Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Gouging and Auburn Football Just Go Together

Face it. If you are an Auburn fan you are used to being gouged. It happens so much now that most of us take it for granted. Whether it’s donating unbelievable amounts of money to Tigers Unlimited for nose-bleed seats in the upper deck of Jordan-Hare or stopping by your favorite book store for that sharp $70 orange knit shirt that could be had for $20 without the AU on it, Auburn people seem to hardly notice anymore.

Today I purchased three Capital One Bowl tickets. What does that set you back? Well the tickets cost $70 each. Stop and think about that for a minute. Don’t let it just roll off your eyes.

For $70 I get the honor of probably sitting in the far reaches of the stadium in Orlando to watch my Tigers battle a mediocre Big Ten school that we played just two years ago. Oh, did I add that there is a $3 handling charge for each ticket? What exactly is a handling charge? I bought them online and everything was automated. Who exactly did the handling?

Now granted, these prices were set by the bowl organization so I can't blame Auburn for the ticket prices. Still, $70 is high by most anyone's standards.

But what I found tonight online takes the cake. I was scrolling the Auburn Athletic Department web site and found the merchandise section. I thought to myself this might be a place to do a little Christmas shopping.

Boy was I in for a shock. For only $349.99 I can get an autographed ball by either Carnell Williams or Ronnie Brown. I did a double-take. Are you kidding? The athletic department is charging $350 for an autograph football?

Now I know for a fact that Ronnie and Carnell have already been back once this year since joining the NFL. I also know that if you catch either one of them they’ll sign a ball for free. Where did they get that price point?

Does our athletic department really have to charge its fans this much? At most they have $50 in the whole deal. Do they need to profit $300 a ball? Is this Jay Jacobs way of increasing revenue? I can’t believe our Athletic Department would so blatantly gouge its own fans by using the signature of former players.

And I must add that after doing some research on ebay tonight that price is higher than anyone else offering Ronnie or Carnell’s autographed footballs. Now you could upgrade and purchase Tampa Bay and Miami jerseys signed by Carnell (for Tampa Bay) and Ronnie (for Miami) for a mere $499.99 each.

This is courtesy of your Auburn Athletics Department. I included the link below if you are interested and have more money than sense.

We are conditioned to be gouged by our Auburn book stores. We even expect bowl tickets to be outrageous. But when your school’s athletic department gets into the memorabilia business and at a hefty profit, then something is bad wrong. Didn’t the University profit enough from these guys while they were in school?

Click here to be bent over...

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