Jamie Pollard and Gary Barta release joint statement regarding band controversy


Mikinna Kerns/Iowa State Daily

Members of the Iowa State Marching Band before the start of the Iowa State vs West Virginia football game Oct. 13.

Noah Rohlfing

A growing controversy surrounding the Iowa Marching Band’s experience at Jack Trice Stadium during the Cy-Hawk Game last weekend has been cooled by a joint press release from the two schools.

Iowa athletic director Gary Barta and Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard released a statement Wednesday afternoon that stated the schools are “committed to providing a safe environment for everyone attending events on their respective campuses.”

“This includes members of the school’s marching bands,” the statement reads. “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.

“We should all feel embarrassed when students in the bands don’t feel safe when performing at an away game. 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.”

This statement from the schools follows a press release Iowa released Monday afternoon alleging “inappropriate actions” made against the University of Iowa Marching Band during the band’s stay in Ames. The press release picked up national attention Monday night and into Tuesday morning.

This prompted a response from Jamie Pollard when asked about the situation during a press conference Tuesday.

“It’s tough to comment on this situation because all we know is Iowa released a presser,” Pollard said. “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.”