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Illinois student fanbase admits they posed as charity to buy tickets to Iowa game

The Iowa-Illinois fan beef may have reached its climax.

Illinois’ student section, The Orange Krush, misrepresented themselves as the charity “Illinois Boys & Girls Club” to buy tickets for Saturday’s Fighting Illini-Hawkeyes game, and apologized for lying. The Orange Krush released a statement on Friday, a day before the Hawkeyes’ 81-79 win over their Big 10 rival, saying the idea came in “poor judgment.”

“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,” the statement said. “This was our mistake and for that we are truly sorry… Protection of their home court is, and should be, their priority.

“It was never our intention to disparage or lessen their importance. This event has been a valuable learning experience that will help form best practices for Orange Krush classes for years to come.”

The Orange Krush originally released a statement on Wednesday saying Iowa ruined a tradition of attending one road game per season by invalidating their 200 tickets to Saturday’s game. The group even called out Iowa athletic director Gary Barta and his staff, saying they “feared” Illinois’ fanbase because it’s such a “strong enough [fan] section.”

The Hawkeyes then revealed the truth: Illinois students purchased discounted tickets through a different organization – Illinois Boys & Girls Club. Iowa added it refunded the ticket order and donated the seats to Cedar Rapids’ Boys & Girls Club.

Illinois fans in the Orange Krush student section cheer during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Eastern Illinois, Monday, Nov. 7, 2022, in Champaign, Ill.
AP Photo/Michael Allio

Saturday’s victory ties Iowa (15-8, Big Ten 7-5) with Illinois (16-7, 7-5) in conference rankings.