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Free Orange Bowl trip for some at Ohio State

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Some Buckeyes watched the Ohio State football team fall to Clemson in the 2014 Discover Orange Bowl on the university’s dollar.

The Athletic Council, a committee consisting of 15 students, faculty, staff and alumni, went to Florida to cheer on the Buckeyes all expenses paid, university spokesman Gary Lewis said in an email.

“Athletic Council members traveling as part of the official party receive roundtrip airfare, hotel, game tickets, daily breakfast and events,” Lewis said. “The funds that cover these events are provided by the Big Ten as part of the Orange Bowl budget.”

Though OSU’s Orange Bowl budget was not available as of Sunday night, the Big Ten Conference covers up to $2.15 million in travel expenses for the Orange Bowl, Scott Chipman, assistant commissioner for communications for Big Ten, said in an email.

“The Big Ten covers travel costs up to a set limit for each Big Ten team traveling to a bowl game,” Chipman said.

Face value price for a student ticket was $110, compared to $165 for the general public, senior director of ticketing and preferred seats Brett Scarbrough told The Lantern in an email last month.

OSU was required to purchase 17,500 tickets for the game against Clemson, and as of Dec. 26, there were “approximately 7,500 committed,” according to the email.

According to the email, the Orange Bowl distributes any unsold inventory to military personnel and youth groups in South Florida, and OSU had already given back 9,000 tickets from its allotment at the time for that purpose.

The Athletic Council is a sector of the University Senate that makes decisions regarding intercollegiate athletics, but does not act as an administrative body, according to university rules. Members “develop, subject to the general authority of the president and the Board of Trustees, policies governing intercollegiate athletics, as the agent of the senate,” according to the Athletic Council rules.

The council helps with matters including deciding schedules for season and post-season games, providing financial aid for athletes and helping with public relations of the athletics program.

Of the 15 members of the Athletics Council, eight are regular tenure-track faculty, and of those, four faculty members are selected by the University Senate and four faculty members are selected by the president, alumni hold two seats and students have four: two undergraduates, one graduate and one professional student.

Most of the members of the Athletic Council did not respond to multiple requests for comment as of Sunday. The only member who responded told The Lantern he opted not to attend the game.

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