Forget the curse stuff. It might be gallows humor and/or a coping mechanism for the continuous bad fortune that has struck the Iowa running back position, but, no, what plagues this thing is very much of this plane.
We're not going to go back any farther than '09 or we'd be here all day. Focus on the decisions made.
Jewel Hampton could've decided to stay at Iowa. He transferred out with no specifics given. Adam Robinson could've decided to not violate multiple team rules and could've made better decisions the night before the '10 Insight Bowl. Brandon Wegher could've decided to stay, period.
Marcus Coker made a decision that led to a sexual assault investigation. The investigation found nothing. The alleged victim didn't want charges filed. Still, bad decision led to a precarious position and took his future at Iowa out of his hands.
Yesterday's news stemmed from another bad decision (I'm now making this dead horse into patties).
Incoming freshman running back Greg Garmon was charged by summons by Erie police with misdemeanor drug possession. The Erie (Pa.) Times-News coverage can be found here (it's an expanded story from yesterday).
Garmon's Twitter feed should probably be deleted any minute now. Hey, 18-year-olds and social media, mistakes are going to be made. When they spill over to the real world, it becomes a "bad decision."
Now, fate comes into the argument when you consider these decisions piling up on each other in a such a linear, and seemingly endless, stream.
That's when you take the AIRBHG in and kind of nod. You can see it. [Obviously, Jordan Canzeri didn't decide to tear his ACL. Horrible timing all around, but running backs do tear ACLs. Lots of running backs, in fact.]
Can you pinpoint character issues on recruiting? Could the position coach stop this? No and no.
Recruiting is a collective effort, with the area recruiter, position coach and head coach all involved. Kirk Ferentz has a the final OK. Running backs coach Lester Erb can only take stewardship so far. He's not a babysitter. At some point, young adults have to be accountable for their decisions.
“We’re dealing with 18- to 22-year-old guys,” said Erb, who started at Iowa as wide receivers coach in 2000. “As you know, 18- to 22-years old, you don’t always make the best decisions.
“As much as we can educate these guys, and Kirk [head coach Ferentz] does a great job of educating these guys on the pitfalls of being a college student, especially a college football player, I mean, through the various program speakers, we have had a number of examples, obviously, but really it comes down to decision making.
“As coaches, we can’t be with those guys 24 hours a day. It really comes down to education and hoping those guys make good decisions.”
On signing day in February, I went up to Cedar Falls High School to see running back Barkley Hill sign his letter of intent with Iowa. Hill committed to Iowa State super early, April 2011. A few weeks before signing day, the 6-foot, 210-pounder switched to the Hawkeyes.
I wanted to hear why he made the switch.
“Iowa fits my running style,” said Hill, who is named after NBA legend Charles Barkley. “They have a need for people at my position and that’s a fit. It was tough, but it was the best thing for me.”
Iowa State’s running game is based out of the zone read, where the quarterback reads the defensive end (usually) and decides to hand off to the running back or keep the ball. Iowa runs a zone blocking scheme, where the running back takes a hand-off, makes a read and goes.
Hill said he felt that suited him better.
“I like running between the tackles more than anything,” Hill said.
Hill didn't want to explore the subject too deeply. His explanation made sense. For all the curses attached to it, there is opportunity for Iowa running back. What college football player doesn't want opportunity?
That is what Hill sees now. And yes, he's well aware of what has been the core problem at the Iowa running back position.
“Those were unfortunate situations where people didn’t make the best decisions,” Hill said. “Just stay out of trouble and move on.”
Can they make "just stay out of trouble and move on" a jersey number?
-- Todd Lickliter's introductory press conference as Marian University's men's basketball coach was Wednesday.
Said former Iowa coach Lickliter about his NAIA program: "The environment we can build here doesn't have to take a back seat to anything."
"You phrased it wrong," Lickliter said when asked if it was a bit of a letdown leaving NCAA Division I. "You called it coming back. How do we know this isn't moving forward?"
-- Iowa freshman-to-be Adam Woodbury didn't make the 14-player cut for this year's USA Basketball Men’s U18 National Team.
Woodbury was one of 23 invitees. Fourteen finalists remain.
-- Former Iowa defensive end Aaron Kampman had a terrific 8-year run with the Green Bay Packers. His two seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars, were injury-riddled.
The Jaguars released Kampman Thursday.
"He was a popular player in the locker room and a team leader, but couldn’t overcome his injuries," wrote Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union.
Two of Kampman's teammates paid him tribute on Twitter Thursday.
“Sad to see Kampman go,” Austen Lane wrote. “I’m grateful for the things he taught me on the field but more importantly about life. I wish him the best of luck!”
Added defensive tackle Terrance Knighton: “Aaron Kampman is THE best teammate I ever had. Hate to see him go.”
-- The jury that will hear the child-molestation case of former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky sounds like a random sampling of a crowd at a Penn State football game.
Eight of the jurors have close ties to Penn State.
-- Retired Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden says he would like to be on a selection committee that determines major-college football playoff-participants.
There's just one problem. What if Florida State gets really good again?
-- Euro 2012 is starting today in Warsaw with host Poland against Greece and Russia vs. the Czech Republic.Who are you picking to win the whole shooting match? The Guardian surveyed its writers, and Germany gets the most nods.