Iowa Football

Brandon Snyder leaves Iowa football program, Tristan Wirfs suspended

Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz issues statements about recent arrests

Brandon Snyder is leaving the Iowa football program. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Brandon Snyder is leaving the Iowa football program. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — University of Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz announced Tuesday that Brandon Snyder is leaving the program and Tristan Wirfs will serve as one-game suspension.

Snyder, according to a release from the school, is leaving to “pursue an opportunity to receive more time on the field.” He was given his release, meaning he can “play for another team immediately,” Ferentz said in the statement.

Snyder, a free safety, spent most of the past two years rehabilitating from two ACL injuries. In his first game back in 2017, he returned an interception 89 yards for a touchdown against Illinois. Snyder reinjured his left knee in that contest and was sidelined for the remainder of the season. He was arrested for drunken driving in December and did not make the trip to the Pinstripe Bowl.

“We appreciate Brandon’s goal to play his full senior year,” Ferentz said. “We wish him the very best and thank him for his grit on the field.”

Snyder was a walk-on from West Lyon High School in Larchwood, Iowa.

Ferentz also said Wirfs, a sophomore offensive lineman from Mount Vernon arrested for OWI early Sunday, will miss the season opener against Northern Illinois.

“Consistent with our team policy, Tristan Wirfs will serve a one-game suspension for his arrest for driving under the influence,” Ferentz said in the release.

Wirfs is the second Iowa football player arrested on alcohol-related charges. On July 21, Brady Reiff, a junior defensive tackle, was charged with public intoxication after mistaking a police car for an Uber. He also is suspended for first game.

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“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,” Ferentz said in the release. “ ... 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.”

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