Tuesday evening wasn’t kind to the Iowa Hawkeyes, as the team took a 20-point loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes. While that was bad enough for the basketball program, head coach Fran McCaffrey made a mess of things, reportedly blasting an official verbally after the game in the tunnels of Value City Arena in Columbus.
Though Iowa and the Big Ten did not confirm what exactly McCaffrey said to the official in question, the program announced on Wednesday that its head coach is receiving a two-game suspension for his actions. The ban will keep McCaffrey away from a home game against Rutgers and a road game against Wisconsin and the suspension comes for what is being described as “unsportsmanlike comments directed at an official.”
In addition, the Big Ten fined McCaffrey $10,000 for “violating the Big Ten sportsmanship policy” with his actions and the veteran head coach acknowledged the suspension and fine with a comment of his own in the official release.
“I am in total agreement with the suspension by Iowa Athletics and the fine levied by the Big Ten Conference,” said McCaffrey in an official release. “My comments directed toward a game official were regretful. I apologize to Big Ten Conference officials, Iowa Athletics, my players and staff, and the tremendous Hawkeye fans. This behavior is not acceptable and I take full responsibility for my inappropriate comments.”
Quite obviously, McCaffrey earned the suspension if his reported comments were accurate. On one hand, it isn’t out of the ordinary for college basketball coaches to swear at officials. On the other end entirely, McCaffrey’s reported comments cross the line entirely, with the insinuation of foul play and wildly inappropriate language, especially when considering it was after all parties left the floor.
It isn’t the first time that Fran McCaffrey showed off an ugly streak when it comes to his temper but, this time around, both his program and the Big Ten came down swiftly and, in general, the reprimand seems to be met with approval from those in the college basketball community.