The University of Iowa Presidential Committee on Athletics is recommending the U-of-I athletic department sever all sponsorship ties with gambling interests, including the Iowa Lottery. Thursday’s vote is only a recommendation, with the ultimate decision left to Interim President Gary Fethke and Athletic Director Gary Barta. Barta says a final decision will be made in the coming few weeks.
Barta says: "I’m not going to say I have a preference one way or another. My stance right now is status quo. We’ve had these relationships for many, many years. They’ve been very good relationships." The school’s relationship with gambling sponsorships has come under scrutiny with the airing of an Iowa Lottery promotion using a parody of the Iowa fight song and the advertising of the Riverside Riverboat Casino and Golf Resort on the Kinnick Stadium video board.
Barta says the matter is being carefully weighed. Barta says: "It’s not a cut and dried decision. There are several institutions across the country who have relationships with the lottery. There are several who have relationships with alcohol companies, and some don’t and some do. There are guidelines and principles the NCAA puts out and we certainly haven’t violated any NCAA rules. Today was a great debate and now we’ll just continue to decide where we want to go from here."
The panel voted 12-to-two to recommend lottery promotions no longer be tied to the Iowa Hawkeyes.