The public reaction to the new Cy-Hawk trophy was quick and mostly negative, and that led the Iowa Corn Growers Association and representatives of Iowa and Iowa State to announce Tuesday they were dropping the trophy.
Corn Growers Association C.E.O. Craig Floss says they had already begun talking about making a change during the weekend following Friday’s unveiling of the new trophy.
He says they were monitoring their Twitter and Facebook accounts and it was overwhelming. Floss says there was “a tremendous amount of value in what they were trying to do” in coming up with a trophy that went beyond the football game to the whole Cy-Hawk series, but in the end they listened to the fans. Floss says the only downside to the feedback was the comments that were over the top.
“There are many things that were said to us organizationally, and to us personally, that there’s no way I’m gonna repeat (them) in front of all of these cameras,” Floss said. Floss says the Corn Growers drew the fire because people mistakenly thought his organization sought to redesign the trophy as part of their agreement to become the new sponsor of the series.
He says the decision to re-think the trophy came from those who had heartfelt comments. “We all embrace freedom of speech and the ability to put your opinion out there,” Floss said, “honestly though the things that I listened to the most were not those who ranted and raved, and were crude and etcetera.” He says the people who said they don’t normally comment, but said they weren’t fond of the trophy and asked them to reconsider, were the ones he listened to because they “weren’t just spotting off.”
University of Iowa associate athletic director, Rick Klatt, says the negative comments aimed at the Iowa Corn Growers were the downside. Klatt says fair criticism is great as everyone is going to question play calling and team uniforms or a variety of other things. But he says when it crosses the line against one organization, that is where he was most affected.
Iowa State University associate athletic director Steve Malchow agreed. “The real negative and hated commentary seemed to be directed at Iowa Corn, which was unfortunate and not appropriate,” Malchow says. Otherwise, Malchow says the comments were pretty standard to what they receive on a variety of items all the time.
The plan is to allow fans to help design a new trophy for the football game, and an interim trophy will be used for this year’s game on September 10th.