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Football

Jamie Pollard vows to look into allegations of fan misconduct during Saturday’s Cy-Hawk game

AMES —  Iowa State Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard said Tuesday he and others are looking into allegations of “inappropriate actions” directed toward the University of Iowa’s marching band during Saturday’s Cy-Hawk game. 

 University of Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta issued a press release Monday that included the following passages, according to The Daily Iowan:

“University of Iowa Athletics has been made aware of inappropriate actions made toward student members and staff of the Hawkeye Marching Band while attending the Iowa State football game Sept. 14. We have contacted Iowa State Athletics administration and are working to gather additional information. … Our main priority is the safety of all Iowa students, staff, and coaches when attending events away from Iowa City.”

 Pollard said Tuesday it’s been hard to determine what inappropriate actions may have occurred and that four police officers accompanying the Iowa band didn’t immediately report anything of the sort to Iowa State University Chief of Police Michael Newton.

 “It’s tough to comment on this situation because all we know is that Iowa issued a press release,” Pollard said while unveiling an ambitious plan for sweeping improvements around Jack Trice Stadium, Hilton Coliseum and the Iowa State Center. “I couldn’t tell you what happened, when it happened or where it happened. No one’s been able to ascertain that information or provide it to us. What we do know is this: We do know that their band travelled here with four police officers. One from the University of Iowa and three deputies from the Polk County Sheriffs Office. And our police chief, Chief Newton, has spoke with the police chief at the University of Iowa and not one of those four officers saw anything, reported anything or, most importantly, had anybody in the band, or any of the band directors share anything with them about anything about anything that happened during the day they were here. And those four officers were with them the entire day. 

 “Secondly, our band director was with their band director at the end of the night, Saturday night, and not one thing was said about any incidents that happened. I’m not here to say something didn’t happen, because I don’t know. But all we know is a press release was issued that alleges something happened. I’m assuming they wouldn’t issue the press release if something didn’t happen, but no one has said, what, or where, or when. I can assure you this: We are committed to giving people a safe environment.”

 Pollard added that there are a multitude of cameras positioned around Jack Trice Stadium that they could review for evidence of the alleged misconduct if they could pinpoint an area or areas where the alleged incidents occurred.

 “Tell me what happened, where it happened and when it happened and I’ll bet we’ve got a video of it happening,” Pollard said. “OK? But gotta know that to be able to figure it out. And I’ll just conclude with this, is we love having the Iowa band here. We welcome it. It’s a big part of the collegiate environment.”

 Pollard also said several Cyclone fans alleged that the ISU marching band endured some less-than-cordial moments during last year’s Cy-Hawk game in Iowa City.

Those ISU fans then urged Pollard to treat the Iowa band similarly.

His response?

 “Absolutely not,” Pollard said. “The young men and women that are in the band, they deserve to have their moment in time and so we put the Iowa band down by the field like we always do. Likewise, I had fans telling me during the game, ‘Don’t let them perform at halftime, because the field’s too wet?’ Right? But I know that family, friends come to watch those band members perform, so we allowed them to do that, too. We’ll always want to have their band here and it pains me to think that possibly, possibly, that they didn’t have a great experience, because if that happened, shame on us, because Cyclone fans are far better than that and if we had a few Cyclone fans that acted inappropriately and damaged that, that’s a shame.

 “Because here’s what I do know happened last (Saturday): This state had a national audience with (ESPN College) GameDay and it was an awesome, celebratory day for both Iowa and Iowa State. And it brought exposure to the Cy-Hawk series and the Iowa corn and everything great about this state. And it pains me to think that a pretty vague release has kind of damaged that nationally. That’s unfortunate. So we’re waiting to hear what, where, when — and we’ll gladly jump in and try to help, but until then, it’s pretty hard, because we don’t know what we’re looking for.”

NOTE: Below, find Pollard’s complete response to the question about the allegations made in the Iowa press release. Most of the quotes are in the above article, but there is more detail regarding the allegations pertaining to the ISU band’s treatment at last season’s Cy-Hawk game.

Jamie Pollard:  “What I would share with you all, first and foremost is we care about everyone that comes to Jack Trice Stadium — any of our venues, for that matter, whether they’re Iowa State fans or they’re visiting fans. And we go to great care to make sure that we do our absolute best to give people a great experience and keep them safe. Are we absolutely perfect? Heck, no. If anybody looked at my inbox after any football game, there’s a ton of imperfections, but we welcome that because we strive to improve. OK? That being said. That being said, it’s tough to comment on this situation because all we know is that Iowa issued a press release. I couldn’t tell you what happened, when it happened or where it happened. No one’s been able to ascertain that information or provide it to us. What we do know is this: We do know that their band travelled here with four police officers. One from the University of Iowa and three deputies from the Polk County Sheriffs Office. And our (Iowa State University) police chief, Chief (Michael) Newton, has spoke with the police chief at the University of Iowa and not one of those four officers saw anything, reported anything or, most importantly, had anybody in the band, or any of the band directors share anything with them about anything about anything that happened during the day they were here. And those four officers were with them the entire day. Secondly, our band director was with their band director at the end of the night, Saturday night, and not one thing was said about any incidents that happened. I’m not here to say something didn’t happen, because I don’t know. But all we know is press release was issued that alleges something happened. I’m assuming they wouldn’t issue the press release if something didn’t happen, but no one has said, what, or where, or when. I can assure you this: We are committed to giving people a safe environment. We’ve got more cameras around Jack Trice Stadium — tell me what happened, where it happened and when it happened and I’ll bet we’ve got a video of it happening. OK? But gotta know that to be able to figure it out. And I’ll just conclude with this, is we love having the Iowa band here. We welcome it. It’s a big part of the collegiate environment. I’ve had many of our Cyclone fans say, ‘You know, last year our band got banished to the upper deck of the stadium and had to walk a half mile to their busses over in Iowa City, you know, after the game, and experience some things that nobody should have to experience,’ and wanted us to do the same thing to their band. Absolutely not. The young men and women that are in the band, they deserve to have their moment in time and so we put the Iowa band down by the field like we always do. Likewise, I had fans telling me during the game, ‘Don’t let them perform at halftime, because the field’s too wet?’ Right? But I know that family, friends come to watch those band members perform, so we allowed them to do that, too. We’ll always want to have their band here and it pains me to think that possibly, possibly, that they didn’t have a great experience, because if that happened, shame on us. Because Cyclone fans are far better than that and if we had a few Cyclone fans that acted inappropriately and damaged that, that’s a shame, because here’s what I do know happened last week, Chris: This state had a national audience with (ESPN College) GameDay and it was an awesome, celebratory day for both Iowa and Iowa State. And it brought exposure to the Cy-Hawk series and the Iowa corn and everything great about this state. And it pains me to think that a pretty vague release has kind of damaged that nationally. That’s unfortunate. So we’re waiting to hear what, where, when — and we’ll gladly jump in and try to help, but until then, it’s pretty hard, because we don’t know what we’re looking for.”

R

Rob Gray

administrator

Rob, an Ames native, joined Cyclone Fanatic in August, 2014 after nearly a decade and a half of working at Iowa's two largest newspapers. He spent 10 years at the Des Moines Register and, after a brief stint in public relations, joined the Cedar Rapids Gazette as an Iowa State correspondent three years ago. Rob specializes in feature stories for CF.

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