Iowa and football coach Kirk Ferentz have yet to finalize the seven-year contract extension that was announced three months ago.
Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta said he and Ferentz have spoken about the contract recently, and there’s no concern that the deal might fall through.
“The honest answer is when he was going through recruiting, we really just set it aside,” Barta said. “We talked about it a couple of times over the last several weeks. It’s one of those things, we already know we’re going to do it, we’ve already agreed in principle on what we’re going to do, we just haven’t committed it to a contract.
“I certainly want to have it done before the season starts but other than that, it’s not urgent because we’ve already agreed in principle what we’re going to do. So as long as it’s done before … I don’t want it to become a distraction during football season but beyond that, it’s not urgent.”
Ferentz, 53, is beginning his 11th season with Iowa, the second-longest stretch by a football coach in school history. He has taken the Hawkeyes to five January bowls over the last seven seasons and compiled a 70-53 record at Iowa.
The school announced the extension Feb. 12, and the terms won’t include a raise or change to Ferentz’s bonus structure. Ferentz earned $3.02 million last year in salary and supplemental income, and another $275,000 in incentives.The contract extension includes achievement bonuses for Ferentz’s assistant coaches.
As for three football players who pleaded guilty to alcohol-related offenses stemming from an April incident, Barta said their status is up in the air. The players include Ferentz’s son, James, along with back-ups Tyler Christensen and Zach Derby.
“No final decision has been made, but they’re going through a process with Kirk and through the department,” Barta said. “But no final decision has been made.”
Football season-ticket sales remain on pace from last year, Barta said. The athletics department chose not to raise season-ticket prices this year.
“We might be a couple hundred tickets above one day and couple hundred tickets below, but it’s kind of right where it was last year,” Barta said. “And from a budgeting standpoint, that’s critical. So when I say we watch it like the stock market every day, we want to see where we’re sitting. No official numbers yet, but we’re just trying to track them and see how it’s going and make sure there’s not a major blip.”