Iowa AD Apologizes to Roy Marble's Family over Luka Garza Jersey Retirement

Blake SchusterSenior Analyst IIMarch 10, 2021

Iowa center Luka Garza speaks folllowing a video tribute after an NCAA college basketball game against Wisconsin, Sunday, March 7, 2021, in Iowa City, Iowa. Garza, a senior, was playing his last home game at Iowa. Iowa won 77-73. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

University of Iowa athletic director Gary Barta apologized after offending the family of former Hawkeyes basketball star Roy Marble while announcing the retirement of Luka Garza's No. 55 jersey. 

Marble, whose No. 23 has not been retired, held the school's all-time scoring record for 32 years before Garza surged past it in February. Shortly after the Big Ten regular season ended, Barta announced no other Hawkeye would wear Garza's number, joining Carl Cain, Ronnie Lester, Bill Logan, Sharm Scheuerman, Bill Seaberg, Bill Schoof, Greg Stokes, Chris Street and B.J. Armstrong. 

Iowa Basketball @IowaHoops

The moment @LukaG_55 found out. 💛 #Hawkeyes | #FightForIowa https://t.co/grTf3rmGZ3

"We have learned since Sunday that Roy Marble's family was hurt and feeling disrespected since that day," Barta said, according to the Associated Press (h/t ESPN). "I just want to take a moment and share that absolutely that disrespect was unintentional and to publicly apologize for that."

Marble's son, Devyn Marble, tweeted Monday that he would never watch another Iowa game in his life after "the amount of disrespect that school has shown" to his family. Devyn played at Iowa from 2010-2014 and was named first-team All-Big Ten his senior year. 

Roy Marble scored 2,116 points during his career while leading Iowa to a 30-win season in 1987 as well as the 1988 Sweet 16. Yet those accomplishments have previously not been enough to qualify for a jersey retirement. 

Per the University:

"Iowa Athletics, in conjunction with the Iowa Varsity Club, have had different criteria over the years involving accomplishments, All-America recognition, individual awards, etc. Gary Barta and Iowa administration have been working towards a set of criteria that is more streamlined, in which exact awards and recognition are included. The top two priorities are individual National Player of the Year recognition, and consensus All-America recognition. Gary and Iowa administration will continue to work towards a more direct list of criteria that will be used moving forward."

In the meantime, Marble will join Murray Wier and Chuck Darling in a permanent display at Carver Hawkeye Arena.