Bad Behavior From Football Players: Iowa’s Not Alone

“The rules today are more restrictive for us to spend time with these kids. The whole process is sped up. You get a little concerned that in the time that you have to recruit them that you can do the character background checks that you need to do.”

You might wonder if those words came from the mouth of Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz given the unusually high number of his players who have gotten in legal trouble over the last year-and-a-half. Instead, however, they came from Bowling Green football coach Gregg Brandon.

If trouble isn’t everywhere, it’s right around the corner from everywhere.

Seven members of Brandon’s Mid-American Conference member’s team have stepped over the legal line since the Falcons’ last game of 2007. Like Iowa, the charges have run from the commonplace on college campuses (underage consumption of alcohol) to the extremely disturbing (aggravated burglary, felony drug trafficking).

This in no way is to excuse what goes on one place just because it goes in similar places. You don’t excuse the inexcusable – be it felony drug trafficking by at Bowling Green or (if proven guilty) sexual assault charges of players at Iowa. It doesn’t excuse anything, period. But something has to be wrong with a recruiting process when this many problem children — be it at Iowa, Bowling Green or wherever – surface in a sport.

In the meantime, Iowa is getting buried by certain national radio talk shows. Wednesday, ESPN Radio host Colin Cowherd was merciless in his description of the Hawkeyes’ football program. Cowherd can be a knee-jerk reactionary and a windsock (the Hlog likes him all the same – he gives strong opinions instead of spending most of his time on the air trading belly-laughs with flunkie sidekicks). But he had been effusive in praising Ferentz and the Iowa program in the past.

No more.

I was asked to appear on a Birmingham, Alabama radio show to talk about this subject Wednesday morning. If Birmingham, Alabama is interested in a sordid story out of Iowa City, you know the University of Iowa has a big problem.

This stuff gets around, folks, and goes around and around. Where it stops, nobody knows.

This is the Toledo Blade’s story on Bowling Green:


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