happening wasn’t good enough. I think the audience I’ve built of more than 13,000 KU fans proves that.

I believe in independent oversight, and I believe that an informed fanbase is a good fanbase. It’s one that donates to Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL). It’s one that can be more reasonable with expectations and hopefully better connected with players and coaches.

We have a real chance to build something new – a modern KU community that helps us be more informed and connected. I also love talking KU. That is why I spend a few hours before and after my day job to read, write, and run KU Hearings.

What is your favorite scoop that you've shared with KU fans?

I spent two years working telling the behind-the-scenes chaos that was the NCAA Infractions mess that KU was dragged through, and it took a lot of patience to tell the right story. I’m really proud of the reporting that went into it, and these stories went beyond Kansas. Former 60 Minutes reporter and HBO sports producer Armen Keteyian called them "groundbreaking.”

I’m not sure it’ll get better than breaking the news I shared on Self offering to sit out the 2022 NCAA Tournament, the NCAA not letting it happen… and then KU winning the title. I also had the scoop on Self getting the lifetime contract, which was cool.

My first scoop will always be memorable for me too. That was when I shared that a group of donors had gone to Jeff Long to express their concerns about his performance. The next day he was fired.

What's the most impactful way KU fans can get involved or help KU in this day and age of college athletics based on what you're hearing?

It’s got to be NIL. Every donation adds up in a way that it doesn’t for something like the new football stadium. It just doesn’t move the needle like it does for NIL. If you get 100 people to donate $100, it makes a huge difference. Right now, the No. 1 priority needs to be NIL, and KU has struggled with grassroots donor support. KU will have more total money donated but less donors than some of their Big 12 peers – that won’t work with NIL. We can’t just rely on top donors. For football and basketball especially, it’s got to be NIL.

The other big deal is showing up for football games this year. It matters to Lance Leipold and the program. The trajectory can be forever changed if we can seize the moment. Leipold will be at KU as long as the resources are there, and the fanbase has to be behind what they’re doing.

How can KU fans get your scoops?

The home of the scoops is at That’s where fans can sign up for my free email newsletter KU Hearings. Fans can get even more access by signing up for VIP “secret scoops” texts through the site and by joining the Jayhawk Hearings Discord message board group.

X (formerly Twitter) is a good place to continue following as well @M_Vernon, and you can email me at