Iowa Men's Basketball

Iowa basketball broadcasters' live-mic criticism gets Gary Barta's attention

Iowa AD issues statement after Hawkeyes beat Pitt

Gary Dolphin and actor Tom Arnold introduce a Hawkeye-themed Darth Vader during the Hawkeye Huddle in the Los Angeles Convention Center on Dec. 30, 2015. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Gary Dolphin and actor Tom Arnold introduce a Hawkeye-themed Darth Vader during the Hawkeye Huddle in the Los Angeles Convention Center on Dec. 30, 2015. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

UPDATE: Iowa radio broadcaster Gary Dolphin suspended for 2 basketball games

Original story:

IOWA CITY — Comments the Iowa men’s basketball radio announce team of Gary Dolphin and Bob Hansen thought were made off-air were heard by a segment of their audience Tuesday night, and a written statement after the game by Iowa Athletic Director Gary Barta was the result.

“I have been aware that our Learfield Sports broadcast team was heard during a timeout making negative remarks in regards to Iowa’s play, and players, during the first half of the men’s basketball game against Pittsburgh Tuesday evening,” Barta said in the statement.

“I have requested a copy of the broadcast from Learfield and will evaluate the comments once I have the opportunity to listen to the audio.”

The comments in question came after Pittsburgh closed the half with a 9-3 run for a 46-40 halftime lead with freshmen guards Xavier Johnson and Trey McGowens combining for 22 points.

“How do we not get anybody like that?” Dolphin asked Hansen, with both believing they were off the air. “It’s just year after year after year.”

“Go get a key piece like that,” Hansen said.

“Just get one,” said Dolphin. “They got three or four. The guy’s (Duke Coach Jeff Capel) first year.”

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“Oh, I’m sure he knows where they’re at, Duke,” said Hansen, referring to Capel having been an assistant coach at Duke before going to Pitt.

“We get (Iowa guard) Maishe Dailey,” Dolphin said. “Dribble into a double-team with his head down.”

After being made aware the comments had been heard to the public, Dolphin apologized during the second half and again after the game.

“Bobby and I were upset when we went into a commercial break,” Dolphin said to reporters after the game. “We were talking about guard play at that point. They certainly had the better of us.

“It’s frustration. I’ve got an Irish temper that gets away from me once in a while. We were in commercial break, and somehow it was live on — I don’t know what app is out there. So, we’ll play it out. We apologized on the air in the postgame show. We all want them to win so bad that sometimes we get frustrated when we’re not playing well in certain stretches. So that’s what happened.

“I’d say it’s a lesson learned, and it is. ... We apologized for it and we’ll move on and deal with it. I don’t know what else to tell you beyond that. We apologized and I understand if Coach (Fran McCaffery) is upset. We’ll smooth it over and move on.”

Iowa won the game, 69-68.

l Comments: (319) 368-8840; mike.hlas@thegazette.com

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