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Students not given equal chance for tickets to The Final Four

Cody Cousino / Photo editor

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Student tickets went on sale Monday at noon for the Final Four, but not every Ohio State student had an equal opportunity to purchase a ticket.

OSU was issued 710 student tickets for both sessions – the semifinal session and the National Championship Game – at $25 for a two-session ticket, granting students admittance to all three games.

The Buckeyes will travel to New Orleans to take on the Kansas Jayhawks on Saturday at about 9 p.m. The victor will play the winner of the game between the Louisville Cardinals and the Kentucky Wildcats for the National Championship Monday.

Brett Scarbrough, assistant athletics director for ticketing and premium seating, said the 710 student tickets sold out at about 3:45 p.m. Monday. He said the tickets were sold through the NCAA’s website.

Scarbrough said OSU was very close to selling out the allotment of 3,250 general admission tickets, but the student tickets were gone in less than four hours.

The original intent was to send an email with ticket information to all students Sunday night, but Scarbrough said the NCAA requested the message not be sent until 10 a.m. Monday, with the sale starting at noon.

Scarbrough said they sent out two waves of emails notifying students of ticket availability.

“The first message was broadcast to students who bought regular season tickets, shortly followed by a second broadcast to the remainder of enrolled students,” Scarbrough said.

He said the second wave of emails took longer to complete, and lasted into the evening, after the tickets were sold out. Scarbrough said the first list of students who had season tickets was completed at about 1 p.m. Monday.

But some students were upset with the system.

Meghan Johnson, a second-year in health science, said she did not receive the email until after the tickets were sold out.

“I started trying to buy them at 3:45 p.m., and it kept giving me the message that tickets were not available,” Johnson said. “I actually only knew that they were available because my friend got the email … I didn’t get the email until after 5 p.m.”

Johnson said she planned on driving to New Orleans for the Final Four after she went to both of OSU’s games in Boston.

“I was planning on driving down with two of my friends, they got tickets, but now I’ll just watch it in Columbus,” Johnson said.

Johnson said she was not happy with the process.

“My friend got the email at 2 p.m … I tried logging in, but was unsuccessful,” Johnson said. “Why was the email sent to some after they were sold out?”

Scarbrough said they heard similar complaints.

“We did receive a few complaints from students in the secondary list who did not receive the email until the tickets were sold,” Scarbrough said. “I am not aware of any students from the student season ticket holder list who experienced issues.”

Scarbrough said the intent was to give students a fair chance to get tickets, per NCAA guidelines.

“Having to work within the guidelines of the NCAA on this process and within the short time frame allotted, we did our best to conduct this sale in the fairest manner possible,” Scarbrough said.

Kaleigh Patrick, a fifth-year in consumer and family financial services, said she did not receive the email until after 8 p.m. Monday. Patrick said she had season tickets and went to every home game this season. She said her email was not on that list because she bought the season tickets from a friend.

“I was contemplating going, but wasn’t very sure, and then when I decided I wanted to go, they were sold out,” Patrick said.

Patrick said she has camped out for several home games this season to get good seats and is disappointed she didn’t get tickets to the Final Four.

“I didn’t get the email until 8:18 p.m., and they were already sold out. I was upset, this is the third time that ticketing has messed stuff up for me,” Patrick said.

In addition to the Final Four problem, Patrick said she never got the email for the Big Ten Tournament, and she wanted to go to that.

Johnson said she would have appreciated a notification when the tickets were sold out.

“They should have at least given us a heads up that they were out of tickets, because me and some of my friends were trying all the way until 8 p.m.,” Johnson said. “They were obviously sold out before that.”

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