18 and Life. After postponing his usual Tuesday press conference when the news of Tyler Sash's death began to break, Kirk Ferentz met with the media Wednesday. The topics: Tyler Sash and his 18th Cy-Hawk game. Here's what we learned.
- There will be a moment of silence at Jack Trice in Sash's memory. Iowa will also have a tribute, though it hasn't been disclosed at this time. Iowa will also wear a helmet decal for the rest of the season in Sash's memory.
- "But it's kind of interesting, as I think about him, my first exposure to Tyler was actually at a little league basketball game, I think it was in Sigourney, and I can't tell you what grade he was in, but it was a youth league basketball game. His team -- our son James was on the team opposite of him. On that team was Matt Gatens and John Gilmore, two pretty good athletes, and Tyler's team beat them 40-36 that day. I remember coming home and telling our staff, I saw a kid that scored 36 of 40 points and single-handedly beat James's team. That was my first exposure to him."
- Tight end George Kittle strained his knee and is questionable for Saturday. With Jake Duzey still out, it leaves Iowa seriously short-handed at tight end. Henry Krieger-Coble will get the start.
- Running back Derrick Mitchell Jr., who was out last week, is questionable for Saturday. After Akrum Wadley's latest fumble, you know Mitchell will play if he can.
- Defensive tackle Darian Cooper is probably not going to pursue a sixth year of eligibility: "I really don't know if that's realistic. I think the biggest thing is we're just going to try to push as hard as we can within limits and be smart about it and then hope that he gets an opportunity to play this year."
- Iowa State's experience on offense is juxtaposed with its JUCO defensive overhaul: "It's almost like preparing for a first game, which this is Week 2, but still to your point, just because those are players that we haven't seen on tape before and we're trying to figure that out. Not only that, but what they're going to do, so it's really an interesting study."
What's So Civil About Presidential Searches Anyway? The UI Faculty Senate issued a vote of no confidence in the Iowa Board of Regents following the announced hire of Bruce Herrald as he new university president. The Senate stated that the BOR "failed in its duty to take care of the University of Iowa and citizens of Iowa," "show[ed] blatant disregard for the shared nature of the university governance," and "failed to act to their [sic] own strategic plan and core values." (Pro tip: If you're going to issue a formal statement as the faculty of a university that prides itself on its writing program, make sure you use singular and plural correctly.)
The Regents fired back: "We are disappointed that some of those stakeholders have decided to embrace the status quo of the past over opportunities for the future and focus their efforts on resistance to change instead of working together to make the University of Iowa even greater." (Pro tip: Calling the people you ignored "stakeholders" only emphasizes the fact that you ignored the stakeholders.)
The Iowa Faculty Senate issued a similar vote of no confidence during the last presidential search, as well. That one led to the hiring of Sally Mason, which begs the question of who shouldn't have confidence in whom.
Again, we're going to avoid the politics of this issue and get straight to athletics: Herrald is clearly aligned with the BOR, not the campus. Should the football season go south, it's difficult to imagine Herrald having the political clout to make any change unless the BOR not only approves, but insists. And so, again, it comes back to Kirk Ferentz and Bruce Rastetter. Same as it ever was.
Let's just hope we win them all and don't have to worry about it.
The Fisher King. Morehouse profiles unlikely senior stating linebacker Cole Fisher. He'd been a non-factor for four seasons, so how did Fisher become a starter at the end of his career?
After Travis Perry suffered an ankle injury at Minnesota, it basically was Josey Jewell and that was it. So, during TaxSlayer Bowl prep, Fisher, who in his career bounced from strongside linebacker to weakside, moved into the No. 2 middle linebacker slot and it changed his view of the game.
"When you get the view from all three positions, everything falls into place," he said. "‘Oh, that's why we do this and this.' You know what everyone is doing, so it helps you out a lot. I think that was one of the main reasons I could make the jump from the fourth and fifth year."
So much of this season's focus has been on the big picture view of the offense and defense. Running backs and offensive linemen previously told reporters that Brian Ferentz has explained why what each player and position is doing is important to the bigger picture, which has improved the running game. It's difficult to imagine that such coaching wasn't happening before, but perhaps like Fisher, it's simply a matter of changing the perspective.
Sean Thompson, the talent behind IowaHawkArt.com, is selling a Tyler Sash print for $25. All proceeds will go to a charity chosen later.
Iowa baseball received a commitment from Davenport West sophomore pitcher Clayton Nettleton. He's still a few years away from coming to Iowa City, but he already held an offer from Illinois, among others. His fastball is already in the high 80s.
Iowa's photoshop game keeps getting better. Just ask Oklahoma safety recruit Calvin Bundage:
Bundage has a massive offer sheet, including Oklahoma, so let's not hold our breath. But an emoji response is better than no response at all.
Well, that should be different:
Fran McCaffery told @CBSSports that this will be the best shooting team he's had at Iowa. Hawkeyes shot just 33% from 3-pt last season.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) September 10, 2015
Iowa's been inconsistent at best from the perimeter in recent seasons. Changing that would certainly be welcome.