Iowa athletic director Gary Barta speaks after a press conferencing covering Iowa's bowl placement on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016. (The Daily Iowan/Joseph Cress)

Athletic Director Barta diagnosed with cancer, will take leave of absence

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The University of Iowa Athletics Department announced Tuesday that athletic director Gary Barta will be taking an extended leave of absence.

Barta will undergo surgery and treatment for prostate cancer.

According to UI Athletic Communications, Deputy Director of Athletics Barbara Burke will take the place of Barta in his absence.

Barta has been at the helm of the athletic department since Aug. 1, 2006 and signed a contract extension in 2016, guaranteeing him $4.6 million through June 2021.

Hawkeyes Athletics received more than $48 million in fundraising in 2016-17, an all-time record, under Barta’s leadership.

This story is developing.

— By Courtney Baumann

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