IOWA CITY, Iowa (KWWL)— Hawkeye Sports Properties announced today that it will reinstate play-by-play announcer Gary Dolphin beginning with coverage of football spring practice. Dolphin will also return for the 2019-2020 football and men’s basketballs seasons.
Dolphin has served as “Voice of the Hawkeyes” since 1996. Dolphin was suspended on Friday through the remainder of the men’s basketball season for an inappropriate comment during the February 19th broadcast of the Iowa men’s basketball game against Maryland.
In the news conference, Gary Dolphin said (despite rumors) there hasn’t been any attempt to get rid of him as an announcer. Barta says he will remain the Haweyes’ announcer because “he would never intentionally hurt someone.”
Barta told those at the news conference that he apologizes for the department’s delay in talking about the suspension. He said there were many conversations over the weekend and then they delayed media until Wednesday to not take away from the team’s Tuesday night game.
Barta said the program can move forward and use it as a teaching moment. He says he recognizes that Dolphin’s comment (whether intended or not) can be offensive, especially in the eyes of a black athlete.
Dolphin said he did ask for a shorter suspension and he was unhappy but he doesn’t think it’s unfair to sit out the rest of the basketball season. He said he’s focused on looking forward.
Dolphin said he has a “good” relationship with head coach Fran McCaffery. Dolphin said he apologized to McCaffery Thursday night per a phone call for “being a distraction to the program.”
You can watch the news conference here.