A rivalry game between the Iowa men’s basketball team and the Illinois Fighting Illini this weekend has taken an interesting turn after the Hawkeyes announced Wednesday that they canceled 200 tickets purchased by Illinois’ student section after claiming that they were falsely purchased “on behalf” of a local Boys and Girls Club.
The Orange Krush, the largest student-run charitable organization, released a statement on Twitter Wednesday night revealing that the group has lost out on nearly $6,000 after getting a late notice from Iowa’s athletic department that its ticket purchase for Saturday’s game had been canceled.
“Unfortunately, the University of Iowa Athletic Department has today notified us that they have invalidated all 200 tickets that the Orange Krush had legally purchased. It is highly unfortunate for our group that this trip has been canceled because we were looking forward to it since receiving the tickets in the mail in October,” the lengthy statement read in part.
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“It is highly unfortunate for the 150 students that collectively fundraised a total of $2,649.41 for local charitable organizations in order to be invited on this trip. Most of all, it is highly unfortunate that the University of Iowa and their athletic department refused to face the consequences of the mistake THEY MADE in selling tickets to a billing address in Champaign, Illinois. It is against the spirit of competition and rivalry, two outstanding attributes of the Big Ten Conference, to make this decision.”
According to the statement, the loss of funds is the result of travel accommodations that can not be fully refunded because of the late notice.
“Any organization cannot realistically withstand losing one-fifth of its yearly budget, and we are no different. This means that, financially, we cannot afford to pivot to another destination, even if there were sufficiently available tickets.”
The student section has made 19 trips to opposing arenas in support of the Fighting Illini – Saturday was set to be their 20th trip since 2002.
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However, Iowa responded shortly after with its own statement, accusing the group of purchasing the tickets under false pretenses.
“The Iowa Athletics Department became aware of a discounted group ticket order for the Iowa-Illinois men’s basketball game on behalf of an Illinois chapter of the Boys and Girls Club. In following up with that organization, it became clear this was not factual. When contacting the individual who made the original ticket order, they admitted to falsely ordering tickets under the non-profit organization,” the statement read.
“Iowa Athletics has refunded the original ticket order and donated tickets to the Boys and Girls Club of Cedar Rapids. We look forward to welcoming these kids to a sold-out Carver-Hawkeye Arena this Saturday.”
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Illinois senior and vice president of Illini Pride Kilton Rauman told The Associated Press on Thursday that the group routinely uses an assumed identity to buy tickets for its annual road trip to an opponent arena.
He said he called Iowa in September to order discounted group tickets for “a Boys and Girls Club” and when the tickets arrived at the mailing address for the Illinois athletic department, he was “shocked” it had worked.
“Obviously, it did not pan out how we were hoping,” Rauman continued. “There was no malice behind it.”