On Saturday night, my old college roommates and I met with a group of older alumni while attending some after homecoming activities in Charleston.
What stood out to us was that several of these older gentlemen were wearing championship rings and were all members of the 1978 Eastern Illinois University football team that won the NCAA Division II National Championship.
They had been invited to attend a ceremony at the homecoming game.
I asked if the school had provided the appropriate accommodations for these men (who are now in their 60s and have had knee and hip replacements, etc.), such as meals, lodging, premium game seating, vehicle transport around campus, etc.
Their answer was “the school did not provide anything, we even had to buy our own $25 ticket to the football game.”
This is an outrage! The administration should have recognized what an amazing contribution these men have made to the history of EIU athletics and provided them with everything to make their visit back to campus on a level equal to their accomplishments.
I informed the team members next time to hold up their championship ring at the admission gate at O-Brien Field and say “This is my ticket.”
Jason Buckhold is a 1996 Eastern alumn. He can be reached at 217-761-7457 or [email protected]