Iowa athletics director Gary Barta issued a statement of support to Hawkeyes head coach Kirk Ferentz on Saturday following the Hawkeyes’ 28-17 loss at Northwestern.
The loss, Iowa’s second straight, dropped the team to 4-4 on the season.
“Obviously, we’re not playing very well right now,” Barta said following the game. “We’ll get ready for next week. I have full support for Kirk (Ferentz) and the players.
“If I’m a fan, if I’m a coach, if I’m a player, and as the athletic director, it’s tough right now,” Barta continued. “Right now, the only focus is to get ready to play next week.”
Ferentz signed a contract extension in 2010 that pays him more than $3 million annually through 2020. Ferentz’s buyout is reported to be worth more than $20 million.
Iowa must win two of its final four games to avoid missing a bowl game for the first time since 2007. The Hawkeyes’ remaining schedule closes with the top two teams in the Big Ten’s Legends Division – at Michigan on Nov. 17 and home versus Nebraska on Nov. 23.
Iowa visits Indiana (3-5, 1-3 Big Ten) on Saturday (3:30 p.m. ET, BTN). Oddsmakers have made the Hooisers a consensus 1.5-point favorite.