Fan bills Duke $827.95 for UNC postponement - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Fan bills Duke $827.95 for UNC postponement

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

A Duke University fan who had tickets to the University of North Carolina game Wednesday has sent Duke an invoice for $827.95, saying Duke should have been better prepared to play the game.

"Duke wasn't able to go eight miles with 48 hours notice of the storm?" Jackson Markham told WNCN Friday.

Markham, of Southern Pines, said he is a lifelong Duke fan and purchased tickets to the game at UNC this year. He also said he had hotel reservations and a friend who drove 12 hours to be with him for the game.

Markham said he was .7 miles from the Smith Center Wednesday night, on Fordham Boulevard, when the game was postponed.

"I could have walked to it," he said.

He said Duke had indicated throughout the day that the game was intended to be played.

"We spent all this money and just got nothing out of it," said Markham, 23.

Duke told WNCN Wednesday afternoon that the team intended to shoot around at Duke at 4:45 p.m., followed by a team meal at 5 p.m. and a 7 p.m. bus ride to the Smith Center. A Duke official said the Blue Devils would leave earlier if necessary.

ACC associate commissioner Karl Hicks also told WNCN that day that the game officials were in Chapel Hill, as was the ESPN crew. The ACC's policy is to play the game if the teams and officials can safely make it to the arena.

But after a chaotic traffic situation in the Triangle, UNC announced at 5:42 p.m. Wednesday that the game was postponed.

"Duke's bus is not able to get to their campus to pick up the team in time to be able to make the trip to Chapel Hill so we can't play this evening," UNC Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham said at the time.

Duke uses Champion Coach out of Greenville, S.C., as its charter bus service. Officials at Champion Coach refused to comment Friday.

Markham, who went to the University of Tennessee but grew up in the Pinehurst area, was still upset Friday, and he sent an invoice to Duke Athletics Director Kevin White with information on how much he spent on tickets and hotels.

Markham said he didn't understand why Duke didn't have a backup plan to get to the game.

"They couldn't come up with an alternative," he said.

He added, "It seemed like the pieces were in place, but one piece made negligible effort."

Asked what he wanted from Duke, Markham said, "If someone wanted to write a sincere apology, that would be nice."

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