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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

I've got some good news for students still looking for a ticket to tomorrow's football game against Miami: There are plenty available. It will only cost you $150.

This hefty price tag, averaged from a number of advertisements posted yesterday on, reflects a troubling practice at UF that needs to be rectified - students scalping their football tickets for exorbitant amounts of money.

Students fortunate enough to win the ticket lottery far too often abuse that right. With no intention of attending the games, profiteering students wrongfully convert their privilege into a moneymaking endeavor at the expense of fellow students who were not as lucky.

This, The Gator Nation cannot stand for.

I understand measures have already been taken to curb students scalping to non-students, such as requiring a Gator 1 be presented to enter with a student ticket. These changes have not affected the disgusting practice of selling tickets to fellow UF students at prices hundreds of dollars in excess of face value.

I am also aware that Gov. Jeb Bush decriminalized ticket scalping in 2006. But just because a practice is legal does not make it right. To the contrary, our moral compass tells us what these students are doing is unequivocally wrong.

To curb the student-to-student ticket-scalping epidemic, I have a proposal:

Students caught scalping tickets at a cost greater than face value should have their season tickets revoked for the remainder of the season and be permanently banned from buying season tickets in subsequent seasons. The tickets violators forfeit should be made available as part of the unclaimed sales each Thursday.

Willful ignorance of this problem is not the solution.

During the past week, more than 100 students posted advertisements on Craigslist seeking anywhere from $100-$200 a ticket for this week's game against Miami. Some ads explicitly provided the seller's UF e-mail address.

This is a call to the University Athletic Association to create a position for student scalping enforcement, along with a hot line and e-mail address used to report scalpers. The person designated to this important responsibility would monitor Craigslist, and other online ticket sites in the hopes of catching violators or even sending e-mails pretending to be a prospective purchaser to ascertain information about the seller's identity.

I do not believe this problem can be eradicated without substantial help from the group these measures are intended to protect - the student body.

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Collectively, the UF student body must self-monitor scalping and report violators. Monday, a student posted a message on Craigslist justifying his actions by suggesting students who weren't selected in the lottery should spend less time complaining and more time working so they can afford to buy tickets.

This kind of logic needs to be corrected. The Gator Nation should not tolerate scalping. It reduces the quality of its students' college experience and threatens the integrity of UF as a whole.

Marc Weinroth is a former writer and editor for the Alligator. He graduated from UF in 2004.

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