College Football

Brian Ferentz incident given the all clear

Iowa athletics director Gary Barta satisfied that 1st-year offensive coordinator gets it

Iowa Hawkeyes offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz and head coach Kirk Ferentz look on during the 2017 spring game at Kinnick Stadium. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Iowa Hawkeyes offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz and head coach Kirk Ferentz look on during the 2017 spring game at Kinnick Stadium. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — The press box cursing incident from last weekend appears officially appears to be over.

Iowa athletics director Gary Barta and Iowa offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz released statements Wednesday. Everybody knows the weight of the matter and, of course, it won’t happen again.

“I want to apologize to the members of the media and the replay officials for my unprofessional behavior during halftime of the Minnesota game Saturday night,” Brian Ferentz said in the statement. “My language was inappropriate and behavior was wrong. There is no excuse for my actions. I regret the negative attention this has brought to the program and the UI Athletic Department.

“I have sent a letter of apology to the replay official and have assured our head coach and athletic director I will hold myself to a higher level of professionalism.”

From Barta: “I have had conversations with head coach Kirk Ferentz and offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz regarding the inappropriate language and display of emotion by Brian Saturday evening. I have also been in contact and in coordination with the Big Ten throughout the process.

“My conversations have been productive and positive. We hold our administrative staff, coaches, and student-athletes to a very high level of professionalism. I am confident Brian has a complete understanding that his behavior Saturday was unacceptable as a role model for our team and coaching staff, and as a representative of the University of Iowa, and that it cannot be repeated. We have completed our process and consider the incident resolved.”

Tuesday, Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz called his son’s reaction to a call made last Saturday night by the Big Ten replay officials an “an unprofessional act.”


Near the end of the first half, Iowa running back James Butler’s forward motion was slowed if not stopped. A Minnesota defender pulled the ball out of his arms. The play was reviewed and the on-field call of a fumble was upheld.

As Iowa assistant coaches left the press box to go down to the lockerroom, Brian Ferentz directed a short string of expletives at the replay officials’ booth.

“It was really an unprofessional act by Brian, and we have had discussions, as you might well imagine, several discussions about it,” Kirk Ferentz said. “. . . The bottom line is what was done up there was inappropriate and it’s got to stop. It’s not acceptable and Brian is fully aware of that.”

Barta, who’s moving from leave to part time this week while he battles prostate cancer, is Brian Ferentz’s direct supervisor. Because of nepotism oversight, when Brian Ferentz was hired in 2012, the agreement was Barta would be his supervisor.

“If any of our coaches I think act in a way that’s inappropriate, and believe me, I’ve been guilty of that, too, it has to be addressed,” Kirk Ferentz said. “It’s just something you can’t do. Takes away from your focus on your job, first and foremost, and secondly, it’s just not professional. You can’t do it.”

Brian Ferentz, 34, is in his first year as the Hawkeyes’ offensive coordinator and sixth season as an Iowa assistant coach.

l Comments: (319) 398-8256;


Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.