University of Iowa Says Hawkeyes at Trump Rally Didn’t Violate NCAA Rules

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IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Officials with the University of Iowa say they believe no NCAA rules or university policies were violated at a Donald Trump rally on Tuesday night, according to the Iowa City Press-Citizen.

At the event held inside the University of Iowa Fieldhouse in Iowa City, several members of the Hawkeye football and wrestling teams joined the Republican presidential candidate on stage.

"University of Iowa student-athletes are encouraged to participate in the political process as individuals," UI athletics director Gary Barta said in an email statement Wednesday, according to the Iowa City Press-Citizen. "However, like any endorsement by a student or faculty member, their participation should not be considered representative of the entire team or university. In recent months, candidates from both parties representing a spectrum of ideals have visited Iowa City. We will continue to support this approach without influencing particular political choice or agendas."

Trump asking the student-athletes to join him on stage came after he privately met some of the team members earlier in the day.

"Where's my football team? Get over here, football team," Trump said, according to the Iowa City Press-Citizen. "The football team, come on! University of Iowa. ... Come on up here. Come on up, right? Get up! What a team, what a team. And they were so nice: They endorsed Trump. They like Trump, and I like them. I love you guys. Look at the size, how big and strong. That's what we like. Thank you, fellas."

The use of student-athletes in ads or associations that "endorses a political candidate or party" or "advocates a viewpoint on controversial issues of public importance" are prohibited in the NCAA's Advertising and Promotional Guidelines.

However, Barta said he isn't concerned about any violations.

"We are confident that no violations of NCAA rules and regulations have taken place," Barta said, according to the Iowa City Press-Citizen.

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