Iowa’s Fran McCaffery backs player Adam Woodbury after criticism
Iowa coach Fran McCaffery wants ESPN color commentator Dan Dakich to apologize to Hawkeyes center Adam Woodbury for calling him "gutless" and "cowardly" during the broadcast of Tuesday’s 82-50 loss to Wisconsin.
Dakich called out Woodbury after the center appeared to poke the eyes of Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes and Frank Kaminsky in separate incidents.
McCaffery defended his player Wednesday while blasting Dakich during the taping of his weekly radio show.
"Dan Dakich is so far out of line," McCaffery said. "He’s just lost it on this one. He doesn’t know Adam Woodbury. And for him to say the reprehensible things he said about an amateur athlete, it’s inexcusable," McCaffery said.
Hayes attempted a pair of ball fakes with the 7-foot-1 Woodbury defending him on the wing in the first half, and Woodbury’s fingers made contact with both of his eyes. In the second half, Woodbury rubbed Kaminsky’s head while it was lowered and then poked him in his left eye.
Woodbury said in a release sent out by the school that he was simply trying to disrupt Hayes and Kaminsky’s timing and that he did not deliberately poke either player.
"I try to play hard and tough every time I take the court. In no way did I go out there with the intention to hurt someone, that’s not who I am. I might be a lot of things, but I am not a coward," Woodbury said.
Officials didn’t call a foul on either play. The Big Ten has yet to announce whether it will discipline Woodbury for the incidents.
"All plays are reviewed as part of our standard officiating review process. If there is a sportsmanship violation, we would send out a statement at the appropriate time," Big Ten spokesman Brett McWethy said in an e-mail.
Dakich stood by his comments during an interview with KGYM radio in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Wednesday.
"The guy did it on purpose. There’s no doubt about it," Dakich said.
He declined further comment Thursday.