The NCAA Big Ten Conference has suspended University of Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery for one game following his unbridled outburst in a match against the University of Wisconsin on Monday. The suspension puts the finishing touches on McCaffery’s loss of temper which also got him ejected from the game during the second half of the match.
It was a confluence of events that started with Wisconsin squandering an 11-point advantage with less than 12 minutes left in regulation time. Referees then called a penalty on an Iowa player while ignoring what Coach McCaffery considered was a blatant foul by a Wisconsin player. Before he realized it, he was given two technical penalties for his belligerence towards the referee. Still not content, McCaffery wanted to get “a piece” of the ref and had to be pulled back by Iowa coaching personnel. He was subsequently ejected. Indeed, he seemed to channeling his inner Billy Martin, the legendary temperamental manager of the New York Yankees prone to get ejected for the same reason.
McCaffery has now apologized for his meltdown. The Big Ten cited his “unsportsmanlike conduct” and violation of section 10.01 of their code of business conduct known formally as “The Big Ten Conference Agreement” in its decision to impose a one-game suspension.
“I want to again apologize to the University of Iowa, my players, staff and the tremendous Hawkeye fans for my emotional reaction during Sunday’s game,” said McCaffery. “I regret my actions and accept the Big Ten Conference’s decision. I am ready to move on.”
“Fran expressed his remorse and accepted responsibility from the first minute we talked on Monday morning, said UI Director of Athletics Gary Barta. “We accept the ruling of the Big Ten Conference and as a result Fran will not coach his team Thursday evening. We all look forward to putting the incident behind us. Our focus now is on Thursday night against Northwestern and the remainder of the conference season. Fran continues to have my full support moving forward.”
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Big Ten suspends Iowa coach Fran McCaffery for one game