Changing with Times

Kirk Ferentz has seen a lot of things change during his 13 seasons as Iowa's head coach. Dealing with transitions in media is something that has been a challenge.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Kirk Ferentz has answered a lot of questions. In his 13 years as Iowa head coach, he's handled them with class.

That's why him using bathroom humor during a Monday interview seemed out of character. You can watch the video of the interaction.

Ferentz didn't reget his humor from earlier in the week when asked about it on Wednesday here at the Insight Bowl media day.

"It is very likely I did (pass gas)," the coach said. "I can't remember exactly if I did or not. I don't know if you guys caught wind of that. It's possible."

The joke was an attempt at being funny and also in response to the direction of questions coming from the media these days. In Monday's case, the inquiries were in regards to player personel issues.

"Everything is so scrutinized now, I think we're getting close to being ridiculous," Ferentz said Wednesday. "I understand that's the world with all the media outlets now and what have you. It is silly talk and silly questions."

Reporters asked the coach about a player being sent home for disciplinary reasons, running back Mika'il McCall saying on Facebook that he was leaving the team and that senior cornerback Shaun Prater was in the hospital while down here.

Ferentz never has been comfortable to talk about injuries, suspensions and other off-field incidents as they relate to his players. He's usually tried steer conversation towards the game at hand and the athletes available for that event during the season.

"That's the way I'm built mentally," Ferentz said. "I don't see that changing. That's how it is coaching.

"Somebody sprains their ankle and they can't play, we are going to go with the guys we have and do our best to get ready. But it is part of what we do, just like discipline issues are part of what we do, too. If you are a parent, you understand that. And you do what's right and you keep moving."

Ferentz has become more impatient with the media over time when some questions stray away from the game. Occasionally, he's become annoyed with reporters ask about coaching decisions, specifically after the Iowa State game this year.

"I know that's part of my job," Ferentz said. "Every job has a percentage of things that you don't want to do, every job. If there is a job where you are 100 percent happy all the time - I know dealing with injuries, dealing with things that happen, that's no fun but that's part of the job description too.

"Obviously I rather be focused on who is out there practicing, team we're playing. That's what I really enjoy is the football part of things and what have you. That's part of coaching. The other part is part of coaching. If I don't like it, then I need to get out of it. It's as simple as that."

Ferentz also is smart enough to know that things always are changing. The media coverage is a great deal different than when he took over the program in 1999.

"The world is changing, I recognize that," he said. "At the time, when I can't deal with that, I will get out. If that drives me out of coaching, it drives me out. I doubt it will. I can tolerate a lot of things."


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