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Iowa President Questions Future of ISU Rivalry Game Amid Band Abuse Allegations

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistSeptember 24, 2019

AMES, IA - SEPTEMBER 14: Quarterback Nate Stanley #4 of the Iowa Hawkeyes is tackled by defensive back Anthony Johnson #26 of the Iowa State Cyclones in the first half of play at Jack Trice Stadium on September 14, 2019 in Ames, Iowa. The Iowa Hawkeyes won 18-17 over the Iowa State Cyclones. (Photo by David K Purdy/Getty Images)
David K Purdy/Getty Images

University of Iowa president Bruce Harreld said he is unsure whether the Hawkeyes will continue their rivalry game against Iowa State after members of their band said they were physically assaulted and sexually harassed by Cyclones fans earlier this month. 

"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 Marissa Payne of the Daily Iowan.

Iowa band members said they were accosted by unruly Iowa State fans following the Hawkeyes' 18-17 win in Ames on Sept. 14. One woman allegedly suffered broken ribs, as the Iowa band attempted to make its way through a throng of Iowa State fans.

Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard spoke to reporters Tuesday, noting that the Iowa band did not follow recommended safety protocols for their exit from the stadium: 

"Have this vision: It was 30 minutes after the game, and the only people remaining in the football stadium were the Iowa marching band and the Iowa State marching band. ... Our security personnel advised the Iowa marching band it would be best for them to exit to the East through Gate 1 like our band did and had no issues because the gate was wide open.

"For whatever reason the Iowa marching band did not do that. They chose to leave the field through the West side of the Jacobson building where there [were] thousands of people still shoulder-to-shoulder in a snail's pace trying to work through that small entry way. The Iowa marching band marched in formation playing their instruments through the back of that crowd and essentially forced their way through a crowd [where] there was no place for anybody to move to."

Pollard noted that there was some shoving between band members and fans as the band attempted to push its way through the crowd while playing their instruments. He said "misinformation" has been spread in the media about what transpired between the two parties, noting officers helped band members to safety. No police reports have been filed. 

Iowa State released surveillance footage Tuesday that showed the band attempting to exit through the crowded area of the field, but the video showed nothing resembling a melee. 

Harreld expressed confidence that the two sides would be able to "work through this." However, all parties involved said they need to do a better job at protecting students.

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