Iowa Hawkeyes

Iowa radio announcer Gary Dolphin suspended for rest of basketball season

Dolphin called Maryland's Bruno Fernando "King Kong."

Iowa Hawkeyes football announcers Gary Dolphin (right) and Ed Podolak talk at last August's FRYfest at the Coralville Marriott Hotel and Conference Center. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Iowa Hawkeyes football announcers Gary Dolphin (right) and Ed Podolak talk at last August's FRYfest at the Coralville Marriott Hotel and Conference Center. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — Iowa Hawkeyes play-by-play announcer Gary Dolphin has been suspended indefinitely, and through the remaining men’s basketball season.

The announcement was made Friday via email by Gabe Aguirre, vice president and general manager at Hawkeye Sports Properties, the multimedia rights manager for University of Iowa athletics.

The text of the email:

Hawkeye Sports Properties, the multimedia rights manager for University of Iowa Athletics, today announced it has suspended play-by-play announcer Gary Dolphin indefinitely through the remaining basketball season. The decision follows an inappropriate comment made by Dolphin during Tuesday’s broadcast of the Iowa men’s basketball game against Maryland.

Gary Dolphin issued the following statement: “During the broadcast, I used a comparison when trying to describe a talented Maryland basketball player. In no way did I intend to offend or disparage the player. I take full responsibility for my inappropriate word choice and offer a sincere apology to him and anyone else who was offended. I wish the Iowa Hawkeye players, coaches and fans all the very best as they head into the final stretch of the season. I will use this as an opportunity to grow as a person and learn more about unconscious bias.”

For the remainder of the basketball season, Jim Albracht and Bobby Hansen will serve as the radio announcers for Iowa’s men’s basketball games.

The email also included a five-second audio clip in which Dolphin said “That’s some pretty good long-range shooting, and then (Bruno) Fernando was King Kong at the end of the game.”

Fernando is a 6-foot-10 player and an Angola native.

Last November, Dolphin was suspended for two games after making comments about Hawkeye recruiting and, specifically, Iowa guard Maishe Dailey. Those were aired while Dolphin thought the broadcast was on a commercial break.

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Later Friday afternoon, Iowa’s sports information department sent media an email that said the following:

“The University of Iowa athletics department supports Hawkeye Sports Properties’ decision to indefinitely suspend radio play-by-play announcer Gary Dolphin.

“The University of Iowa athletics department values diversity and is committed to creating a welcoming environment for all members of its campus community.”

No athletics department administrator’s name was attached to that email.

The University of Maryland’s athletic department declined to comment when contacted by the Washington Post.

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