IOWA CITY, Iowa – Hawkeye Sports Properties announced in a press release Friday afternoon that Iowa basketball play-by-play voice Gary Dolphin has been suspended for the remainder of the season. The suspension was classified as indefinite, however.
HSP said the decision followed an inappropriate comment made by Dolphin during Tuesday’s broadcast of the Iowa men’s basketball game against Maryland. The Hawkeyes lost, 66-65.
The press release was distributed via email with an included a five-second audio clip on which Dolphin said “They (the Terrapins) had some pretty good long range shooting and then (Maryland big man Bruno) Fernando was King Kong at the end of the game.”
Fernando provided the game-winning tip with 7.8 seconds left in Tuesday’s game.
The press released also included a statement from Dolphin:
“During the broadcast, I used a comparison when trying to describe a talented Maryland basketball player. In no way did I intend to offend or disparage the player. I take full responsibility for my inappropriate word choice and offer a sincere apology to him and anyone else who was offended. I wish the Iowa Hawkeye players, coaches and fans all the very best as they head into the final stretch of the season. I will use this as an opportunity to grow as a person and learn more about unconscious bias.”
For the remainder of the basketball season, Jim Albracht and Bobby Hansen will serve as the radio announcers for Iowa’s men’s basketball games, the release added.
Shortly after the HSP release was sent out, the University of Iowa athletic department released as statement:
The University of Iowa athletics department supports Hawkeye Sports Properties decision to indefinitely suspend radio play-by-play announcer Gary Dolphin.
The University of Iowa athletics department values diversity and is committed to creating a welcoming environment for all members of its campus community.
Dolphin served a two-game suspension earlier this season after making negative comments about Iowa junior Maishe Dailey. Dolphin thought his mic was off but it wasn’t and the words went out over the air.
Hawkeye Sports Properties is a division of Learfield, which bought the exclusive radio rights to Iowa athletics beginning with the 1997-98 school year. Dolphin has served as the play-by-play voice for football and men’s basketball since then.
Shortly after Dolphin returned from his first suspension this season, it was announced by the Hawkeye football team that he was being presented with the 2018 Distinguished Service Award
“Gary is not only a nationally respected broadcaster, he is a tireless ambassador for Iowa football here in our state and across the country,” head coach Kirk Ferentz said in a university press release. “Right after the Nebraska game, our coaches came together and unanimously selected “Dolph” as the recipient of this year’s award. No one bleeds black and gold more than Gary Dolphin and this is our opportunity to say thank you.”
Dolphin twice has been selected Iowa Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sports Media Association.