Tickets to Iowa State men's basketball games were hard to land for fans this year but easier for one group: legislators being entertained by University President Steven Leath.

An Associated Press review shows 10 lawmakers accepted invitations to sit with Leath courtside at Hilton Coliseum, including House Speaker Linda Upmeyer and education appropriations subcommittee chairman Cecil Dolecheck.

While legislators paid a face value ranging from $25 to $50, comparable seats are open only to donors or cost far more through brokers.

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Lawmakers avoided fees of $4 to $6 apiece assessed on tickets bought by phone and online, the way most fans acquire them. They could also access the in-stadium sports bar usually open only to donors, where soda and appetizers are free.

Lawmakers deny the arrangement violates the gift law.