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UK cancels the Alumni Game


Some unfortunate news to start your Wednesday: UK has canceled the annual Alumni Game, which was scheduled for August 24. In a release this morning, John Calipari listed “circumstances out of our control,” including former players’ commitments to Team USA and the awful injury to Paul George a few weeks ago. If you’ve purchased tickets, don’t worry, you will receive a full refund.

Here’s the release from UK:

The 2014 UK Alumni Charity Game, originally scheduled for Aug. 24, has officially been canceled. Anyone who purchased tickets for the game will receive a full refund.

“With what we’ve been able to do with bringing our guys back for our fans and raising money for charity, the UK Alumni Charity Game has turned into one of my favorite events at UK,” head coach John Calipari said. “Unfortunately, due to a number of circumstances out of our control, we are going to have to cancel this year’s game.”

A number of players were unavailable for the event including, DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis who are participating with Team USA, and John Wall, who was committed to a function in China. Additionally, the cancellation is out of respect to Paul George and many players’ uneasiness this summer as a result of his injury at the Team USA camp in Las Vegas in early August.

“We consider the alumni game to be a first-class experience, but without the presence of several of our key alums who had previous commitments, including to USA Basketball, we didn’t feel we could meet the standard that we have set for fans,” Calipari said. “We still had enough commitments to field our team, but it was becoming increasingly difficult to secure enough members for the non-UK team.

“While I’m disappointed for our fans and for the great organizations we were able to help with the game, I’m happy we will still be able to make an impact on our community with the proceeds from my fantasy experience.”

Patrons who had previously purchased a ticket to the event will be refunded in full. Tickets purchased in person need to be returned to the point of purchase, tickets purchased online or over the phone will be credited back to the card used for the original purchase. The Rupp Arena box office is open MondayFriday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

16 Comments for UK cancels the Alumni Game

  1. Mr. Obvious
    8:57 am August 13, 2014 Permalink

    One would have to assume that the real reason would be for poor ticket sales. I think the idea of the game is a good one, but expecting lots of ticket sales for a very “unserious” game every year might be a little too ambitious. I think the idea, and the actual event became stale very quickly, and I’d be surprised if this wasn’t the last time they try to put on one of these games.

    • Shmavid
      9:44 am August 13, 2014 Permalink

      It has nothing to do with ticket sales UK fans eat up anything to do with UK basketball. It has more to do with not having three of the most popular UK alum there: Davis, Cousins and Wall.

    • Han
      9:49 am August 13, 2014 Permalink

      I’m sure ticket sales were such that it allowed them to cancel instead of putting on a poor game. But I think the combination of the Paul George injury and the foreign trip exhibitions right now were both big factors.

      Even if you can put 12 UK players out there that people will pay to see again, it’s hard to get 12 non-UK professional players to come do a charity exhibition after George destroyed his leg for Team USA. I’m sure they get a fee of some kind for participating, and there’s insurance, but whether an NBA player or a guy trying to stick overseas, no one wants to risk injury, especially when they don’t have a real connection to the school.

      And then as far as fan interest and ticket sales, I don’t think the alum game has ever been as big as people hoped, but add in the people going to the Bahamas this week and guarantee no Cousins, Davis or Wall and a lot of the potential draw and value drops for fans who maybe don’t otherwise get to see games. They should change it to a once every 3-4 year thing. Lets new pros get settled in, makes it a rarer thing to be involved and thus more exciting, and also makes it a rarer ticket and thus in more demand. Just be sure to always have at least one big name attached (unofficially given how they can’t really promote it).

  2. jman3715
    9:15 am August 13, 2014 Permalink

    That escalated quickly

  3. BS
    9:31 am August 13, 2014 Permalink

    Why not allow everyone with a ticket to have the option to use them at Big Blue Madness?

    • Kyle
      8:26 pm August 13, 2014 Permalink

      Seeing as Big Blue Madness sells out within minutes(if the tickets even make it online) and you have to camp out for those tickets , i don’t see that one happening.

  4. Maybe Im a Jerk...
    9:53 am August 13, 2014 Permalink

    Call me a jackass but does anyone think this whole Paul George excuse is total bs? I understand he got hurt, but couldn’t that happen in any game or practice anywhere? Paul George could just as easily hurt himself in a workout with the Pacers in a day in December, but because it happened in a scrimmage for team USA in the summer now players no longer want to play for team usa or in the summer. To me that is like being a construction worker who works 11 months during the year, but not during the month of July because last July you suffered a work related injury falling off of a roof. I just don’t understand the connection here. My thoughts go out to PG, because no one wanted to ever see that happen to such a great player, but I think this over reaction is too big and doesn’t make any sense.

  5. Drew strikes out
    10:01 am August 13, 2014 Permalink

    But…. I thought this event was the greatest thing in the world? At least it was, according to the stalker of 17-year olds and true fanboy Drew “Grande Meal” Franklin.

  6. Casper
    10:12 am August 13, 2014 Permalink

    How has John Wall escaped serious injury with all of the crazy falls he takes?

  7. glen
    10:28 am August 13, 2014 Permalink

    It doesn’t make any sense, but when do I get my money back? Ticketmaster gonna credit me?

  8. chubs
    10:28 am August 13, 2014 Permalink

    Stoops pulled the plug on this bs event – just marking his turf!

  9. glen
    11:20 am August 13, 2014 Permalink

    Ticketmaster gonna keep $40 of mine so it’s not a full refund for me 🙁

  10. Hoop33
    11:51 am August 13, 2014 Permalink

    For probably the only time in my life I was going to get to sit front row behind the UK bench. I appreciate getting my money back, although I doubt I’ll get the “fees” from ticketmaster back. But you can’t replace the experience of sitting behind the bench.

    3:15 pm August 13, 2014 Permalink

    Don’t stress the Apple Festival will still have the Unofficialy UK alumni game at 7pm on October 3rd!!! Tickets will be just $8 and feature players from the 1978, 1996, 1998, and 2012 championship team!

  12. Chris
    6:11 pm August 13, 2014 Permalink

    I think Kentucky as a state should just do a Pro Am circuit like a lot of the other big cities do and incorporate UK and Louisville players along with other pros just like you see in Atlanta, Chicago and Seattle just to name a few. You would see good basketball and a lot of pros other than UK guys. The sites can alternate between Yum and Rupp.

  13. It's for CHARITY!
    9:43 pm August 13, 2014 Permalink

    The money made from the game is for charity. Can we let them keep the money to be donated to charity instead of getting a refund?