Big Ten suspends McCaffery, fines Iowa

Published: January 7 2014 | 9:27 am - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 1:45 am in

IOWA CITY -- The Big Ten Conference suspended Iowa men's basketball coach Fran McCaffery for one game and fined Iowa $10,000 for violating the league's sportsmanship policy after he was ejected at Wisconsin on Sunday night.

McCaffery launched into a verbal tirade against game officials during a media timeout at the Kohl Center. He was hit with a pair of technicals and was ejected with 11 minutes, 51 seconds left in the game. The league also delivered an official reprimand.

Here is the league statement:

"The Big Ten determined that McCaffery’s actions toward the officials were in violation of Big Ten Conference Agreement 10.01, which states in part that “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.”

McCaffery will serve his suspension Thursday against Northwestern. Assistant coach Kirk Speraw will serve acting as head coach in McCaffery's absence. The league also fined $10,000. Neither the fine nor the suspension can be appealed.

“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,” McCaffery in a statement. “I regret my actions and accept the Big Ten Conference’s decision. I am ready to move on.”

“Fran expressed his remorse and accepted responsibility from the first minute we talked on Monday morning, Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta said in a statement.  “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.  Our focus now is on Thursday night against Northwestern and the remainder of the conference season.  Fran continues to have my full support moving forward.”

McCaffery said after Sunday's game, a 75-71 loss, he did not deserve further punishment for his actions.

"I got two Ts, why would I be disciplined?" McCaffery said.

McCaffery expressed contrition Monday morning and apologized for his actions. He is known for his volatile temper, which has included one previous ejection (2011 vs. Northern Iowa) and a high-profile chair-slamming incident against Michigan State (2012.).

The league delivered a stronger punishment against McCaffery than it did against Nebraska football coach Bo Pelini, who was issued a public reprimand for violating the same policy in November. Pelini berated officials during and after his team's game against Iowa. He was penalized but not ejected.

The Big Ten considers the matter closed and will not comment beyond the statement.


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