Duke fan seeking $827 refund after Wednesday's postponement
Posted February 14
Durham, N.C. — Wednesday’s North Carolina-Duke game was postponed just three and a half hours before the scheduled tip and well after many fans had begun making their way to the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill. Shortly thereafter, conspiracy theories flew on social media and fans that had attempted to brave the elements retreated to their homes and hotels in anger.
One Duke fan, Jack Markham, said the lack of foresight by the university and the delayed postponement are unacceptable. He is seeking compensation from Duke Athletics Director Kevin White in the amount of $827.95 for his efforts, adding that he will not be able to attend the make-up contest on Feb. 20.
“I don’t know really what to expect from the university, but I do want some recognition for the fans like myself that were betrayed by the lack of planning and effort,” Markham said Friday. “It seems like they didn’t put forth lots of effort having hours and hours to prepare.”
Markham is asking Duke for returns of $162 for two tickets, $58 for lodging at the Red Roof Inn, $37.95 for the unused parking pass in the Smith-Bowles Lot, $170 in fuel costs for him and his friend who made the trip from Knoxville, Tenn. and $400 in “mental anguish.”
“I know it is difficult to calculate anguish,” Markham said. “But I love Duke greatly and I felt betrayed. It’s not like this was a Duke-Vermont game.”
Markham, who lives in Southern Pines, NC, did not attend Duke, but said that he has grown up with the UNC-Duke rivalry and chose the Blue Devils as his team when he was 8-years-old. He was set to attend his first ever Duke-UNC basketball game Wednesday.
After the cancellation, and realizing he could not attend the make-up game, Markham and his friend sold their two tickets for $238 – what he called “a low-ball offer.” That amount was itemized as a deduction in his invoice to White along with a $300 discount for extended support and a $150 discount for being a finalist in a fan contest.
In 2009, an Oregon fan named Tony Seminary asked for a refund from then-head football coach Chip Kelly citing an underwhelming performance. He later received a $439 check in the mail from the coach.
Markham and his friend were on Fordham Boulevard, less than a mile from the arena, when the announcement was made that there would be no game.
In his claims, he added that “Duke was aware of the storm and had time to prepare.” He said that Duke, being one of the top universities nationally, “possesses resources and minds exceptional enough.”
Markham closed his inquiry by saying, “After years of loyalty and thousands of dollars in Duke tickets and paraphernalia, I’m eager to see how your organization treats its most true-blue supporters.”