Orange Krush allege Iowa won’t allow Illinois students into Illini basketball game at Iowa
Orange Krush, the student basketball chapter of Illinois Fighting Illini, released a statement on Wednesday that the University of Iowa has invalidated its 200 tickets to the Illinois men’s basketball game at the ‘Iowa Saturday.
The release says Orange Krush legally purchased 200 tickets and received them in the mail in October.
Iowa notified the Orange Krush on Wednesday that the tickets would be invalidated, according to the Orange Krush statement.
“It is contrary to the spirit of competition and rivalry, two outstanding attributes of the Big Ten Conference, to make this decision,” the Orange Krush statement said.
Orange Krush statement: pic.twitter.com/etb13geis1
— The Orange Krush (@TheOrangeKrush) February 2, 2023
The University of Iowa provided the following statement in response to Orange Krush’s statement: “The Iowa Athletic Department has become aware of an order for discounted group tickets to the basketball game Iowa-Illinois men’s ball on behalf of an Illinois chapter of the Boys & Girls Club.Following up with that organization, it became clear that it was not factual.When they contacted the person who made the original ticket order, they admitted to having wrongly ordered tickets through the nonprofit organization. Iowa Athletics refunded the original ticket order and donated tickets to the Boys & Girls Club of Cedar Rapids.”
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The Orange Krush said Iowa’s late notification was causing financial loss to the organization.
“Because the University of Iowa waited to make this decision until today, February 1, it is now too close to the scheduled travel date to cancel the charter buses that had been arranged and receive a full refund,” the Orange Krush statement said. . “This is leading our 501(c)3 organization to lose almost $6,000 of our $30,000 budget. … This means that, financially, we cannot afford to pivot to another destination, even if there were enough tickets available.”
Orange Krush Student Section Illinois fans cheer during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Eastern Illinois, Monday, Nov. 7, 2022, in Champaign, Illinois. (AP Photo/Michael Allio)
Orange Krush’s statement says the organization has been on a road trip every season since 2002 – with the exception of the 2020-21 season due to COVID-19.
“It is undoubtedly disappointing that we cannot be there in person to see the game this Saturday,” the Orange Krush statement said. “However, we consider it a great compliment that the Orange Krush is a section strong enough to be so feared that an opposing athletic department is willing to sacrifice $5,400 and ruin a sale in order to turn us away. (Athletic Director of Iowa) Gary Barta and staff, we thank you so much for the adoration you have shown the Orange Krush through your cowardice.”
Illinois guard Sencire Harris tweeted the statement from Orange Krush, and he said, “This is crazy!!!!”
Illinois basketball broadcaster Deon Thomas responded to Orange Krush’s statement on Twitter and said, “This is an unfortunate situation. The things people do out of FEAR.”
The men’s basketball game between Illinois and Iowa is scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m. PT on Saturday.
Illinois fans cheer during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Ohio State, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023, in Champaign, Illinois. (AP Photo/Michael Allio)
Illinois, ranked No. 25 in USA Today’s Men’s Basketball Coaches Poll, enters the game 16-6 overall and 7-4 in the Big Ten. Most recently, Illinois beat Nebraska 72-56 on Tuesday.
The Iowa Hawkeyes enter the contest 14-8 overall and 6-5 in the Big Ten. On Tuesday, Iowa beat Northwestern 86-70.
Going into Saturday, Illinois leads the all-time series 89-76 over Iowa.
Brad Underwood is the head men’s basketball coach at Illinois Fighting Illini. Fran McCaffery is the men’s basketball head coach for the Iowa Hawkeyes.
Erik Hall is the digital sports editor for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. You can find him on Twitter @HallErik.
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