CHAMPAIGN – Two days after expressing their frustration at Iowa Athletics for canceling their tickets, Illinois basketball’s cheering section is changing its tune.
On Friday afternoon, “Orange Krush” released a statement on Twitter in which they apologized for ordering tickets to the Illini’s game against the Hawkeyes in Iowa City on Saturday posing as an Illinois chapter of the Boys and Girls Club.
When Iowa found out that wasn’t the case earlier this week, they decided to cancel the order and refund the money for the tickets.
“In planning the Orange Krush road trip, we misrepresented ourselves as another active charitable organization, which exercised poor judgement,” said Krush in the statement. “This was our mistake and for that we are truly sorry. We also should have never placed blame on the Iowa ticket office and Director of Athletics Gary Barta or called them out for cancelling the tickets. Protection of their home court is, and should be, their priority.”
Originally the section was upset over the decision by Iowa, which they announced on Wednesday in a statement over Twitter. They said they found out only this week that Iowa had decided to cancel the order and refund their money for the 200 tickets purchased. This was scheduled to be the 20th road trip for the Orange Krush where they go to an opposing venue en masse to support their team.
Because of the decision by the Hawkeyes’ athletic department, the group said they were out $6,000 since they couldn’t cancel the charter buses they paid for to get to the game.
Soon after, Iowa basketball released a statement in which they said the order was canceled when they found out they were ordered under the name of the Boys and Girls Club of Illinois. The money for the tickets was refunded to the Orange Krush and the tickets were given to the Boys and Girls Club of Cedar Rapids.
Since then, the debate has gone on at both schools and nationally about who was right in this situation. In the end, the Krush decided to issue the apology before Illinois faces Iowa at Carver-Hawkeye Arena at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.
“This event has been a valuable learning experience that will help form best practices for Orange Krush classes for years to come.,” said the group in their statement. “The Orange Krush road trip prank has become a tradition that students and Illini fans look forward to every year. It is our goal to continue the annual road trip in a manner that stays true to the spirit of fun competitions Illinois fans expect.”