Fran McCaffery says Cordell Pemsl 'made a big mistake'; Riley Till will be next option

Mark Emmert
Hawk Central

Iowa forward Cordell Pemsl was making a trip to a nearby McDonald's when he got pulled over Monday for a broken taillight and was arrested for driving with a revoked license, coach Fran McCaffery said Wednesday in his first public comments about the incident.

"He recognized immediately that he just made a big mistake. If you have a suspended license, don't drive. It's pretty simple," McCaffery told reporters. "College kids get hungry. He wanted to go to McDonald's. It's very close to his house."

Iowa forward Cordell Pemsl, here shooting a free throw in a game against Nebraska on Saturday, is suspended for Thursday's game at Indiana. He was cited early Monday for driving with a revoked license.

Pemsl is suspended for Iowa's game Thursday at Indiana. He will rejoin the team Friday and be eligible to play Sunday at Minnesota, McCaffery said.

This will be the second suspension of the season for the junior from Dubuque. Pemsl was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol on Sept. 20 and sat out the team's season-opening victory over Southern Illinois-Edwardsville on Nov. 8.

The DUI is the reason Pemsl lost his driving privileges for six months.

Pemsl is one of just nine healthy scholarship players at McCaffery's disposal. He has been averaging 12 minutes per game, contributing 2.4 points and 2.8 rebounds.

In his absence, McCaffery said Riley Till "will be the next man up and the other guys will just absorb his minutes."

Till, a 6-foot-7 junior also from Dubuque, has appeared in only 13 games this season, scoring nine points. But the former walk-on was put on scholarship during the offseason.

"Riley's got good size. He's bouncy. He's smart. He really has a keen sense of what we need, what his strengths are, what his weaknesses are. He plays to his strengths, away from his weaknesses," McCaffery said.

"I have full confidence in him."

Mark Emmert covers the Iowa Hawkeyes for the Register. Reach him at or 319-339-7367. Follow him on Twitter at @MarkEmmert.

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