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IU officials hosted a press conference at 7 p.m. tonight after canceling the Hoosiers' NCAA basketball game tonight against the Iowa Hawkeyes. The reason: A heavy metal beam fell from the ceiling into seats in the Assembly Hall's lower level. "You realize what an absolute crisis was averted," IU men's basketball coach Tom Crean said to the press.
Here's footage of that metal piece falling, via ESPN anchor Chris Hassel:
"Safety is our number-one priority," said Fred Glass, IU vice president and athletic director. "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." Glass termed the metal piece, and those like it that remain up in the rafters, decorative and not structural. The incident is said not to be indicative of a longterm issue with the historic building.
The IU–Iowa match-up will be rescheduled, and the Bloomington campus's leaders turned down the Indiana Pacers organization's offer to host the contest Wednesday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. A women's basketball game to be played Wednesday night between IU and Michigan is set to go on as planned.
The university received $40 million to rename the arena Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in light of the monetary gift from Cindy Simon Skjodt.
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