Violent tweets spur investigation by university

ISU students Stephen Koithan and Jordan Sitzmann tweet racist comments after the Iowa State-Kansas game.

Twitter and its page layout is a registered trademark of Twitter Inc.

ISU students Stephen Koithan and Jordan Sitzmann tweet racist comments after the Iowa State-Kansas game.

Beau Berkley

ISU students Stephen Koithan and Jordan Sitzmann are both under investigation by the university after sending threatening and racial tweets to KU guard Elijah Johnson.

The investigation of  Koithan and Sitzmann was initially started by the ISU Police Department but was then was handed over to student affairs for further investigation.

“The tweets were reported to the university between [Feb.] 25 and 26,” said Dean of Students Pamela Anthony. “All I can acknowledge is that we have launched an investigation.”

Anthony could not divulge any information as to the actions of the investigation, citing FERPA for not being able to do so.

Johnson drew immediate criticism from ISU fans for his decision to dunk the ball with three seconds remaining in overtime on Monday. At the time, the Jayhawks were already leading 106-96. After the game, Johnson apologized during an interview, during which “boos” rained down from the remaining ISU fans in attendance.

The tweets sent to Johnson are part of a myriad of poor fan behavior displayed after the overtime loss to Kansas on Monday:

As the Jayhawks were exiting, fans hurled objects onto the floor and at the KU players.

One fan also found his way onto the court and approached KU coach Bill Self after the game but was stopped by security before he could reach Self.

Fans also began to throw miniature megaphones at Kansas players as they boarded the bus.

‘Bad apples’ cause surge from stir

Hours before the game had begun, students began to congregate on the steps of Hilton, waiting for the doors to open. Once the doors were opened, a wave of students surged past security, which caused one door to be knocked from its hinge, stalling students from entering.

“Ninety-nine percent of the students were well behaved,” said ISU Athletic Director Jamie Pollard. “There’s always going to be a couple of bad apples, and a couple of bad apples I think caused a stir, which I think caused the surge. They had to shut down the doors temporarily and go back to single-file.”

Once the fans were inside Hilton, security and ushers worked to get fans to their seats and keep order.

“Our house security staff makes sure that all of the needs of the fans are met, seats are filled, and [to] address any inappropriate behavior,” said Chris Jorgensen, sr. associate athletic director of facilities, planning and management. “For something like the Kansas game, we also bring in a security firm by the name of Contemporary Services Corporation [CSC]. They are trained to handle larger crowds.”

Security was in full force due to the number of fans in attendance. Extra security was stationed by the doors as well as the aisles.

“We had a full house with an electric atmosphere,” Jorgensen said. “As with any event and crowds of that size, we do have those that choose to misbehave, but the vast majority of our fan-base was outstanding.”

Assisting Hilton security was the Ames Police Department and the ISU Police Department in the event that any situation could become too difficult for security to handle.

“There’s a difference between rule violations and criminal violations,” said Geoff Huff, investigations commander for the Ames Police Department. “So we generally step in when it’s a criminal matter. When it’s bad sportsmanship, the ushers and security guards handle that.”

Huff said there are approximately five officers at Hilton at all times, all of whom are responsible for the security of players, coaches and referees.

Several officers are also stationed in the main concord of the stadium, lending a helping hand to security when needed. However, Huff said arrests are “usually very minimal.”

Koithan and Sitzmann’s Twitter accounts have since been removed from the site, and no further information has been provided at this time.