Kirk Ferentz calls Cunningham’s comments “offensive”

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz watches from the sidelines during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Wyoming, Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017, in Iowa City, Iowa. Iowa won 24-3. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz shot back at former broadcaster Ed Cunningham on Tuesday, saying that allegations that the Hawkeyes would subject a player to possible long-term health issues ”surprising and offensive.”

Cunningham said in a story in the New York Times last week that he retired from broadcasting because of his discomfort over the health risks associated with football. Cunningham said his last straw was watching limping Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard play in last year’s Outback Bowl until the closing moments, even though the game was a blowout.

Ferentz added that Iowa’s medical staff has the final say about whether a player is fit to compete.

Beathard’s father, Casey, defended the Hawkeyes in a statement, saying that Iowa was ”very thorough and diligent in addressing any injury situations.”