Education

3 Hawkeye Marching Band members file criminal complaints

Little made public about what they say happened at Cy-Hawk game

Members of the Hawkeye Marching Band perform Sept, 14 on the field at a football game between the Iowa Hawkeyes and Iowa State Cyclones at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
Members of the Hawkeye Marching Band perform Sept, 14 on the field at a football game between the Iowa Hawkeyes and Iowa State Cyclones at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — The same day Iowa State University Athletic Director Jamie Pollard publicly asked that any Hawkeye Marching Band members assaulted during the Sept. 14 Cy-Hawk football game file criminal complaints, three members did so with University of Iowa police.

Although UI police took the complaints — which were heavily redacted when publicly released — the ISU Police Department is the primary investigating agency. UI officers only assisted band members in reporting the incidents, according to UI officials.

Blacked out of the complaints made public are names, ages and all other demographic details, along with any explanation of the alleged criminal conduct. ISU has not responded to The Gazette’s request for any incident reports it took from the annual UI-ISU football faceoff, which this year was in Ames.

Members of the Hawkeye Marching Band previously told The Gazette they were assaulted, verbally harassed and hit with flying beer bottles. They reported that members of the band were sexually assaulted or called racial slurs.

Pollard in a news conference Sept. 24 said he doesn’t doubt the Hawkeye band was subject to “shameful” and “embarrassing” heckling and rudeness — because the ISU band had experienced the same in Iowa City in years past.

But Pollard took issue with UI President Bruce Harreld’s assertion that “something really bad happened in Ames.”

“The statement that ‘something really bad happened’ has created another narrative that there’s something else out there that wasn’t part of those five allegations,” Pollard said, citing five specific complaints his department received from UI — including that someone threw beer on a teaching assistant and broke a window on the Hawkeye football team’s bus.

“If there is, then somebody needs to come forward and share that with us,” he said.

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Iowa band members have said a member suffered broken ribs after an assault. Pollard said he understands a band member carrying a ladder was injured after falling when another band member was shoved.

Just days after the football rivalry, UI Athletic Director Gary Barta issued a vague public denunciation about “inappropriate actions” and reported his department was looking into them.

But Harreld and ISU President Wendy Wintersteen later that week said their respective institutions had investigated all they could — inciting uproar among band members who said they were compelled to speak out.

After UI officials said they would continue to investigate, Pollard called an impromptu news conference. During it, he laid out what his school knew and why he felt the Hawkeye band could have made better choices at the game — including by leaving through a different exit he said was less crowded.

Comments: (319) 339-3158; vanessa.miller@thegazette.com

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