Iowa State coach, athletic director respond to cheating story

Updated:

In the wake of one of the biggest wins of his career, a 79-75 win over No. 7 Kansas in Hilton Coliseum, Iowa State coach T.J. Otzelberger responded to questions Saturday about cheating allegations from his team’s previous win over Kansas State.

Otzelberger wasn’t happy about it.

“It’s incredibly disappointing that after such an awesome game and awesome environment and atmosphere that I even have to begin by addressing something that happened earlier this week,” Otzelberger said.

“The ludicrous, ludicrous rumors earlier this week that somehow, we were trying to gain an advantage looking into our opponent’s huddles is an affront to our players, our fans, and to me. It’s not who I am. It’s not what our program is about.”

The controversy arose over Kansas State coach Jerome Tang’s actions during the Cyclones’ 78-67 win Wednesday night. Tang visibly took issue with some aspects of his surroundings and, in an unusual move, approached the Iowa State bench to discuss during the game.

Tang later would not say anything more, but a report in the Kansas City Star identified Tang’s frustration as being directed at Iowa State supporters recording his team’s timeout huddles.

“We talked about a situation that took place during the game,” Tang said. “He (Otzelberger) said he would check into it. I told him ‘thank you’ and went on.”

Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard issued a statement on the alleged incident earlier Saturday to The Messenger, saying, “It’s a ridiculous allegation that is not fair to our coaches, our student managers, and our players.”

Kansas State will host Iowa State in a rematch in Manhattan to close the regular season March 9.