University of Iowa students could be eligible for a refund

Students who bought their tickets before a tuition raffle was suspended could be reimbursed

By Brent Griffiths, The Gazette

IOWA CITY — The University of Iowa is offering certain students a full refund after a Hawkeye football ticket promotion was suspended Wednesday when state regulators began asking questions about a proposed raffle.

As its grand prize, the raffle had offered $8,000, or the approximate cost of in-state undergraduate tuition, toward student ticket buyers’ UI bills.

The UI sent an email to students Friday night about the refund opportunity.

Rick Klatt, UI assistant athletics director for external communications, said the UI wanted “do the right thing” by reimbursing students who bought their tickets from the start of the promotion Monday until its suspension Wednesday.

Klatt estimated about 700 to 800 orders were processed during the eligible time window. He said one student already reached out to officials before the email was sent.

Klatt said efforts would be made to repay buyers in the form they originally used, including cash, credit card or university bill.

Athletic Director Gary Barta suspended the promotion after questions were raised about whether it was compliant with state raffle laws.

“I have suspended the promotion temporarily as we determine how to make sure that this promotion is in complete compliance,” he said in a statement released Wednesday.

He said students who send an email response could receive a reply Monday asking whether they would rather wait to see the raffle’s future or just reclaim their money.

Any possible budget impacts are not known yet, but the university will offer the refunds regardless.

“We’re prepared to offer it to any eligible students,” Klatt said. “We think that’s more than fair.”

He said the episode has led officials to make sure they have “thorough” conversations with state regulators before any similar efforts.

“We will have much more communication with all individuals,” Klatt said. “(This time) it just didn’t happen as thoroughly as it should have been.

l Comments: (319) 538-4543; brent.griffiths@thegazette.com

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