The Iowa center was criticized by the ESPN analyst for poking the eyes of two Wisconsin players.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Adam Woodbury knew something was up when he woke up Wednesday morning to a slew of text messages and missed calls.
That was the morning after ESPN analyst Dan Dakich reamed Woodbury for poking two Wisconsin players in the eye during an 82-50 loss in Madison, calling the moves cowardly and urging the Big Ten Conference to suspend him.
"It affected my family and people around me way more than It affected me," Woodbury said after Saturday's 67-63 loss to Purdue, in which he scored seven points and fouled out in 17 minutes. "People have said stuff about me my whole life. It doesn't bother me a whole lot."
Iowa media members, folks on social media and outside talking heads seemed to take sides in the following days. Some thought Woodbury was revealed as a dirty player. Others said it was clearly unintentional.
Fran McCaffery, Iowa's coach, strongly backed Woodbury, who has started all 91 career games as a Hawkeye. He said Dakich was out of line for "the reprehensible things he said about an amateur athlete."
"You can say a lot of things about coach McCaffery, but you can never say he doesn't defend his players," Woodbury said. "I really needed him at a time, and he really stepped up for me. ... I'll always be grateful for that."
Woodbury reiterated Saturday that poking Wisconsin's Nigel Hayes and Frank Kaminsky in the eyes wasn't on purpose.
"You can watch the rest of my game film from freshman year till now," Woodbury said. "I've never done anything like that. It definitely was unintentional."