Kirk Ferentz responds to questions after loss of players - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Kirk Ferentz responds to questions after loss of players


IOWA CITY (KWWL) -- In just a week, the Iowa Hawkeyes will play Missouri in the Insight Bowl, but they'll do so without running backs Jewel Hampton and Adam Robinson.

The team announced Monday Hampton would be leaving the university to transfer elsewhere.  Robinson failed to comply with team policies. This all comes after the arrest of star player Derrell Johnson-Koulianos.

For the first time since Johnson-Koulianos was arrested on drug charges last Tuesday, Kirk Ferentz spoke to the media.  Ferentz said he had no inclination that Johnson-Koulianos was involved with drugs before.

The University of Iowa Athletic Department does voluntarily administer its own drug testing and has done so since 1988.  Ferentz says the program, which the athletic department pours $70,000 into each year, is an important investment.

"When you're coaching college students, pro athletes, I'd venture to say high school students too. If you don't think drug culture's a part of that student body, both those levels and the professional ranks, I think you're a little naive, so my rationale has been to get out ahead," Ferentz said.

Doctor Del Miller oversees the testing. Miller says one percent of the drug tests bring back positive results.  After Johnson-Koulianos' arrest, the athletic department looked to tighten up testing procedures.

"Whenever something like that happens as it did last week, it's cause for pause and to reevaluate the program and make sure that we're doing everything the best we can.," Dr. Del Miller said.

An arrest, a suspension, and a transfer, it's been a challenging week, but Barta says he has confidence in the abilities of Ferentz to move forward.

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