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Univ. of Iowa president suggests football series with Iowa State may end if safety not addressed

Published: Sep. 23, 2019 at 8:14 PM CDT
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The University of Iowa's president cast doubt on the future of the annual rivalry game between his school's football team and Iowa State University, in an interview with a student-run newspaper.

, Bruce Harreld said that he has reached out to the presidents of the other two state universities in Iowa to come up with better ways to ensure the safety of all participants and attendees of games.

Right now, he has reservations about the matchup.

"I'm not convinced, at all, that we should play this game again," Harreld said. "Here, or there, or anywhere, unless we can protect our fans, our band, and, of course, our athletes."

He suggested that the future of the series of games will rely on coming up with a way to prevent similar incidents as

.

"Something happened, and that isn't right," Harreld said.

Harreld pushed back at criticism that the school faced after saying that the investigation into the matter was closed,

following social media posts from Hawkeye Marching Band members giving details of the alleged abuse.

"All of a sudden now, the University of Iowa is part of the issue because we start or stop the investigation," Harreld said. "Please. We're going to get to the bottom of this, we're going to get through it all. And, then we're going to learn from it and move forward."

The combination of the result of the investigation and discussions on improved safety measures will apparently guide the school's future decisions, with safety being the top priority over any other consideration.

"If it means we're not going to play again, then we're not going to play again," Harreld said.

Watch clips of the interview, courtesy of The Daily Iowan: