[Update, 3:38 CDT: Having seen the actual press conference, gotta say... naaailed it.--AJ]
We're in a packed media room, with dozens of reporters cuing up their recorders. Some flip to open spots in their notebooks. Idle chatter fills the room as a table up front sits empty, except for a stable of microphones pointing in front of an open seat.
Eventually, an expressionless Gary Barta walks out and to the table to a cacophony of questions and flashbulbs. Todd Lickliter is nowhere to be found--and nobody is looking.
Barta begins talking about the difficulties that have befallen the Iowa team over the past three years. While hesitant to name players who have departed or struggled on the court, his message is clear: the last three years have not been up to Iowa's standards by any measure.
Barta then praises Lickliter's character "as a coach, a father, a husband, and a man." He says that in a perfect world, Lickliter would be a member of the Hawkeye staff forever.
Barta pauses, giving the photographers ample opportunity to fill the void with their shutters going off rapidly.
At that point, Barta's expression changes, and his eyes are steeled. "As an athletic director, though," he begins, "you have to make decisions--tough decisions--to ensure your program is best equipped and best prepared for sustained success."
Everyone knows the payoff is now. "And that is why," Barta announces before trailing off a bit, exalting briefly in the shutters of the cameras once more, "...I am announcing my decision to offer Todd Lickliter a lifetime contract."
The room explodes into a firestorm of amazement, disbelief, and anger. The Iowa players, heretofore watching silently from the side of the room, storm out as they announce their transfers to anybody who can hear them. Sally Mason screams into a cell phone, undoubtedly to one of the Regents. Little does she know they've secretly taken Barta's side after a late night at the U-Bar, because nobody would be looking for them there.
At this point, Todd Lickliter emerges, his familiar necktie tied in an Oxford knot around his forehead. He stole that from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The room's hostility reignites to an entirely new level, and the And-1 guy starts dancing around and shouting "OH BABY!" over and over into an Iowa cheerleader's bullhorn. Bob Brooks throws his tape recorder at Lickliter's head.
Lickliter gets on the mic, but it's impossible to hear him outside of some choice phrases like "for LIFE, son," "holla at yo boy," "haters to the left," and one surreal scene in which Barta and Lickliter both bark into the microphone in unison, something that they've obviously rehearsed.
Chairs are being thrown now, and fully half the calls coming from the room are directed at 911. The only thing that calms the melee down is when Barta orders the reporters to settle down, or else the lunch buffet goes away. The attendants dutifully calm down and settle back into silence.
"There's one more thing I wanted to tell everybody before this press conference is over," Barta tells the crowd. "Todd's actually totally gone. He hates it here and I can't say I blame him. We just wanted to have a little fun on a dreary Monday afternoon. Our new coach is Quin Snyder, and he'll be here by Wednesday. One."