At first, it appeared that the University of Iowa had unsolicited tickets drawn from a student fan group at an opposing school.
However, the story got a lot stranger on Wednesday night.
Illinois fan group “Orange Krush” called the Iowa athletic department on Twitter after their tickets were canceled Wednesday night before Saturday’s game between the Illini and the Hawkeyes in Iowa City. Hours later, however, Iowa said the group completely lied to buy 200 tickets.
The “Orange Krush,” Iowa said, had posed as an Illinois section of the Boys and Girls Club.
“The Iowa Athletics Department became aware of a discounted group ticket order for the Iowa-Illinois men’s basketball game being held on behalf of a section of the Illinois Boys and Girls Club,” Iowa said in a statement. “Following this organization, it became clear that this was not true. When she contacted the person who placed the original ticket order, she admitted to mistakenly ordering tickets from the nonprofit.”
So Iowa refunded the order and canceled those tickets. Instead, the Hawkeyes donated the tickets to Cedar Rapids’ Boys and Girls Club.
The situation began after the fan group released an open letter alleging that Iowa voided the group’s tickets Wednesday — a move that would end up costing them nearly $6,000 in lost travel arrangements. The letter made it seem like Iowa only pulled the tickets after realizing that a large group of Illinois fans would show up for the game at Carver Hawkeye Arena.
However, the Hawkeyes apparently didn’t have to work very hard to prove them wrong. And if the ticket holder admitted it, the original letter appears to be a bold move towards publication.
In any case, the tickets will benefit a group of children on Saturday.
Iowa enters Saturday’s competition after winning six of its last eight games. Illinois has won seven of its last eight.
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