(By Chris Hassel)
For the 5th time in a little over a year, a Hawkeye running back has left the program --- and this is the biggest blow of all. Marcus Coker, the second-leading rusher in the Big Ten, has asked for, and been granted his release. I had a feeling it was going to end this way when Coker was suspended for unspecified reasons, last month. Today, thanks to some digging by the Iowa City Press-Citizen, we're beginning to learn more about what may have led to Coker's demise as a Hawkeye.
http://hawkcentral.com/2012/01/10/assault-investigation-predates-cokers-suspension/ Coker was the subject of an incident on October 28th. A report from the Iowa City Police Department, obtained by an open-records request, marks Coker as the subject of an sexual assault investigation. Coker was questioned, and but was not prosecuted. Earlier tonight, Coker posted this on his Facebook page:
"It was a good 2 years iowa. I really wish I could tell u guys wats goin on cuz its really ridiculous to b
punished for somethin I didn`t do. Id like to (thank) the coaches and athletic staff for everything. Hawk for life."
This post makes it seem like Kirk Ferentz was forced to make Coker leave the football team. But why? He wasn't prosecuted. Something is obviously amiss. For now, all we know is Coker is no longer a Hawkeye, and that's a monstrous blow to a program that's been decimated by running back departures over the last two seasons. Coker joins Adam Robinson, Brandon Wegher, Jewel Hampton, and Mika'il McCall, as Hawkeye running backs to either be kicked off the team, or leave the team in a little over a year. All 5 backs were either Freshman or Sophomores.
So if you're keeping track at home. Iowa loses its best two players from this years mediocre team. Marvin McNutt to the NFL. Marcus Coker to another school. The immediate future of Hawkeye football is not looking good.