By Brendan Stiles
JOHNSTON, Iowa — The mob spoke, and the Iowa Corn Growers Association listened.
Just four days following the unveiling of a new Cy-Hawk Trophy, Iowa Corn, along with members of both Iowa and Iowa State announced at a press conference Tuesday the new trophy was being scrapped after an overwhelming amount of negative feedback came from across the state and country.
Instead, Iowa Corn is now seeking fan input on what the new trophy should consist of, with the plan being to have it ready for the 2012 football game between Iowa and Iowa State that will be held at Kinnick Stadium.
“The new Cy-Hawk football trophy, we trust, will be truly something the fans will embrace,” Iowa Corn CEO Craig Floss said.
Floss said the trophy unveiled last week, which consisted of a family of four with the father on his knee with a bushel of corn in front of his wife and two kids, was created by an Iowa company he didn’t name that specialized in making trophies.
Floss made mention of an interim trophy being in place for the Sept. 10 showdown at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, but with that being less than three weeks away, the odds of any trophy being awarded to the game’s winner appears slim. Iowa associated athletics director Rick Klatt confirmed the original Cy-Hawk Trophy wouldn’t be used.
But there’s more to this story that goes beyond whether there would be a trophy and what it would look like. Both Klatt and Iowa State senior associate athletics director Steve Malchow acknowledged that season ticket holders and donors of both universities weren’t involved in the collaboration of what was originally put together.
Klatt also said the two schools shared as much of a burden over what went down as Iowa Corn, who was on the receiving end of an avalanche of tweets, emails and phone calls from those expressing their opinions on the trophy that was made public last week.
“We weren’t blind to the fact that there would be very strong opinions and that you wouldn’t satisfy everyone,” Klatt said. “But it’s clearly a different environment today because of our communications systems that are available to everyone versus as recently as a decade ago.”
Malchow said talks had begun between Iowa State and Iowa to put together a new Cy-Hawk Trophy prior to the Cy-Hawk Series picking up Iowa Corn to replace Hy-Vee as its sponsor.
“Iowa Corn didn’t ask to change the trophy when they signed on. Each of the schools had received considerable feedback about changing the trophy over the years,” Malchow said. “The new partnership with Iowa Corn simply provided the right time to make that change.”
Although it’s doubtful that “an interim trophy” is in place by Sept. 10, the concept of a new trophy being designed and ready before 2012 made clear that all three parties like the idea of Iowa and Iowa State continuing to play for a prize, which has been the case since the intrastate rivalry resumed on an annual basis in 1977.
“I think with the passionate amount of feedback that we have received about the trophy, we’d be remiss to not try to put a trophy in place,” Floss said. “Obviously, that’s what folks want us to do.”