Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM


Opinion: Izzone Should Not Reward Seniority for Final Four Tickets


Less than 24 hours after Tom Izzo led his Spartan basketball team to the ninth Final Four appearance in school history, the student section bearing his name came under an enormous amount of heat.

The Izzone was allocated 700 tickets for Saturday’s national semifinal game against Duke in Indianapolis. Izzone members received a number of emails Sunday night explaining the process to request tickets. One of the emails included a link to the site where the tickets could be requested once the ticket office opened at 9 a.m. on Monday. Many Izzone members went to bed late Sunday night feeling confident that they would get the hottest ticket of the year the next morning. That’s when all hell broke loose.

Once the clock struck nine on Monday morning, many of the 3,000 Izzone members refreshed their webpages to purchase their $40 ticket to Indy. But this site required them to create a new account, enter a CAPTCHA code, and hope for the best. Many students reported that by 9:03, the tickets were sold out. Hundreds of Izzone members had missed their chance within only 180 seconds.

I was one of these Izzone members hoping to take the trip of a lifetime. Instead, I found that I would not be making the trip to Indy. In fact, out of the group of four friends I attend the games with, only one got his ticket to Indy. The system in place simply favored fast typers. Heartbroken, I did what any pissed college student would do: took it to social media.

I went on Twitter and viewed the official Izzone account, @ThisistheIZZONE. There, I found that I wasn’t the only one with a beef that morning. In fact, several Izzone members replied angrily to the Izzone account. Many took issue with the poor emails sent out by Izzone leaders. Others, primarily upperclassmen with lower bowl status, didn’t appreciate that the ticket system allowed all Izzone members an equal chance at Final Four tickets. I, on the other hand, disagree with this complaint.

DISCLAIMER: I am a freshman. I have upper bowl status in the Izzone. I’ve attended nearly every game this year. For all but one of these games, I got into the lower bowl because I waited in line, often in the freezing cold, often for over an hour.

Why should the Izzone’s Final Four tickets be released by seniority? While I agree that the juniors and seniors of the Izzone have given a lot over their four years to one of the greatest student sections in the country, I don’t believe that constitutes entitlement to arguably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Final Fours are extremely rare for all teams. Although Michigan State leads the nation in Final Four appearances in the last 17 years with seven, that’s still one Final Four for every 2.4 years. Nearly every other school averages worse than one in four over that same time span, so Spartans should appreciate their relative abundance of Final Four opportunities.

Tom Izzo’s Final Four appearances tend to come in 4-5 year cycles. After making three straight Final Fours from 1999-2001, four years passed until the next appearance in 2005. After that, another four years passed before the Spartans made back-to-back Final Fours in 2009 and 2010. This year’s Final Four marked MSU’s first appearance in the national semifinals in five years. It was well documented when last year’s seniors were the first in Izzo’s career to never attend a Final Four. History shows that although Tom Izzo teams are always a threat to make it to college basketball’s final weekend, they usually do so every 4-5 years.

So what’s the point? Actually, it’s quite simple. While this is certainly the last opportunity for senior Izzone members to attend the Final Four, this may also be the last chance for freshmen and sophomores to attend, as the previous paragraph supports. Just as upperclassmen deserve to be rewarded for their dedication to the Izzone over the last four years, underclassmen also deserve to be rewarded for their dedication in the upcoming few years. Why should upperclassmen get tickets just because they were born a few years before us freshmen? I’m sure the upperclassmen would have felt the same way if the team made the Final Four in their first year on campus.

Finally, to all Izzone members fortunate enough to make the trip to Indy: make us proud. Whether you are a freshman or a senior, you are most importantly a Spartan. Cheer our team on to a national championship so that we can celebrate as a whole campus next week.

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