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Reliving Our Favorite Gary Barta Moments with the Iowa Hawkeyes

Madness? This. Is. BARTA!

NCAA BASKETBALL: MAR 27 Div I Men’s Championship - Sweet Sixteen - UCLA v Gonzaga Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

As you have no doubt been made aware, Iowa Hawkeyes athletic director Gary Barta will announce his resignation and/or retirement today.

After taking some time to process the news, your writing staff worked from the following prompt:

What’s your favorite Gary Barta moment?

LincolnParkWildcat: It has to be either his “supervision” of Brian Ferentz or the blowback from firing various women’s coaches. He got in a pile of crap for firing the lacrosse coach or something.

Creighton: Unequivocally it’s this moment right here. A distant second place is when he ranked Michigan higher than Michigan State in the playoff rankings right after Sparty won and said something along the lines of “the games are important but they’re not everything.” Third is when he went on NPR to defend how he turned a bastion of gender equality in college athletics into just another place where men get all the jobs and get paid more for doing them by saying “It’s a nationwide problem, not just here.”

The exact quote: “It’s a national phenomenon, not just a problem at Iowa. Are we nationally concerned that there aren’t enough women coaching women’s sports? The answer is yes,” Barta said. “But 50 percent is higher than the state average, it’s higher than the Big Ten average and it’s higher than the national average.”

Lmao. Rest in piss, you gargoyle.

jessecollins: “Set aside watching the games, though that’s certainly a part of it. But statistically in just about every category, offensively and defensively, Michigan comes out on top over Michigan State.” That’s a solid fucking quote.

Didn’t he handle the rhabdo fallout pretty shitty too? Like, he ended up making Ferentz look transparent if I remember that shit correctly.


LPW: Doyle got thrown under the bus.

Creighton: Doyle WAS the bus. Fuck him. But to broadly answer Jesse’s question: there has never been a single thing he hasn’t handled extremely poorly, and he only kept getting away with it because the one thing he was good at was driving revenue up.

Among his worst crimes against the fans was when he realized he could raise ticket prices so high that the stadium would be 70% full but making more money than 100% at a lower cost...and correctly knowing that people would relent and go back to sellouts in a season or two. He had nothing but contempt for the fans. It’s why he got away with everything. $15 million dollars in a lawsuit every few years is nothing compared to what he was bringing in

jessecollins: Which is kind of impressive on its own, at least in a vacuum. Like, not to defend, but to be a fucking shit show in most ways, and still drive revenue growth, says something. It’s like a good principal salesperson. I’ve yet to meet one of those I don’t hate but they all have jobs. I hate that he did that (with the ticket prices) but that is sorta mad genius shit.

Not having a soul can also be called a core competency.

These are backhanded compliments at best and my disdain for another asshole old white dude getting away with this shit while getting paid $All is infuriating. But I also get it. This dude danced with the devil for the university. They are to blame here too.

BuffKomodo: Favorite Barta moment? Helping keep Indiana out of a NY6 bowl in 2020, and just regularly talking shit about the Hoosiers.

BoilerUp89: ...Those were also my favorite Barta moments...but let’s just note that his Wikipedia page is 90% “controversies at Iowa”

Barta was terrible. I’m not sure keeping IU out if a NY6 game is anywhere near his biggest crimes. Should they have gone - probably. But 2020 was weird, and the bigger complaint from that year would be changing rules mid-season to send OSU to Indy.

stewmonkey13: The man is a menace. So I want to say this for my favorite Barta moment: Today, in a few hours.

(My true favorite Gary Barta moment was a few months ago. My little brother was going through some very, very intense chemo treatments for the same cancer that Lance Armstrong had. A friend paid for a couple of those Cameos from a couple different Iowa people. Gary Barta got word and sent my brother a hand-written note and a box of good Iowa swag.)

Nevertheless! Gary Barta is an incompetent asshole. He absolutely cannot be trusted to be in charge of anything. He’s just a person who got handed a cushy job where all he was asked to really do is glad hand and schmooze donors. Should have been fired about 20 times at various points for just cause, let alone standard idiocy, but one thing he did very well was shield the broader administration from anything related to athletics scandals (if only because it was so very obvious that it was his fault).

He’s the David Koechner character from The Office put in charge.

WhiteSpeedReceiver: Chris Doyle got a fucking award before he got thrown under the bus! They gave him some “Assistant of the Year” award before he took the fall for Brian’s racism.

Creighton: An award that didn’t exist before they decided to give it to him that hasn’t existed since!!! Literally invented it on the spot to shield him!

WSR: Gary Barta is everything that’s wrong with athletics department administration and I’m sad he’s leaving Iowa.

misdreavus79: That time when Barta effectively made Ferentz a lifetime coach is high up there.

stewmonkey13: You’ll have to be more specific.

What’s your favorite Gary Barta moment? Let us know in the comments!