Posted by: marcmwm | July 25, 2008

Ferentz speaks, Part II

Here’s more from Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, who spoke to the media Thursday for the first time since the latest in the sexual assault case that has become a chew toy for national media.

We pick it up during Ferentz’s reaction to the mother’s letter to the UI that become public this week.

“Certainly this past weekend a new page was turned. I really can’t comment a great deal about some of the things I read over the weekend. But I will say this, there certainly was an element there that my name was involved in and I can tell you a couple things about that. I was in the meeting, it’s a matter of record that I was in a meeting Wednesday, I believe it was the 17th. I’ll also make it a matter of record, it was my request not to be in that meeting. I know Gary (Barta) felt the same way. It was the request of the family that we be there. So, that’s why I was there; that’s why Gary was there. That does fall with the University procedure. That was in compliance with that. I think that meeting was covered in the first investigation by the Board of Regents. It’ll be covered again. I think all of us are very, very confident that the outcome will be positive one more time. . . . I think the best interest of the young lady involved and her family were first and foremost. I can tell you from being in the meeting, that’s consistent with that meeting as well.”

Here is where he defended himself, especially to media that’s taken this and run to dark places.

“I do take a little exception, reading the first or second paragraph of a fairly prominent article this past weekend, There was suggestion made of a cover up. I know that’s the media’s job and that’s the world we live in right now. I can tell you this, I really take great exception to that. I think if a logical person took a look at this, for anybody involved to be in a cover up here, basically, you’d have to be morally bankrupt and, secondly, you’d have to be fairly ignorant. I guess you could be morally bankrupt and still be smart enough not to think about that, but to me, that’s what it comes down to. Make your judgment on me. You can question my ability to coach, you can question the decisions I choose to make — and I am in a decision-making position, there’s no doubt about that — you can question a lot of things, but to question character, I do take exception to that. Unfortunately, I’ve been down that road before.”

Though he didn’t name names, Ferentz then referenced the 2003 incident where prospective recruit Nick Patton claimed that Iowa arranged sex with a woman during a recruiting visit. Somehow, then-linebacker Abdul Hodge was roped into the incident, with Patton saying the encounter took place at Hodge’s apartment.

“I recall very vividly in 2003 an accusation being made by a person. I remember going through months of suggestion about what took place. Some people took it and ran with it, and it was a very damaging period for our program, a very hurtful time for all of us. I think specifically about one of the players involved in that one, and the suggestion was made about his integrity. I think time was proven that was hardly the case. He was one of the most exceptional young men to have ever come through our program. We sat quietly, when the resolution came around, it was hardly news months later. I suspect we will go through something like that again. I see a distinct parallel between that process if you will, what took place, and what is going on right now.

“I will close in saying one thing I have learned, and I have been at Iowa nine years and in coaching longer than that. If you want to be in coaching, there is disappointment, that is part of the territory. I think if you do your homework and look around the country, talk about college, high school, or pro, this is not an unusual phenomenon unfortunately. If you are going to be in coaching, you have to endure those things. Not every season will be a walk in the park. I would ask that people look at the big picture and be fair minded and most importantly that they give this 2008 team their own identity and judge them on the merits of what they do or don’t do.

“I’m not a great one for prognostication, time will tell. That is the charge out there for our football team now. At some point we will get to that 2008 season, but I hope people judge this team on what they are and move on at some appropriate time.”

<<<< I’ll make the Q&A Part III, because this is another monster post. >>>>


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