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ISU officials, player ring bell at NY Stock Exchange

This news story was published on December 29, 2011.
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Scott Dochterman, The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

NEW YORK — Iowa State linebacker Jake Knott will graduate with a business management degree and minor in finance. He had a keen interest of the inner-workings of the New York Stock Exchange.

Thursday morning, he received a tutorial on how that world works, and he decided it wasn’t for him.

“You kind of see how small you are in the whole scheme of things,” said Knott, a Waukee High School graduate. “There’s so much going on here and so many people are really running the economy here.

“I don’t know if I’d probably live that type of a lifestyle. I’m a little too Midwestern for that, I guess you’d say.”

Knott, Iowa State President Gregory Geoffroy, Athletics Director Jamie Pollard and Coach Paul Rhoads participated with Rutgers and Pinstripe Bowl officials in ringing the opening bell. Rhoads and Rutgers Coach Greg Schiano together pushed a green button at the podium that sounded the bell as the entourage was encouraged to clap before and during the ringing.

But there was an obstacle before the bell. As everyone proceeded up the back stairwell at 9:27 a.m., the platform door was locked.

“We couldn’t even get in so we had to run and get security real quick to make sure we got our ourselvesthere on time,” Rhoads said.

Rhoads said afterward he was surprised a button started the trading rather than a traditional bell.

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“I had no idea it was electronic like it is,” he said. “They still have because they want it for the show.

“I was expecting at this point (about 5 minutes after the ringing) it would be a madhouse down here, and I was kind of looking forward to that to be honest with you. I had no idea. You get to see the pageantry that this building holds and the change what it is electronically is 2011 for sure.”

Knott said he wasn’t nervous about the experience, partly because of his company.

“Since I was with Coach Rhoads and Jamie Pollard and Dr. Geoffroy, I figured if we had to give a speech, I wasn’t going to be the one to do it,” he said.

Here are a few other quotes from the event:

Knott on the moment:

“Everything looks a little different than it does on TV. I think just being able to see all the ins and outs, stuff up close, it’s a great experience and it kind of gives you more of an appreciation for what the people do here and all that.”

“I’m just there for appearances. I stood behind Coach Rhoads, and Coach Rhoads and Coach Schiano both got to press the bell to ring it. Just being a part of that was a great experience.”

“I guess it’s just kind of a very well put-together organized event that there’s no big hurrah. Papers aren’t flying in the air or anything like that. But just being able to see how the world has changed electronically and how much that impact has taken effect here and the people working on the floor doing their jobs on computers it’s really neat, and it’s really organized.”

Knott on Wall Street:

“This is what basically runs the economy. This is what makes people happy or mad every single day basically. You’re dealing with money here, and that’s what runs the world.”

Rhoads on the Wall Street experience:

“As you can imagine it’s certainly different viewing than what you see on television. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I’m glad I got to be here to represent Iowa State University.”

Rhoads on participating in New York activities:

“So many things and over 90 percent of the roster had never been to New York City, and they were genuinely excited about that. But until they got here and actually started experiencing it, I don’t think they realized what kind of environment, what kind of experience they were actually going to get.

“They’ve taken advantage of every second of it because they’re running here and there and at the same time they’re remain focused on their preparation which I’m probably most proud of.”

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