Birmingham News: Try as it might, Auburn can’t offer a valid defense of a ticket policy that allowed lawmakers and other state officials to buy tickets to the SEC and BCS championship football games

January 7, 2011
Published: Friday, January 07, 2011

By Birmingham News editorial board


Trying to defend Cam Newton might be easier than defending Auburn’s ticket policy when it comes to Alabama lawmakers.

At least the Alabama Crimson Tide shut down the Heisman Trophy winner for a half before he led Auburn to a comeback victory for the ages in the most recent Iron Bowl. There’s no defending a ticket policy that gave lawmakers — who vote on Auburn’s state funding every year — special access to tickets to the Dec. 4 SEC Championship game and Monday’s BCS National Championship game.

Twenty-six lawmakers and three other state officials bought tickets to the SEC Championship game at face value, even as many longtime season-ticket holders and the general public had no chance to buy tickets because of Auburn’s limited allotment. As many as 15 lawmakers and state officials also were permitted to buy tickets at face value to the national championship game, Auburn spokesman Mike Clardy told The Huntsville Times.

For those of you who thought the new Republican majority in the Legislature might be different from some of the ethics-challenged Democrats, it is worth noting that 23 of the 26 lawmakers who got SEC Championship game tickets are Republicans. Auburn did not have a list of the 15 officials who bought tickets to the national championship game.

And the school’s justification for the special access?

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