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Published: Friday, 12/1/2006

OSU students want tickets

ASSOCIATED PRESS

COLUMBUS - Ohio State students complained the university did not set aside enough tickets for them when it divvied up its allotment for the national championship game.

Students got 1,100 tickets for the Jan. 8 football game. The university set aside the largest amount - about 5,000 - for donors and sponsors.

About 6,000 of Ohio State's nearly 52,000 students entered a lottery this week to try to win the right to buy one of the student tickets.

"I think it's totally inexcusable that only 1,000 tickets were made available to students," senior Paige Shannon said. "Without the students there wouldn't be any football at all, yet we seem to get the least amount of tickets."

The rest of the school's 16,000 tickets for the game in Glendale, Ariz., were divided among various groups, including the athletic department, university administration, the alumni association and the marching band.

"The Department of Athletics tries to be as fair as possible in meeting the huge demand from, among others, students, faculty, staff, trustees, alumni, donors, media, boosters and season-ticket holders. All of them are important to our athletic programs and our university," said athletic director Gene Smith.

The distribution this year matches what was done in 2003, when OSU got about the same number of tickets for its national championship game against Miami, Ohio State ticketing director Bill Jones said.

"No group will get the amount of tickets that they are requesting," he said. "Between the students, staff and [booster] club members, we will have far more requests than tickets available."

The University of Southern California, the Buckeyes' likely opponent, also will earmark about 1,000 tickets for students.

"Only about 1,000 students will probably be able to go for us, too, and if it's of any comfort to the upset students in Columbus, there are lots of sympathetic students over here on the West Coast," USC ticketing director Debra Duncan said.

Students who didn't win the chance to buy the $185 tickets also could get into the game by purchasing a university-sponsored tour package, at a cost of around $2,000. About 500 students took advantage of the offer, according to the athletic department.

"They want us to be the 'best fans in the land,' and I guess we had better be because they will only be sending a thousand of us," senior Jeff Sferro said.

TWINS ARRESTED: Wisconsin cornerback Jack Ikegwuonu and his twin brother, who plays for Northern Illinois, are accused of breaking into an off-campus apartment and trying to steal an Xbox game console, authorities said.

Ikegwuonu and Northern Illinois safety William Ikegwuonu face residential burglary and criminal trespass charges, authorities said. The 20-year-olds were arrested Saturday, according to DeKalb police Lt. Jim Kayes.

The felony charge of residential burglary carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison and a $25,000 fine. The criminal trespass charge is a misdemeanor, Kayes said.

Jack Ikegwuonu was released Monday from the DeKalb County Jail on $150,000 bond. William Ikegwuonu posted a $50,000 bond Tuesday, said DeKalb County Sheriff's Lt. Joyce Klein.

The two men were represented by the DeKalb public defender's office for the bond hearing but since have obtained private attorneys, according to public defender Kenneth Johnson.

"I'm confident in their innocence," Johnson said. "When all the facts come to light, I'm sure they will be found not guilty."

Wisconsin is scheduled to appear in the Capital One Bowl on Jan. 1 in Orlando, Fla. Jack Ikegwuonu was a first-team All-Big Ten Conference pick this season. He started all 12 games and led the Badgers with 11 passes defended.

"We are currently gathering and reviewing the facts of the incident to determine our course of action, which may or may not include suspension under the terms of our student-athlete discipline policy," said a statement from the Wisconsin athletics department.

Northern Illinois spokeswoman Donna Turner said that Huskies coach Joe Novak had indefinitely suspended William Ikegwuonu, who has not played in any games this season.

GROH CONTRACT: Virginia will not exercise an option to extend the contract of football coach Al Groh, leaving him with four years left on his deal.

Groh, whose team finished 5-7 and failed to qualify for a bowl for the first time in five years, received a five-year contract last summer that boosted his pay by nearly $1 million. The deal runs through 2010.

"The expectations for our program are higher than a 5-7 season," athletic director Craig Littlepage said in a statement.

MSU ASSISTANTS: Four of Mark Dantonio's assistants at Cincinnati are following him to Michigan State, the Spartans' new football coach said.

Don Treadwell will be offensive coordinator, Ted Gill will be defensive line coach, Dan Roushar will be offensive line coach and Mark Staten will serve as tight ends/tackles coach and recruiting coordinator.

"Staff continuity is important anytime you change managers," said Dantonio, who was named Monday as Michigan State's ninth head football coach since 1973.



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