Iowa Hawkeyes

The Stanford University Cardinal Marching Band performs in the 127th Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif., Friday, Jan. 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker)
AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker

Iowa bill wants Stanford band to apologize, or else!


Have you ever seen a piece of legislature being discussed in a local, state or federal government and thought to yourself “Don’t they have more important things to worry about?” In the same week Iowa is celebrated for its political involvement on the presidential campaign trail, we must ask that very question today. That is because a piece of state legislature is now threatening to prohibit Iowa, Iowa State and Northern Iowa from associating in any way with Stanford University unless the Pac-12 school’s marching band issues a formal apology to the state of Iowa.

The bill was introduced to the Iowa Capitol by Senator Mark Chelgren (R) as a result of the show of poor sportsmanship from the Stanford marching band’s halftime performance at the Rose Bowl, which poked fun at the state of Iowa and its farming culture.

“I think it’s unfortunate because here in Iowa we try to teach sportsmanship,” Chelgren said, according to Des Moines Register. “We try to teach courtesy, and when someone behaves in a way that is contrary to that, we need to point it out.”

The bill would still allow for sports competitions between Stanford and the three state universities to be held and any contracts between the schools already signed off on will be honored. Basically, this is political grandstanding at the expense of the Stanford marching band, which may just be a waste of time because there is no way the Stanford band is going to apologize for their Rose Bowl performance.

This now being a political issue, one Iowa Democrat says the bill only ends up hurting Iowa universities.

“I think what they did was offensive, but I don’t think you could blame the institution of Stanford University for it,” Sen. Robert Dvorsky (D) said. “I understand that some people were offended. Here is the problem: It is not an official Stanford marching band. They are just a student organization. It is not like the Hawkeye Marching Band and people should be aware of that. It is just some sort of loosely organized student organization.”

The answer to the earlier question is yes, there are more important things to be worried about in the Iowa government than hurt feelings over a halftime show at a bowl game.

Iowa ‘confident’ no NCAA rules broken by Hawkeye players joining Donald Trump rally

IOWA CITY, IA - JANUARY 26:  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump stands with football players from the University of Iowa as they present him with a football jersey during a campaign event at the University of Iowa on January 26, 2016 in Iowa City, Iowa. Trump continues his quest to become the Republican presidential nominee.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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You would think there could be no possible way the expansive NCAA rule book could plop itself into the 2016 presidential race. You would be wrong.

As the race barrels toward Monday’s Iowa caucuses, every presidential hopeful is doing his or her best to cozy up to Iowa’s voting public. For leading Republican candidate Donald Trump, that meant a Tuesday night rally at the University of Iowa’s UI Fieldhouse.

According to the Des Moines Register, Trump held a meeting before the rally with some members of Iowa’s Big Ten West champion football team and undefeated wrestling team. While on the stage later, Trump invited the two factions to join him.

“Where’s my football team? Get over here, football team,” Trump said. “The football team, come on! University of Iowa. … Come on up here. Come on up, right? Get up! What a team, what a team. And they were so nice: They endorsed Trump. They like Trump, and I like them. I love you guys. Look at the size, how big and strong. That’s what we like. Thank you, fellas.”

Trump’s bit of black-and-gold pandering, the paper added, incited chants of “Let’s go Hawks.”

“But you have an undefeated team, so get the wrestlers up here,” Trump continued. “C’mon, fellows. Where are they? Where are they? These guys, I’m not messing with them.”

In a statement Wednesday, Iowa athletics director Gary Barta defended his athletes’ ability to be involved in the political process and expressed confidence no NCAA rules were broken.

“University of Iowa student-athletes are encouraged to participate in the political process as individuals,” Barta said. “However, like any endorsement by a student or faculty member, their participation should not be considered representative of the entire team or university. In recent months, candidates from both parties representing a spectrum of ideals have visited Iowa City.  We will continue to support this approach without influencing particular political choice or agendas.”

“We are confident that no violations of NCAA rules and regulations have taken place.”

NCAA rules prohibit the use of athletes in an ad that “endorses a political candidate or party” or “advocates a viewpoint on controversial issues of public importance.”

SEC, Ohio State tops on Carolina, Denver Super Bowl rosters

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 29:  Former Tennesse quarterback Peyton Manning and current quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts is honored alongside his former college coach Phillip Fulmer before the start of the game against the South Carolina Gamecocks on October 29, 2005 at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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Cam Newton may be hurtling toward history, but the former Auburn quarterback will not be the lone player representing the SEC in next month’s Super Bowl.  In fact, he’s far, far from it.

As you may have heard, Newton’s Carolina Panthers are set to square off with Peyton Manning‘s Denver Broncos in the 50th Super Bowl Feb. 3.  Manning and Newton are two of and FBS-best 30 former SEC players who are on the two teams’ rosters, which includes those on the 53-man, reserved/injured list, practice squad, reserved/suspended by commissioner and reserve/future squad.

The Pac-12 is next with 23, followed by the Big Ten (21) and ACC (17).  The final Power Five conference, the Big 12, has 10, three less than the Mountain West’s 13.  The AAC, with eight, is the only Group of Five league to come close to double digits.  The MAC, meanwhile, is the only conference to be shutout, while all of the other divisions in the NCAA combined for 18 players.

Nearly every SEC team is represented in this year’s big game, the lone exception being Vanderbilt.  Of the dozen schools in the Pac-12, only Arizona and Washington State are missing.  Both the ACC and Big Ten have 11 of their 14 teams in the game, the lone exceptions being Clemson, Louisville and Virginia Tech for the former and Illinois, Minnesota and Rutgers for the latter.

One of those B1G schools that’s in, Nebraska, has had at least one player on a Super Bowl roster for 23 straight years, the longest active streak for any FBS program.

Ohio State easily outdistances individual schools with seven, three more than the four each for Auburn, Georgia Tech, Oregon State and Tennessee.  Alabama, Arizona State, Colorado State, Georgia, Nevada, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas A&M, USC and Utah.

A total of 20 schools have two players each, including Coastal Carolina, the only non-FBS program in the group.  The other 19 includes Arkansas, Boise State, Duke, Florida, Florida State, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi State, Missouri, North Carolina, San Diego State, South Carolina, Stanford, Troy, Tulane, Washington and Wisconsin.

Iowa QB C.J. Beathard undergoes surgery for sports hernia

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01:  Quarterback C.J. Beathard #16 of the Iowa Hawkeyes looks to pass over Kevin Palma #44 of the Stanford Cardinal in the 102nd Rose Bowl Game on January 1, 2016 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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An issue that plagued Iowa’s starting quarterback for most of the 2015 season has, hopefully, been cleared. was the first to report that C.J. Beathard underwent surgery last week in Philadelphia to repair a sports hernia.  The Des Moines Register subsequently confirmed the medical procedure.

The good news for the Hawkeyes is that Beathard should be healed and healthy enough to participate in the whole of spring practice, with the player expected be full recovered in six weeks or so. “[If Beathard] had to play a game in six weeks, he [would] be ready to play,” Beathard’s father told the website.

Perhaps most notable is that, as the Hawkeyes were rolling toward a school-record 12-win season, Beathard played the final 12 games of the year with the injury, which was originally thought to be a groin strain.

Despite the injury, Beathard was fourth in the Big Ten in passing efficiency, completing 61.6 percent of his 362 passes with 17 touchdown passes against just five interceptions as the Hawkeyes surprised with an an unbeaten regular season. For his efforts, Beathard was named second-team all-conference.

Iowa stays in-house for new LBs coach

LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 29: Iowa Hawkeyes head coach Kirk Ferentz during their game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial stadium on November 29, 2013 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
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When it came to finding a fit to fill a hole in his defensive coaching staff, Kirk Ferentz didn’t have to look far.

In a release, Iowa announced that Seth Wallace has been promoted to linebackers coach for the Hawkeyes.  Wallace had spent the past two years as the football program’s recruiting coordinator.

Wallace will replace Jim Reid, who left his post to become the defensive coordinator at Boston College earlier this month.

“Seth has done a tremendous job in his role as our recruiting coordinator and defensive assistant,” said the head coach in a statement. “Moving forward, Seth will serve as our linebackers coach and I am confident he will do a tremendous job in that role. We intend to fill our open coaching position sometime after signing day (Feb. 3).”

“I am excited to coach our linebackers as we begin preparations for 2016 and beyond,” said Wallace. “We have a great group returning who have been well coached by Coach Reid. I am very appreciative for this opportunity and look forward to this next phase of my career.”

In addition to his recruiting responsibilities, Wallace also worked with cornerbacks and nickelbacks in 2015 and the defensive line in 2014.