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NIU giving away free Orange Bowl tickets to students

MAC Championship - Kent State v Northern Illinois Getty Images

Northern Illinois is headed to the Orange Bowl and the school wants to make sure any student who can go to Miami this January will have the opportunity to while incurring as little cost as possible.

NIU’s associate athletic director Donna Turner said Monday that the school will offer one free ticket to any student who heads to the game against Florida State.

“We consider athletics to be an important part of the university for (the students),” Turner said. “If it gives them a good feeling about themselves, Northern Illinois and our athletic programs, that’s an investment that’s well worth it. When you talk about the big picture, that’s more important than whatever the cost is in the short term.”

NIU has provided free tickets to students for bowl games and MAC championship games for the past few years. Of course, students will still have to pay for travel and room expenses, but this will at least help a little. NIU will likely lose money on the game since the school was “provided” winkwinknudgenudge 17,500 tickets for the game.

(Hat tip: ESPN Chicago) 

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20 Responses to “NIU giving away free Orange Bowl tickets to students”
  1. snaxdsp says: Dec 3, 2012 9:07 PM

    What a joke!

  2. pike573 says: Dec 3, 2012 9:14 PM

    Pretty cool.

  3. saints97 says: Dec 3, 2012 9:15 PM

    Yeah, that seems a lot better than the major schools’ system of only giving them to the donor fat cats.

  4. frug says: Dec 3, 2012 9:19 PM

    If you are going to lose money anyways, might as well have as many fans in the stands as possible.

  5. bender4700 says: Dec 3, 2012 9:28 PM

    Good for them. Screw all the haters.

    the SYSTEM has rules, they are benefiting.

    EVERY Boise fan should be fierce in defense of NIU right now.

    I spent plenty Saturday nights arguing with pissed off Boise fan, YOU of all people Boise fan should be defending NIU and their BCS bowl game.

  6. scalpemseminoles says: Dec 3, 2012 9:39 PM

    bender4700 says:
    Dec 3, 2012 9:28 PM
    Good for them. Screw all the haters.

    the SYSTEM has rules, they are benefiting.

    EVERY Boise fan should be fierce in defense of NIU right now.

    I spent plenty Saturday nights arguing with pissed off Boise fan, YOU of all people Boise fan should be defending NIU and their BCS bowl game.


    no, boise fans shouldn’t. due to this:

    Iowa 18 final record: 4-8(2-6)
    NIU 17

    Boise went undefeated and had big wins out of conference those years, and when i say years, i mean it was a string of very successful seasons. none of this 11-3 with no impressive wins in 2011 crap.

  7. dmcgrann says: Dec 3, 2012 9:45 PM

    Good for them. It’s probably unlikely that they’ll ever get another chance to go to any major bowl (until the next round of realignment?). Besides, some schools do this better than others. Davidson not only bought tix, but provided bus transportation to any student who wanted to go to one of their NCAA Men;s BB tournament games a couple of years ago. Some FCS schools subsidize their student’s tix to playoff games (some don’t). It’s a nice thing to do.

  8. steelersandladyboysfan says: Dec 3, 2012 9:49 PM

    And Florida State gives away free shoes to its players

  9. sportsinhd says: Dec 3, 2012 10:00 PM

    While it’s great and all that we are set to have a “Final Four” very soon, the bowl system is still crap. NIU is going to lose money while going to a BCS Bowl? The bowl industry doesn’t reward universities, it rewards athletic directors, corporate donors, and those who run the bowls. It’s a ridiculous setup and benefits only a select few at the very top.

    Bowls need to make money for the schools involved or they are pointless.

  10. normtide says: Dec 3, 2012 10:44 PM

    I don’t know much about the MAC, do I could be wrong. They will lose money because three bowl payout will be soured across their league. The difference worth the MAC is, only 2 or 3 teams go bowling. The smaller leagues should spread the schools ticket and travel expenses across all teams, just like the payout is.

    That said, I like this idea. They were not going to sell them anyway, so why not? May add a few more NIU fans inn the stands, which may help next time bowls are looking at NIU.

  11. nickp91 says: Dec 3, 2012 11:08 PM

    NIU will offer their students FREE tickets to the Orange Bowl, for any of them that can make the trip to Miami

  12. grudenthediva says: Dec 3, 2012 11:36 PM

    “And Florida State gives away free shoes to its players”

    That joke is almost of legal voting age.

    Kudos to you and your desire to hold steadfastly to dated, unoriginal humor.

  13. dawglb says: Dec 4, 2012 12:12 AM

    Free shoes?!?!?! Oh, the outrage!! Get over it.

  14. bbeaman78 says: Dec 4, 2012 1:13 AM

    NIU should have decline this offer. This is why the BCS is a joke. NIU’s only victory over and AQ school was KU.

    Oklahoma 52 Kansas 7
    NIU 30 Kansas 23

    Their loss is to Iowa…Iowa is a BIg 10 doormat

    So their best win is against the worst team In the BIg 12 and only loss is to the worst team I’m the BIG 10.

    Please tell me the BIG LEAST is losing their AQ status after this year or 2014.

    As much as I wanted OU to play Florida, their are other teams that deserved a BCS bowl bid as well.

    Just feels like a sham and even Herbstreit couldn’t keep his disbelief in check.

  15. v2the4 says: Dec 4, 2012 1:44 AM

    lets keep things in perspective…NIU lost at Iowa in week one of the season, three months ago…they beat Kansas in the second week of the season. Is it NIU’s fault that Iowa, who was just in the Orange Bowl two seasons ago, and Kansas, who was in the Orange Bowl in 2008, were that bad on the football season this year? Im sure both of those games were scheduled four or five years ago.

    as for Herbstreit and the masses who are upset about NIU being in the BCS, they didnt make the rules, they just played by them. All of the power conferences know the rules, there is a max of two teams from each conference in the BCS so that no one conference will get the bulk of the $17M plus that each BCS game pays out.

    if Herbstreit wants to be upset at somebody, he should call out his sorry ass beloved big 10….Ohio St went 12-0, but due to tattoo gate, they are sitting at home….Nebraska at 10-2, got bent over with no vaseline by a 7-5 wisconsin team, who will go back to the rose bowl after losing the last two.

    Finally, in during Thanksgiving weekend, the following teams lost: 10 FSU, 11 Clemson, 15 Oregon St, 16 Texas 17 UCLA 18 Rutgers 19 Mighigan 20 Louisvile 21 Oklahoma St 24 Arizona and 25 Washington.

    Texas, UCLA, and Rutgers also lost on the weekend ending Dec 1. if only one or two of those schools listed above would have won ONE game, then NIU would be in Mobile for the GMAC bowl…

    but, they are heading to Miami instead.

  16. v2the4 says: Dec 4, 2012 1:49 AM

    Oklahoma st also lost last weekend too…all of those losses opened the door for either Kent St or Nothern Illinios to “eat at the grown folks table”….they will get at least $8.5M for their troubles, plus the players and school will get the exposure and memories for a lifetime.

    I dont know why any Boise St fans are hating…you guys made out like fat rats in those years you made the BCS vs Oklahoma and TCU, and if you could have beaten San Diego St at home no less, you would have probably been in Miami instead…..dont hate, congratulate!

  17. normtide says: Dec 4, 2012 7:48 AM

    Good point v. And no I would not expect NIU to decline. That’s like saying I would decline January Jones, because she is out of my league. I would just prefer a Louisville vs NIU. Even if it meant a uf vs fsu rematch (flash back to the 90’s).

  18. florida727 says: Dec 4, 2012 10:32 AM

    I would not have favored a UF v. FSU rematch, just as I didn’t want the Alabama v. LSU rematch last year. Football’s not like basketball or boxing or any one of a number of other sports when it comes to “rematches”. Most of them are not compelling. The buildup to the once-a-year matchups are awesome.

    The pre-game hype for a rematch is boring. If you won the first game, you have nothing to gain and everything to lose. Win and you were supposed to. Lose and you had a letdown, so what? You won when it counted (read: at home or on the other guy’s turf, NOT at the Meineke Car Care Tostitos Starbucks Papa John’s Music City With Chips on An Apple Computer Bowl in upstate Maine in January in 2′ of snow).

    If you lost the first game and you lose again, so what? You were almost expected to. And if you win? Big deal. All you proved is you’re equal to, not better than, your rival for that year. If you were “better”, you’d have won them both.

    It’s a no-win situation (pun intended).

  19. ettin009 says: Dec 4, 2012 10:51 AM

    @bbeaman78 nice use of the transitive property there.

    Bama lost to A&M by 5, who lost to Florida by 3. So by the transitive property that makes U-Lafayette (lost to FL by 7) one point better than Bama right?

    And who are these other teams that deserve a BCS game?

    Oklahoma, who has one win over a currently ranked team (#23 – Texas)?

    Clemson, who’s best win is Ball State?

    Michigan/Nebraska, who’s best wins are a lucky OT win vs. NW & Nebraska’s W vs. Michigan the game Denard went down.

    NIU deserves to be there because they did everything they had to do to get there. They may get smoked but it’s no more of a joke than Louisville or even Wisco getting a BCS game.

  20. tazchiefpu says: Dec 5, 2012 12:53 AM

    what a joke… I live 15 minutes away from Sun Life and I would not go to see that match-up live even if it was free… I feel for the FSU players and fans… the BCS bowl system have really lost it… how can a #3 ranked team end up matched to play a #21 ranked team in a major BCS bowl? What a sad state of affairs…

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