Marching Band allegations from Cy-Hawk game emerge

Broken ribs and thrown beer bottles among Hawkeye Marching Band’s allegations.


Shivansh Ahuja

Marching band members escape the rain during a football game between Iowa and Iowa State at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames on Sept. 14, 2019.

Anna Kayser, Sports Editor

Hawkeye Marching Band members on Sept. 19 publicly alleged they suffered harassment at the Sept. 14 Cy-Hawk football game in Ames.

University of Iowa student and band member Corey Knopp took to Facebook to publicly allege incidents that he said occurred at Jack Trice Stadium and detail the seriousness of the injuries suffered.

“People were physically assaulted,” Knopp alleged in the Facebook post. “We expect to get booed and cussed at. But never for violence to take place. Especially to students in THE BAND of the rival university. No ‘alleges,’ no ‘maybes.’ This happened. Put yourself in our shoes. Kids. Marching in formation back to our buses after a long day.”

“Getting shoved and having beer cans shaken and sprayed at our feet,” the post alleged. “Getting slapped because of the words on our uniform (IOWA). Getting pushed so hard that someone’s [not going to name this person] ribs are broken. That is completely unacceptable.”

As the band performed its series into the stadium — before it had even entered Jack Trice — band member Nathan Topping alleged a full beer bottle was thrown and hit his forearm, leaving a large bruise.

“As we were doing our typical series in, I had a full beer bottle thrown at me and was pulled away from the band,” Topping alleged to The Daily Iowan. “This was during a break away section during our typical series line, so there was less visibility by police officials.”

Later, Topping said he was carrying a drumline stand and alleged that fans attempted to take it from him while also grabbing at his arms.

Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta announced earlier on Sept. 19 that the UI shut down its investigation of these allegations three days after releasing a brief statement that Iowa was looking into the alleged misconduct.

RELATED: Barta, Pollard release joint statement regarding game environments

“After collecting information Monday and Tuesday, we realized it would be difficult to verify details and elected to focus on moving forward toward future events,” Barta said.

Barta also confirmed that one student required medical attention but did not release any specific information because of student-privacy laws.

Iowa first released a statement from Barta on Monday saying it had been “made aware of inappropriate actions” against the band at the Cy-Hawk game and that officials had contacted Iowa State while trying to get more information.

Barta and Iowa State Athletics Director Jamie Pollard on Wednesday released a joint statement regarding the incidents. The statement said 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,” the statement said. “Each of our athletics departments is committed to doing whatever is necessary to improve the environment for visiting school marching bands in the future.”