Iowa, ISU urge fans of rivalry to curb hostilities

Athletic directors from Iowa and Iowa State issued a joint statement Wednesday, saying their marching bands "have been the target of unacceptable behavior" during games at both schools in recent years.

The collaboration came in response to a news release issued on Monday by Iowa athletic director Gary Barta, which alleged that "inappropriate actions" were made toward staff members and students of the Hawkeye marching band at last Saturday's rivalry game in Ames.

"Both the University of Iowa and Iowa State University are committed to providing a safe environment for everyone attending events on their respective campuses," Barta and Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard said in the news release. "This includes members of the school's 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. Some of the conduct directed at the students in our respective marching bands recently has been rude, vulgar, and in some cases, violent."

Neither school gave any more specifics about what happened at Saturday's game.

"We should all feel embarrassed when students in the bands don't feel safe when performing at an away game," the statement 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."

Eric Bush, director of the Hawkeye Marching Band, said earlier this week that the Hawkeye Marching Band is a family. "We take care of one another," he said. "While we might be saddened and shook up by the stuff that happened, we're going to continue to be a great band and provide excellent entertainment to everyone who watches."