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Harty blog: Enough to criticize Ferentz about without including how he deals with the media

[ 0 ] November 12, 2012 |

   There are plenty of reasons to criticize and question Kirk Ferentz given the current state of his football team, but how he treats the media isn’t one of them.

   Who cares if he was less than jovial following this past Saturday’s 27-24 loss to Purdue? How is Ferentz supposed to act after watching his team lose its fourth game in a row?

   Right now, the 4-6 Iowa football team is in a free fall heading into Saturday’s game at Michigan and there isn’t much Ferentz can say or do about it.

   I bring this up because Ferentz’s post-game demeanor from this past Saturday keeps being scrutinized. He’s been accused of being rude, condescending and combative amongst other things.

   The same coach who gets criticized for not showing enough emotion finally shows a little and still gets criticized. Ferentz can’t win in this situation, sort of like Iowa’s games recently.

   Ferentz was perhaps slightly rude by his standards, but his behavior after the Purdue loss still wouldn’t have registered too high on the rude scale compared to other coaches.

   What Ferentz did this past Saturday was nothing compared to when Mount Hayden used to erupt at Iowa. When it came to the media, former Iowa coach Hayden Fry was as hot and cold as the current weather.

   Ferentz, on the other hand, usually says the same generic stuff in the same fashion. He never raises his voice, never calls out a player and rarely confronts the media.

   This past Saturday was about as close as Ferentz gets to being confrontational, but really it was nothing in the big scheme of things.

   My biggest complaint about Ferentz as a reporter is that he repeats himself over and over and rarely goes into much detail about anything. It’s frustrating when you’re trying to generate copy on a daily basis, but it’s understandable.

   Ferentz couldn’t go into much detail about Iowa’s woes this season without tossing individual players and coaches under the boss. We should know by now that he strongly objects to doing that.

   Ferentz rarely calls out the media in public, but he will when the media singles out one of his players for criticism that gets personal.

  Ferentz and the players have beaten the execution drum to death, while fans and the media are convinced that Iowa’s problems are due more to a lack of talent.

   Even if Ferentz felt that way, he’d never say it publicly because that would be pointing the finger at his players.

   The players never would say it publicly because that would be almost like conceding to the competition.

   Ferentz is a proud, determined and sometimes stubborn coach who’s dealing with a potential crisis in his 14th season at Iowa. His legacy already has been shaped to a point, but what happens from here until the end also will have much to say about how Ferentz is viewed.

   He didn’t help himself this past Saturday by using the victories over Minnesota and Michigan State to defend his team because they happened a month ago and everything has been in collapse mode since then. Ferentz is correct in saying that it wasn’t dog-crap Iowa team that defeated Minnesota on Sept. 29 at Kinnick Stadium and Michigan State two weeks later on the road.

   But Iowa is playing that way now and emotions are strained. Everybody has their breaking point, even the usually stoic Ferentz.

   But when he breaks, it’s hardly a big deal.


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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Pat Harty: Columnist Pat Harty has been covering the Iowa Hawkeyes for the Press-Citizen since 1991. Originally from Des Moines, he currently writes columns and covers Hawkeye men's basketball for Hawk Central. View author profile.

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