CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Dr. Mitchell Pozega has attended hundreds of West Virginia University football games but hasn't paid for a ticket in years.
No, he is not running some kind of counterfeit ring. And at 84, his recent knee replacements prevent him from hopping the gates.
The retired Charleston dentist's golden ticket is a WVU "life pass," which gets him into any university sporting event absolutely free.
Pozega received his pass when he graduated from West Virginia University in 1951. A former cross-country runner for the university, he said WVU used to give the passes to all graduating athletes.
The laminated slip of paper is yellowed with age and creased from the many, many years it has spent stuffed in Pozega's wallet.
"It looks ragged as hell," he said. "You can barely read it."
Matt Wells, WVU's assistant athletic director for marketing and sales, said he doesn't know many details about the free pass program, like when it began or when it ended. He said he's not sure anyone currently at the university knows but says Pozega's pass is legit.
"He might be the only one still coming to the games and using it," Wells said.
Although Pozega has had his pass since the Truman administration, he started using it only in the last five years. He had season tickets for Mountaineer football games for nearly four decades before giving up the seats to his son.
He goes to the game with his son, but they part ways at the box office.
"I go in there, they give me a free ticket and I go into the game," he said.
No matter where the ticket places him, Pozega says he usually finds a seat near WVU's 40-yard line. He never has trouble getting into the games, even with sellout crowds.
"They always have extra. They probably hold back 50 to 100 in case they do have some celebrity come in or whatever," he said.
Some seasons, he attends all the home games and follows the team to some away games, too. He's been to Virginia Tech, the University of Pittsburgh and East Carolina University.