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MURPHY’S LAW: Hawkeyes Hit Wall, Tweet Brings Hate, ISU Calls Out Register, Register Responds

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The Hawkeyes made fans care about the NIT with a four-game run that provided a sneak peek at next season’s promising potential. But the NIT is not four games, it’s five. Baylor dominated Iowa in a way I didn’t think possible at this point.

As noted here last night, the Bears provided Iowa with match-up problems. Baylor is long and athletic. Both hurt the Hawks all night. How many times did Baylor steal the ball from a Hawkeye attempting a crossover? Iowa further hurt itself by missing what must be a McCaffery era record for point-blank shots. Dunks, lay-ups, put-backs… Iowa missed every way you can from under the basket. And from other points on the floor too. End result: 20 point loss, 74-54.

As Baylor ran its lead to double digits late in the second half, I made the following statement on Twitter:

Barring a run Iowa hasn’t hinted at in any way, Hawks will lose big. Interested to see how much of a buzzkill this will be.

I underestimated the raw nerve endings at that moment. I was hated, condemned, and cursed. Clearly, my timing was off. I don’t think with the mind of a fan. Sometimes I should give that more consideration. Empathy is always smart. Along with the venom, I also received many thoughtful answers. I especially appreciated those.

I agree with fans who say Iowa losing like that was simply a bad ending to a great run. The buzzkill, to varying degrees, is undeniable, but likely short-lived. For most, less than 24 hours. It’s the NIT.  A championship would have been nice, especially for lone senior Eric May, but all along, this has really been about a team building for next season.

Baylor, like Michigan before it, exposed weaknesses. Iowa adds pieces that could help with those. For seven months, fans can speculate and amp up. Expectations will be sky-high for the first time in a long time. That’s part of the fun. For now, no fan need apologize for getting excited about the NIT. It’s a tourney most of us only notice when our team is in it, but when it is, enjoy the ride. And be mindful of tweet-timing…

Fran McCaffery is a good coach, and by all accounts, a good man. His players love him. One thing I enjoy watching is McCaffery’s court-side passion, especially post-Lickliter. However, as McCaffery got red-faced, and started screaming at his players during the NIT final, I couldn’t help but wonder how this image was playing in the homes of people who don’t know McCaffery.

The video of Rutgers coach Mike Rice exploding at games has been shown on a near endless loop. The distinction is Rice’s temper turned physical and abusive in the privacy of practice. However, Rice has undoubtedly put all tempestuous coaches under more of a microscope.

The Rutgers A-D still has his job (as of this writing). I don’t see how…

Iowa State’s Tyrus McGee just missed making the semifinals of the College Basketball Skills Competition three-point shooting contest. McGee took too long to shoot, and didn’t get every basketball up. Maybe it’s because he shoots such a high arc. Or maybe it’s because it’s hard not to watch a shot so pretty. Or maybe it’s because McGee didn’t have a defender draped all over him. That’s when he was at his best…

Gene Chizik denies the scathing Selena Roberts (Auburn grad) report that Auburn paid players, changed grades, and racially profiled while randomly drug testing during Auburn’s championship season. Chizik did Iowa State an immeasurable favor when he bolted for greener pastures…

Well, that didn’t take long. Pac 12 head of officiating Ed Rush “resigned”. No way Rush could stay after twice “jokingly” offering a bounty to T-up Arizona’s Sean Miller. Michael Irving (not the football player), did issue Miller a technical, his first of the season. Can’t believe it took commissioner Larry Scott this long to get Rush out the door…

Is there a worse sound than the high-pitched hum of a dentist’s drill?…

Barnstormers should have a good crowd for Friday night’s opener. They’ve earned it. 2-0 start to the season, on the road…

I haven’t been a Tampa Bay Bucs fan since my dad took me to games in high school. Those are the creamsicle uniform days. I’ll be back to rooting when Nate Kaeding’s kicking. Nate’s one of my favorite guys. Thoughtful, funny, and both a beer and movie lover…

First Little League game Thursday night, and Cade’s Giants won, so that was fun. What wasn’t fun is learning the concession stand isn’t open yet. No Walking Taco.  I nearly cried…

I watched the NIT, so I didn’t see Hannibal. If you watched, please let me know if it’s as good as critics say…

Speaking of critics, we lost a great one. Roger Ebert was, by far, my favorite movie critic. I bought all his books, and I would read the reviews over-and-over. I also watched Siskel & Ebert each week on television. When Ebert loved, or hated, a movie as much as me, it made me feel smart. And when we disagreed, he wrote so well, I could see all his points…

Gino Auriemma is right, a woman can’t play in the NBA, but I’m not sure Gino needed to be so blunt and harsh about it. He called the mere suggestion, “ludicrous”. Then again, Auriemma was asked, and he gave an honest answer…

Hated hearing Drake Relays tickets for elementary school kids jumped from $10 to $17. $17 is a pricey ticket for many families, and the Relays is just an awesome experience…

I’ve said a few times that I’m troubled Iowa State isn’t being more transparent regarding the NCAA violations that has ISU asking the NCAA for two years probation. (We don’t know which sports or coaches are involved.) I’ve also stated each time that we need to give Iowa State the benefit of the doubt and allow for a logical explanation. Otherwise, it only gets worse for ISU, and smarter people than me know that. Or should.

The Des Moines Register reported Thursday that Iowa State didn’t inform the Board of Regents or its own athletics council about the NCAA violations until this week. (ISU learned of the infractions in 2011.)  I found this bothersome as well.

Iowa State issued a lengthy statement to the media today. I include it, in full, below. Editing it in any way could change the context. The “local media outlet” referenced is believed to be the Des Moines Register. I provided the Register an opportunity to respond, and one of its senior editors did. I will post that after the ISU statement.

To: All Media

From: Tom Kroeschell, Iowa State athletics communications


April 4, 2013




Earlier this week, Iowa State University issued a news release regarding 79 NCAA telephone violations that occurred between 2008 and 2011 within its athletics programs.  The institution issued the release, despite the NCAA’s desire that institutions make no public comment, in an attempt to be as transparent as possible in light of the Board of Regent’s new transparency initiatives.   In the statement, the institution indicated it would have no further comment regarding the case until it was fully resolved with the NCAA.


Unfortunately during the past several days, a local media outlet has made sensationalized allegations about the institution and its staff that are not only inaccurate, but also potentially damaging to our institution since this case has not been heard yet by the Committee on Infractions.   As a result, the institution feels compelled to issue the following clarifications to the information that has been alleged by the local media outlet.

  1. President Steven Leath personally notified the Board of Regents as soon as he became aware of possible violations.  President Leath, whose first day at Iowa State was Jan. 16, 2012, received a call from the NCAA about the self-reported violations on Jan. 31, 2012. President Leath informed Board of Regents leadership in person about the phone call on the afternoon of Jan. 31, 2012. Furthermore, President Leath gave the BOR a more detailed report in the summer of 2012 and has kept the Board of Regents updated on a periodic basis since that time.
  2. As soon as the athletics program discovered the violations, the University followed NCAA and University policies on how these matters are to be handled.  That process requires the Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR) to be immediately notified and for the FAR to lead the institution’s investigation including serving as the point person with the NCAA.
  3. The institution formally signed off on the final NCAA report and legally entered into the summary disposition process on April 2, 2013.  At that time, President Leath and Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard felt the institution had a responsibility to its constituents to be as transparent as possible by making them aware of the violations and that the institution was formally entering into this process with the NCAA.  They did that even though normal NCAA protocol requires institutions to not comment publicly about any cases until they are fully resolved by the NCAA.
  4. The institution plans to release the full NCAA report as soon as it has received the final version and it has been formatted in the manner used by the NCAA with redactions in compliance with law protecting student privacy as required by federal and state law, etc.

The institution is also sharing these excerpts from a message Dr. Tim Day, the University’s Faculty Athletics Representative, shared with the institution’s Athletics Council Tuesday:


   “The investigation started a long time ago, and the process simply took a long, long time and included examining hundreds of thousands of phone records while interviewing staff and coaches. By NCAA directive, one of the most important things protecting the integrity of the investigation is confidentiality. It is almost impossible to gather accurate information about what happened if we are leaking out the progress of the investigation (either inside or outside of the Athletics Department). The confidentiality was not driven by a desire to conceal, but by a need to figure out as accurately as possible what really happened.  The circle was kept very tight — not at all for secrecy, but in order to preserve the integrity and effectiveness of the investigation.

Until this week, that process was ongoing. Tuesday marked the day that we sent a final report to the NCAA detailing the violations discovered in the course of the investigation. Tuesday was the day that the process of fact-finding and reporting was finally complete.

We are continuing to refrain from public comment about the case, because the NCAA instructs us to do so. Our report is finalized, but that report now goes before the Committee on Infractions to be adjudicated. Members of the Committee on Infractions include faculty and athletics personnel from all over the country. Public statements about our case can be perceived as attempts to affect that process.


Our continuing reticence is not about secrecy (the entire report will soon be public), it is because we are trying our very best to submit ourselves to the NCAA process.  As we will have ample time to show you, the investigation was exhaustive and painstaking; the depth and breadth of the data reported is literally unprecedented.  


I have absolute confidence in the integrity of the process that we followed and the report we submitted to the NCAA. And, we have confidence in the process that the NCAA prescribes from here and we are doing our very best to submit completely to that process.”



The University plans to have no further comment about the case until it is fully resolved.  We hope the release of this additional information helps better explain and also clarify any misconceptions that may have been drawn this week.

And now the response from Des Moines Register senior editor Randy Brubaker.

1)      The story in (Thursday’s) paper is based on information from four people at Iowa State. No one else. None of those four people – University Relations executive director John McCarroll and three others. None of them has told us that what we quoted them as saying was inaccurate.

2)      We’ve got a call in to Iowa State on that specific point: If they think we’ve been inaccurate, would they have the courtesy of telling us what was wrong?

Finally, to read the most recent article on the NCAA violations from the Register’s Randy Peterson, click here…

Have a great weekend.


Twitter: @MurphyKeith