Iowa State athletics found itself in a scandal of its own making Wednesday, as its social media director was forced to issue an apology for a tweet that many of the school's fans found highly offensive.
"I sincerely apologize to Coach Campbell, Director Pollard and the entirety of 'hashtag Cyclone with the O-N-E in all caps Nation' for my inappropriate, repulsive and objectionable tweet," he said. "It never should have gone out, and I greatly regret that it did. Please accept my deepest regret and apology for this horrendously ill-advised act."
The tweet in question is still posted, oddly enough:
— Cyclone Football (@CycloneFB) March 6, 2018
Iowa State fans immediately and loudly objected to the use of the word "Iowa," as it has been deemed a derogatory slur and scrubbed from the vocabulary of Cyclone supporters. Head football coach Matt Campbell stopped saying the word months ago, and both Campbell and basketball coach Steve Prohm have stopped all recruiting in the state of Iowa for years, as a symbolic gesture to their respective programs' Iowa-hating fans.
Reaction was swift: Athletic director Jamie Pollard immediately stopped production of Three Billboards Outside Cedar Rapids, Iowa, his sequel to the Oscar-nominated film, and returned to Ames to address the controversy. Unfortunately, he still hasn't made it to campus, as the University's former President damaged the school's plane during a joyride and the only other mode of transportation available from Iowa State was a team of oxen hooked up to a covered wagon.
Campbell, long considered the ringleader of the "Hate Iowa" movement in Ames, was gracious toward the offending staffer. "Look, we all let it slip every once in a while. We're all learning how to live in a world where we aren't going to say a word that is literally in the name of our school. It will take time. Trust the process." Campbell then offered his version of the same graphic used in the tweet, only scrubbed of the offending language.
When asked for comment, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said, "Honestly, the only thing I found offensive is that an institution of higher learning doesn't know that an ellipses doesn't have four periods." The longtime coach added, "What a bunch of amateurs."