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Suspended Franimation: Big Ten Suspends McCaffery One Game, $10K for Wisconsin Outburst

Iowa won't have Fran on the sidelines when Northwestern comes to town on Thursday night.

Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

The first rule about Coach Club is: You do not talk about Coach Club.

Wait, that's not right.  The first rule about Coach Club is: You do not touch the zebras.

It might not actually be the very first rule of being a head coach (not abusing your players is pretty high up there, too), but making physical contact with an official during a game is a definite no-no, which is why it was not the least bit surprising that the Big Ten announced today that Fran McCaffery would be suspended for a game (and fined $10,000)for contacting an official during his Frantrum outburst in the second half of the game against Wisconsin on Sunday night.  After the game, Fran expressed a belief that he would see no additional punishment for his actions after being ejected from the game, but that always seemed a little hard to believe.  If you touch an official, you're likely to get punishment levied on top of the ejection, which is exactly what's happened.  It really doesn't matter if Fran was justified in railing at the officials or not; the rule against contacting an official is pretty obvious and he pretty clearly touched an official during his freakout.

(Fran's track record in terms of on-court blowups -- particularly the chair-abusing incident against Michigan State a few years ago -- likely didn't serve him well in this matter, either.)

In McCaffery's absence, head assistant Kirk Speraw will coach Iowa against Northwestern for Thursday night's home game.

McCaffery again apologized for his behavior while accepting the suspension from the Big Ten:

"I want to again apologize to the University of Iowa, my players, staff and the tremendous Hawkeye fans for my emotional reaction during Sunday's game," McCaffery said in a statement Tuesday. "I regret my actions and accept the Big Ten Conference's decision. I am ready to move on."

Amusingly, Thursday night was initially planned to involve a Fran McCaffery Bobblehead giveaway; alas, the hope of Bobblehead Fran occupying Fran's seat on the bench will have to wait for another day -- the university announced that the Fran Bobblehead giveaway would be moved to the Minnesota game on January 19.


McCaffery will return to coach Iowa for the January 12 road game against Ohio State in Columbus, OH.