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Huskers fans not so eager to go to bowl vs Georgia

Huskers fans not so eager to go to bowl vs Georgia

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) Those Nebraska fans who famously travel anywhere to support the Big Red apparently are staying home in droves from the Capital One Bowl game against sixth-ranked Georgia.

The university's ticket office has unloaded less than one-third of its 12,500-ticket allotment for Tuesday's game in Orlando, Fla., and brokers have sold seats for as little as $9. Large blocks are available for far below face value.

Factors for the tepid interest? Could be the expensive air fares to Florida, the fact that No. 23 Nebraska is playing at the same bowl site for the second straight year or maybe all those road games this year left a lot of folks tapped out. There also appears to be a crisis of confidence among the fans since the Huskers' 70-31 loss to Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game.

``The general consensus is that the Huskers are going to get killed, so what's the point?'' Omaha radio sports show host Michael Grey said.

Brian Wragge, owner of the Arena Sports Bar & Grill, said he's hoping people who decided to skip the bowl trip come to his place to watch the game. Wragge said the Arena was filled to capacity of almost 300 for the Big Ten championship game. Since that disappointing night, he said, patrons haven't been as eager to talk Nebraska football; the Huskers are 10-point underdogs to a Georgia team that almost knocked off Alabama to get into the BCS championship game.

``It's tapered enthusiasm,'' Wragge said. ``It was a different feeling going into the Wisconsin game. There was a lot of talk. People were very excited we were going to win that game - the expectation was to win that game. Now we just want to have a good showing.''

Holly Adam, Nebraska assistant athletic director for ticketing, said the school has sold ``right about 4,000'' tickets after selling 7,000 for last year's Capital One Bowl matchup against South Carolina. Seats sold through the university are priced at $87 and $93.

Georgia has reported its ticket office has sold more than 10,000 tickets. Capital One Bowl spokesman Greg Creese had no comment, citing bowl policy to not disclose ticket sales unless there is a sellout.

Some, but not many, Nebraska fans have gone through the secondary market to buy tickets at a cheaper price. Brett Franksmann, owner of Red Zone Tickets in Omaha, said demand is less than it was last year.

``I attribute it to being disappointed in losing to Wisconsin and not having the chance to play in the Rose Bowl,'' Franksmann said. ``I myself had a Rose Bowl trip booked, and we were going to take my whole family out there. After the Wisconsin game, we canceled and decided not to go to this game.''

Franksmann said Red Zone lost more than $10,000 on last year's bowl because he couldn't get rid of all the tickets he bought outright for face value. This year he shouldn't get hurt, he said, because he's selling Capital One Bowl tickets on a consignment basis only.

Nebraska's fan base has long had a reputation for traveling en masse - never more so than when 30,000 Husker faithful showed up at Notre Dame Stadium back in 2000.

This year, tens of thousands invaded the Rose Bowl for September's game against UCLA, and half the crowd at Ryan Field in Evanston, Ill., was dressed in red for the game against Northwestern. There also were large followings at Ohio State and for the Big Ten title game in Indianapolis.

StubHub, on the other hand, reports ``fairly high'' demand for Capital One tickets, spokeswoman Shannon Barbara said. She said her brokerage has sold more than 8,000 tickets, compared with about 6,000 for last year's game.

About 250 people with Nebraska addresses have bought through StubHub for Tuesday's game, she said, while more than 2,500 have been sent to fans in Georgia.

Chad Carr, owner of TicketExpress in Omaha, said he figured only a Rose Bowl bid would entice large numbers of fans to open up their wallets for yet another trip.

``When you go and look at those three road losses, and the fashion we lost those games in, combined with the same destination as we had last year, it just kind of led to the perfect storm of a little bit of disinterest in this particular game,'' Carr said.

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Capitals Extra Podcast: Trade deadline story time with Alan May

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Report: Former Terp Diamond Stone included in federal documents detailing NCAA violations

Report: Former Terp Diamond Stone included in federal documents detailing NCAA violations

A bombshell article published Friday morning by Pat Forde and Pete Thaamel of YAHOO Sports details potential NCAA violations involving more than 20 schools and 25 players.

Among some of the biggest names and programs in college basketball includes former Maryland Terrapin, Diamond Stone.

According to documents and bank records that are part of an FBI investigation, Stone received $14,303 while a freshman at Maryland, a clear violation of NCAA rules. 

Former NBA agent, Andy Miller and his former associate, Christian Dawkins of ASM Sports were dishing out the incentives. Included were cash advances, entertainment expenses and travel expenses for high school and college prospects.

Other player's included in the documents include Dennis Smith who played at North Carolina State, Isaiah Whitehead from Seton Hall, DeMatha star Markelle Fultz who played at Washington and Edrice Adebayo who went on to play at Kentucky. 

Player's and their families from Duke, Michigan State, USC, North Carolina, Texas and Alabama are also included.

Stone played for the Terps during the 2015-16 season before declaring for the NBA draft. He was selected 40th overall by the New Orleans Pelicans and traded to the Los Angeles Clippers. 

Stone did end up signing with a different agency.

While this is still under investigation, large consequences for the NCAA can be expected.

The NCAA released this statement following the news. 

These allegations, if true, point to systematic failures that must be fixed and fixed now if we want college sports in America. Simply put, people who engage in this kind of behavior have no place in college sports. They are an affront to all those who play by the rules. Following the Southern District of New York's indictments last year, the NCAA Board of Governors and I formed the independent Commission on College Basketball, chaired by Condoleezza Rice, to provide recommendations on how to clean up the sport. With these latest allegations, it's clear this work is more important now than ever. The Board and I are completely committed to making transformational changes to the game and ensuring all involved in college basketball do so with integrity. We also will continue to cooperate with the efforts of federal prosecutors to identify and punish the unscrupulous parties seeking to exploit the system through criminal acts.

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