Tickets still available for Kentucky-Western Kentucky season opener in Nashville

17 08 2011

Western Kentucky senior associate athletic director Todd Stewart told the Daily News on Wednesday that plenty of tickets for WKU’s season opener against Kentucky on Sept. 1 at LP Field in Nashville are still available.

In fact, Stewart said that there are more than plenty – as neither WKU, nor UK, has met early expectations for sales numbers at this point.

“The ticket sales aren’t meeting expectations,” Stewart said. “We had high expectations about the excitement of the game, got a lot of positive feedback when the contract was signed and featured a game in Nashville and we feel that a lot of people are excited with our program. There’s a freshness there with coach (Willie) Taggart and the success of Bobby Rainey.

“There’s not a problem with awareness or excitement, but it’s not translating into ticket sales. Some of the feedback we’ve gotten in our ticket office is that all the good seats were taken, or that there aren’t any good seats available – and that’s not the case. If everyone that has a ticket right now, showed up on Sept. 1 – 75 percent of the stadium would be empty.”

Stewart did not the divulge the actual number of tickets presently sold, and said that the university still has high hopes for the overall attendance in Nashville, as the game is some two weeks away.

“Historically we’ve moved a lot of tickets during the week before a game, so there’s time,” Stewart said. “But we want people to know that there are a lot of great tickets and a lot of great seats available for this game.

“This is a unique opportunity and we need to compete in that game – but we also need a great showing from our fans. It’s a great opportunity to showcase our university in front of a national audience. We know that the game being on a Thursday isn’t helpful, but we had no choice there. We know the economy’s not good and we know that we haven’t had a lot of success – we know we need to win more games. … But this is a great opportunity.”

The game will kick off at 8:15 p.m. on Sept. 1 from LP Field in Nashville, and the first 4,000 WKU students attending get in free with a valid ID.

Ticket prices range from $28-$63, and can be purchased through WKU by phone at 1-800-5-BIGRED, or at wkusports.com.

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WKU-Louisville hoops to air on ESPN2 Dec. 23

17 08 2011

Release per WKU:

The BIG EAST Conference announced Wednesday that the December 23 men’s basketball showdown between WKU and Louisville at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, will be televised live on ESPN2 at 6:00 PM (CT).

The game, WKU’s final non-conference game of the 2011-12 season, will be the Hilltoppers’ first visit to the 22,000-seat KFC Yum! Center in downtown Louisville, which opened prior to the 2010-11 season. It also marks the fourth and final game in a four-year playing agreement between the Hilltoppers and Louisville, which began with WKU’s victory over the third-ranked Cardinals on November 30, 2008 in Nashville, Tenn. Louisville won both games the last two seasons at Freedom Hall in Louisville in 2009 and in Bowling Green one year ago.

A new four-year series begins next season with a game at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. WKU will host the Cardinals in E.A. Diddle Arena during the 2014-15 season.

WKU leads the all-time series between the two schools, 39-35.

More information on game times and television broadcasts for WKU’s 2011-12 season will be released in the coming weeks.

WKU Adds Exhibition Game to Schedule: The Hilltoppers will host Xavier (La.) in an exhibition game for the third-straight season on Saturday, November 5. WKU defeated the Gold Rush 90-37 in 2009 and 84-69 prior to the 2010-11 campaign.





NCAA contacts WKU president’s office to speak with Jake Morton

17 08 2011

Western Kentucky athletic director Ross Bjork issued a statement to the Daily News this morning confirming that the NCAA has contacted WKU to express a desire to speak with men’s basketball assistant coach Jake Morton about an investigation into Miami’s athletic department.

The statement, from Bjork:

“Per protocol, the NCAA contacted the President’s office regarding their investigation of the University of Miami and their desire to speak with Jake Morton, who was a member of the Miami basketball staff during the timeframe of the alleged allegations. Jake will cooperate fully.”

WKU also said this morning that the NCAA has not requested to speak with Bjork himself on the matter.

Bjork served as an associate athletic director at Miami from 2003-05 – the allegations laid down by former Miami booster Nevin Shapiro in Tuesday’s Yahoo! Sports report were said to have taken place from 2002-2010.

Bjork was not said to have anything to do with the alleged allegations in the Yahoo! report, and was at UCLA during the time of Morton’s alleged involvement in the situation.