Iowa men’s basketball coach Fran McCaffery was contrite and apologetic today, less than 24 hours after he got two technical fouls and was ejected from Sunday’s 75-71 loss at No. 4 Wisconsin.
Iowa athletic director Gary Barta also weighed in, releasing a statement that said his coach “knows he crossed a line of acceptable behavior and accepts responsibility for his actions.”
Barta also said that McCaffery, in his fourth season with the Hawkeyes, “has my full support moving forward.”
McCaffery confirmed today what he suggested after the game, that he got his first technical on purpose in an attempt to put a fire under his team. The Hawkeyes had let an 11-point lead slip to 41-39, with just under 12 minutes to play, when McCaffery got his first technical.
“What I’ve got to do then is turn around,” McCaffery said on the Big Ten coaches teleconference this morning. “I was talking to one (official) and the other one banged me. I’ve got to be smart not to do that.”
Officials Tim Clougherty and John Gaffney, in that order, hit McCaffery with back-to-back technicals. It was the second ejection of McCaffery’s career. He also got ejected from a 2011 loss at Northern Iowa.
Wisconsin’s Ben Brust made all four free throws awarded on the technicals to give the Badgers a lead they would never relinquish.
“I think you’ve got to be able to assess things that happen,” McCaffery reflected. “That’s what you ask your players to do. You’ve got to be able to do that yourself and say, ‘All right, not what I wanted. I didn’t put our team in a position to benefit them, and I think you’ve got to be man enough to admit that and say, I regret that.’ I don’t want to put them in that position. Additionally, you don’t ever want to do anything to embarrass the university.”
In a statement released by the university, McCaffery issued a similar apology “for my emotional reaction” and added that he regretted that his actions “put our program in a negative light.”
On the teleconference, McCaffery also touched on the social media world we live in. Video of his ejection went viral.
“Now, everyone looks at it and wants to assess it and weigh in on it,” McCaffery said. “That’s just part of the world we live in. To that end I don’t want to ever do anything to embarrass the school. But more importantly, to put our team in a position that would make it harder for them to win. I regret the second (technical), no question.”
McCaffery’s infamous chair slam at Michigan State in January of 2012 also went viral, an act he said he did to motivate a team that he felt wasn’t playing with the kind of toughness necessary.
Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany voiced concern with that incident at Michigan State, and discussed it with Barta.
“I would characterize those talks as productive,” Barta said then. “We’ve moved on.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball