I often wonder how much celebrity endorsements of political candidates really help. I mean, do I really care who my favorite actor or sports star is going to vote for? But here in Iowa, where the race for the GOP nomination is neck and neck, an endorsement from, say the Iowa Hawkeye football team, might just do the trick!

Republican candidate Donald Trump spoke at a rally in Iowa City last night, and prior, had a meeting with several members of the Iowa football team. They even presented Trump with his own Hawkeye jersey. Trump made reference to them during his speech, even calling quarterback CJ Beathard the "next Tom Brady". Trump went on to compliment the Hawks saying, "What a team". The crowd chanted LET'S GO HAWKS! Was this a political rally or an I-Club meeting?

Either way, Trump knows who you need to get a photo op within the state of Iowa. He found CJ Beathard for one before the event was over.


Iowa Athletic Director Gary Barta has made a statement about last night's rally. It reads, "I was made aware that a number of current and former UI students from various sports attended the rally last night.

University of Iowa student-athletes are encouraged to participate in the political process as individuals. However, like any endorsement by a student or faculty member, their participation should not be considered representative of the entire team or university. In recent months, candidates from both parties representing a spectrum of ideals have visited Iowa City. We will continue to support this approach without influencing political choice or agendas.

The jersey presented to Mr. Trump was not an official Iowa football jersey. No candidate has asked for, or received, any official Iowa athletic equipment or apparel.

We are confident that no violations of NCAA rules and regulations have taken place."