Barta speaks on alleged incident regarding Hawkeye Marching Band

Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta said the alleged incident will continue to be investigated.


Katina Zentz

Iowa Athletic Director Gary Barta speaks during the second day of Big Ten Football Media Days in Chicago, Ill., on Friday, July 19, 2019.

Pete Ruden, Pregame Editor

Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta spoke about the alleged incident regarding the Hawkeye Marching Band from Sept. 14 in Ames on Tuesday, noting it will continue to be examined while stressing his support for the University of Iowa students.

Barta said the alleged incident is still being looked at and that an investigation was never shut down.

“We didn’t really conduct an investigation,” Barta said. “What we’ve been doing from Day 1 — and will continue to do — is when our students brought forward concerns, we’re listening to them, we’re meeting with them, we’re providing them options. We’ve contacted Iowa State. It’s still ongoing. We have several incidents that are still open, and we’re going to continue supporting the students that have brought them forward.

“What I [previously] said was at this point, it’s still difficult to ascertain all the details. In the meantime, we’re going to start looking at future games, but I never said that there was an investigation that was closed.”

Barta also stressed his support for the Hawkeye Marching Band members who claimed they suffered physical harassment, including broken ribs and a bruise from a beer can.

Barbara Burke, Iowa’s Deputy Director of Athletics, has represented Barta in more than two meetings with band mentors, Barta said, and he plans to meet with members himself in the future.

Although it’s unclear if a crime was committed, Barta said he believes the UI students who made the allegations.

“Every day we’re checking in with these students who have been wronged,” Barta said. “They were wronged. We had students at that game that were mistreated. To this point, we’re still working with them.”

Barta’s comments come a day after UI President Bruce Harreld told The Daily Iowan that he’s not convinced the annual Cy-Hawk rivalry game should be played unless player, fans, and the band are protected.

Iowa State University officials committed to continuing the series in a press conference on Tuesday.

Barta said he believes the safety of those participating in the game will not be a problem moving forward, and he thinks the rivalry will continue when that protection is in place.

“I think the vast majority of fans who attend the game enjoy it responsibly, celebrate it responsibly,” Barta said. “But we do have to make sure that the people who participate in the game are safe, and we’re going to do that. I’m confident we can. Once we do that, I know [Harreld] will be comfortable continuing the game.

“But I know he meant what he said because he’s upset and frustrated.”