Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz addressed a New York Times story on Ed Cunningham, the former ESPN college football commentator who retired due to player safety concerns, at his Tuesday press conference.
“I found it offensive a little quite frankly because he wasn’t at risk medically,” Ferentz said.
The team also released a statement on the matter.
“As a seasoned head football coach and the father of three sons who have played collegiate football, the health and safety of our student-athletes is a top priority of the Hawkeye football program,” Ferentz said in the release. “We have a strong relationship with the medical staff and medical experts at the University of Iowa. Each player is fully evaluated and all established protocols are followed prior to the decision to play and during the game.
“Comments made by a retiring sports broadcaster about the coaching staff subjecting a player to possible long-term health related issues because we allowed him to play in the Outback Bowl were surprising and offensive to our coaching staff, the player and his parents. We do not allow a student-athlete to play unless he is medically cleared — that is my commitment to our players and our parents.”
C.J. Beathard’s father, Casey Beathard, added comments in the release:
“The coaching and medical staff at Iowa were always very thorough and diligent in addressing any injury situations, and shared all medical information with C.J. and us, as parents. We had absolute confidence in coach Ferentz, his coaching staff and the medical team to make player safety an uncompromising priority on game day, on the practice field and in the weight room.”
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