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Iowa History Daily: December 11 - Big Ten Boots Hawkeyes

Iowa History Daily: On December 11, 1929, the University of Iowa disqualified 27 players, presumably due to compensation issues, in order to seek reinstatement in the Big Ten. Expelled from the conference in May of 1929, Iowa leadership never admitted wrong-doing, and the Big Ten faculty committee voted to reinstate the Hawkeyes following the 1929 season.

Trouble started brewing in the spring of ‘29 when the Big Ten announced a suspension of all athletic relations with the State University of Iowa effective January 1, 1930. As the Hawkeyes prepared for the first season at the facility known to fans today as Kinnick Stadium, turmoil surrounded the university’s athletic programs. Athletic Director Paul E. Belting resigned shortly before the Big 10 announced sanctions.

Struggles dating back to 1926, when the Hawkeyes went winless in the Big 10, led to public outcry. Smoothed over by a title-contending starting the season 6-0, questions as to how the team turned around so fast quickly led to suspicions from other schools. When the Big 10 suspended Iowa, an official statement from other league athletic directors stated: “(the faculty committee must be) able to guarantee that athletic teams of conference institutions be not composed of hired players.”

In the aftermath, the league demanded Iowa assert faculty control over athletics in a June meeting. An extensive shakeup in governance paired with the university declaring 16 football players as temporarily ineligible for competition in September. Later in the fall, the university released fourteen names tied to compensation to the public before submitting the reinstatement request. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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