Did they even send a card? They got an All-Big Ten-quality FBS tailback, with two years experience—1,384 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns last year—for nothing. Not even a player to be named later, so you would expect at least a card.
Marcus Coker, the tailback I'm referring to, is preparing for his junior season as usual. Instead of the Iowa Hawkeyes, he will suit up at three-time defending Big South Champion Stony Brook University.
At the same time, Iowa is limping—literally—towards their season opener in Chicago with Northern Illinois on September 1.
Both Coker and the University of Iowa remain mum on why he went from star starting tailback to gone in record time. Meanwhile, the rumors have flown.
Most recently, it was reported in a story by Ryan Suchomel of Hawk Central that Coker's initial suspension was in relation to his being investigated on a possible assault charge. As it turns out, no charges were filed and the potential complainant refused to press any when interviewed by police.
Regardless, the 2011 season that should have ended in glory for Coker ended without a bowl appearance and without the tailback rushing for over 1,400 or possibly 1,500 yards.
Instead, it ended with the player being suspended—then transferring.
Since then, Iowa has been through a number of possible replacements. After a mix of injuries, dismissals, transfers and position changes, things are still unsettled. My money is on sophomore Damon Bulloch or former fullback junior Brad Rogers.
That's the one-two or the two-one, depending on who winds up being the main guy. The position may well start with one and switch to the other through the first couple of games.
In the meantime, Marcus Coker is getting ready to start for Stony Brook. He insists that he was innocent in regards to whatever got him suspended from the bowl game last year. At the time of the transfer, he indicated that was his sole reason for leaving Iowa.
Since then, Coker has stated that it was as much about being home, closer to his family, as it was about the suspension. His interview can be read in the same story on Hawk Central.
In the interview, Coker says all the right things that someone who has moved on is expected to say. He wishes the Hawkeyes well. He also says of the possible slow-down on his fast-track to the NFL that everything happens for a reason.
While we all know that statement to be true, my guess is that Hawkeye fans are still trying to figure out the reason as it relates to their football team this year.
Anyone see the rainbow at the end of this for Iowa? If so, please feel free to drop Kirk Ferentz and his staff a note with the explanation. I'm sure it will be read with great interest.