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Iowa, ISU seek 'safe stage' for marching bands

Iowa, ISU seek 'safe stage' for marching bands

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Members of the Hawkeye Marching Band perform before a football game against Northern Iowa at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City in 2018.

IOWA CITY — Iowa and Iowa State athletics officials are working to create what they label a "safe stage" for performers in marching bands from both schools following issues which arose at Saturday’s Iowa-Iowa State football game.

Iowa director of athletics Gary Barta and Iowa State director of athletics Jamie Pollard issued a joint statement Wednesday saying an investigation resulted in the discovery that bands from both schools have been subjected to poor behavior by fans when visiting the other institution’s campus in recent years.

"Some of conduct directed at the students in our respective marching bands recently has been rude, vulgar and in some cases, violent. We should all feel embarrassed when students in the bands don’t feel safe when performing at an away game," the statement by the administrators said.

"Each of our athletics departments is committed to doing whatever is necessary to improve the environment for visiting school marching bands in the future. A significant part of the solution is insisting our fans help address this issue by showing more respect to our visitors. We owe it to these hardworking performers to have a safe stage on which they can showcase their spirit and talent."

The issues arose earlier this week after Barta fielded complaints about how members of the Hawkeye marching band had been treated by some fans attending last weekend’s Iowa-Iowa State football game at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames.

Barta issued a statement Monday indicating that Iowa officials had been "made aware of inappropriate actions made toward student members and staff of the Hawkeye Marching Band" during their appearance at Saturday’s game.

Barta did not elaborate on what had taken place.

Pollard, fielding questions at a Tuesday news conference in Ames, said the Iowa band was accompanied by four law enforcement officials during its time on the ISU campus and that no incident reports had been forwarded to Iowa State athletics administrators.

Barta and Pollard indicated they were looking further into the matter, leading to Wednesday’s joint statement.

"Both the University of Iowa and Iowa State University are committed to providing a safe environment for everyone attending events on their respective campuses. This includes members of the schools’ marching bands. Unfortunately, both the Hawkeye and Cyclone marching bands have been the target of unacceptable behavior at football games in Iowa City and Ames in recent years," it read.

The statement indicated that administrators and public safety officers at both institutions would focus on improving the environment moving forward.


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