Iowa Play-by-Play Announcer Gary Dolphin Suspended
Learfield Communications has announced they've suspended Iowa men's basketball play-by-play announcer Gary Dolphin for two games following last night's comments during the Iowa-Pittsburgh radio broadcast. Dolphin and color commentator Bobby Hansen were not aware they were on the air after thinking they'd gone to their first commercial break during halftime when the comments occurred. Below is what was said:
Learfield, which holds the exclusive multimedia rights for athletics for the University of Iowa, made the announcement via a press release from the University of Iowa Sports Information Department Wednesday evening.
In the release, they acknowledge a lengthy on-air apology was given by Dolphin that included,
We want to offer a public apology, and it won’t happen again. You have to assume there’s an open mic all the time, and that is no excuse. We said it. We own it. So our sincere apologies on behalf of the Hawkeye Radio Network to Coach McCaffery and his team.
Tom Boman, Vice President of Broadcast Operations for Learfield blamed the fact Dolphin and Hansen were on the air at that time on a "technical error." His statement reads,
We unfortunately encountered a technical error at our network broadcast operations center that allowed off-air comments to be aired during a portion of the first-half commercial break. We thoroughly reviewed the situation here at our Broadcast Ops center to ensure this doesn’t happen again, and we’ve also been communicating closely with Gary Barta and his administration, the entire broadcast team and our local Hawkeye Sports Properties staff.
Iowa Athletic Director Gary Barta said,
Gary knows we are extremely disappointed in the comment he made about Maishe Dailey and the impact his remark had on our players and staff. The two game suspension is a result of those comments, as well as some ongoing tensions that have built up over the past couple of years. This time away from the microphone will allow a chance to work through some of these issues. I truly appreciate the time and energy Gary puts into promoting Hawkeye Athletics. I’m extremely proud of our student-athletes and coaches’ great start to the season. All focus and attention is on beating Wisconsin Friday night.
"Ongoing tensions that have built up over the past couple of years?" Well, that brings up a whole 'nother set of questions, doesn't it? Don't expect answers on that.
Dolphin will not call Iowa's games this Friday against Wisconsin and next Monday versus Michigan State. An announcement of who will be behind the lead microphone for those broadcasts will be made at a later time.