Iowa State’s treatment of the Iowa band may put the entire Cy-Hawk rivalry series in jeopardy, according to Iowa president Bruce Harreld.
“I’m not convinced at all that we should play this game again — here or there or anywhere — unless we can protect our fans, our band and, of course, our athletes,” Harreld told the Daily Iowan.
Iowa and Iowa State staged the most heated Cy-Hawk game in recent memory on Sept. 14, with College GameDay trekking to Ames for the first time, both teams in or around the Top 25 and a 3-hour weather delay that kept both fan bases in close proximity for much longer than planned. Iowa won the game, 18-17, and afterward a number of Iowa band members came away saying they were verbally or physically harassed by Iowa State fans.
The schools put out a joint statement asking fans to grow up, and both sides are attempting to investigate what exactly happened at Jack Trice Stadium on Sept. 14.
“We’ll learn more through the investigation that’s continuing, we’ll get more facts, and we’ll also get more attention because everybody’s pretty busy during the football season,” Harreld said. “So my guess is some time in January we’ll sit down. But I will say I also fight myself on that. As I see this go more and more intense, maybe we should do it sooner rather than later. I don’t know, we haven’t really nailed that down yet. I just don’t want to have it too soon and we don’t have all the facts, and also too soon when we’re all busy so we tend to gloss over it.”
Iowa State released its own statement on Tuesday, saying it can’t investigate the alleged actions of Iowa State fans if victims don’t come forward and, also, that Iowa fans have treated Iowa State band members poorly as well.
“We all have to do a better job policing our fans, but so do the Iowa fans,” Iowa State AD Jamie Pollard told the Des Moines Register.
Pollard said the physical contact — one Iowa band member said she was groped by an Iowa State fans — could have been a byproduct of Iowa leaving Jack Trice Stadium through the wrong gate.
Iowa AD Gary Barta also said this on Tuesday:
Iowa and Iowa State have played 67 times, and annually since 1977. They’re also scheduled to continue to meet annually through 2025, including a Sept. 12, 2020 game in Iowa City. The Cy-Hawk football game is the biggest annual sporting event in the state of Iowa, and cancelling it would not come without consequences.
Harreld knows that and said he fully expects both sides to come to an agreement on ways to insulate college musicians from adults who take a football game played by semi-professional young adults too seriously, but if not, well, then all bets are off.
“I’m expecting we can work through this, clearly expecting we can work through,” he said on playing more Cy-Hawk games. “But if, for some reason, one party or the other doesn’t come to the table, then no, why would we?”