The Northern Illinois Huskies received a BCS bowl bid and will face the Florida State Seminoles on New Year’s Day in the Orange Bowl. It is a great moment for the university and all other “small school” programs that have been looking for a glimmer of hope at one day breaking through into the BCS.
Northern Illinois is ready for the challenge and they are going to all efforts to ensure they will have a strong following in Miami.
The Huskies will be providing one free Orange Bowl ticket to any student that will be traveling to the game. Northern Illinois associate athletic director Donna Turner made the announcement today.
“We consider athletics to be an important part of the university for (the students),” Turner said. “If it gives them a good feeling about themselves, Northern Illinois and our athletic programs, that’s an investment that’s well worth it. When you talk about the big picture, that’s more important than whatever the cost is in the short term.
“It’s fairly standard for us to offer free tickets to students. This is something that is extremely important to us. When the (bowl) came about, it didn’t take us long to make tickets free as well.”
But the trip won’t be 100 percent free of cost.
“They still have to get there,” Turner said. “It’s the not the simplest thing. We hope to have a great contingent.”
It’s not the first time Northern Illinois has offered free tickets to students, but it will be the first time their student body gets to witness their football program face off against one of college football’s giants in a BCS bowl.