IOWA CITY, Ia. — Fran McCaffery and Gary Dolphin are used to sitting a few feet apart during basketball games at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
But not like this. Not on a floor above the court in an office that will serve as a "man cave" for one day.
McCaffery is suspended from coaching for two games for his criticism of an official. Dolphin has been removed from broadcasting Hawkeye games for the duration of the season after referring to an opposing black player as "King Kong."
There are rumors that the two men don't get along, which both have dispelled this week.
So what better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than watching No. 21 Iowa take on Rutgers on the television in McCaffery's office?
"He was all in," McCaffery said of his offer to Dolphin.
"For some reason there's a narrative that we don't like each other and that's just not true. It's unfair to him. It's unfair to me. I've worked with the guy for nine years. At some point you have a disagreement, but these are minor issues. ... I'm fine with Dolph. I'm sure we'll enjoy watching the game together. It's something we don't typically get to do."
Additional coverage from Hawk Central
- Fran McCaffery apologizes (sort of) for tirade at referee and suspension
- Iowa broadcaster Gary Dolphin will resume his duties in the spring
- Leistikow: The Gary Dolphin conversation we should be willing to have
No kidding. McCaffery has only been suspended for one game previously, five years ago. Dolphin had never been suspended before this season. It has now happened twice.
Dolphin spoke Wednesday of his relationship with McCaffery. He said he has apologized to the coach for being a distraction to the team, which is 21-7, this winter.
"I appreciate what you do, I understand what you do. And we'll move forward," Dolphin said McCaffery reassured him.
"Our collisions, our disagreements, have all been professional in manner. It has everything to do with style. and we adjust," Dolphin continued. "He's funny, but he can get upset. And that doesn't bother me at all. I'm very accepting of that. So, yeah, we've had our differences and our issues. But at the end of the day, we talk, we hug, we shake hands and we move on."