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The Daily Tar Heel

Students Confused Over Seats

The new basketball seating procedure's allotment of upper- and lower-level seats has upset many students.

By Kim Minugh

University Editor

Some students who rose early Saturday morning expecting highly coveted lower-level basketball seating left with upper-level seating tickets - and a lot of disappointment.

Despite decent numbers on their distribution bracelets, several students expressed confusion that they received upper-level seats when the same number would have given them lower-level seats last year.

Senior Andrew Hardison joined the line Saturday morning with a bracelet number about 520 greater the selected starting number, 35,123, and was frustrated that it wasn't low enough to get lower-level seats.

"In previous years, if you were within 700 or 750 of the number, then you'd be guaranteed lower-level seats," Hardison said. "We feel like we're getting screwed being 500 back and not getting lower level."

But Carolina Athletic Association President Tee Pruitt said students misunderstand the new seating arrangement in the Smith Center, which was presented to the student body in September.

"It makes a lot of sense," he said. "There's always a lot of confusion, but I don't know where it comes from."

Pruitt said the arrangement contains 1,300 lower-level spots, including 900 seats and 400 riser spots. Because the riser tickets are distributed starting at a separate randomly drawn number, only the first 450 students in line are assured lower level seats - assuming that they bring two UNC ONE Cards with them.

Lauren Richey, a senior from Gibsonia, Pa., said she also was surprised that she received upper-level seating despite her number. "I was 600 back - my number was 35,760 or so, and I thought it was weird. I didn't think I should have gotten upper level."

Hardison said the new arrangement is disappointing, even though the risers have been added.

"I like it the way it used to be. (CAA) is always going to make themselves sound like they're doing the right thing - I don't think that's the case."

Despite the criticism, Pruitt said he still stands by the seating arrangement and the distribution process. "It's what we have to do to keep things fair."

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