Iowa's Fran McCaffery ejected after charging onto court at Maryland
COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Fran McCaffery was slapped with two late-half technical fouls at Maryland on Sunday night, resulting in the Iowa basketball coach's first ejection from a game in more than four years.
McCaffery was furious after officials called Jordan Bohannon for traveling with 45 seconds left in the first half of a tight game. He was apparently upset over a noncall when he thought a Maryland player fouled Bohannon shortly before the travel.
“I think I got fouled probably four times in a matter of 5 seconds," Bohannon said afterward.
McCaffery charged onto the court and was immediately given a technical foul. Shortly thereafter in a scrum with officials Bo Boroski, Rob Riley and Donnie Eppley, McCaffery was given another T, resulting in an automatic ejection.
There were earlier issues simmering in the game, including an elbow thrown by Maryland's Anthony Cowan at Iowa's Cordell Pemsl that wasn't called.
"I didn’t want to get tossed. I don’t think you ever want to put your team in that position and give them four free throws," McCaffery said afterward. "But at the end of the day, we’re out fighting for them. I’m going to fight for my guys. So that’s what I did."
How quickly McCaffery got to two technicals was a topic that created a lot of chatter on social media, even from his son.
Connor McCaffery, a freshman point guard who didn't make the trip as he recovers from having his tonsils removed, agreed with a lot of Hawkeye fans' sentiments by tweeting:
"There is no way he should’ve gotten tossed for that. Wanted one. No way the second one was necessary. Not even close."
Fran McCaffery was quick to leave but said he didn't get an explanation for why the second T came.
“The important thing there is when the second T comes, you’ve got to go," he said. "If you start asking for explanations, you start running around, that’s when it becomes really problematic for you. So it came quick, I’m gone. That’s what I did.”
The Des Moines Register requested a pool reporter get an explanation from officials about why McCaffery got the second technical.
That request was escalated to the Big Ten Conference office, which denied the request.
Big Ten director of communications Randy Lieberman explained why in an e-mail to the Register.
"The pool reporter is only used in situations that involve rules adjudication issues and complicated situations that both team’s media and fans are seeking explanation on," Lieberman said. "Pool reporter requests are not granted for judgment calls, including but not limited to technical fouls, violations, etc. Also, typically, the request is not granted when only one side’s media is making the request."
Iowa trailed, 45-42, at the time of McCaffery's ejection, and Maryland made 3 of 4 technical free throws to take a 48-44 halftime lead.
This was McCaffery's first ejection since Jan. 5, 2014, at Wisconsin. That was an infamous moment in the intense coach's history, as he bumped an official during that tirade and was suspended for one game.
Assistant coaches Kirk Speraw and Sherman Dillard (who had the Maryland scout) took control of the team after McCaffery was escorted from the Xfinity Center floor.
“They were all chipping in, saying what we needed to do," Iowa guard Isaiah Moss said. "They were great.”