AMES, Iowa — Iowa State University leaders addressed alleged incidents surrounding the Cy-Hawk rivalry game on Tuesday during a special news conference.
Iowa State University Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard said there were five alleged incidents of conduct issues at the Cy-Hawk rivalry game that they looked into.
“Do I think that the Iowa marching band was subjected to profanity rudeness and possibly even having something thrown on them? Unfortunately, absolutely. And why do I feel that way? Because I know it’s happened to our band multiple times in Iowa City and that’s flat out embarrassing. It’s shameful, it’s inexcusable, and we all have to do better,” Pollard said.
One of those alleged incidents involves an Iowa State fan throwing beer onto a Hawkeye Marching Band teaching assistant. Another alleged incident involves a band member suffering broken ribs after being shoved and falling on the ladder while exiting the stadium.
“There’s been no people that have come forward as of this morning to report anything to us. We deeply care. We want somebody to come forward,” Iowa State University Police Chief Michael Newton said.
Newton said overall fans were less aggressive during, before and after this particular game than in previous years.
“I was able to compare this Cy-Hawk game to the 2017 one and actually fan behavior was better. We had less arrests. A longer day than we had in the previous, so we are seeing that there are some changes, but I do believe that nationally the message is out there that there are some fans, a small percentage, that cause issues that we need to address and develop some type of program that will bring civility to these events,” Newton said.
Pollard said they do not plan to stop hosting or playing in these rivalry games because they are an extremely important Iowa tradition.
“And I quote Gary Barta’s response, ‘We the University of Iowa don’t have any plans to discontinue the game,'” Pollard said.
Despite University of Iowa President Bruce Harreld’s claims that the game is in jeopardy, Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen said she doesn’t want the tradition to end and hopes to work with Harreld.
“Last Thursday I talked with the University of Iowa President Bruce Harreld and we agreed to meet and discuss methods to improve the environment and safety at our games,” Wintersteen said.
The University of Iowa Director of Athletics Gary Barta responded earlier on Tuesday to Harreld’s statement that the Cy-Hawk game could be in jeopardy.
Barta said he is confident they can reach an understanding so rivalry games can continue.
“I know what he meant by it and that is he is concerned. I’m concerned that the safety of the participants of the game has to be number one. I will say this that the vast majority of the fans who attend the game enjoy it responsibly, celebrate it responsibly. We do have to make sure that the people who participate in the game are safe, so we are going to do that. I’m confident we can, and once we do that I know he’ll be comfortable continuing the game, but I know he meant what he said because he’s upset and frustrated,” Barta said.
ISU Police encourage anyone who wants to come forward with information regarding anything that happened that weekend to call them at (515) 294-4428.