Ferentz was a first-year, first-time head coach at Maine in 1990. The Black Bears opened the season at Villanova, where the then-35-year-old and his team were forced to share one toilet, or commode as the longtime Iowa coach calls it.
"That's a league of bus rides," he said via phone this week. "I can remember our first away game very vividly actually . . . and I found it interesting that they only had one commode in the locker room."
Ferentz was one of dozens of FBS coaches asked this week about Jim Harbaugh's comments on the visitor locker room at Purdue, which Harbaugh said threatened the health and safety of Michigan's players.
"It's unsportsmanlike when you have locker rooms that are too small, they're not heated or cooled properly. In this case, no air conditioning," the third-year Michigan said. "Such a tight, cramped environment. We had to open the doors to get ventilation going in a small area and people are walking by (outside) watching you dress. The number of urinals or bathrooms for the players and staff, I think there was two."
While it's unclear if there were two total urinals and toilets or two apiece, Harbaugh blasted Purdue for a lack of standards. Ferentz didn't firmly take one side or other, saying he doesn't have a strong opinion, but did say he's accepted that uncomfortable accommodations are part of the game.
"That's part of football and I've never had too much in terms of expectations when we go on the road, that's why I kind of laugh a little bit about all the talk about our pink locker room yet we've got a beautiful locker room. Whether it's pink, purple or green it's a really nice locker room. That's just part of being on the road."
The Hawkeyes have visited Purdue eight times since Ferentz became head coach in 1999. He did not comment on the Boilermakers' locker rooms or any others in the Big Ten. They do not visit West Lafayette this season.