Saint Peter’s Challenges go Beyond Just the Opponents at the NCAA Tournament
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images. Pictured: Saint Peter’s Peacocks
As soon as Saint Peter's athletic director Rachelle Paul heard the answer, she knew that her school's men's basketball team was going to beat mighty Kentucky.
Last Wednesday, Paul tasked her husband with trying to get rid of the tickets the Peacocks weren’t going to sell for their Round of 64 NCAA Tournament opener against the Wildcats.
“We had to purchase a minimum of 350 tickets and I knew we weren’t going to sell to 350 Saint Peter’s fans,” Paul said. “So we reached out to the ticket office at the University of Kentucky.”
Paul’s husband said they would be willing to sell it to their opponents, but the Kentucky administrator said it didn’t make sense.
“She kind of said, ‘Listen, we don’t really sell Thursday night games alone. We’re selling ticket packages for Thursday-Saturday,’” Paul recalled the administrator saying.
They then hung up the phone.
Said Paul: “Looked at my husband and said, ‘We are going to win this game.’”
Saint Peter’s went on to beat Kentucky 85-79 and the Wildcats wound up reimbursing their fans for the Saturday game they didn’t play in.
The ticket sales were part of Paul's constant job of managing the budget. She said she didn’t send the team’s cheerleaders to the tournament because they don't have the minimum number needed for the NCAA to reimburse. Saint Peter's cheerleading team is a squad of four.
She’s also always battling the small school issues. When the team showed up in Indianapolis for the first round, her school was the only one that wasn’t available at the merchandise tent. She was told the boxes didn’t get time on time.