IOWA CITY, Ia. – Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz became verbally combative Tuesday when a reporter asked about former athletic department academic adviser Peter Gray, who resigned last week amid accusations of sexually harrassing students.
After his weekly press conference, Ferentz was asked by an Associated Press reporter about a report that has “been out there that you had your players cut off contact with Pete Gray.”
Ferentz responded, “Been out where?”
When told by the reporter that it was a radio report, the coach said with sarcasm: “Then we know that’s true.”
When asked again if Iowa football players had cut off contact with Gray, Ferentz said: “I would not know that. Maybe they have, maybe they haven’t. It would be up to them.”
Iowa City radio station KCJJ reported on its website Monday that Ferentz and U of I men’s swimming coach Marc Long cut off access between Gray and their student athletes shortly before Gray was allowed to resign for personal reasons.
The radio station’s report was based on anonymous sources.
An internal university investigative report obtained by the Iowa City Press-Citizen revealed that Gray provided football tickets and money for sexual favors and inappropriately touched student-athletes. The university’s investigation into Gray also turned up a long list of sexual harassment violations, according to the U of I report.
Ferentz, however, was so annoyed when asked about the radio station’s report that he interrupted an answer he was giving a reporter who inquired about Michigan, the Iowa football team’s opponent on Saturday.
“I’m distracted by ‘it’s out there,’ ” Ferentz said to the reporter asking about the Wolverines. “That’s so bad.”
Ferentz went on to say that Gray “didn’t work with our players. He did in the past, but it’s been a while.”
Ferentz was still annoyed as reporters were leaving the room, even cursing when talking to the reporter. The coach then said, “Pardon my French.”
The U of I report document inappropriate behavior by Gray back to his initial employment with the university from 1993 to 1995, and since Gray was rehired in 2002.
Hawkeye athletic director Gary Barta and U of I president Sally Mason have refused to speak to reporters about Gray’s departure.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football