Athletics gets tough on student IDs

Adriane Hardin

Just owning a student ID won’t mean a ticket into basketball games anymore.

Western’s athletics ticket office has begun scanning student IDs before some games to ensure that only students who are currently enrolled at the university can get free admission.

Student IDs will be scanned at men’s and women’s home basketball games, Athletic Director Wood Selig said. The system may also be used at football games.

Twenty to 25 non-students were turned away when the scanner was first used on Jan. 24 during the Western and New Mexico State game, assistant ticket manager Reed Patterson said.

“This is very standard practice within the industry throughout the country within intercollegiate athletics,” Selig said.

The university was unable to scan student IDs in the past because they did not have a facility that could handle the electrical parts of the system, Selig said.

Patterson said the scanner system used in Diddle is the same one used in other areas on campus, like the Preston Center.

“It was mainly done to protect those current students who are paying full-time fees,” Selig said.

Students pay about $100 in an athletic fee each semester, he said.

Entrance into Diddle will be slower than before, but the athletics ticket office has added staff to compensate, Patterson said.

Some students are saying that the system isn’t keeping just former students out.

Matt Parr, a junior from Columbia, Tenn., said he presented his student ID to ticket officers just before the Western and Louisiana-Lafayette game, but was told he couldn’t get a ticket.

But Parr is enrolled in 14 hours this semester, he said.

“That was most likely just an isolated incident,” Patterson said. “As far as we know we didn’t turn away any full or part-time students.”

Students who did get turned away should visit the ID center to correct any problems they may have with their student ID before the next home game, he said.

Reach Adriane Hardin at [email protected]