It would have been a great college prank, but the Iowa Athletic Department threw it down.
Illinois student spirit group Orange Crush canceled an order of 200 tickets Wednesday for a men’s basketball game at Carver Hawkeye Arena on Saturday. Champagne.
The State of Iowa refunded $5,400 and donated 200 tickets to the Boys and Girls Club of Cedar Rapids.
The Iowa Athletic tweeted that when it contacted the Champaign Boys and Girls Club about the order, it was clear the club did not purchase the tickets.
“After contacting the individuals who placed the original ticket orders, they admitted that they had mistakenly ordered the tickets under the nonprofit,” the statement said.
That person was Kilton Roman, senior vice president of Illinois for Illini Pride, the umbrella organization of Orange Crush.
Rauman said on Thursday that the group regularly uses temporary identities to buy tickets for their annual road trips to opponents’ arenas. The reason, he said, is that orders from groups cheering on visitors and heckling the home team will be rejected.
On a trip to Purdue last year, he said, he managed to buy 50 tickets for a group of “Boy Scouts.” He also said he bought tickets for a “family reunion.”
“I’ve had Orange Krush orders rejected in the past, and this is completely understandable,” says Rauman. “Our athletic department wouldn’t want to sell to her group of 200 kids in her crew at Purdue Paint.”
Roman said he called Iowa in September to order discounted group tickets for the “Boys and Girls Club.” The purchase was completed by him in October, and the tickets arrived at the Illinois Athletic Department’s mailing address, where the Illinois Pride headquarters is located.
“I was shocked that it worked,” he said.
Well it worked until Wednesday. At that time, Iowa informed Mr. Rauman that the barcode on the ticket had not been scanned and a refund had been issued. Iowa declined to comment beyond the statement.
In retrospect, the Champaign mailing address attached to the bulk of the ticket orders should have made Iowa suspect by this week. He said he lost a dollar.
“Obviously it didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to,” Laumann said. “There was no malice behind it.”