Tickets for historic game limited

by Laura Miller
Staff Writer

For the first time in a century, men’s basketball teams from Transylvania University and the University of Kentucky will face off on the court for a preseason exhibition game.

Transy’s Division III team, under the leadership of head coach Brian Lane, will take on the Division I Wildcats at Lexington’s Rupp Arena Nov. 2 at 7:00 p.m.

Seniors Michael Stone, left, and Christopher Owens, right, will help lead the Transylvania Pioneers against the University of Kentucky Wildcats.

This game has been years in the making. When NCAA policy changes in 2003 banned Division I teams from playing their exhibition games against noncollegiate teams, schools such as UK turned to Division II and Division III teams for their preseason action.

After this change, according to Dean of Students Michael Vetter, Transylvania’s coaches made the administration aware of the opportunity this change presented for Transy and started asking if the university would support the idea of Transy playing UK.

“We (the administration) were very in favor of this exhibition game,” said Vetter. “One of the things for the university is that the more we can get Transy’s name out in the public, the better.”

Vetter emphasized that this is just one example of how Transy, be it through offering internships, special courses, study-abroad trips or basketball games against top teams in the nation, tries to “create once-in-a-lifetime experiences for students.”

Vetter also hopes this game will promote school spirit as an opportunity for students to come together as a community.

With approval from the administration, Transy Athletics Director Jack Ebel proposed the matchup to UK athletics.

“They want to do it. We want to do it. There you go,” Ebel said.

The questions remaining now concern ticket availability, particularly for Transy students. The challenge, Ebel said, is that UK sells out every basketball game and has its own fan constituency to take care of.

Transy cannot guarantee tickets for interested students at this time. UK athletics has allocated only 100 tickets for Transylvania fans, the standard amount for visiting teams.

Of those 100, most will go to the families of the Transy players and coaches. If the dance team performs along with the cheerleaders, tickets for the dancers will come out of those 100 seats as well.

“We’re still trying to get more tickets,” said Vetter.

Transy has contacted other organizations that receive ticket allotments from UK about purchasing additional tickets from them. UK has also offered Transy the first right to purchase any tickets not picked up from Kentucky’s own student body allotment.

Ebel noted that he will of course earmark some tickets for key figures such as President R. Owen Williams, but getting Transy students in that arena is another of his top priorities.

“When we get as many tickets as we think we can find, then we’re going to make a good portion of those available to the students,” said Ebel.

Diane Fout and the student activities office will conduct a lottery process for the remaining tickets. Transy will sell all tickets at face value.

“In the meantime, we’re encouraging students, if you have any other resource to acquire basketball tickets, pursue that,” said Vetter.

The athletics department suggests that students wanting to assure themselves seats at the game seek tickets through unofficial channels such as eBay or StubHub.

“There’s just no guarantees,” said Ebel. “Who would’ve thought that we would be going to a Transylvania game and there’s a possibility they would be scalping tickets? … (But) there very well could be. A lot of people want in on this. This is kind of history.”

*Editors Note: Shorly after publication, it was announced that a limited number of tickets will be made available to students and will be distributed through a lottery system. The lotter will take place in the Campus Center Gym on October 13 at 9:00 p.m.

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