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Schwartz: 10 Sentences – No More Pemsl, Ferentz Gets Real Edition

April 5, 2020

Written by David Schwartz

Hawkeye Nation

No sports, and yet there’s a lot going on with the Hawkeyes this week. Let’s use Ten Sentences to make sense of it.

1. Well, I think we all knew it was coming – Cordell Pemsl entering the transfer portal – but it’s never easy when someone who just feels like a Hawkeye, and one who has put in so much time and effort in Iowa City, decides to leave before they get their Senior Night.

2. Next March Pemsl will play his last home game, and he’ll walk onto the court – wherever that court might be – and the colors of the home team, his home team, will be flowing: red or green or blue or purple or silver or orange, but most likely not black or gold.

3. It made sense for him to transfer; he wasn’t going to get much run next season, not with his position – four or a small five – filled by players returning from injury and other situations, especially as basketball drifts deeper into an era when big men without outside shots become increasingly marginalized.

4. Still, it’s a pity, or maybe just a bummer, that Pemsl has almost certainly played his last game as a Hawkeye.

5. The NCAA has amended its rules to let college football coaches contact their players for two hours a week, but as Hawkeye Nation noted earlier this week, Kirk Ferentz isn’t using those hours to focus on putting in new offensive or defensive schemes.

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6. “I’d rather have guys just staying in touch with each other and working through their academic stuff,” Ferentz said. “Hopefully we’ll have time to get to football whenever it’s time. … The [players] can just stay in good shape. If they want to work on their individual skills, great.”

7. Not that anyone needs to say this again, and not that Ferentz would expect anyone to say it, but what a wonderfully perfect thing to say for what’s presently going on in the world, and while I’m sure there are other coaches who share Ferentz’s sentiment, I’m also sure there are some who say the right thing but don’t mean it – call it a hunch.

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8. But the strangest thing was hearing Ferentz talk about non-football stuff – Kirk Ferentz, king of staying on point and never saying too much.

9. He talked about Drs. Deborah Birks and Anthony Fauci and pleaded with Hawkeye fans to listen to their advice to social distance, to stay the hell away from each other for the foreseeable future – essentially, to do whatever they say and to stop acting like we know more about this than they do.

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10. And that might have been the most jarring thing of all to come out of Ferentz’s teleconference – the stoic coach, the ever-calm presence, the never-say-anything-controversial demeanor that has become his trademark – put aside for just a few, brief import seconds, seconds that, even if just a few people paid attention, can have more impact than any coaching decision he’s ever made.

* Talk with David Schwartz on Twitter @daveschwartz.

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