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Gophers ticket office being investigated by FBI

Former Gophers ticket director subject of FBI probe in to potential fraud.

It isn’t every day that the Federal Bureau of Investigation gets involved with a ticket office. Then again, it isn’t every day your internal audit causes your director of ticket sales to get fired either.

However, according to a Minneapolis Star-Tribune report, that is exactly what has happened at the University of Minnesota. The report indicates that an audit done in February turned up some shady dealings and it led to the immediate termination of ticket operations director Brent Holck within 24 hours.

Now it appears as if the FBI is getting involved, as the report indicates that discrepancies were found in ticket transaction records.

Holck had been responsible for the ticket department from 2008 until this audit in 2017. He is perhaps most famous as the one who came up with the “Golden Ticket” promotion for the Gophers men’s basketball season in 2012-13.

The concept was certainly unique, and according to the ESPN reporting, it went like this:

Buy a Golden Ticket for $75. Attend as many Big Ten home games as you want (retail value: $315), but if the Gophers lose when you’re scanned in, your run is over. The pass is deactivated.

Harsh terms no doubt, but also one heck of a value for those smart enough to pick games that weren’t going be losses. 41 people ended up buying a total of 81 of these tickets and it certainly was an interesting 2012-13 Big Ten season for the Gophers that year.

They started the season hot, winning the first three conference games including an upset of then No. 18 Michigan State. However, the season was exactly like most predicted and the Gophers finished just 8-10 in Big Ten play — capable of winning big and losing big as well.

The next season saw the promotion die off, and one has to wonder how that worked out for them or if this situation is part of the ongoing investigation.

Holck has been replaced in his position by assistant athletic director Ryan Dillon.

Details as to what exactly was found in the audit that led to Holck’s firing have not been made public. But, when the words FBI and investigation are in the same sentence it is never a good thing.

Andy Coppens is the Founder and Publisher of Talking10. He's a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and has been covering college sports in some capacity since 2008. You can follow him on Twitter @AndyOnFootball

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