Not surprisingly, Iowa will be down a starting offensive lineman to open the upcoming season.
Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz confirmed in a lengthy statement that Tristan Wirfs will be suspended for the season opener against Northern Illinois. The suspension comes just a couple of days after Wirfs was cited for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence.
It is always disappointing when student-athletes make decisions that are against the law and/or inconsistent with the University of Iowa’s code of conduct or team policies.
Within one week, two of our players were arrested on alcohol-related charges. As a veteran football coach and parent, I understand firsthand the personal pain and public humiliation that comes with making such decisions. While these players are college students first, they are held to a much higher standard because of the privilege and responsibility that comes with being a member of the Iowa football program.
Any player in violation of team rules or the university code of conduct is subjected to a variety of penalties. My philosophy and practice is consistent, and that is to hold players accountable – – no matter their position on the depth chart. However, I hold senior members of the team to a higher standard because they know and understand the expectations.
These situations can be defining moments for all students. It is my responsibility to hold our players accountable and help them learn and succeed. My goal is to develop a winning culture that translates into championship seasons and players who are successful in life.
The other player not mentioned by name in Ferentz’s statement, Brady Reiff, was arrested for public intoxication last month after mistaking a police car for an Uber ride. The starting defensive tackle has been suspended for the opener as well.
As for Wirfs, he started eight games last season and will head into summer camp as the Hawkeyes’ starting right tackle.