Kilkenny Pays for Students' Trip

EUGENE – Incoming University of Oregon Athletics Director Pat Kilkenny will foot the bill for university students who secured tickets to watch the Ducks play Miami (Ohio) Friday in the first round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament Friday in Spokane, Wash.

Kilkenny, who will assume the leadership of Oregon's athletics department on April 1, will personally pay for the cost of the 55 tickets allocated to University of Oregon students, as well as the cost of the bus to transport the students to watch the Ducks play in the school's first men's NCAA tournament appearance since 2003.

Cost of the tickets is $56 each, plus an estimated $3,000-$3,500 additional transportation expense, according to Pit Crew representatives, who are seeking to arrange bus transportation for the group. That would bring the total bill to approximately $6,000-$6,500, of which Kilkenny is personally financing and is independent of any university or athletics department funding.

The Pit Crew is a student organization that sits at court level along one of the sidelines of all of the university's home basketball games in McArthur Court.

"As a former University of Oregon student, I can relate to the passion that they have exhibited for their school's basketball team and deem them to be an important ingredient in its success," Kilkenny said. "The excitement generated by our tournament appearance is shared by everyone and I felt that students should be given the opportunity to witness it first hand."

Kilkenny attended the University of Oregon from 1970 through 1973.

The athletics department placed 55 tickets (representing 10 percent of Oregon's allotment of 550 tickets) on sale to university students at 9 a.m. Tuesday, with the Ducks' entire NCAA tournament ticket allotment exhausted within 30 minutes from a group that had camped out overnight.

In addition, Kilkenny said he was attempting to secure tickets for two more students who also spent the night in line but experienced the misfortune of being the 56th and 57th individuals hoping to secure tickets.

Should the Ducks advance to Sunday's second round, Kilkenny said he also would pay for those tickets as well, which would come to an additional $3,080.

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