Tuesday, April 07, 2009

How About Them Hawks -- Again

April 7, 2009, 9:00 a.m.

A Football Players' Thoughts Turn To . . .
(brought to you by FromDC2Iowa.blogspot.com*)

Ah, it's that time of year once again. There's a nip in the air, the leaves are changing, and football's on everyone's mind and back in the papers.

Except the leaves are just budding, and that nip is what carries over from an Iowa winter into spring.

Yes, "that time of year" is any month between January and December of any year.

It's the time of year when a young football player's thoughts turn to binge drinking -- and its aftermath.

Remember a year ago?

Here are excerpts from one story, one day, in one paper, about the Iowa football team (with initials substituted for names):

IOWA CITY (AP) — Two University of Iowa football players have been arrested on drug charges, including one felony count. . . .

JLC faces up to seven years in prison for tax stamp violation, a Class D felony, and two counts of unlawful possession of prescription drugs, both serious misdemeanors.

AMN was arrested for possession of marijuana, a serious misdemeanor carrying a maximum of one year in prison.

Both players live in Hillcrest Hall on the University of Iowa campus.

According to police reports, Iowa public safety officers found marijuana in plain view . . . 21 units of oxycodone and 24 doses of carisoprodol . . ..

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz and Athletics Director Gary Barta left on the annual Hawkeye cruise Saturday and are unavailable for comment . . ..

“Obviously until we get all the facts and examine what’s going on, we’ll have no comment,” said Phil Haddy, Iowa’s sports information director. . . .

Arrest report

The arrests were merely the latest legal troubles for Iowa’s football players:

— DD and AB pleaded guilty to credit card fraud, an aggravated misdemeanor reduced from a felony

— CH was arrested for public intoxication

— Four players, RB, BF, BE and LT, were arrested for drunken driving

— DB was arrested for domestic assault

— Three players, RS, RD and TG, were arrested for possession of alcohol under legal age

— BM was arrested for interference with official acts

AMN was arrested last August for failure to appear after an arrest for driving while his license was suspended.
"2 University of Iowa Football Players Arrested on Drug Charges," Associated Press, Quad City Times, February 23, 2008. And see, Nicholas Johnson, "Hawkeyes' Criminal Record Lengthens," February 25, 2008 ("in addition to whatever else the Athletic Department may be doing to improve its criminal record, it might give a little more attention to who it's recruiting;" includes reproduction of "Hawkeyes' Legal Troubles," Iowa City Press-Citizen, February 25, 2008).

All of which is by way of introduction to this morning's news.

The Gazette reminds us that AJC, due for arraignment April 30 for an "assault causing bodily injury for a Jan. 18 incident . . . is at least the 20th Iowa football player to have been arrested or ticketed . . . since April 2007." (It is alleged he "punched the driver of a cab who honked at him . . .. [He] got out of his vehicle, reached in the driver's side window and struck the victim in the face . . .. A friend had to . . . pull him back to their vehicle . . ..") "Court Date Set for UI Player [C] in Assault," The Gazette, April 7, 2009, p. A2.

Meanwhile, the Press-Citizen reports the arrests of three more football players. ZMD and TAC "approached an off-duty UI police officer and attempted to pick a fight with him . . . about 2 a.m." They had bloodshot eyes and slurred speech; one refused a breathalyzer test, another had "a blood-alcohol level between 0.207 and 0.211." One "admitted breaking off the arm of a parking ramp gate." JF was "'yelling and screaming' though not necessarily at anyone [and] had watery eyes[,] smelled of alcohol [and] had a blood-alcohol level of 0.160." In a news release yesterday Coach Kirk Ferentz said "it was very disappointing to learn" of these events. Lee Hermiston, "Iowa Football: [JF] One of Three Charged; UI Players Cited for Public Intox," Iowa City Press-Citizen, p. B1.

Note: In Iowa, anyone with a blood-alcohol level at or above 0.080 is legally drunk. Thus, these three individuals were at somewhere between 2 and 2.5 times that level.

Meanwhile, so far as I know, we're still awaiting news of the two trials involving the incidents of October 2007, for background see, Nicholas Johnson, "University of Iowa Sexual Assault Controversy -- 2007-08,", and the earlier Nicholas Johnson, "Not Getting Answers," November 21, 2007 (with links to additional related blog entries on the subject) . . .

. . . and University and City officials are continuing the conversations, task forces, studies, suggestions, foundation grant requests, polling, consultants, proclamations and hand-wringing that has gone on for at least the last three decades after every serious alcohol-related incident.

Indeed, they have been doing any and everything that could possibly be done -- that is, anything that can be done by talking without taking action, especially any actions that might reduce in any way the very profitable income of the owners of the 50 bars within walking distance of the campus, where any underage student smart enough to get into the University of Iowa can be dumb enough to engage in illegal binge drinking. After all, so long as binge drinkers pay as much tuition as serious students it doesn't hurt to be one of the top ranked party schools in the nation during these tough economic times.

There are all kinds of football records. With 20 arrests in the past two years, and it's only being April 2009, we're already off to a good start on the new football season.

Go Hawks!

* Why do I put this blog ID at the top of the entry, when you know full well what blog you're reading? Because there are a number of Internet sites that, for whatever reason, simply take the blog entries of others and reproduce them as their own without crediting the source. I don't mind the flattering attention, but would appreciate acknowledgment as the source -- even if I have to embed it myself. -- Nicholas Johnson

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1 comment:

E Pismo Clam said...

Yeah, no one covers the law students doing coke all the time. Too boring I guess.