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Charging the Bruins With Ticket Extortion

May 07, 1994

I have followed the recent news about the UCLA ticket distribution for the recent Rose Bowl game with more than passing interest. I have felt that for the past three or four years the university's ticket policy has been scandalous. I have not written earlier out of "loyalty" to a great university from which I graduated in 1953, and from which I maintained season football tickets until a few years ago.

I was perfectly content with my pair of 35-yard-line seats. I was also proud that through my company I was able to donate more than $50,000 to the UCLA Foundation over a period of years in the 1980s. But when the 1990s came, I was shocked to be asked to pay a stipend to a booster club in order to maintain my seats. In your "For the Record" of April 23, you state that the donation is required only for seat location improvement. That is not correct, at least in my case. There is outright extortion, as another of your letter writers asserted in the same issue.

I think the university has to alter its policy regardless of the loss of the number of scholarships to out-of-state athletes. Universities should lead the way in proper rules of behavior. I was told by the head of the UCLA ticket office when I refused to renew my seats that all the "big-time" schools do the same thing. My answer was that if it's morally wrong, my university should not go along with it. Well, it did.

I am disenfranchised and disenchanted, and now it seems the roof is going to fall on the integrity of the institution from the chancellor on down.

JOEL L. MALTER

Camarillo

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