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Iowa grants leading rusher Coker a release

Marcus Coker, Andrew Green, Austin Cassidy AP

After a December of behind-the-scenes turmoil that included a suspension for Iowa’s bowl game,  it was reported that Marcus Coker would be back at the school and likely reinstated to the football program.

“Yes, the invitation is there for him to come back,” Iowa athletic director Gary Barta was quoted as saying Dec. 31. “We’ll let this play out and see what happens.”

What happened, as it turns out, is the exact opposite of a return.

In a press release, the school announced that Coker “has withdrawn his application to enroll in spring semester classes.”  Additionally, the release confirmed that Coker had asked for, and been granted a release from, his Iowa scholarship.

There was no statement from head coach Kirk Ferentz or any other school official contained in the release.

Suffice to say, the loss of Coker is a significant blow to the Hawkeyes’ offense in general and their running game in particular.  Coker led the Hawkeyes in rushing during the regular season with 1,384 yards and 15 touchdowns.  The second-leading rusher?  De’Andre Johnson with 79 yards.  The only other player on the team to score a rushing touchdown this season was quarterback James Vandenberg, who had three of them.

Coker was a four-star member of Iowa’s 2010 recruiting class coming out of high school in Hyattsville, Maryland, rated by Rivals.com as the No. 22 RB in the country.  It’s unclear which schools Coker will consider for a transfer, although Maryland was one of a handful of schools — Kansas State, Minnesota and Wake Forest being the others — to offer a scholarship during the first recruiting process.

Incidentally, Coker is the second Hawkeyes back to transfer in the first 10 days of the New Year; late last week, Ferentz confirmed Mika’il McCall is leaving the program.

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7 Responses to “Iowa grants leading rusher Coker a release”
  1. imaduffer says: Jan 10, 2012 5:11 PM

    I like Iowa’s attitude. Our way or the highway. Wish more schools would put student before athlete.

  2. jason1214 says: Jan 10, 2012 5:30 PM

    @imaduffer

    I get your point, but doesn’t it also say something about Coker that he doesn’t want to EARN his way back? IE: not a team player.

  3. cyraider says: Jan 10, 2012 6:39 PM

    I like Iowa’s attitude. Our way or the highway. Wish more schools would put student before athlete.

    Seriously? Have u seen or heard anything about Iowa football? Did u read the article? The AD and head coach both say they want him back after he broke team rules and that’s ‘their way or the highway’? He jumped off a sinking ship and I can’t blame him. His line is graduation or leaving, his mediocre qb is losing his favorite target and they are getting a new DC next year. Iowa will be lucky to be 5-7 in a weak ‘big’ 10 next year…

  4. soya88 says: Jan 10, 2012 7:12 PM

    Sounds more like he didn’t think he did anything wrong and wouldn’t apologize or the give the reinstatement process a real attempt.

    Probably the first time in history someone cheated off a football player.

  5. jeffdircks says: Jan 10, 2012 7:18 PM

    well maybe its time fcr lafrenze to leave?we are losing all good player for one thing or anoughter has he lost control i dont know.I am Lafrnze fan but something is going on one time forget about it this every day occurance.

  6. rosloe62 says: Jan 10, 2012 11:33 PM

    Something is going wrong with this program. Maybe it’s time to rebuild, starting with the AD and HC.

  7. rosloe62 says: Jan 11, 2012 6:46 PM

    I can’t beleive no more negative comments on Coker from people who don’t even know him.
    BTW…how many more Iowa RB’s are going to leave the program? Way to go Gary and Kirk!
    Is Iowa going to be able to beat anyone in their conference?

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