Days after clashing with the administration at Iowa over the cancellation of their group ticket sale, the Orange Krush—the University of Illinois student section—apologized for misrepresenting itself when attempting to purchase the ticket block and for the group’s response to having the sale canceled.
On Thursday, the Orange Krush bashed Iowa athletic director Gary Barta over the decision to cancel the sale and accused Iowa of being “fearful” of allowing Illinois fans into Carver-Hawkeye Arena for Saturday afternoon’s Big Ten game. However, the Hawkeyes responded by claiming the Illini student section was granted a group rate under false pretenses, after saying that the tickets were for an Illinois chapter of the Boys & Girls Club, per ESPN.
Though the Orange Krush vehemently denied the accusations and said in an initial statement that the tickets were “legally purchased,” the group changed course and apologized on Friday, acknowledging that it had presented itself as a different charitable organization when trying to acquire the tickets.
“The students of the Orange Krush are among the most passionate fans in the country. But in planning the Orange Krush road trip, we misrepresented ourselves as another active charitable organization, which exercised poor judgement,” the Orange Krush said in a statement Friday. “This was our mistake and for that we are truly sorry. We also should never have 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.”
The tone of Friday’s statement was far different than the group’s initial note about the situation in which it thanked Barta and Iowa “for the adoration you have shown the Orange Krush through your cowardice.” In the latest release, Orange Krush explained that it did not intend to disrespect any other charitable organization with its actions.
“As a non-profit organization ourselves trying to better the Champaign-Urbana community, we have the greatest respect for organizations who are doing this life-changing work every day. It was never our intention to disparage or lessen their importance,” the statement continued. “This event has been a valuable learning experience that will help form best practices for Orange Krush classes for years to come.”
Iowa responded to the fiasco by refunding the Orange Krush’s ticket orders and donating the available tickets to the Boys & Girls Club of Cedar Rapids. The Big Ten game remains on as scheduled on Saturday for 2:30 p.m. ET.