The Big 12 Conference issued a public reprimand Tuesday and fined Iowa State $25,000 “for its handling of postgame protocol” following Saturday’s upset of No. 6 West Virginia at Jack Trice Stadium.
Iowa State announced it is appealing the fine.
Fans rushed the field following the Cyclones’ 30-14 win Saturday night. The conference does not forbid fans entering the field after games, but said its Principles and Standards of Sportsmanship were violated.
“We have a duty to provide a safe game environment,” Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in a statement. “The Iowa State Department of Athletics has a written event management policy that was not thoroughly implemented, and was unsuccessful in ensuring the safety and security of all visiting team game participants. Although the Big 12 Conference does not currently have a policy prohibiting spectators from entering playing areas for post-game celebrations, it is of utmost importance that home game management provide adequate security measures for our student-athletes, coaches, game officials and spectators.”
Iowa State President Dr. Wendy Wintersteen and Athletics Director Jamie Pollard also issued statements.
“Our institution takes the safety and welfare of all student-athletes, officials and fans very seriously,” Wintersteen said. “We have reviewed all of our procedures, including several videos of the postgame celebration, and we do not agree with Commissioner Bowlsby’s assessment of the events that evening. Chief (Michael) Newton, of the Iowa State University Police Department, and the CSC staff had a very thorough and specific plan. Those plans were discussed and implemented prior to the game and were evaluated and adjusted during the game to ensure the safest atmosphere for everyone attending the game, including the West Virginia players and staff.”
“Our local law enforcement officers and the CSC security staff did an outstanding job keeping all the student-athletes, game officials and fans safe during the postgame celebration on Saturday,” Pollard said. “I have personally watched the video multiple times and I am confident the officers and security staff followed the procedures we had previously submitted to the Big 12 Conference office. It is also important to note the protocol and practice used Saturday night by our law enforcement officers was nearly identical to the protocols used last year during the field rush following our win over TCU. The Conference had no issue with ISU’s protocol or practice at that time and the results were the same as Saturday night. The visiting team was safely escorted from the field in less than 90 seconds in both situations.”
West Virginia Coach Dana Holgorsen called the postgame celebration “very unprofessional” on Monday’s Big 12 coaches teleconference.
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“Our job is to keep student-athletes in a safe place,” Holgorsen said. “When you’ve got thousands of people coming at you, it’s not easy. We didn’t have time to get them off the field. That’s not good.
“It was dicey there for a while. We rushed the main guys off and the rest got off on their own. Luckily we got out of there.”