Wednesday September 30th, 2015

Iowa State was forced to sleep on luggage and pillows in a hotel ballroom after winning the 2013 Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii, reports the Ames Tribune’s Travis Hines.

The report focused on the perceived “nickel and diming” of the Cyclones’ men’s basketball program by the university’s athletic department in the eyes of some members of the program. It specifically focuses on the relationship between athletic director Jamie Pollard and former head coach Fred Hoiberg, who left Iowa State in June to coach the Chicago Bulls in the NBA.

The relationship between Pollard and Hoiberg was described by Hines as “cordial, professional and functional, though not close.” Various instances of perceived cost-cutting by Iowa State were described in the story as potentially playing a role in prompting Hoiberg to leave Ames, where he went to high school and later played for Iowa State from 1991 to ’95.

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The Cyclones, on their way to the best start in school history, went without hotel rooms in order to save ISU from paying an extra night’s rate as they waited hours for their return flights to Iowa, sources with direct knowledge of the situation told the Ames Tribune.

“It was bush league,” one source said. “It was a mid-major move.”

It was one example of what multiple sources described as a pattern of “nickel and diming” of the men’s basketball program by the ISU athletic department and athletic director Jamie Pollard in the final years before Fred Hoiberg left to coach the Chicago Bulls in June.

Hoiberg coached the Cyclones for five seasons before leaving this summer, posting a 115-56 record with four NCAA tournament appearances.

On Wednesday, Pollard and Hoiberg both spoke separately on KXNO-AM in Des Moines to respond to the story.

- Beth Maiman

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