Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz and Athletic director Gary Barta offered little new information at a news conference today after announcing Monday that running back Jewell Hampton is transferring and Adam Robinson won’t play in the upcoming bowl game.
The talked briefly about the suspensions and addressed the issue of drug testing. Ferentz says they wanted to address the many rumors that have been flying around since the arrest of receiver Derrell Johnson-Koulianos (D.J.K.) on drug charges.
Ferentz and Barta announced the vast majority of the 115 players on the Hawkeye’s football roster have undergone drug tests this season. Ferentz said 92 members of the team had been tested for illegal substances.
“We’ve been very, very proactive about drug testing,” Ferentz said.
Ferentz said he wasn’t “naive” to the idea there is a “drug culture” that’s part of athletics at the college and professional levels, and that’s why the drug-testing is being done. Ferentz told reporters the news conference was held to counter rumors that had been circulating on social networks and to calm the nerves of the parents of football players who had been receiving phone calls about their sons’ status on the team.
“Just so much misinformation out there,” Ferentz said. “Just seemed like it would be time to address this.”
U-of-I athletic director Gary Barta said the university spends about $70,000 annually to test all student athletes, not just those who are part of the football program.
“We test between 800 and 900 student athletes every year,” Bartz said.
Ferentz was asked by a reporter how, as a coach, he didn’t know that D.J.K. was dealing drugs, or that his roommate was a drug dealer.
“That was certainly news to me,” Ferentz said, adding the university has not had a policy of doing background checks on roommates or the girlfriends of the players.
“You’re going to have things happen,” Ferentz said of the case. “…So you deal with it as they come along.” Ferentz says the attention is greater on the problems this year because of the team’s 7-5 record.