AP - Todd Lickliter remained the men's basketball coach as of Saturday, as rumors were still churning in the wake of his team's loss to Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament. Few solid comments could be found at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, and players were not available for comment after the Hawkeyes finished with a 22nd loss, the most in one season in Iowa history.
Several reporters were looking for answers from Lickliter all weekend about what the future held, and if he had spoken to Athletic Director Gary Barta. Lickliter was quoted as saying "We just talk about…the task at hand. We haven't met on anything like that. I just work on making this team better. That's the Butler way, you know. Man, my neck is killing me, and I'm feeling a bit dizzy. You don't have an aspirin handy, do you? I think I'll lay down."
Lickliter and Barta were scheduled to remain in Indianapolis until at least Friday. Barta was to attend a retirement party for Michigan Athletics Director Bill Martin, who had been forced out because of repeated incompetence and impoliteness, and was replaced by a Domino's Pizza employee.
Barta seemed philosophical about the Michigan situation earlier in the week, saying "Well, I have to have sympathy for Bill Martin. He bungled a huge hire when he brought in Rich Rodriguez to handle one of his main revenue-generating programs, and now the fans have grown restless. He also had Mary Sue Coleman watching every move he made from that point on. I'm just glad I don't have a similar situation here at Io… ahh…ouch! I'm sorry. Pardon me. President Mason has just sent me a message on the pager/shock collar that I must wear at all times, even in the shower."
The university's Sports Information department could not confirm if Barta and Lickliter would meet in Indianapolis, but did mention that the two would meet on Monday. SID Phil Haddy was heard as saying "Internet rumors in the last day or two are completely false. Todd will be coach of this team…as long as he wins a wrestle-off with Gary (Barta) on Monday, and as long as Todd significantly injures Gary so that a new Athletic Director will be needed. I am confident in Todd's abilities, as he has been training with Tom (Brands) and Terry (Brands) since just after his artery surgery in December. That means Todd has been training with the best wrestling coaches in the land for two and a half months. Ole Bloodpunch doesn't stand a chance."
Many were eager to hear a response directly from Barta regarding the possible no-holds-Barta match scheduled with his head basketball coach. Yet, Barta was hiding in a luxury box (or a custodians' closet nearby), and would only release the following statement on a paper slid under the door: "I'm so proud of our young players. It’s been a tough season, but the future is very bright with this group. With the regular season ending today, I’ll do what I do every year. I’ll evaluate 2010 and make preparations for next season. I can tell you though, that I am proud to have a coach who has 188 career wins at Iowa, and will be coaching in the NCAA tournament.”
Confused reporters knocked on the closet door, and asked Barta what (or who) he was talking about, as Lickliter's record at Iowa stood at only 38-57, and they would certainly not make the 2010 NCAA tournament.
Barta replied, "Oh, you were talking about Todd, and not Lisa (Bluder). Well, I'll let you know about Todd after I've talked to some recruits, and their parents, and one of their relatives who apparently writes for the Sioux City Journal. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to take this call on my cell phone." Barta then acted like he was no longer present in the closet.
In an Iowa City Press-Citizen exclusive, writer Pat Harty was able to receive an additional statement from Barta. Harty happened to be searching for old swiss cake rolls or beef jerky in the same custodian's closet in which Barta sought refuge. Despite the background noise of an overturned mop-bucket and some broken light bulbs, Harty heard Barta say "Hello Bruce. How are you? Yes, Bruce, I've heard that joke from you before. Yes, Bruce…from Grainger County…and they wear the hood…yep, the KKK…I get it. Yes, Bruce, because you're in Tennessee. Very funny, Bruce. So Bruce, let's talk business. Do you think four million dollars per year will be enough, or do I have to ask Mr. and Mrs. Krause for another truckload of cash?"
(Yes, this is all fake and is meant only as satire. But I did hear the Dean Smith was seen at the Cedar Rapids airport. Gotcha, just kidding again.)
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