Big Ten suspends Iowa’s McCaffery for 1 game
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Big Ten suspended Iowa coach Fran McCaffery for one game and fined Iowa $10,000 on Tuesday for his outburst during a loss at Wisconsin.
McCaffery received back-to-back technical fouls and was ejected for arguing with officials midway through the second half of Sunday’s game. The Big Ten said McCaffery’s actions violated the league’s sportsmanship policy.
McCaffery will sit out Thursday’s home game against Northwestern and assistant coach Kirk Speraw will take his place. Iowa spokesman Steve Roe told The Associated Press that Thursday’s scheduled “Fran McCaffery Bobblehead Night” will likely be rescheduled.
McCaffery apologized for the second time in as many days on Tuesday, saying that he regrets his actions and is ready to move on.
“I think it’s important to point out that my passion and energy come from a good place,” McCaffery said during a news conference in Iowa City. “I want my players to play that way. We ask them to play that way, and I’m going to fight for my guys. That’s what I’m going to do. That will not stop. But I think in that instance, without question, I lost my cool, and you can’t do that.”
McCaffery’s temper has gotten him in trouble before. But this is his first suspension in four seasons at Iowa.
McCaffery was ejected late in a blowout loss at Northern Iowa in 2011. In early 2012, he slammed a chair to the court in frustration during a loss at Michigan State.
The Hawkeyes held a slim lead over the Badgers in Madison on Sunday when McCaffery took objection to a couple of calls that didn’t go Iowa’s way.
The Badgers hit four straight free throws and went on for a 75-71 win.
“Fran expressed his remorse and accepted responsibility from the first minute we talked on Monday morning,” Iowa athletic director Gary Barta said. “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.”
McCaffery has turned the once-moribund Hawkeyes into a Big Ten contender. Iowa (12-3, 1-1 Big Ten) is ranked No. 20 and on track for its first NCAA tournament berth in eight years.
Still, McCaffery’s suspension is a blemish on an otherwise resurgent season for the Hawkeyes.
“I’m not perfect. Nobody is. I’m not going to beat myself up over it. I’m not happy about it. I’m not proud of it. We’re all, every one of us is never too old to learn, especially from your mistakes,” McCaffery said.
Follow Luke Meredith on Twitter: www.twitter.com/LukeMeredithAP