University of Wisconsin Newspaper Calls Out Student Rose Bowl Profiteering


rose bowl

Ah, the supposed “free market,” where one can quickly turn a profit without making or doing anything. And in this case, a profit of 400%!

Ticket scalpers are perhaps the greatest example of making obscene profit without actually producing or contributing anything of worth. And there’s nothing wrong with making money in this, our system of “pure competition,” (cough cough). But have you seriously ever met anyone who worked for Stub Hub that wasn’t a socially retarded douchebag?

When it comes to college football, perhaps the situation is a little different. Most college kids are piss poor, swimming in debt, and will soon experience the joy of post-graduation job-hunting in the Second Great Depression (thank you banking crisis of 2008!). So we should cut them a little slack.

Then again, the Wisconsin Badgers in the Rose Bowl, is still the Wisconsin Badgers in the freaking Rose Bowl. So whether you find this practice to be just capitalism in action or true holiday season extortion, you’ll find the Badger Herald’s reporting of the secondary Rose Bowl ticket market amusing.

bucky Wisconsin Badgers

The Badger Herald is an independent student student daily at the University of Wisconsin, the largest independent student daily in the nation, and they just went Keith Olbermann “WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD” on a few members of the student body.

From an Op-Ed in today’s Herald:

Wisconsin had 5,800 student tickets to sell. They went up for purchase on at 9 p.m. Sunday and were sold out by 9:20 p.m.

The above students had the nerve to put their Rose Bowl tickets up for sale on Facebook Marketplace within two hours of tickets selling out. Face value was $150. Some were trying to get the tickets for more than $400 a pop.

Truly, there is a special place in Hell for people who buy Rose Bowl tickets with the sole intention of profiting from them. It is entirely unfair to those who actually love this football team and were counting on a cheap face value ticket in order to make the trip to Pasadena an economic reality.

We’ll keep printing names of those we catch on Facebook marketplace. And feel free to send an email to

Pretty radical huh?

Well according to the website’s about page:

The Badger Herald debuted in fall 1969 as an alternative voice on campus. Born to cover and combat the turmoil of the Vietnam protests, the Herald maintains its maverick spirit, though it has shed the “alternative” reputation.

Next time I leave the mothership to visit Madison, I’ll have to party and get all anti-establishment with you guys.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports , a Midwest webzine. He’s also a regular contributor to the Tribune’s Chicago Now network, Walter, Yardbarker Network, and Fox

You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank

He also does a regular guest spot each week for Chicagoland Sports


  1. paulmbanks says

    Grays, Justin, McCormick- i.e. my Wisconsin correspondents, your take on this?

  2. jmccormick says

    I think its hilarious, but if I were EiC, I probably would’ve just directed students to Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist instead of listed names. Scalping happens at every game, but I totally understand being pissed at people doing this for the Rose Bowl (although it happens with every major bowl, Super Bowl, World Series, etc.). Those kids absolutely should be ridiculed, but not at the direct calling from a newspaper. They could’ve written everything they did, minus the names, and just said to check out Facebook Marketplace to see who exactly is selling tickets. That at least quells a good amount of the ethical concerns people are voicing over naming then (although Facebook is a public domain). Personally, f*** those douchey kids, but call them out as a collective group.

    The Badger Herald has a long history of doing things just for the publicity (this also includes publishing those Mohammed cartoons with no stated reason except that Mac Verstandig wanted to). It’s worked, seeing as Deadspin got ahold of it and the whole college football world will have heard about it soon.

  3. I’m glad you posted a story about this because I’m kind of upset with the Badger Herald. I have no problem with being mad at students trying to make crazy profit, but it was just wrong to publish names. I think it would be safe to say almost everyone who has attended the University of Wisconsin and received football tickets in the last five years has sold at least one of those tickets for profit. I’ll admit that I’ve done it and there’s nothing wrong with it because the demand is that high. If you don’t want to pay $400 for a Rose Bowl ticket, don’t pay it. You should be ridiculing the people who buy these tickets, not the one’s selling them.

    However, I think the real problem in this situation is the distribution of tickets. There are too many students receiving them who could care less about the Badgers. I propose the school give an online quiz to evaluate the fan’s sports knowledge and determine ticket recipients that way.

  4. jmccormick says

    I wouldn’t have published names either, but reading half the comments on the story shows just how stupid people are for thinking that anything they share of n Facebook is private information. It just gives people already quick to complain about the media (most of which don’t understand how media works at all).

    I agree with the Herald when they said that the school dropped a big ball for not making the tickets available only at the Rose Bowl ticket office. That easily tempers the problem.

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