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Iowa State, ISU PD hold press conference regarding Iowa Marching Band controversy

Finally, we have at least some information.

Iowa v Iowa State Photo by David K Purdy/Getty Images

Iowa State President Wendy Wintersteen, Jamie Pollard, and ISU PD Chief Newton gave a press conference today to comment on the Hawkeye Marching Band controversy that’s dominated the headlines the last week and a half.

Wendy Wintersteen opened with a typically diplomatic opening statement, highlighting the university’s continued efforts to resolve the issue in conjunction of the University of Iowa.

Jamie Pollard

Jamie Pollard called for both universities to make greater efforts at protecting opposing fans and marching bands, while asking to clear up any misinformation.

General Timeline of Events

  1. Jamie Pollard received a voicemail, followed up with call to Gary Barta. Asked for more detail about rumors being circulated in the media about mistreatment of the Iowa Marching Band.
  2. Iowa State Athletic Department begins gathering all known information Monday into Tuesday
  3. Iowa State did not find any police reports or any other reports of issues with the band.
  4. Iowa State received phone call listing 5 alleged incidents. Ames PD pursued each lead, and determined each case to be difficult to pinpoint a perpetrator.
  5. Thursday, Barta confirmed the joint statement made.
  6. Iowa reopens investigation, Iowa State made aware of video suggesting that CyHawk game be cancelled.

Initial Findings

  • Security advised HMB to exit through gate 1 on east, HMB instead exited near Jacobsen Building.
  • HMB continued to force way through crowd while continuing to play their instruments.
  • Pollard and Barta agreed that there wasn’t enough to go on to pursue the issue further

Pollard also reiterated his desire to follow any available evidence to help find the perpetrators

ISU PD Chief Newton

  • Difficult to launch investigation without official police report
  • No information on what, where, when, and how.
  • U of I Police Department did not have any information beyond what the U of I had gathered.
  • None of the four U of I police officers reported any incidents to ISU PD
  • U of I PD mentioned a ‘skirmish’, which was essentially some pushing and shoving as the band tried to push through the crowd.
  • U of I police officers rode the bus with the band, and did not have anything reported, and nothing has since been reported.
  • ‘The area was very congested’, and ‘there’s nothing we can go forward on at this point’.

The Five Allegations

  1. A teaching assistant for the HMB had something thrown at them.
  2. Something thrown at football bus after the game that cracked the windshield
  3. HMB director had verbal altercation on the field as band was exiting
  4. HMB member tried to enter Jacobson Building through ISU team entrance
  5. Member of marching band carrying a ladder sustained broken ribs when another band member fell on them after being pushed. ISU PD doesn’t know specifics, but video from Gate 5 doesn’t show anything conclusive about what happened.


  • Jamie Pollard mentioned hearing stories from former Cyclone Marching Band members about similar mistreatment in Iowa City, but stressed that those stories do not make the alleged treatment of the HMB from this game ‘okay’.
  • Chief Newton has not had any U of I students reach out to provide information, despite efforts to encourage them to report what happened. No victim has come forward.
  • Jamie Pollard on taking Iowa State’s band to Iowa City next year, assuming the CyHawk Series continues: “WHEN we go to Iowa City, I certainly hope we get to do that.”
  • Both Jamie Pollard and Wendy Wintersteen both iterated comments regarding Cyclones’ reputation for being respectful, professional, and passionate in response to a couple questions about whether Iowa State has a crowd behavior problem.
  • Pollard does not believe there was any sort of communication breakdown, and that they had gathered as much information as is currently available.
  • Chief Newton noted that he believed that fan behavior was better this year than in 2017.
  • Pollard on if nationwide fan behavior is a problem: “What happens here and in Kinnick, for the most part, are model crowds.”
  • Pollard on why we need the CyHawk Series: “The CyHawk game is one of the greatest economic engines this state has.”
  • “Iowa State University is 100% committed to this series going forward, and Gary Barta is 100% committed to this series moving forward.”

Jamie Pollard stressed frequently his frustration at the amount of misinformation being spread, but continued to encourage anyone with any information, especially the alleged victims, to step forward. “If you’re not coming forward now, you’re not really trying to help yourself, and we need that.”

Overall, the press conference had the feel of a typical Jamie Pollard press conference. Transparency and a continued desire for the victims to come forward to help ISU pursue this further were at the forefront, but Pollard also defended Iowa State in the face of the litany of misinformation that’s been circulating social media.

Unless any victims come forward with new information, it looks like this issue may finally be put to rest.