Kirk Ferentz: This is extremely important to all of us. First, it's going to be good or the entire conference and Iowa, our institution and Iowans and people interested in Iowa. I'd rather be taking a personal day today, but this is very important and I am glad to be here to show support on behalf of the entire university.
Q: Is there anything going on team-wise right now?
Ferentz: Nothing major, the guys are training now and they wrap that up on Friday morning. They will be off for a week then we will get started. The freshmen come in a week from Friday, then everyone else will join them on Saturday an we will be on the field a week from Sunday.
Q: What about Bradley Fletcher (arrested for OWI last week)
Ferentz: Based on what I know at this point, we will follow normal protocol. By athletic department policy, it's his first strike. By team policy, we are looking at a game suspension, minimum.
Q: Last year you said a few times that some things needed changing or readdressing. How has this summer been compared to previous years? Are you champing at the bit to get going again?
Ferentz: I think all of us are anxious to get back. As coaches, to get on the field. Everything has its rhythms and place, and I think its important that we all got away and relaxed. It's been a great summer and we got away and enjoyed our families and some personal time. When it comes time to get on the field August 5th, it will be great to greet the team and get on with the next phase of our training.
Q: Will there be an open practice this fall before the season, where the fans can come watch?
Ferentz: I think the 18th, I haven't looked at my calendar recently. That is a Saturday and hopefully we will get a great crowd for that.
Q: There is a chance that a lot of Iowa fans won't get the Big Ten Network when it launches. What would you say to them?
Ferentz: Like everyone else, I hope everything gets resolved. My hopes as a coach are that everyone has a chance to have access to the Hawks this year in all sports. That is one of the great benefits of this concept. From my view, its going to give great exposure to all of our sports programs and our institution. It will be a great showcase to all of our programs.
Q: Will your coach's show be on the Big Ten Network?
Ferentz: My understand is that our show will be a part of the BTN. Thank god for Gary Dolphin, he is the guy that makes that thing tolerable.
Q: This is a big boon for the national exposure, but there is a price locally. It seems like some people here, Mediacom, some people will lose the Hawks locally.
Ferentz: I really am not versed on the business end of things, but I would say this, when you venture into a new area, if you look at sports over the last 25 y4ars, things have changed from TV and conference realignments, things that took people aback. To me it's a great concept, and right now it's working through the bumps in the road. You get those things when you go into a new area. I hope that things get worked out. To me, at the end of the day, it's what people want. I just can't imagine of this state not being supportive of the concept.
Q: The folks at the Big Ten Network have been consistent in saying this will help recruiting. Do you think that it will do that?
Ferentz: I don't think there is any doubt about it. Not just for student athletes, but students and faculty. We have an opportunity to showcase our institution in ways we have never had before. I think a huge component of this is how we choose to use our 60 hours of promotion. There are so many great programs on our campus in all phases. To have an opportunity to showcase that and get exposure to people across the nation, that is just wonderful.
Q: Do you think Mediacom will give in?
Ferentz: I am not asking anyone for anything. My hopes are that at the end of the day, Iowans and people across the country will have a chance to have great exposure to football and basketball, but all of our sports and to the institution. It will give us a chance to showcase a lot of fantastic people. I am amazed every day on campus, I come across things where people are doing great work. Now, we can showcase that on a national basis. That is one of the great components of this entire concept.