Ferentz: Big Ten Teleconference Quotes

In his Big Ten teleconference today, Kirk Ferentz blasted the NCAA's new rule of identifying players that make penalties during the course of a game. He also talked about recruiting place kickers as well as some thoughts on instant replay in the Big Ten.


It was certainly good to get out on the field. We were all a bit anxious last week and eager to find out where we were at. I think the players played hard and we were happy to get the win, but that being said, we have an awful lot of work to do right now. It is good to get a game on tape and have a chance to look at that make some corrections this week. We are hoping to get cleaner with our performance this coming week, and we are going to need to be as we have a great challenge playing our intrastate rival Iowa State.

Q: What are your feelings on identifying players that make a penalty, by number? (new rule in college football this year)

Do you want the company line or an honest answer?

Q: Honest answer.

I think it's ridiculous.

Q: Why?

I can't imagine, maybe there is, that there is a college coach in the country that is in favor of it. I don't understand the necessity for it. I would be curious to see who supported it, not that it matters. I don't see any value in it; this isn't pro football.

Q: Do you think it embarrasses the players?

Yes. I don't think that our players need that kind of ‘recognition'. They are not paid and I don't think they need the fans fully cognizant of who is involved in a violation and I certainly don't think they need gamblers involved or knowing those things. I just don't see where it has any place in collegiate sports.

Q: Do you worry about players taking a lot of heat with a play in a critical game, or worry about the reaction from the fans?

I don't want to overreact. Some penalties are visible to everybody, but there are infractions that take place during the course of the game…obviously people didn't know who exactly was guilty of the infraction. I guess that is why they made that rule, so everyone in the world could know. I thought our game was fine a year ago from that perspective. I am pretty sure that I know what the motivation was to change it, and I don't think it is needed in college athletics.

I doubt coaches supported it and I really doubt that players support it. Outside of that…(sarcastic grunt laugh)…it's making somebody happy.

Q: Do you think that the coaches should be able to challenge a call on instant reply, like the NFL?

I don't have a strong feeling on that right now. I think we were all in agreement as a conference to choose the path we are taking right now. To me it's a good conservative beginning. If you want to get into the challenge issue, we didn't get into the discussion, and if we did that, it would merit a lot of discussion. I don't want to speak for the rest of the coaches in our conference, but I left the meetings last spring content with what we came up with and I thought it was a positive step and I think this is a good start to the process. As we go along, we can have further discussions this coming off season.

Q: Is it tougher to project a kicker in recruiting?

I think it is. It is an adjustment for any place kicker. Having to kick without a tee is a major adjustment. Getting the proper height on the kicks is usually the first thing they have to deal with and learn how to do. I think all players make an adjustment, but it is significant.

The thing I would counter with is that there are more kicking prospects now than when I was an assistant at Iowa in the 1980's, and probably the result of that is the explosion of youth soccer, I think that is directly related. I think it's much tougher to find a guy who is a good punter. That really seems to be a lost art. Maybe the soccer goalie is the guy to go for, right? They punt.

Q: Do your special teams coaches have past experience at those skill positions, or do you find them from other areas?

I think typically, special teams coaches share other responsibilities. They certainly work and research the special teams aspects, but to be an expert in the specialist part, that takes a lot of extra time and research. That is like finding a prospect. Coaches that have that kind of background that can also help you in other areas are few and far between.

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