Posted by: marcmwm | May 28, 2008

Tuesday’s story and a little commentary . . .

I remember walking by Cedric Everson on the Tuesday BEFORE the Purdue game. This would’ve been in the days after the Oct. 14 incident. We were just wrapping up Tuesday’s news conference. Players report for practice and meetings at roughly 3 p.m. We run often run into each other on the way in or out.

I distinctly remember the look on Everson’s face. I’ve run into a few players before big meetings with Ferentz at the Hayden Fry Football Complex. I remember back in ’99, when sophomore tight end Eric Steinbach waited outside Ferentz’s office. He didn’t look happy. This was the meeting where Ferentz would suggest that it was time to play offensive line. Steinbach didn’t embrace it, at least initially. Now, he’s a millionaire guard for the Cleveland Browns.

Presumably, these were Cedric Everson’s last minutes as an Iowa Hawkeye and, probably, a Division I football player. The look on his face showed it. He was going to have to answer for something. It started to come out on the Thursday before Purdue, when The Gazette started calling UI Police to see if anything was up with Everson or Abe Satterfield.

Everson and Satterfield were removed from the team.

Ferentz deserves credit for this, especially this season.

Check the Big Ten. Arrests and felonies and misdemeanors ran around fields everywhere this season, specifically Penn State, Wisconsin and Michigan State. I’m sure I’m missing a few.

Ferentz acted quickly and decisively. Dominique Douglas and Anthony Bowman were gone. Clint Huntrods, gone. Dana Brown, gone. Everson and Satterfield, gone. You could reasonably argue that Ferentz did lean on the process with Douglas and Bowman. He didn’t immediately boot them from the team. But he also didn’t let them play while the court process churned.

He could’ve leaned on the cops and courts and “let justice take its course,” but he took these guys off the field and out of practice. He took the ambiguity out of it. They no longer represented the University of Iowa in a football sense, on a football field, on ESPN or the Big Ten Network.

The Iowa football team is a citizen of the University of Iowa. UI football players committed crimes against members of their community this year. They were taken out of the community.

That needs to be noted.

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The term “not in good standing” became part of the Iowa football lexicon last October.

The Oct. 14 incident that involved former Iowa football players Cedric Everson and Abe Satterfield started to come to light shortly thereafter. Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz was asked about Everson’s absence after Iowa’s loss at Purdue Oct. 20.

“He came up short in a couple of departments last week and we opted not to bring him,” Ferentz said. He was then asked if the problems were on the field or off.

“That’s a matter between (them),” Ferentz said. “It was my choice not to bring him. We’ll see how it goes.”

When questioned more extensively during his weekly news conference the following Tuesday, Ferentz offered, “They’re not in good standing right now.”

The University of Iowa Police Department issued arrest warrants Tuesday for Everson and Satterfield. Both players have left the Iowa program and are out of state. They’ll either surrender voluntarily to campus police or face extradition on the charges.

“This has been a difficult situation for everyone involved,” Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta said in a news release. “From the day we learned about the incident, I have been deeply concerned and we have taken it seriously.”

“This situation has always been serious and significant. I am concerned for everyone involved.”

Everson, of Detroit, Mich., and Satterfield, of Erie, Pa., were removed team in mid-October. Dec. 17, the two announced plans to transfer.

Everson, a 6-foot, 175-pound defensive back, signed with Alcorn State (Miss.) in February but isn’t listed on the roster. Satterfield, also a defensive back, joined the Indiana University of Pennsylvania team in January.

IUP Coach Lou Tepper, who coached Illinois from 1991 through 1997, said he called Iowa coaches for a character assessment.

“I said ‘Would you take him back if you could?’ ” Tepper told the Indiana Gazette Jan. 19, “and they said ‘Absolutely.’ They told me that he might have started for them next year at corner. They were all high on him. He seems like a great kid.”

In Tuesday’s news release, Ferentz said Everson and Satterfield left last fall “after several meetings with me.” Because it is a legal matter, Ferentz said he can’t discuss the specifics of those meetings.

“From the beginning, I have worked directly with Gary Barta and university officials to make certain that procedures and protocol were followed,” Ferentz said.

Iowa’s athletics department has been extremely cautious in releasing information or comments about this incident. The Pierre Pierce case, when the former Iowa basketball player was charged with third degree sexual abuse in 2002, has affected university protocol.

The gap between Oct. 14 and Tuesday’s arrests, some seven months, was related to the victim’s safety, according to the Johnson County Attorney’s office. Iowa’s spring semester ended and the alleged victim is no longer on campus.

“Our first concern was for the young woman,” Barta said. “As part of the process, all staff involved worked to follow university procedures and protocol. I am very confident that happened. Last fall everything was turned over to the proper authorities in full cooperation of the legal process.”

The investigation became public Nov. 14, when University of Iowa police announced they’d questioned three Iowa football players in connection with an alleged sexual assault. Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation officers also were on campus Nov. 14 conducting a search at Hillcrest Residence Hall.

A third player was not mentioned Tuesday.

Iowa football has been battered by arrests with 17, including five felonies, in the last 13 months.

During an Oct. 23 news conference, several Iowa players were asked about the arrests, conduct and responsibility.

“As a college kid and as a football player, there are things that are going to be put in front of you that will force you to make a decision,” defensive tackle Mitch King said. “It’s so important to make the right decision.”

Everson has a few rap videos on YouTube. One of them is called “Pullin’ on My Jersey,” which has more than 13,000 views. The lyrics clearly objectify women.

“If you’re disrespecting people, it doesn’t matter what culture you’re from, that’s just wrong,” running back Albert Young said. “There’s a difference. Maybe how guys wear their clothes, earrings, that might get misinterpreted. But if you’re saying things and your actions are disrespectful, it doesn’t matter if you’re from Iowa or New York.”

Also Oct. 23, Ferentz talked about behavior and consequences.

“Once they’re outside this building I really don’t care (what players look like) as long as they’ve got the right values and they conduct themselves (well),” Ferentz said. “This is a voluntary activity. It should be important to them. That[‘]s our expectation level. They need to treat that with respect.”

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