Fran McCaffery addresses the critical comments made by radio play-play announcer Gary Dolphin

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Fran McCaffery

By Pat Harty

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Iowa Athletic Director Gary Barta wasn't available for comment.

Iowa basketball player Maishe Dailey declined to comment.

But Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery made his feelings very clear about the critical remarks that led to Iowa radio play-by-play announcer Gary Dolphin being suspended for two games, beginning with Friday’s Big Ten opener against Wisconsin at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Dolphin was suspended for making comments that were critical of Dailey and of Iowa’s recruiting. The comments were made during a commercial break near the end of the first half of Iowa’s 69-68 victory over Pittsburgh on Tuesday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Dolphin thought he was speaking in private to his color analyst Bobby Hansen, but the microphone still was turned on, so Dolphin’s remarks were heard on the air.

“Really disappointing. I was disappointed in those comments,” McCaffery said during a press conference on Thursday. “I think when one of our own attacks one of our players the way he did, it's inexcusable.

“And it's over. We dealt with it. And we're moving on. Getting ready for Wisconsin.”

It apparently isn’t over entirely.

Iowa Sports Information Director Steve Roe said Barta didn’t want to speak with the media on Thursday about Dolphin’s situation because there still were some details being worked out.

Barta now plans to address the situation with the media about 45 minutes before the start of the Wisconsin game, which is scheduled to tip-off at 7:06 p.m. on Friday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Dailey was requested by the media on Thursday, but he declined to be interviewed.

McCaffery said he has addressed the situation with his team and with Dailey.

“It was incredibly unfair,” McCaffery said of Dolphin’s criticism of Dailey, a 6-foot-7 junior guard from Beechwood, Ohio. “He has played extremely well for us. He plays hard. He's a good person. He didn't deserve it.

“But he's also a young guy with tremendous character. So I've been really impressed with him and how he's handled everything.”

Veteran radio broadcaster Jim Albracht has been hired to replace Dolphin for the next two games.

Following the Wisconsin game, Iowa will face Michigan State on Monday in East Lansing, Mich., before returning home to host Iowa State next Thursday.

Dolphin is expected to return to the position that he has held since 1997 for the Iowa State game.

Another layer was added to the controversy on Wednesday when Barta issued a statement saying that Dolphin’s suspension was due to some “ongoing tensions” in addition to the negative remarks.

McCaffery acknowledged on Thursday that there has been some ongoing tension with Dolphin, but McCaffery didn’t get any more specific than that.

“I think it's fairly well known we've had some issues,” McCaffery said. “But we've gotten along fine. I'm disappointed in him.”

Dolphin issued an apology for his remarks before ending his post-game radio show on Tuesday. He also apologized while being interviewed by reporters later that evening.

“We apologize for it and now move on and deal with it," Dolphin said. “I don't know what to say beyond that. We apologize and I understand why coach is upset. We'll smooth it over and move on."

Iowa junior point guard Jordan Bohannon told the media on Thursday that the players are too focused on the Wisconsin game to let Dolphin's remarks be a distraction.

Iowa is 6-0 and ranked 14th nationally heading into Friday's game.

"It's a tough situation, but we're not really looking into it too much," Bohannon told HawkeyeNation.com. "We're just looking at the next game on the schedule. We have a really good team this year and we've started out undefeated. I think it's the highest ranked we've been ain a whille early in theseason.

"We kind of had the mentality at the beginning of the year that whatever happens on or off the court, we're going to stay together. And that's what we're going to continue to do."