IOWA CITY, Iowa - Fran McCaffery met with the local media Wednesday for the first time since grabbing national headlines last weekend for snapping at a reporter. The Iowa Coach didn't back off his comments.
McCaffery's flare up earned him criticism from journalists across the country. He was responding to a question Sunday about Center Adam Woodbury poking Maryland's Melo Trimble in the eye. The junior earned a lot of attention for two similar incidents in a game against Wisconsin last month.
McCaffery keeps saying the query that set him off was about officiating, about which he can't comment or he faces a large fine. The question actually was about why Woodbury has poked three players in eye and it came after a couple of questions about the referees.
Here's the video of McCaffery with the media here at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Wednesday followed by the transcript of the recording:
Q. As it panned out this week, I think you ended up getting more negative national attention.
COACH McCAFFERY: I'd much rather people be upset with me. I get paid. For the most part, I don't care what people think or what they say. I am who I am. You guys know me well. It's interesting that people could be upset about somebody that they don't know or have opinions about people they don't know.
I won’t give an opinion about somebody I don't know. But others get paid to run their mouth, and I guess that's what they have to do. But trust me, I didn't lose one wink of sleep about anything. All I'm doing is trying to figure out how I'm going to beat Minnesota, a team that's really impressed me.
Q. Maybe in hindsight do you wish you didn't do that and maybe take away some of the positive of what your team did last week?
COACH McCAFFERY: No. I guess the only thing I would say is to me I come into this room and expect you guys to know and understand that I can't talk about anything as it relates to officiating. I get frustrated after a while when you keep trying to back me into a corner to say something that's only going to get me in trouble. I would be respectful -- I would hope that you'd have a professional respect and not put me in that position, which repeatedly happens to me and everybody else that sits in this chair. Don't ask me about officiating.
Now the bottom line is you want an answer and a thorough answer. You can't get it. You're not getting it, stop asking. If that hurts your feelings, that's not my fault. That's not my problem, but don't put me in that position. It's nothing personal.
Q. The question that wasn't about officiating.
COACH McCAFFERY: Yes, it was. It was what did the official say to you? What do you think about this? And they want to jump to conclusions about what happened on various plays, and I can't talk about that.
Q. Can you talk about -- I don't want to skirt around officiating. But Adam has now poked someone in the eye three times.
COACH McCAFFERY: There wasn't a foul call anytime, all right. So I'm through. I'm done. Move on. I can't believe you'd even ask me that question today. I mean, this is ancient history now. I don't want to talk about what happened three weeks ago.
Q. Are you aware of his reputation in terms of being labeled a dirty player? It seems that that's out there now?
COACH McCAFFERY: He's not a dirty player. All right? You're talking about three plays where there wasn't a foul called on any one of them, and they went back and looked at it and thought that they should call (a flagrant one), which is certainly in their purview, and I'm good with that.
It's like anything else. I would hope that your reputation and my reputation wouldn't come down to it. The kid has been playing a long time. He's played a lot of games, he's played a lot of minutes. Everybody wants to lock into a couple of plays that they thought after they slowed it down and looked at it in slow motion a million times. I mean, if you drive the ball to the basket and I'm guarding you, there is a good chance I'm going to swipe down at the ball, otherwise you're going to get by me and score.
Q. Do you think it's a strange coincidence what's happened?
COACH McCAFFERY: I think it's absolutely ridiculous. It's beyond strange. It's unfortunate because it's the world we live in that people would be talking about that. To think that Adam Woodbury would deliberately poke somebody in the eye -- let me tell you this: if I thought he poked somebody in the eye on purpose, you wouldn't have to ask me if somebody was going to suspend him. I would suspend him immediately, and he knows that. There is no place for that. Who does that? Who encourages that? Nobody.
I've been in the game 32 years. My playing days, nobody has ever done that. So all of a sudden, everybody wants to wake up one morning and convict Adam Woodbury for something like that. That's just ridiculous. But everybody's an expert.