University of Iowa freshman center James Ferentz was cited at 1:26 a.m. Friday for Possession of Alcohol Under the Legal Age as part of a traffic stop in University Heights.
That isn’t drunk driving, it isn’t having an open container, it isn’t public intoxication. But it is what it is, as everyone says these days. It’s alcohol under the legal age, it was at 1:26 a.m., and it was in University Heights. That’s a place where you get pulled over for using too much of their oxygen.
I kid University Heights. I love University Heights.
This is nothing to joke about, of course. The law is the law, and bless University Heights’ heart for enforcing it.
Kirk Ferentz, James’ father and the Iowa head football coach, surely didn’t smile from his wake-up call Friday morning up to the time he rested his head on a pillow in a Cedar Rapids hotel room Friday night.
Not only is any Hawkeye player set up for stern punishment with each legal fumble because of the team’s rash of arrests for incidents extremely serious and less so, but it’s his son. Of all the players in the Iowa program, James Ferentz is the one who should have been most cautious at all times in all situations. College kids will be college kids, absolutely. I’m not going to be the one to throw stones in that regard. It’s a been-there, done-that, happy-to-have-survived thing.
But you’re on full scholarship in full view with your father under such a bright and often harsh spotlight, so your end of the bargain had better be to act as a model citizen and serious student for five years. Otherwise, you should have found a program where you could have blended into the furniture a lot easier.
So, Father/Coach Ferentz had no choice but to offer this Friday:
“I was extremely disappointed to learn of James’ very poor decision making on several levels. This offense will be treated seriously and his punishment will include immediate and total suspension from all team activities. In addition, he will be required to attend counseling sessions and fulfill substantial community service obligations over the next six weekends. I realize this is a severe penalty but it’s just given our current circumstances. The fact that James is also my son only complicates an already tough situation.”
James Ferentz had a choice. Because of the one James made, Kirk had no choice in doing what he did. Both will suffer for it, a lot. If you’re a parent, you surely sympathize. If you’re a student, take heed.