Iowa, Iowa State University athletic directors issue joint statement on band allegations

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - The athletic directors of two major state schools in Iowa have issued a joint statement regarding allegations of "inappropriate actions" against members of one of the schools' marching bands at a recent football game between the two teams.

Gary Barta, left, Director of Athletics at the University of Iowa, and Jamie Pollard, right, Director of Athletics at Iowa State University (Courtesy: Iowa Athletics, Iowa State Athletics)

Gary Barta, Director of Athletics for the University of Iowa, and Jamie Pollard, who holds the same position at Iowa State University, said that both schools emphasize providing a safe place for everyone to enjoy watching a football game.

"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," Barta and Pollard said, in the statement. "Some of the conduct directed at the students in our respective marching bands recently has been rude, vulgar, and in some cases, violent."

The statement did not offer further details as to what constituted these acts, or the "inappropriate actions" described in a statement issued by Barta on Monday, September 16.

The existence of this statement does indicate that the two schools' athletic departments are working together on the issue, following comments from Pollard on Tuesday that suggested that Iowa's staff had not yet reached out to him.

Both reiterated the need for more civil behavior toward each other's fans at future games.

"A significant part of the solution is insisting our fans help address this issue by showing more respect to our visitors," Barta and Pollard said. "We owe it to these hardworking performers to have a safe stage on which they can showcase their spirit and talent."

Iowa beat Iowa State 18-17 during the annual matchup between the two schools' football teams on Saturday, September 14.

Read the full statement below:

"Both the University of Iowa and Iowa State University are committed to providing a safe environment for everyone attending events on their respective campuses. 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. 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."