Last month, the Iowa State Cyclones vs. West Virginia Mountaineers football game caused an uproar around the country. Not only did Iowa State beat West Virginia (which was ranked #7 before the start of the game), but the Iowa State fans decided to rush the field after the 30-14 win was announced.
Just 3 days after the Iowa State fans rushed the field, the Big 12 Conference issued a public reprimand and fined Iowa State $25,000 for the way the postgame protocol was handled.
Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby spoke about the fine, saying, “Although the Big 12 Conference does not currently have a policy prohibiting spectators from entering playing areas for post-game celebrations, it is of utmost importance that home game management provide adequate security measures for our student-athletes, coaches, game officials and spectators.”
Bowlsby went on to say that Iowa State’s Department of Athletics written management policy was not thoroughly implemented and does not ensure the safety of all those attending and participating in the game.
Iowa State announced that they are appealing the fine, Iowa State Athletics Director Jamie Pollard disagreeing with the accusation.
“Our local law enforcement officers and the CSC security staff did an outstanding job keeping all the student-athletes, game officials and fans safe during the postgame celebration on Saturday. I have personally watched the video multiple times and I am confident the officers and security staff followed the procedures we had previously submitted to the Big 12 Conference office,” explains Pollard.
Pollard also mentions that the protocol that was followed during the Iowa State and West Virginia game was almost identical to the Iowa State vs TCU game, where the fans also rushed the field, and the Big 12 Conference had no issue with Iowa State’s protocol at that time.
This win for Iowa State was monumental, and as their second win against a top 10 team, the fans were overcome with pride and wanted to celebrate. Given the fact there were no injuries, and the only unrest that the event caused was irritation from West Virginia, the fine is incredibly unreasonable.
Since neither Iowa State nor the Big 12 Conference mention fans not being allowed to come onto the field in their protocols, and an almost identical incident happened a year ago with no consequences, Iowa State shouldn’t have been fined the $25,000.
If the Big 12 Conference has an issue with what occurred at the Iowa State vs. West Virginia game, then an amendment should be made prohibiting that behavior. But until then, Iowa State and their fans should be able to enjoy their victory against West Virginia, without having to pay for it.
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