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Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Iowa lends hand to tornado victims

By Brian Bennett

The Iowa football program has offered a helping hand to victims of the devastating tornadoes in Oklahoma.

The semi-trailers that regularly haul the Hawkeyes' equipment to road trips during the season was instead filled with food and other items needed by the tornado victims. Mike Riggan, who is the president of TanTara Transportation Corporation and the designer/driver of the Iowa football trucks, led the collection efforts, while former Iowa players helped round up donations.

The items were delivered to a Food Bank in Oklahoma on Monday, where the truck was met by a busload of Oklahoma players and Sooners coach Bob Stoops, who helped unload the goods.

"On behalf of myself, Carol and everyone at the University of Oklahoma, we really appreciate the generosity of the people of the state of Iowa," Stoops said in an official statement. "It's really incredible that the people of Iowa brought truckloads of food here to the Food Bank.

"I spent 10 years -- five playing and five as a young assistant at Iowa -- and to see the Iowa Hawkeye trucks here is pretty special."

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz reached out to Stoops a week ago and told him about Riggan's plan to collect the goods. Oklahoma players had just returned to campus for summer classes and workouts.

"I've got all my big linemen [out helping]," Stoops said. "They're the right ones to unload a truck. We've got all them up to try and help out. We'll continue to do what we can and try to jump in and help people in different ways."

It was a great gesture by Iowa, and it's heartening to see two football programs pitching in for a very worthy cause.