Is it right for an athletic department to purchase a domain name that could be used to criticize a coach? Last month, the University of Iowa Athletic Department purchased the domain FireKirkFerentz.com, which was previously owned by Redshirted.com, a site that sells fireyourcoach domain names.
Ferentz, the Iowa coach, is the highest-paid employee in the state with an annual salary of $2.7 million. His teams won 31 games during a three-year span from 2002-2004, but his past two squads have struggled to 7-5 and 6-7 records. FireKirkFerentz.com now redirects you to HawkeyeSports.com, the main site of Iowa athletics.
Redshirted is reportedly operated by a technology worker in Austin and last August had fireyourcoach domain rights to 27 coaches. That list has dwindled to 20 and the site lists FireKirkFerentz.com as one of nine domains sold.
To the best of our knowledge, Iowa is the first athletic department to take the proactive move of purchasing domains that could be used to criticize athletic department officials. Iowa also has rights to FireLisaBluder.com, the women's basketball coach, and FireGaryBarta, the athletic director. Those two URLs also redirect you to HawkeyeSports.com.
Up to this point, such purchases have been made by fans, the most notable coming in 2002 when a Florida fan purchased FireRonZook.com shortly after he was named Gator coach.