What Happened to Hawkeye Legend Roy Marble?

B.Senior Analyst ISeptember 17, 2009

B.J. Armstrong, Ed Horton, and Roy Marble are basketball gods in the state of Iowa. 

During their time on the courts at Carver Hawkeye Arena, these three basketball legends not only terrorized college basketball, they also destroyed the Iowa record books.

Their reign of terror over basketball included a trip to the Elite Eight during the 1986-87 season and a trip to the Sweet Sixteen in the 1987–88 season.   

B.J. Armstrong was a ninja point guard who orchestrated the Iowa offensive scheme with an insane ability to find open players and make assists.  He also had near-flawless free-throw shooting skills.
Ed Horton was a rebounding machine who dominated the glass in the Big Ten.  There has never been a missed basketball that Horton couldn't rebound. 

Roy Marble was an all-around player who could do it all on both sides of the ball.  He was about as complete of a basketball player as they come.

All three players were drafted in the 1989 NBA Draft.

While all three will forever be legends in the state of Iowa, it was Roy Marble who left the biggest impact on the Iowa basketball program and the player that seemingly had the most potential to succeed at the professional level.

Thanks to the recruiting of the infamous George Raveling, Marble, a McDonald's All-American and the runner-up for Michigan's 1984 Mr. Basketball, decided to play his college basketball for the University of Iowa.  And he didn't wait long before making an impact.

In 1985, Marble won Big Ten Freshman of the Year.

From there, Marble went on to have arguably the best Hawkeye basketball career on record.  He is still the all-time leading scorer at the Iowa with 2,116 points. 

He holds a number of other records, too.  He is first all-time in games played with 134, first in games started with 131, first in field goals, first in field goal percentage, and first in steals.

It was no surprise when Marble went on to be drafted as the 23rd overall pick by the Atlanta Hawks in 1989.  It seemed that he was on top of the world.

Unfortunately, things aren't always as they seem.

Roy Marble ran into troubles early on in his career.  He was suspended by league officials during his rookie season in 1990 for violating the league's substance abuse policy, helping to cut short his professional playing career.

This was apparently just the start of his legal troubles.  A quick look at the Iowa Courts online Search shows several results returned stemming back to the 1990s.  Drunk driving and drug-related offenses are common entries in the search results.

In June 2006, Marble was charged with and pleaded guilty to drunken driving (second offense and driving while barred) habitual offender in Linn County.

On top of his legal troubles, Marble lost his businesses in Cedar Rapids following the record flooding in June 2008.  Marble operated an entertainment center and clothing store, both of which were severely damaged by the floods.

But, despite all of the negative aspects of his past, things were recently starting to turn around for Roy Marble. 

While working at Kirkwood Community College’s Skills to Employment Program, Marble was awarded the position of program director for the Mayor's Youth Empowerment program in Cedar Rapids. 

He was also working with the Big Ten Network occasionally as an announcer.

In addition to his career going well, his family life was also giving Roy something to be proud of.  Michigan high school recruit Roy Marble Jr., Roy’s son, committed to play for the Iowa Hawkeyes.  For Roy, more time with his son meant more than anything to him.

Sadly, even his own son wasn't enough to help Roy Marble clean up his act.

The 42-year-old Marble was pulled over for speeding near Tipton, Iowa, on Aug. 24, 2009.  He was traveling 84 mph in a 55-mph zone, and was pulled over after attempting to pass in a no-passing zone.

When police pulled him over, they found a visible marijuana blunt on the floor of the car.

The police then searched the car and turned up an open container of beer, a bag of marijuana in the back seat and discarded marijuana blunts in the ash tray and on the floor of the vehicle.

Police took a quick glance at Marble's record to learn he was barred from driving a vehicle without an ignition interlock.  The vehicle Marble was driving did not contain one.

Roy Marble was charged with driving while barred, driving while revoked, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and operating a vehicle without an ignition device required for drunken driving test failure.

The story doesn't end there. 

Marble denied any wrong-doing in a telephone call with the Iowa City Press-Citizen when the charges first surfaced.

Roy continued to ignore his mistake the next day, when he met with the board for the Mayor's Youth Empowerment program after the arrest.

Apparently, Marble forgot to mention the arrest or any of his recent legal charges.  While a background check was completed, the new charges were too new to show up on the check.

The lies eventually caught up with Roy.

After learning about the arrest, Marble was terminated from his position as program director for the Mayor’s Youth Empowerment Program. 

His arrest will also keep him off the Big Ten Network, as they expressed that they have no intention of using him this year.

This story leaves many unanswered questions for Hawkeye fans.  Where did it all go wrong for Roy?  How could we have helped him?  Where does he go from here?

What happens next for Hawkeye basketball legend Roy Marble is unclear.  With this list of charges and a prior record, it seems apparent he will be serving jail time and/or going into rehab.  

It also puts to question if his son will remain committed to the Iowa basketball program.

While it would be a good opportunity for Roy to have his son around while trying to pick up the pieces of this recent mistake, his son has to think about what is best for himself.

As harsh as it sounds, being around his dad might not be the best option for his life or basketball career.

This story sounds like a script stolen from E! True Hollywood Story, but this is anything but a television show for Roy Marble and his son.  The Hawkeye nation will watch on intently as the story continues on, as painful as it is to watch one of our heroes spiral out of control.


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