Iowa Senate bill introduced in response to Stanford band controversy
Iowa still hasn’t gotten a true apology from Stanford University officials following the Rose Bowl halftime performance debacle.
As a result, the Iowa government is trying to disassociate itself with Stanford until that happens.
According to the Des Moines Register, State Sen. Mark Chelgren, R-Ottumwa is introducing a bill that would ban all three state universities in Iowa from cooperating with Stanford until its officials apologize for their band’s “unsporting behavior.”
“I think it’s unfortunate because here in Iowa we try to teach sportsmanship,” Chelgren told the Register. “We try to teach courtesy, and when someone behaves in a way that is contrary to that, we need to point it out.”
The bill, entitled Senate File 2081, was introduced at the Iowa Capitol on Wednesday. It would include Iowa, Iowa State and Northern Iowa.
The controversy began when Stanford’s band, which had already been suspended for road games in 2015 for similar actions, mocked Iowa by tipping a fake cow, singing the FarmersOnly.com jingle and forming a corn maize. ESPN pulled its broadcast of the performance and Iowa fans booed Stanford off the field in Pasadena.
It didn’t make matters any better when Stanford’s band director mocked Iowa some more afterwards.
— Edward M. Beaux (@lsjumb) January 2, 2016
The university then defended the performance with a saying that it was intended to be “irreverent fun, given Iowa’s connection to farming and Stanford’s historical nickname ‘The Farm.’”
Either way, it wasn’t received as an official apology, which is perhaps why Chelgren was still up in arms about the issue.
Will the bill pass? According to two other Iowa State Senators, it likely won’t be approved.
At the very least, it could get the attention of Stanford officials. Maybe that will result in the apology Chelgren and other Iowans seek.