A five-part series exploring the decline of Iowa basketball and its future will run in The Gazette and GazetteOnline.com beginning Sunday. KCRG also will air a story Sunday night.
The first story, which will first run on A1 of The Sunday Gazette and also appear on GazetteOnline.com is an overview of where the program stands, its problems with attendance and how far it has fallen. Here’s a sample:
“There’s several layers to it, but right at the top, obviously, I’m not at all happy with where we are right now competitively, not at all happy with where we are in attendance and just the feel of the all-around program,” Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta said. “But that being said, my support of Todd (Lickliter) hasn’t wavered.”
Part II, which runs Monday, looks at Bob Bowlsby’s decision to push out Tom Davis for Steve Alford and the ramifications that last for the program to this day.
“If I spent every waking hour worrying about every fan, I wouldn’t sleep,” Alford said.
Part III, which runs Tuesday, examines the role recruiting has had on the program. It starts with Raef LaFrentz’s decision to leave the state for Kansas and how it distorted opinions about Davis as a recruiter.
““You have to work with who you can get,” Davis said. “You’re not going to get them all. You’re not going to get everybody.”
Part IV, which runs Wednesday, looks at Iowa’s perception as a football school and how the school has failed to attract fans to Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
“It’s a hard thing to change people if they don’t even want to believe,” said Rick Klatt, Iowa associate athletics director for external affairs.
Part V, which runs Thursday, examines the future, including Iowa’s highly rated recruits coming in next fall and whether Iowa can get back on track as a program.
“Competitive to win the championship? I’m not saying that,” said longtime TV broadcaster Mac McCausland. “Competitive enough to challenge for an NCAA berth in the middle? I am saying that’s what’s on the horizon.”