Big Ten Suspends UI Head Basketball Coach for Unprofessional Conduct


Fran McCaffery, head basketball coach at University of Iowa (UI), has been suspended for one game for violating a Big Ten Sportsmanship Policy during the second half of the Hawkeyes' game at Wisconsin on Jan. 5. Kirk Speraw, assistant coach, will now lead the Hawkeyes' home clash with Northwestern on Jan. 9.

The Big Ten Conference Office also fined the University $10,000 as a result of McCaffery's actions. The fine and suspension cannot be appealed.

When Hawkeyes' center Gabe Olaseni was called for a foul, McCaffery expressed his discontent with the officials. This led to the first technical foul (In basketball, a technical foul is slapped against non-players for displaying unsportsmanlike conduct).

After the first technical foul was called, McCaffery angrily marched toward an official and made a contact in the process, which prompted a second technical call and an ejection.

This was McCaffery's second ejection as Iowa coach. The first came at Northern Iowa in 2011.

"The Big Ten Conference expects all contests involving a member institution to be conducted without compromise to any fundamental element of sportsmanship. Such fundamental elements include integrity of competition, civility toward all, and respect, particularly toward opponents and officials," Big Ten Conference Agreement 10.01 states.

McCaffery expressed remorse and whole-heartedly accepted Big Ten's disciplinary actions.

"I want to again apologize to the University of Iowa, my players, staff and the tremendous Hawkeye fans for my emotional reaction during Sunday's game," said McCaffery, Press-Citizen reports.

McCaffery denied making any contact with the officials. He also said that his technicals were not the reason for his team's four-point loss to Wisconsin

Gary Barta, UI Director of Athletics, said that McCaffery had accepted responsibility for his behaviour on Sunday's game.

"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.... Fran continues to have my full support moving forward," Barta said.

McCaffery will return to the game against Ohio State on Jan. 12.

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