Falling metal in Assembly Hall forces Indiana to postpone Iowa game
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana postponed Tuesday night's game against No. 15 Iowa after an 8-foot piece of metal fell from the ceiling and into the seats at Assembly Hall.
Athletic director Fred Glass said the school made the decision to call off the game after the piece, roughly 8 feet long and 14 inches wide, fell into the lower bowl of the arena and damaged seats in the northwest corner. The accident occurred about six hours before the scheduled tip time of 9 p.m.
No makeup date was announced. Iowa (19-6, 8-4 Big Ten) is in third place in the league standings, and the Hoosiers (14-11, 4-8) are near the bottom.
"Safety is our No. 1 priority," Glass said. "Our university engineers have advised us to postpone events in Assembly Hall until it can be determined what caused the facing to fall and ensure the safety of everyone attending an event in the facility."
The men's basketball team has only two other home games scheduled this season -- March 2 against Ohio State and March 5 against Nebraska. Indiana's women's team is scheduled to play at Assembly Hall on Wednesday night against Michigan. Glass said no decision has been made about that game.
Iowa reluctantly headed home.
Athletic director Gary Barta acknowledged he was working with Glass and Big Ten officials to determine when, and possibly where, to play a rescheduled game.
"Obviously, we are disappointed tonight's game had to be cancelled," Barta said in a statement. "(Coach) Fran (McCaffrey) and his team are in contention for a Big Ten title and were looking forward to the opportunity to getting back on the court. The most important part of this equation is safety.
"We are in full support of Indiana's decision to postpone the game based on the issues with Assembly Hall."
Assembly Hall, one of college basketball's iconic facilities, opened during the 1971-72 season and holds more than 17,000 fans, but there haven't been many changes made inside the building since it opened.
Last month, school officials announced that Cindy Simon Skjodt was donating $40 million to help renovate the facility, which will be renamed the Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.
Among the planned changes are a new entryway, remodeled bathrooms and concession stands, and a big, new video scoreboard along with box seats above the south baseline bleachers.