Originally posted on The B1g Time  |  Last updated 4/6/13

The Steve Alford era at Iowa - it's a touchy subject for any Hawkeye fan for things that happened on and off the court in Iowa City and a lot of it surrounds a dip in play from what was happening under Dr. Tom Davis, where winning NCAA tournament games were the norm, rather than the exception.

Usually that's where the ire stops and after time fans in general can let things go, but upon the hiring of Steve Alford as the new UCLA men's basketball head coach this week some deep and troubling wounds that were barely healing were ripped wide open once again.

At Iowa it wasn't just the X's and O's of the game of basketball that got Steve Alford ran out of town on a rail. It was one player and one subject off the court that really irked a lot of folks in the Hawkeye faithful - of course we are speaking of Pierre Pierce and sexual assault. 

There are countless stories that never get told about coaches, players, and administrators in college sports and usually it's out of professional respect and ethics between the journalist and the subjects he or she covers on a daily basis and we nearly had one that wouldn't be told. 

One that involves a former Hawkeye athlete, his daughter, a journalist covering Hawkeye athletics, Steve Alford, administration officials at Iowa and a situation so troubling it's hard to fathom keeping this one in the dark for so long. 

However, when the subject of Pierre Pierce and his violent sexual deviancy at Iowa came up at his UCLA press conference and Alford decided to sweep it under the rug and not deal with it head on the walls of "professional respect" came tumbling down in one shocking and awesomely penned column.

All it took were these simple and callous words from coach Alford: 

“That was an instance that happened years ago,” Alford said. “I followed everything that the University of Iowa, the administration, the lawyers that were hired … I followed everything that I was told to do.”

Can you say insensitive much? I get the want to move beyond it and talk about this new Ferrari you have the keys to, but good gosh almighty. There are ways of handling a situation like this and well, as this article put it "Alford passes the buck, but don't believe it for a second."

That was the first firing across the bow from the Des Moines Register, the second came from Pat Harty, who is a columnist and writer for the state's largest paper and a man who had some wondering where he had gone in the mid-2000's with his lack of coverage of the Iowa Hawkeyes basketball program. Now we know why... 

In this column, we see the walls of not only the professional Pat Harty, but the person Pat Harty, come down in a way we very seldom get to see these days. The story he tells is one that is clearly fresh on the minds of his family and has changed how he deals with covering sports to this day. 

Personally, I don't know if I've ever read a more powerful statement and indictment of someone's character without the bluster and holier than thou bloviating we often get from sports writers these days. Instead Harty tells a story of a man unwilling to see what was in front of him the whole time and chose instead to protect his star player over others at the university - including other student-athletes that called Carver-Hawkeye home. 

The stories of Alford being a jerk aren't anything new to say the least, but Harty's courage to share this story now and his restraint in not sharing said story at the time in accordance to his own family's wishes doesn't show a man who is simply a jerk - it shows a man who's about as morally bankrupt as they come. 

It's not often that a column as simple and understated as Harty's can move a man to tears and rage all in one, but I don't know how anyone can read his words and not feel those emotions dripping through what is in front of you. The courage to even tell a story that seriously one could only think to see on one of those awful Lifetime movies our mom's/girlfriends/wives seem to get caught up in should be applauded and hopefully Bruin nation is awake and alert to what this man is capable of and who he really is.

One thing is for certain in all of this, the wounds that were just beginning to close and heal at UI are now a wide open sore that will take time and somehow, someway a modicum of contrition and remorse from Steve Alford to ever fully heal again. 

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THE B1G TIME

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The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

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