ISU email to Hawkeye Marching Band director lacked exit instructions

According to an email obtained by The Daily Iowan, ISU provided minimal guidance to the Iowa Marching Band about exiting Jack Trice Stadium.


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.

Marissa Payne, Editor-in-Chief

Email communication shows Iowa State University provided little instruction to the Hawkeye Marching Band on exiting Jack Trice stadium following the Cy-Hawk game after ISU accused the student musicians of intentionally put themselves in harm’s way by improperly exiting.

In a Sept. 10 email obtained by The Daily Iowan from Cyclone Band Director Christian Carichner to Hawkeye Marching Band Director Eric Bush — on which University of Iowa Associate Athletic Director Charles Taylor and ISU Facilities and Events Director Brian Honnold were carbon copied — ISU advised Bush on how the UI band should enter the stadium on Sept. 14 but only contained one statement about the location of post-game bus parking.

On exiting the stadium, the email said: “[Buses] and truck[s] can move to south 4th street during the 4th quarter if you wish to load there post-game. Right on the north side of the stadium in the 4th quarter. Police will direct you where to park. Please let us know if you do NOT want to do this and instead walk back to your [buses].” The email provided no other suggestions for exiting the stadium.

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The email provided Bush with a map containing a suggested entrance route leading to the Ames stadium’s third gate, the south end zone. Carichner recommended the Hawkeye Marching Band enter by walking around the east side.

“Pregame, you will step off with 20 minutes remaining on the game clock, and clear by 16.  Proceed South (which is a left turn for the band coming off the front sideline) and around the end zone to your seats,” Carichner wrote. “(the layout of Kinnick and Jack Trice are the same [North, South, East, West], and since you normally sit in the south end zone of kinnick, this ought to feel similar).”

A map of Jack Trice Stadium from ISU Band Director Christian Carichner. The red star indicates where there is construction. The blue star indicates gate 3, the south end zone. The blue line indicates the suggested entrance route walking east of Jack Trice.

After providing pregame instructions, Carichner gave information about halftime and press-box passes for the videographer and announcer, and said they need to go to the UI’s designated seating area after pregame and halftime.

Carichner wrote in the email that this information is “what I have been asked to relay on to [Bush],” indicating the steps he communicated to Bush came from other ISU officials — in other words, he was the messenger of gameday information for the UI band.

“… Please let me know what your expected arrival time is, as well as what your planned stadium entrance time will be so I can make sure I have a staff member to greet you and escort you around,” Carichner wrote. “Last thing, regarding the route to the stadium — you are free to choose a different path, but I highly suggest this one as it was the same plan from two years ago and there was minimal ‘interference’ from fans on both sides.”

RELATED: Safety measures must improve before Iowa plays another Cy-Hawk game, UI president says

The Hawkeye band director and ISU Facilities and Grounds director had a verbal altercation on the field as the UI band began to exit the stadium, ISU Athletic Director Jamie Pollard said in a Tuesday press conference, though what about is unknown.

“Unfortunately, the misinformation that’s out there is a visual that their band was walking to their bus and they were attacked by Cyclone fans,” Pollard said of the Hawkeye student musicians’ allegations of physical harassment by ISU fans.

At the Tuesday ISU press conference, Pollard pointed fingers toward the Hawkeye Marching Band for the injuries they reported suffering because he said they did not follow directions on exiting Jack Trice.

Only the ISU and UI band were in the stadium 30 minutes after the game, Pollard said. 

“There were thousands of people still trying to exit the stadium through Gate 5, which is west of the Jacobson Building where the construction site is. Gate 1, which is to the east of the stadium, was completely wide open,” he said. “Our security personnel advised the Iowa Marching Band that it would be best for them to exit east through Gate 1, like our band did and had no issues because the gate was wide open.”

RELATED: Marching Band allegations from Cy-Hawk game emerge

He said the UI band did not do that, instead exiting west of the Jacobson Building “where there were thousands of people still shoulder to shoulder at a snail’s pace trying to work through that small entryway.”

“The Iowa Marching Band marched in formation, playing their instruments into the back of that crowd, and essentially forced their way through into a crowd that there was no place for everybody to move to,” he said.