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Athletic Department needs to use honest marketing

Elliott Pearce | Thursday, August 25, 2011

Like just about everyone at Notre Dame, I’m a huge sports fan. Unlike quite a few people here, though, neither of my parents own or run any companies that are household names, so I’m not exactly rolling in dough.

This is why I love the fact that Notre Dame lets its students attend all of its athletic events for free or at reduced prices. The $250 students pay for season football tickets may seem like a lot of money at first, but it starts to look cheap once you consider that a regular ticket to the USC game alone costs about as much as a black market kidney. Right now, though, I’m mad at the University’s athletic department, because they just ripped me off.

You’ve probably received e-mails about how Mike Lee, a Notre Dame alum and former Bengal Bouts champion, is going to fight at the Purcell Pavilion the Friday before the Michigan State game. I bought tickets as soon as I got the e-mail because I wanted to see an old-fashioned Irish beatdown.

At 6-0, Mike Lee is a pretty good fighter. Look up his November 2010 fight in Cowboys Stadium on YouTube and watch him reduce Keith Debow’s IQ by a measurable amount with a nasty overhand right to see what I mean. When I found out that I could get a ticket to this fight for a measly 15 bucks, I couldn’t click my way to the UND.com checkout page fast enough.

When I got there, though, what I saw made me angry. Fifteen dollars had quickly become $25.50 after I got hit with the one-two combo of a $1.50 “fee” and a nasty $9.00 “ordering charge.” Do they really expect me to believe it takes them $9.00 to process my 10-kilobyte online order? Either the electrons that transmit data through cyberspace have formed a union and demanded higher pay, bigger pensions and comprehensive health plans, or the athletic department wants to charge me $25.50 for a boxing ticket but doesn’t have the guts to say it to my face.

In the grand scheme of things, $25.50 isn’t that much. It’s the equivalent of literally about nine minutes of instruction from one of my esteemed professors. If the University had sent me an e-mail saying “Mike Lee tickets, only $25.50,” I wouldn’t have written this letter.

Instead, they told me the tickets were $15. I love my University enough to expose the rot in her midst. Those who market sporting events need to stand up and ask for the full price up front like real Fighting Irishmen. If I wanted to attend a university full of money-grubbing cheaters who shun the light of truth and righteousness, I would have gone to USC.

To paraphrase the late, great Patrick Henry, give me honesty, or give me an ugly red and yellow shirt!

Elliott Pearce


Knott Hall

Aug. 24