Ferentz grows testy when asked about Peter Gray allegations
Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz took issue on Tuesday with a question at his weekly press conference regarding Peter Gray, a former University of Iowa associate director of athletics student services.
Gray resigned last week amid allegations that he had inappropriate sexual contact with student-athletes. A report obtained by the Iowa City Press-Citizen detailed the allegations, citing several individuals, including UI employees and student-athletes who felt uncomfortable or violated by Gray’s alleged actions. Gray also allegedly exchanged football tickets for sexual favors with an individual not associated with the UI. Officials with the university have consistently declined comment on the allegations since the report’s release.
Iowa City radio station KCJJ reported on Monday, based on anonymous sources, that Ferentz and men’s swimming coach Marc Long cut off access between Gray and their athletes upon learning of the allegations.
An Associated Press reporter asked Ferentz about that report. Ferentz sarcastically dismissed the report and moved on to another question, before stopping mid-sentence.
“I’m sorry, I’m distracted by that ‘It’s out there [question on Gray],’ ” he said. “I’ve got to apologize, but that is so bad.”
In a testy exchange, Ferentz said he “would not know” and “has yet to decide” if he had players cut off contact with Gray. Ferentz said Gray had not worked with Iowa football players in “a significant while.”
Sports Information Director Steve Roe then cut in to say Ferentz couldn’t comment on the Gray allegations.
A video from WHO-TV in Des Moines shows Ferentz after the press conference approaching the reporter and even cursing when discussing the questioning.
Boffeli gets first start
Conor Boffeli was nervous on the night of Nov. 9. He was going to start his first college game the next morning against Purdue, and he said he spent the night “going over every situation in my head.”
“It was pretty nerve-racking,” he said. “I was really anxious the night before. I talked to some of the starters on the O-line, and they calmed me down and gave me confidence.”
Boffeli got his chance in the Hawkeyes’ revolving-door situation at guard. Injuries have left the Hawkeyes with Boffeli and Austin Blythe, who started against Purdue, and redshirt freshman Jordan Walsh backing them up.
It isn’t an ideal situation, but Boffeli acquitted himself well in his début.
“I thought he did a good job,” Ferentz said. “It’s really his first significant playing time … He had some really good plays. He’s a fourth-year guy who I hope walked away with some confidence out of that performance. I thought he did a lot of good things.”
Boffeli has spent much of the last few years backing up center James Ferentz. Boffeli said he tries to emulate “everything James does.” And the senior captain said his teammate did a good job.
“Conor has really been breathing down my neck in practice the last few years,” James Ferentz said. “It’s been closer than people realize.”
Kirk Ferentz said running back Mark Weisman was “improving,” but leg injuries may still keep him out of Iowa’s game against Michigan on Nov. 17.
Weisman played sparingly against Penn State and Northwestern because of injury, and he did not play against Indiana or Purdue. The injuries brought an abrupt halt to the sophomore running back’s burst into stardom.
“He’s improving, but I don’t know if it’s enough,” Ferentz said. “We’re day-by-day, and even if it looks like he’s going to play, you can’t count on him, I guess. But he is improving.”
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