Sports, Friday, May 1st

By: Nathan Bloechl — 

UNI Coaches Take Voluntary Pay Cut:

UNI Director of Athletics David Harris, head coaches, senior staff and select other staff have committed to take voluntary pay cuts through the remainder of the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

The pay cut will help the athletics department reduce a deficit created by a decrease in expected NCAA distributions this spring after the cancelation of the NCAA winter championships because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other unexpected losses include rental revenue from events hosted in the UNI-Dome and McLeod Center.

Harris and the head coaches of UNI’s five ticketed sports, football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, volleyball and wrestling will take a 10% salary reduction for May and June.

Senior staff members, other head coaches and select staff members have also taken salary reductions for May and June.

UNI is one of over two dozen schools that have announced some sort of pay cut to athletics employees.

The fiscal year ends June 30.

The department will continue to act aggressively to remain in solid financial standing with more NCAA distribution shortcomings on the horizon and the length and total impact of the pandemic still unknown.

Hawkeye Wrestling Dominates on Mats and Classroom:

The University of Iowa wrestling team set a school record and led the nation with eight wrestlers named to the 2020 National Wrestling Coaches Association Division I All-Academic Team, the NWCA announced Thursday.

Spencer Lee, Max Murin, Kaleb Young, Alex Marinelli, Michael Kemerer, Abe Assad, Jacob Warner, and Tony Cassioppi are among the 175 athletes from 63 institutions to earn recognition.

To be eligible, student-athletes must have a 3.2 grade point average and have won 60 percent of their matches, or maintain a 3.0 GPA while earning All-America honors.

Lee and Marinelli were named to the team for the third straight year. Kemerer is also a three-time honoree, earning honors in 2017 and 2018. Warner and Young are two-time recipients.

The NWCA honors are the firsts for Murin, Assad, and Cassioppi.

Iowa has had 42 NWCA Scholar All-Americans since Tom Brands was named head coach in 2006.

UNI Wrestling Picks Up Big Commit from Dairyland Prep:

The UNI wrestling team got good news this week when Wisconsin prep Dajun Johnson committed to the Panthers.

Johnson, a top-200 recruit in the country, was originally committed to Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia — but due to COVID-19, the university had to eliminate the wrestling program.

Johnson gives UNI their fifth top-200 recruit in their 2020 class.

Wrestling in high school for Whitefish Bay, Johnson was a two-time state champion at 160 in 2019 and 170 this year.

He finished his high school career on a 77-match winning streak.

UNI Basketball to Return to Cayman Island Classic:

The Cayman Islands Classic has announced the 2020 field consisting of Kansas State, Ole Miss, Nevada, Northern Iowa, La Salle, Miami, Oregon State, and Western Kentucky.

2020 will mark the fourth consecutive year of the Cayman Islands Classic, former champions include George Mason, Creighton and Cincinnati.

This marks the first year the Panthers will play in the tournament.

The tournament will take place November 23-25 in the John Gray Gymnasium in George Town, Grand Cayman.

The full schedule for the Cayman Islands Classic will be announced in the coming months.

Iowa Eyeing June 1st Return?

University of Iowa President Bruce Harreld said he’s anticipating that the Hawkeye football team will resume team activities after June 1st.

Herrald made his comments to the Board of Regents following Big Ten Conference meetings that considered options for the upcoming football season.

He believes six to eight weeks of practice are needed to ensure player safety for the football season — but declined to explain whether Iowa or any institution could play games without fans.

Herrald clarified his comments again Thursday evening, saying that the university’s first priority remains the health and safety of student athletes and fans.

All three of the state’s public universities expect to resume classes on time for the fall semester.