Pay to Work: Florida Gators Charge Fans $350 To Do Locker Room Work

by Josh Lanier
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Have you ever thought being an equipment manager was too glamorous of a job? Well, the University of Florida has the thing for you. They’re going to let you pay them — Yes. You pay them — for the opportunity — nay, privilege — to set up the Gators’ men’s basketball locker room before a home game for the low price of $350*. That asterisk is important. Stick around.

I know you already have your credit card out. But let’s take a deeper look at what you’re going to get with this incredible experience.

Here’s how the Florida Gators pitch it.

“Long before the players and coaches arrive to do the business in Exactech Arena, you can help the equipment staff make all the necessary preparations to the locker room and bench area,” the listing reads. “Outfit each locker; check the pressure on the basketballs and more in this truly unique experience. Your day will start early, hours before tipoff, at the Basketball Practice Complex. As you pass National Championship trophies and Final Four floors from years gone by, you’ll load up the equipment truck with shoes, uniforms, game balls, warmup gear, and everything the team needs for game day.”

“Long before” makes it clear from the jump — you will not meet any players. You’re paying $350 for the chance to be near their stuff.

Also, “your day will start early?” Not only do you get to pay for this, but you also have to set an alarm to make sure you don’t miss out on the chance to unload a truck.

But Wait Florida Fans, It Gets Worse

Remember that asterisk I mentioned earlier? Well, it’s back. At the very bottom of the listing, you’ll notice your $350 “experience” doesn’t include tickets to the game. One of the few perks of working a grunt gig at a sports arena like this is getting into the games for free. With this, you get to babysit Tyree Appleby’s Jumpmans and maybe see an unloaded t-shirt cannon. But you’ll need to pony up if you want to see someone shoot it.

Here’s the thing. This could be a cool experience if it were free. Going behind the scenes to see how a sports team’s staff prepares for a game could be interesting, I’m sure. This is an internship without college credit but worse. The only good story you’ll get to tell your friends is that you’re bad with money.

The Florida Gators offer some fun experiences you can pay for. For $100, you can shoot around on the court long after a game is over. That’s still a lot of money, and you’re not going to meet any players. But, at a minimum, it’s an experience you can share on social media. You get to shoot some basketballs and not just check the air pressure in them.

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