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Iowa and Illinois have a heated rivalry on the hardwood and the temperature was turned up another notch this week. The Hawkeyes canceled a group of Fighting Illini students’ tickets after they were purchased under a false name.
The Orange Krush is Illinois’ student section and America’s largest student-run charitable organization. They create an extremely hostile environment in Champaign and serve a greater purpose away from the game.
Each and every year, the Orange Krush “secretly” travels to an away game.
That game was supposed to be in Iowa City on Saturday.
However, their tickets are not being honored. The Orange Krush released a statement on Wednesday night about how Iowa cancelled their group ticket order.
It spoke to how the previously-purchased tickets had already been sent out and distributed, and how travel arrangements were already booked. The late cancellation will cause the Orange Krush to lose approximately one fifth of its yearly budget.
The initial release was scathing and made Iowa look terrible. It seemed like the Hawkeyes were scared.
In reality, according to Iowa, the Orange Krush neglected to mention a big piece of the puzzle.
After the initial release cast a negative light on the university, it responded with a statement of its own. According to the Hawkeyes, the Orange Krush purchased its tickets under the guise of an organization it is not.
Iowa said that they falsely ordered tickets on behalf of an Illinois chapter of the Boys and Girls Club. It also said that the Orange Krush representative admitted to doing so.
In turn, Iowa cancelled the ticket order. It also refunded the money to the Orange Crush. And in the students’ absence, the Hawkeyes will welcome the Boys and Girls Club of Cedar Rapids to their seats instead.
Iowa was the villain at first. It is now the hero for its savvy donation.
In response, the Orange Krush said that news is “disappointing.” It also added the following:
We take it as a great compliment that the Orange Krush is a strong enough section to be so feared that an opposing athletic department is willing to sacrifice $5,400 and ruin a sellout in order to turn us away.
(Iowa athletic director) Gary Barta and staff, we issue great thanks to all of you for the adoration you have shown the Orange Krush through your cowardice.— The Orange Krush in a statement, via The News Gazette
Asking the question of why the Hawkeyes waited so long to cancel the order is valid. As is pointing to the Orange Krush using similar processes to obtain road tickets in the past and its well-documented history of doing good within the community.
However, the Orange Krush lied about what it is. Iowa denied them the tickets upon that revelation.
When Iowa hosts Illinois on Saturday, it will be a rowdy, sold-out environment. Unfortunately, the Orange Krush will have to watch from home.