Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz declines to elaborate on Marcus Coker suspension

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IOWA CITY – Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz declined to offer specifics Wednesday night regarding the suspension of star running back Marcus Coker.

“There’s really nothing to add to (Tuesday’s) statement right now,” Ferentz told a SourceMedia Group reporter during a commercial break from his bowl preview radio show. When asked if the reason behind Coker’s suspension was a legal or academic issue, Ferentz added, “There’s nothing to add to what we released (Tuesday).”

Coker, a sophomore from Beltsville, Md., was suspended from the Insight Bowl next week after violating the UI Student-Athlete Code of Conduct. Coker was the Big Ten’s second-leading rusher last year with 1,384 yards and 15 touchdowns. He will not travel with the team.

Coker’s opening-day backup, Mika’il McCall, also will not travel to the Insight Bowl, Ferentz said. He was suspended from the Hawkeyes’ season finale for violating team rules. His future is undetermined.

“We’ll worry about that after the game,” Ferentz said.

In part to combat some negative feedback on the recruiting trail, Ferentz reaffirmed his commitment to Iowa in a statement late Tuesday night.

“It happens at times,” Ferentz said. “It’s fair to say it happens at times. When talk is out there early, it’s not beneficial for anybody.

“I’d rather not talk about it, but I think it’s probably beneficial to make a statement at this point.”

Ferentz said Iowa administrative assistant and former player Levar Woods will replace outgoing defensive line coach Rick Kazczenski through the bowl game. Woods filled in on Iowa’s defensive staff in 2010 when defensive coordinator Norm Parker missed most of the season. Parker had part of his leg amputated because of diabetes.

When Ferentz was asked if Woods would join the staff full-time after the bowl game, he said, “Basically all these questions right now, we’ll address all that stuff after New Year’s.”

Iowa also must replace Parker, who will retire after the game. Ferentz said with December recruiting and bowl preparation he has not had time to determine Parker’s replacement and would not say if it would be an internal or external hire.

“I really haven’t thought that much about that either,” he said. “Pretty much all that stuff’s on the docket for after New Year’s.”

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