Iowa athletics radio announcer Gary Dolphin suspended from basketball coverage for “King Kong” reference

IOWA CITY, Iowa (KWWL) – The man known as “the Voice of the Hawkeyes” will not be heard over the airwaves for the remainder of the Iowa men’s basketball season.

Radio broadcaster Gary Dolphin has been suspended from calling any of the Hawkeyes’ remaining hoops games this season after he referred to an opposing player as “King King” during Tuesday’s game against Maryland, according to a release from Learfield’s Hawkeye Sports Properties.

Read the entire release below:

“Hawkeye Sports Properties, the multimedia rights manager for University of Iowa Athletics, today announced it has suspended play-by-play announcer Gary Dolphin indefinitely through the remaining basketball season. The decision follows an inappropriate comment made by Dolphin during Tuesday’s broadcast of the Iowa men’s basketball game against Maryland.

Gary Dolphin issued the following statement: “During the broadcast, I used a comparison when trying to describe a talented Maryland basketball player. In no way did I intend to offend or disparage the player. I take full responsibility for my inappropriate word choice and offer a sincere apology to him and anyone else who was offended. I wish the Iowa Hawkeye players, coaches and fans all the very best as they head into the final stretch of the season. I will use this as an opportunity to grow as a person and learn more about unconscious bias.”

For the remainder of the basketball season, Jim Albracht and Bobby Hansen will serve as the radio announcers for Iowa’s men’s basketball games.”

According to, the comments were made during postgame coverage of Tuesday’s 66-65 loss to the Maryland Terrapins, during which Dolphin referred to Maryland’s Bruno Fernando (who is black and is listed at 6-foot-10 and 245 pounds) as “King Kong.” Fernando lifted the Terrapins to a win over the home Hawkeyes with a putback in the last 10 seconds of the game.

The University of Iowa Athletics Department has also released a statement following the suspension on Friday:

“The University of Iowa athletics department supports Hawkeye Sports Properties decision to indefinitely suspend radio play-by-play announcer Gary Dolphin.

The University of Iowa athletics department values diversity and is committed to creating a welcoming environment for all members of its campus community.”

In November, Dolphin was also suspended for two games after he criticized Hawkeyes guard Maishe Dailey for dribbling with his head down into a double team during a commercial break of an eventual 69-68 Iowa win over Pittsburgh.

Dolphin has called Iowa football and men’s basketball games since late 1996.

KWWL Staff

KWWL Staff

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