Iowa basketball coach Fran McCaffery on a radio broadcaster’s shot at one of his players: ‘It’s inexcusable’
Mark Emmert, [email protected]
Just more than an hour before the tipoff of the Big Ten Conference season for the No. 15 Iowa men’s basketball team, Hawkeyes radio broadcaster Gary Dolphin tweeted an apology for comments he made during Tuesday’s game against Pittsburgh.
Dolphin drew attention for remarks regarding recruiting and the on-court play of guard Maishe Dailey made during the 69-68 victory against the Panthers that he thought were off-air.
After reviewing the minute-long audio segment, Iowa athletics director Gary Barta issued a two-game suspension for Dolphin, set to begin with Friday’s 7 p.m. game against 22nd-ranked Wisconsin and continuing with Monday’s game at No. 8 Michigan State.
Jim Albracht will be the play-by-play announcer for both contests in which Dolphin is suspended.
Just before 6 p.m. Friday, Dolphin issued a second apology on the incident from his Twitter account after speaking with reporters late Tuesday night.
“First, I want to apologize again to Maishe, Coach (Fran) McCaffery, his staff and the Hawkeye basketball players. What I said was unacceptable. I know how hard Maishe works and what a talented player he is. Bobby and I also know how hard recruiting is, and our coaches work tirelessly doing it the right way. I’m in complete agreement with the two-game suspension. This is on me and nobody else. It’s hard to communicate to fans but I am part of the athletics department family and my comments and actions need to reflect that relationship. I am fully on the same page with Gary and Fran as we work through this. Go Hawks, Beat Wisconsin!”
The Hawkeyes are are off to a 6-0 start for the first time in five seasons. Dolphin’s return game is slated for Dec. 6, when the Hawkeyes host 6-1 in-state rival Iowa State.
In his first public comments on the matter Thursday, Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said he pulled Dailey aside after Dolphin’s remarks became public.
“It was incredibly unfair. The kid has given his all for us. He plays hard. He’s a good person. He didn’t deserve it,” McCaffery said. “But he’s also a young guy with tremendous character. I’ve been really impressed with how he’s handled it.”
Barta was scheduled to address the situation in a Friday evening news conference.