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UISG: Hawkeyes are good sports

BY GUEST OPINION | OCTOBER 18, 2012 6:30 AM

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This Saturday, Hawks Nest and the UI Student Government challenge our fellow students to welcome Big Ten rival Penn State with respect. This includes maintaining a competitive spirit and exhibiting positive sportsmanship before, during, and after the game.  

As students and fans, we should strive to create a positive environment for all Penn State fans, student-athletes, coaches, staff, and game officials while maintaining a competitive spirit and exhibiting sportsmanship.

More than ever, our effort to promote a healthy and respectful competition is needed. This is our opportunity to lead and excel. We can show other members of the Big Ten and the nation what positive sportsmanship can look like. However, our actions should be more than about just making a point — it should be also about making a difference.

In August 2011, members from Hawks Nest and UISG collaborated with other Big Ten students, including those from Penn State, to develop the Big Ten Sportsmanship Agreement. This grass-roots effort to promote positive sportsmanship exhibits our conference goal: No matter what colors we wear, we respect the game and each other.

Many of our Big Ten rivals have pursued efforts to make a difference in order to promote sportsmanship. Here at Iowa, Hawks Nest has led, with the help of UISG and other organizations, to hand out sportsmanship and spirit buttons to opposing fans when they come to Kinnick Stadium.

Simple gestures of welcoming and not degrading our opponents go a long way in promoting Big Ten values of sportsmanship.

As a part of our challenge to make a difference, we ask our fellow Hawkeyes to refrain from booing Penn State when the players enter the field. We ask all students and fans to cheer as loud as possible but not degrade our opponent. Additionally, this simple act of positive sportsmanship shows we understand that Iowa and Penn State are apart of a shared conference goal, positive sportsmanship.

We also ask fans to remain passionate throughout the course of the game by creating the most exciting atmosphere as possible. Cheering loud and proud can be accomplished without degrading our opponent. Lastly, please respect the game officials.

On Saturday, please remember we are constant representatives of the University of Iowa and the conference Iowa and Penn State share. We are the Big Ten. Welcome our Big Ten rivals with respect. Go Hawks!

TJ McCann, Hawks Nest president
Nicholas Pottebaum, UISG president


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