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Illinois chose an unfortunate photo to try to sell tickets for next week’s Penn State game

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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Illinois' Valentine's Day ticket promotion

When previously free-falling Illinois saved its sinking season by upsetting No. 1 Indiana in Champaign last week, a Getty Images photographer captured a moment that perfectly depicted the emotion of the victory.

The photo of Illinois coach John Groce embracing his shirtless son Conner after the game was memorable enough that I devoted a post to it the next morning and called it one of the season's best pictures.

Apparently, folks at the Illinois ticket office shared my zeal for that photo because they included it in the email blast they sent to fans Thursday morning encouraging them to buy tickets for a home game against Penn State next Thursday night.

Unfortunately, as Deadspin accurately noted earlier, it probably wasn't the wisest choice to pair that photo with the Valentine's Day slogan, "No matter who's your valentine, surprise them with tickets to the game." And it definitely wasn't the wisest choice to go that route when the opponent for the game in question is a school still recovering from a child sex abuse scandal that resulted in the resignation of its president and the firing of its athletic director and legendary football coach.

Here's a link to the entire email promotion. Surely this was just an innocent mistake, but it was definitely a cringeworthy one.

(Thanks, Deadspin)

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