By DARREN MILLER
IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa football head coach Kirk Ferentz met with media Thursday in the Ted Pacha Family Club inside Kinnick Stadium.
Ferentz was joined by Iowa student-athletes Djmon Colbert, Brandon Smith, and Tyler Linderbaum (check back to hawkeyesports.com Friday).
Here are a few excerpts of what Ferentz had to say:
A BENEFIT OF THE NEW NORMAL
One precaution implemented because of the coronavirus pandemic is the need to take a temperature before entering a public gathering.
“The world is certainly different,” Ferentz said. “It’s the third time I’ve had my temperature taken (Thursday) and I’m thankful they didn’t do it the way they did when I was a little kid. Life is a little better in some regards, so that’s good.”
PROSPECTS OF PLAYING A FULL SCHEDULE
“We’re preparing to play a full schedule, that is our intent,” Ferentz said. “Like all of us discovered months ago, nothing in our lives is normal right now. That’s true with our football program, the challenges we’re facing, the conditions we’re working under, like everyone else in the country. There is no way to compare it to anything else we have done.
“What we’re experiencing right now is no different that a lot of businesses or other parts of life right now. It’s a national issue.”
CORONAVIRUS IN THE FOOTBALL PROGRAM
“We have experienced some COVID in our program, probably like everybody,” Ferentz said. “If there are any positives, the symptoms have been relatively minor. No one has been affected greatly, no hospitalizations. We are getting great medical support.”
"We’re preparing to play a full schedule, that is our intent. Like all of us discovered months ago, nothing in our lives is normal right now. That’s true with our football program, the challenges we’re facing, the conditions we’re working under, like everyone else in the country. There is no way to compare it to anything else we have done."Kirk Ferentz, Iowa football head coach
“The way we are training is different than any time in the past,” Ferentz said. “We have spaced our groups a little more to limit traffic flow in the building. Meals are all take-out meals, the guys carry them out of the building. No one is congregating in our building.
“With the strength and conditioning program, we are putting players in pods. Typically, you would have guys working by position, by size. Right now, it is more geared toward their social network. It might be three or four guys who live in an apartment together.
“Typically, in the summer we open the facility in the afternoon and give them a chance to throw the football around or do skill work. We shut that down for a period and re-introduced it bare bones (July 15) for a limited time.”
DOWNSIDE OF BIG TEN-ONLY PLAY
“It affects us personally. We were scheduled to play Northern Iowa and Iowa State this year and both games are important to our program,” Ferentz said. “They are important for our state. We have great respect for both those programs, their coaching staffs and players.
“I think playing Northern Iowa on a regular basis is good for the state. That is something we fully support, like the Iowa State series.
“It’s unfortunate but it’s hard to get emotional or to have a strong feeling about anything now because there is nothing we can compare this to.”
OVERVIEW OF LAST 6 WEEKS
“It has been eventful and educational for everybody,” Ferentz said. “We have had a lot of hard, emotional conversations. I’m proud of the people in our program, our staff, coaching staff, support staff, but most importantly our players and the way they have handled things. I would include a lot of former players and coaches as well. Their input and support and what hey have added to the conversation.”
“I’m sure it is a last resort for anybody making decisions,” Ferentz said. “The best scenario is for us to play this fall. If that becomes a reality that that will not take place, then you have to shift your attention. You would have to look at how many games you’re talking about playing. If we ended up playing fall and spring, that would alter what you do in between. It would be another 12 months of making adjustments and considerations. Hopefully we don’t get there.”
IOWA’S ADVISORY COMMITTEE
“Dave Porter has agreed to chair it and Dave has done a great job,” Ferentz said. “We have had four or five meetings and Dave has done a wonderful job with that. A lot of good input. We sit at 10 (members), we have a wide range of experience, all former players going back to the 70s to fairly recent.”
2020 SCHEDULE INFORMATION
Iowa’s adjusted 2020 Big Ten Conference schedule is expected to be announced in the coming weeks. For ticket information, visit hawkeyesports.com/tickets.