Iowa Men's Basketball

Iowa radio broadcaster Gary Dolphin suspended for 2 basketball games

Iowa AD Gary Barta cites 'ongoing tensions' in addition to hot-mic comments

Iowa radio play-by-play broadcaster Gary Dolphin (right) talks to a Fryfest audience, along with football broadcast partner Ed Podolak at Fryfest in Coralville in August. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Iowa radio play-by-play broadcaster Gary Dolphin (right) talks to a Fryfest audience, along with football broadcast partner Ed Podolak at Fryfest in Coralville in August. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — Iowa radio play-by-play broadcaster Gary Dolphin has received a two-game suspension after comments he and Bobby Hansen thought were made off-air were heard by a segment of their audience during Tuesday night’s game against Pittsburgh.

“Gary knows we are extremely disappointed in the comment he made about Maishe Dailey and the impact his remark had on our players and staff,” Iowa athletics director Gary Barta said in a statement. “The two game suspension is a result of those comments, as well as some ongoing tensions that have built up over the past couple of years. This time away from the mircophone will allow a chance to work through some of these issues.

“I truly appreciate the time and energy Gary puts into promoting Hawkeye Athletics.”


Dolphin will miss Iowa’s first two Big Ten games, Friday at home against Wisconsin and Monday at Michigan State.

Learfield announced the two-game suspension in a release.

“We unfortunately encountered a technical error at our network broadcast operations center that allowed off-air comments to be aired during a portion of the first-half commercial break,” Learfield Vice President of Broadcast Operations Tom Boman said. “We thoroughly reviewed the situation here at our Boradcast Ops center to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”

The comments in question came after Pittsburgh closed the half with a 9-3 run for a 46-40 halftime lead with freshman 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,” Dolphin said. “They got three or four. The guy’s (Pitt Coach Jeff Capel) first year.”

“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.

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Learfield said that Dolphin’s replacement for the game Friday at home vs. Wisconsin and on the road Monday at Michigan State, would be announced when finalized.

The Gazette's Mike Hlas contributed to this report.

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