Iowa and head coach Kirk Ferentz are firing back at a former broadcaster who accused the coaching staff of putting ex-Hawkeyes quarterback C.J. Beathard in medical danger.

Longtime ESPN broadcaster Ed Cunningham recently decided to step down from his profession because of the growing dangers associated with football. In an article with New York Times, Cunningham said he could no longer be a “cheerleader” for the sport.

Cunningham cited Iowa’s appearance in last year’s Outback Bowl as the last straw. He claimed that Beathard appeared to be too injured to play and was put in harms way for a game that “meant less than nothing.”

Ferentz and the Iowa football program didn’t appreciate that comment, firing back at the accusation.

Here’s what Ferentz had to say about the situation in a public comment, as reported by the Chicago Tribune:

I found it offensive a little quite frankly because he wasn’t at risk medically.

As a seasoned head coach and father of three sons who have played collegiate football, the health and safety of our student-athletes is a top priority of the Hawkeye football program. We have a strong relationship with the medical staff and medical experts at the University of Iowa. Each player is fully evaluated and all established protocols are followed prior to the decision to play and during the game.

Comments made by a retiring sports broadcaster about the coaching staff subjecting a player to possible long-term health related issues because we allowed him to play in the Outback Bowl were surprising and offensive to our coaching staff, the player and his parents. We do not allow a student-athlete to play unless he is medically cleared — that is my commitment to our players and our parents.

Beathard’s father, Casey, also said that C.J. likely told the coaches that he wished to continue to play. He did not blame the coaches for any injuries the quarterback sustained.