What to Make of McCaffery’s Ejection

Story by Troy Weiman

Mixed reactions to McCaffery’s ejection Sunday

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Fran McCaffery is no stranger to technical fouls and heated exchanges.

The Iowa head man is known for being fiery. Players say it makes them want to play for him, and to play hard. Fans are often treated to some sideline antics and appearances from “the Franimal” or “Fran’s Red Face.”

To some extent, it’s what makes McCaffery who he is. On the other hand, his outbursts can go too far at times.

McCaffery was assessed two technical fouls during Sunday’s loss at Maryland and ejected just before halftime. The outburst was the result of multiple missed calls from the officials.

Everyone seemed to be in agreement that McCaffery’s ejection was unwarranted, and he shouldn’t have been given the second technical. However, some fans on social media couldn’t come to an agreement on why McCaffery put himself out there for the first technical.

As the first half progressed, a McCaffery explosion was slowly but surely becoming more and more likely. The officiating crew of Bo Boroski, Rob Riley, and Donnie Eppley did not have their best game yesterday.

The technicals were given after a sequence in which Jordan Bohannon appeared to be fouled during a loose-ball situation. No whistle came until Bohannon was called for traveling.

The Hawkeyes had worked their way back into the game after a Terrapin run, and were poised to take some momentum into halftime. Instead, Anthony Cowan made three of the four free technical shots, and the Terps took a four-point lead to the locker room.

Fans wondered why McCaffery had chosen this point in time to let the guns fly. The team didn’t need motivation at that point, and it only seemed to take away good energy.

Some fans had a different opinion.

During the Iowa possession immediately before the Bohannon fiasco, Cordell Pemsl was setting a screen for Bohannon. Cowan appeared to hit Pemsl on the back of his head and neck with an elbow, but no whistle came. Pemsl was noticably in pain and McCaffery was irate that no call was made.

No more than 20 seconds later did the Bohannon loose-ball situation take place – which, coincidentally, was started by an errant inbounds pass from Pemsl.

Was McCaffery using that moment to stick up for his players? Some fans praised McCaffery for demanding more respect for his team after Pemsl appeared to take a cheap shot.

A good coach has players’ backs. Fans were apprecative of that.

Was McCaffery just lashing out after a long, physical half of basketball? Or was he sticking up for his teams and for Pemsl after a dangerous play?

Ultimately, only McCaffery knows why he cut loose in that moment. But for fans, some seemed to disagree with the timing, while others applauded the character behind the actions.

We’re curious: How does the rest of Hawkeye nation feel about the latest McCaffery tirade?

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