By Mike Thayer
Iowa Athletic Director Gary Barta is being an asshole on this issue.
That's fucked up, I don't care to be polite about this, that's precisely the phrase to use, Gary Barta's intervention and decision in this matter is just that, fucked up.
Make no mistake, the decision to suspend announcer Dolphin for two games comes from Iowa Athletic Director Gary Barta, not Learfield Sports, Dolphin's employer. If that's not an abuse of power, I don't know what is.
BACKGROUND: Gary Dolphin is the Voice of the Iowa Hawkeyes, he does the play-by-play for Hawkeye football and basketball games. He works for Learfield Sports, a private enterprise. Learfield has exclusive rights to Hawkeye Sports. Hmmmm..... So Dolphin made an off-air comment during the Iowa - Pittsburgh basketball game on Tuesday night, 11/27/2018, disparaging Iowa basketball recruiting efforts and to be specific, the efforts of a particular player who dribbles the ball with his head down. Dolphin thought he was off mic when voicing his observation. Unfortunately, he was not off mic. But all Dolphin did was TELL THE TRUTH! And gee, isn't that what commentators are supposed to do? What Dolphin did was put into words what most EVERYBODY in the Iowa Hawkeye Nation audience had already seen for themselves and were ALREADY thinking! He thought the mic was off, it was a commercial break, but the mic remained live during the break and he gets punished for exercising free speech to his on-air partner, Bobby Hansen, who SHARED the same views? To repeat: Gary Dolphin was just voicing what everybody in his audience was already thinking! It's the guy that didn't turn the mic off that should be suspended!
Barta = Dumbass.
So as a result, Iowa Athletic Director Gary Barta weighs in without really thinking things through. He works it so that Learfield Sports punishes/suspends Dolphin for two games. Barta reacts via political correctness pressure.... Think about that and how absurd that really is.
To repeat, if that's not an abuse of power, I don't know what is. A U of I official, a state employee, punishing a private enterprise on-air personality.
Fuck you Gary Barta, there's just no other way to characterize this. YOU ARE WRONG!
You are punishing a sports announcer for telling the truth.
With that political correctness in mind, Gary Dolphin apologized for his comments when he came back on air.
And you can appreciate the guy's passion, he WANTS Iowa to perform well: “Bobby and I were upset when we went into a commercial break,” Dolphin said to reporters after the game. “We were talking about guard play at that point. They (Pitt) certainly had the better of us.
“It’s frustration. I’ve got an Irish temper that gets away from me once in a while. We were in commercial break, and somehow it was live on — I don’t know what app is out there. So, we’ll play it out. We apologized on the air in the postgame show. We all want them to win so bad that sometimes we get frustrated when we’re not playing well in certain stretches. So that’s what happened.
“I’d say it’s a lesson learned, and it is. ... We apologized for it and we’ll move on and deal with it. I don’t know what else to tell you beyond that. We apologized and I understand if Coach (Fran McCaffery) is upset. We’ll smooth it over and move on.”
Why is that not enough said and just move forward from it then? I could go on and on about how what Gary Dolphin said, that all he did was tell the truth. And to repeat, the mic was SUPPOSED to be off. Why aren't we talking about THAT guy, the audio guy? And I could go on and on about how what Gary Barta is doing is PUNISHING Dolphin FOR TELLING THE TRUTH!
Punishing Dolphin for telling the truth is messed up. Period.
And so Barta thinks suspending a guy two games for telling it like it is, is the better move, rather than support the VOICE OF THE HAWKEYES for TELLING THE TRUTH?
Ladies and gentlemen, that's just twisted. Period. Barta has it all wrong.
That's what I'd be doing if I were Barta, SUPPORTING free speech, rather than playing a pathetic political correctness game with it.
Why is telling the truth so offensive these days? A commentator can't even be a commentator now?