Iowa Hawkeyes Respond to Damning Comments Made By Ex-Broadcaster

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Former football broadcaster Ed Cunningham resigned from one of the most sought after jobs in the sports and media world, right as the beginning of college football season drawing near.

Cunningham told the New York Times a couple weeks ago that the final straw for him came when called the Outback Bowl on January 2nd. Then Iowa Hawkeyes quarterback C.J. Beathard, who’s now with the San Fransisco 49ers, was severely beaten up in that game as the Florida Gators defense gave him continuous, serious blows.

Yet he was allowed to stay in until the final three minutes of an exhibition game that had already been long decided; as the Iowa Hawkeyes would go on to lose 30-3.

Watching that proved to be too much for Cunningham.

“And it was hard for me not to walk down after the game and just say: ‘Dudes, what are you doing? Really? What are you doing?’ These are just kids,” Cunningham said, adding that he has known some of the Iowa Hawkeyes coaching staff for years.

The Iowa football program responded today. Below are statements released from Iowa Hawkeyes head coach Kirk Ferentz and Casey Beathard, father of the former Iowa QB.

Iowa Hawkeyes Head Coach Kirk Ferentz:

“As a seasoned head football coach and the father of three sons who have played collegiate football, the health and safety of our student-athletes is a top priority of the Hawkeye Football program. We have a strong relationship with the medical staff and medical experts at the University of Iowa. Each player is fully evaluated and all established protocols are followed prior to the decision to play and during the game.

Comments made by a retiring sports broadcaster about the coaching staff subjecting a player to possible long-term health related issues because we allowed him to play in the Outback Bowl were surprising and offensive to our coaching staff, the player and his parents. We do not allow a student-athlete to play unless he is medically cleared – that is my commitment to our players and their parents.”

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Casey Beathard:

“The coaching and medical staff at Iowa were always very thorough and diligent in addressing any injury situations, and shared all medical information with C.J. and us, as parents. We had absolute confidence in Coach Ferentz, his coaching staff and the medical team to make player safety an uncompromising priority on game day, on the practice field and in the weight room.”

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now and Minute Media. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and Chicago Now.

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