The Iowa-Illinois men’s basketball rivalry added another chapter this week with an ongoing ticket saga that is sure to increase animosity for Saturday’s game.
Here’s how things unfolded Wednesday night.
The Orange Krush, Illinois’ well-known student section and largest student-run charitable organization, put out a statement saying they had tabbed Saturday’s game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena as its annual road trip. Tickets for the 150 students going had been mailed out in October, and charter buses had been arranged to celebrate what was going to be the Krush’s 20th road trip.
Everything appeared to be in working order until Wednesday, when the University of Iowa athletics department refunded The Orange Krush’s full order. Iowa began taking heat on social media after Krush’s statement was released Wednesday night.
As a result of the late cancellation, the Krush’s statement said, the organization will lose “nearly $6,000 from our $30,000 budget” and that “this means, financially, we cannot afford to pivot to another destination even if there were sufficiently available tickets. So the 20th Orange Krush road trip will have to be delayed until the 2023-24 season.”
The Iowa men’s basketball account put out its own statement on the issue, clarifying the story.
“The Iowa athletics department became aware of a discounted group ticket order for the Iowa-Illinois men’s basketball game on behalf of the Illinois chapter of the Boys and Girls Club,” the statement read. “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.
“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.”
Dissecting this saga likely comes down to rooting interests. Those associated with Illinois and the Orange Krush will point to the student section’s long history of similar processes to obtain road tickets – while questioning why Iowa waited until this week to cancel the order. Iowa supporters will point to the moral element of using false information to obtain the tickets.
Either way, another rivalry element has been added to Saturday’s sold-out showdown.
Dargan Southard is a sports trending reporter and covers Iowa athletics for the Des Moines Register and HawkCentral.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.
This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Iowa cancels Illinois Orange Krush order: Ticket ‘falsely’ purchased