Iowa has issued a statement in response to Ed Cunningham's comments.
Last week, it was reported by the New York Times that football commentator Ed Cunningham had resigned from his position at ESPN because he could not "in good conscience" go on with his job due to the brain trauma associated with the sport. Cunningham claimed that the Iowa vs. Florida Outback Bowl was the "final straw" - because the Hawkeyes left in quarterback C.J. Beathard late into the fourth quarter despite the game being a blowout.
Well, Iowa has responded.
Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz issued a statement.
“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.”
The father of C.J. Beathard - Casey Beathard - has also issued a statement.
“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.”
Beathard himself has yet to comment on the news.
We'll update this post if Cunningham responds to the statement.