From the beginning of December until nearly the end of May, the state’s newspapers would be full of the conflicts between the two men. An assistant coach was fired, some players walked off the team, an alumnus acted improperly in recruiting an athlete, an investigation of athletic department expense accounts revealed improprieties, and allegations as to who was at fault multiplied. In the midst of public sniping between the coach and the athletic director, almost everyone took sides.
In the end, the athletic board announced that both Evy and Nagel would complete their work for the university on June 30, but then the board reversed itself, rehiring Nagel on May 22.
“Ray Nagel being fired on Tuesday, then rehired on Friday, may rank as the most startling reversal since the discovery of the boomerang,” wrote columnist Maury White in the Des Moines Register.
“It was shocking, it was messy, but it was also heartening as a stubborn, gutty guy—who has never approached the folk hero status that Forest Evashevski once enjoyed in this state—suddenly came up with hordes of vocal friends.
“I think the board in control of athletics is to be commended for having the courage to reverse the first decision. It’s never easy to publicly eat crow in such a turnabout….”
Next into Iowa’s coaching lineup would come Francis X. Lauterbur.