Basketball lottery reset upsets Virginia fans

Athletics department says policy is consistent with previous years

Virginia Athletics announced Thursday that students will lose any accumulated privilege previously gained in the lottery for basketball tickets, sparking backlash from student fans.

The athletics department says the policy is consistent with previous years.

To obtain tickets to University men’s basketball games, students must create a new SHOTS account and request tickets during a specified two-day period for each game, Virginia Athletics said. None of the points that give students an advantage in the ticket lottery, known as Sabre points, will be carried over from the previous academic year.

No Sabre rewards events, which allow students to accumulate Sabre points, have taken place this semester due to the University’s change to a new ticket provider.

As a result, all students will begin the 2015-16 basketball season with no Sabre points and will have equal chances of receiving tickets.

Many students were surprised to learn their Sabre points were reset this school year since they believed the points had carried over in previous years. Many took to Twitter to express their disappointment.

Virginia Athletics responded to student concerns with a tweet stating that resetting points is consistent with previous policies. Jim Daves, a spokesman for the athletics department, said this policy was not new and that information was available to students.

“The student points have not carried over from one academic year to the next,” Daves said.
“That information has been provided to the students.”

One fan challenged this assertion by claiming there were events last year specifically advertised as rewarding points for this season, and other students complained about a lack of transparency.

The University’s 2015-16 student ticket distribution policy for men’s basketball home games states that Sabre points are not retained year over year.

“All student accounts begin each academic year with zero (0) Sabre Points,” according to section 3.3.

The clauses addressing Sabre points are the same in both the 2012-13 and 2013-14 University guidelines for student ticket distribution for men’s basketball home games.

Some fans, however, claimed that despite this formal policy sabre points were carried over year to year in the past.

In an email to students, ‘Hoo Crew President John Studabaker said ‘Hoo Crew met with representatives of the Athletics Department Friday afternoon to discuss issues related to the new ticketing system which students had brought to his attention.

“The ‘Hoo Crew Committee and I share the same concerns as many of you regarding the equity of this process,” the fourth-year Commerce student said. “However, given the timing of the ticketing system’s release there is simply no plausible or fair way to award students with Sabre points prior to Saturday’s request period.”

In his email, Studabaker also said the ‘Hoo Crew would continue to find ways to provide the “passionate student section with opportunities to fully engage in the support” of the Cavalier’s basketball season.

Anna Houghton contributed to reporting.

Read this article translated into Chinese here.

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