Posted by: marcmwm | June 17, 2009

Ferentz on James Ferentz

Freshman offensive lineman James Ferentz, who plead guilty in May for public intoxication, is in good standing on the team and will be in competition at the center position this fall, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said Tuesday.

“He’s on the team and he’s playing in the fall,” Kirk Ferentz said. “You talk about beating dead mules. I’ll just keep my mouth shut. I’m just hoping we can all move on here.

James Ferentz and walk-ons Zach Derby and Tyler Christensen plead guilty to public intoxication charges on April 6. Christensen was also charged with fifth-degree criminal mischief for some property damage. Derby and Christensen are also on the team, which is in summer workouts through the end of July.

It was James Ferentz’s second alcohol-related arrest. He was given a possession ticket last fall.

Coach Ferentz expressed displeasure with the media attention the arrests have earned.

“This was hardly the crime of the century,” he said. “This isn’t quite up there with the Brinks’ truck. Wow, it’s a great state we live in. For that to make frontpage news in a major publication, it’s a great state we live in.”



  1. That’s for all the great work you do Marc.

    I’m curious as to your reaction on his comments. It seems as though he was almost annoyed with having to discuss this again.

    Again thanks for the great work you do here!

  2. Sounds like the dad in Kirk is getting the best of him.

    It was a reasonable question. Then Kirk goes and knocks our state? Wow! I’ve lost some respect or Coach Ferentz today.

  3. Aholic — I asked the question, knowing it wasn’t going to be a pleasant response. My reason, I wanted it on record with my readers that James was indeed coming back. I hadn’t had that. That’s all.

    I’d be annoyed if I were him, too. I’m not sure if he was talking about The Gazette or not with the frontpage reference.

    I just wanted clarification and that was all.

    Thanks for the compliment, Aholic. It’s much appreciated.

  4. I cannot agree more with Kirk Ferentz. Thisis a dead mule that no longer needs to be beaten. I am actually glad he wore the Dad hat on this. He’s allowed to do so.

  5. Dan — Kirk’s comments were directed toward the media, not the state. I can see how that might read, but believe me, it was toward us.

    Again, I only wanted clarification. I don’t think there was any ill will either way. Kirk wanted to say his piece on the matter. I understand. I would, too. My perspective, I simply wanted clarification.

  6. Joel — I agree. I explained my reasons for asking. I’m done with it.

  7. Dan –

    The remarks weren’t a knock on the state. In fact, it was pointing more to the fact that things are seemingly so calm (no major crimes, etc) that the media-types have nothing better to cover than his kid getting drunk.

  8. […] Posted in Iowa Hawkeyes, Kirk Ferentz, NFL | Tags: Joe Ehrmann, Kirk Ferentz, Mary Ferentz, Nate Kaeding « Ferentz on James Ferentz […]

  9. Thanks for the reply Marc.

    After listening to the audio it appears as though Kirk was just more interested in discussing the topic he was there for, Thursday’s event, and was a little taken aback by this being brought up.

    I don’t envy your job on days like today. You’ll be killed if you don’t ask the “tough” question and you make Kirk angry when you do ask! 🙂

    Thanks again!

  10. Anyone who is reading this comment from KF as a slap in the face of the state of Iowa is just looking to create trouble.

    I echo Homer’s sentiments. This whole thing got blown out of proportion, even more so on a national scale.

    I love how Rittenberg is acting as though Iowa has condoned criminal activity for the past two years. With the exception of Satterfield/Everson, the strong majority of our incidents have involved PAULAs and Public Intoxications. Although those are problematic, they are as KF put it, “not quite up there with Brink’s trucks.”

    It is this type of reaction by fans who think KF is trying to insult Iowa (who, coincidentally, are likely the same fans who criticize the Captain after a 7-5 season) that may eventually drive KF to the NFL.

    Go Hawks!

  11. I was an English major. I studied author’s intention. That’s one of the first things you lose when your voice goes into the world. People read a lot of the things I write and interpret them in their own ways. Just because it’s not my interpretation doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

    I think that’s part of the deal here with Kirk Ferentz.

    Holic listened and picked up on the meaning. (BTW, I need to get audio down on this site. I need to start adding dimension or I’m going to turn into fossil fuel.)

    The message was sent to the medi, probably mostly me. And that’s OK. I had it coming, I admit that.

  12. I think the question Marc posed was perfectly legitimate, and I think Coach Ferentz has a right to become defensive about the subject. But the facts speak for themselves on this topic.

    Ferentz left the situation unresolved when James and the others were arrested in April. Here is his statement, which obviously was vetted by multiple sources at the UI:

    “It was very disappointing to learn of the behavior of our three players last night,” Ferentz said in a statement. “Short term, all three will be suspended for the remainder of spring practice and they will be expected to fulfill significant community service obligations the next several weekends. Additional action will be determined at a later point and return to the team will be based on additional criteria.”

    This was James’ second alcohol-related legal incident within six months. He was suspended after each incident.

    Iowa has endured nearly 25 arrests or citations in the last two calendar years, including five felony charges. It’s only reasonable for some to question — and for the media to ask — if the state’s highest-paid public employee has control over the situation. That said, I think Ferentz has handle nearly every situation appropriately, but I will reserve judgment regarding James Ferentz. He spent the night in jail, which is more time than Dominique Douglas, Anthony Bowman, James Cleveland, Arvell Nelson or Cedric Everson. That of course is not equate James Ferentz’s arrest with their indiscretions, only stating the facts.

    Several players have missed/will miss games for alcohol-related incidents, such as drunken driving like Bradley Fletcher, Lance Tillison and Shaun Prater, who will receive at least a two-game suspension. Clint Huntrods was kicked off the team for peeing in an alley and running from the police. It’s interesting to see if the father-son relationship will result in a different level of treatment than with other similar cases.

    This situation hit too close to home for Kirk to handle it objectively. He handled it like a father, which one could expect. But to chide the media for reporting the incident and asking questions about it contains a lack of perspective.

  13. I’m cool with all the sentiments here.

    Sometimes, there is backlash to the questioner. Scott and I have been through that quite a bit and we’re OK with it. People want to know stuff. It’s not always going to be good stuff. So, we ask. We do it respectfully and without rancor. That’s New York.

  14. I have watched very closely over the past 10-11 years. Like all of us, KF has his weaknesses. Unlike most of us, his weaknesses are not glaring and are rarely seen given the fishbowl in which he has chosen to live and work.

    I still admire him, yet I no longer expect him to be flawless. He is, after all, human, but he is also an extraordinary human.

  15. […] Ferentz also talked about some other topics, including an injury to O-lineman Julian Vandervelde and the status of his son and Hawkeyes O-lineman James Ferentz. […]

  16. Well said, Kent.

  17. I should have prefaced my comments with the following: I appreciate reporters like Marc asking the difficult questions knowing the type of backlash response is likely going to come as a result of asking the question. I am sure more than anything, as a parent and coach, KF wants to put this episode in the past and do what he enjoys–coaching football.

    Thanks for keeping all of us informed, Marc.

    Also, big props to Kent for articulating how many of us feel but haev been unable to do so.

    Go Hawks!

  18. I’m glad you asked the question Mark. I am a big Ferentz fan and am disappointed in his statement, but what does he expect? I have a hard time believing if it were another kid on the team with 2 run in with the law that Kirk would be as forgiving and short with the media. I just hope he can keep coaching and fatherhood seperate in the future and James can keep his nose clean.

  19. Thanks, AM. I’ll ask tough questions, but I’m always going to be respectful about it.

  20. Dan — That’d be a giant task. I don’t know if I could do it, especially in this type of spotlight. I wrote about this here,

    Two offenses are not good, but, on the grand scale, they are relatively minor. There is some gray area here, certainly.

  21. […] Here’s a link to one from yesterday. […]

  22. Dan –
    I actually expect that Kirk has been harder on James than he would be on another hypothetical underclassmen who’d have 2 minor offenses. Heck, how he handled Bowman just a few years back reflects that too (although Bowman only had 1 major offense, rather than 2 minor offenses).

  23. I respect Kirk MORE for not being a robot. To suggest that James should be kicked off the team is simply asinine and likely the opinion of some religious teetotalers. People need to get a grip or go cheer for BYU.

  24. Jebus — Just the BYU reference makes me pine for a game on the tube tonight.

  25. I think what is lost in much of this is what Homer eluded to in his post. None of us know, nor will we ever know, the type of punishment James Ferentz received from his parents and, more specifically, from his father acting in the role of father.

    Yes, he is the highest paid state employee. Yes, he does draw more scrutiny because of his employement. Nonetheless, I think everyone needs to cut him some slack and let this one die.

    I would kill for a BYU/Mountain West game tonight. Is there anything better than the Thursday night ESPN game to get one ready for the weekend?

    Go Hawks!

  26. I am continually awe struck by this kind of stuff. I have spent a great deal of time over the years studying human nature and logic. It helps me with my job and it is a passion of mine. Right now there is an Epic thread on about this very thing that has digressed to its most base humanity. Finger pointing, cover up, & conspiracy at it’s best. I haven’t been there this after noon and I wont until tonite but it was at 285 posts last I checked.

    I know not everyone on here likely shares my Faith but I have to tell you I am immediately distrustful of anyone anymore that speaks in definitives and quickly judges. For example Iowa IS this or KF IS that!!! I have made many mistakes over the years and committed great atrocities that leave me humble and cognizant of the fact that we are ALL sinners and mistake prone. None of us our guiltless so I just don’t understand people casting judgment about that which they “really” don’t know all that much about. A servant of the Lord has a responsibility to speak out against what is wrong, but doing so in a pompous or self-righteous manner, without empathy or understanding is not what God calls us to do. Especially in lieu of the fact that in most ALL these cases we don’t have near enuff info to even cast our opinions.

    I really can’t understand how people continually question his parenting skills (thank-goodness my Mon wasn’t judged by my actions) or that he isn’t expedient of fair or that he “covered anything up”. The lack of general understanding and logic displayed by these individuals is almost inconceivable.

    Life is a roller coaster and we do the best we can. There are certainly evil people in the world, but anyone who doesn’t think he carries around his own little “evil is lying to themselves. I don’t think KF is better than me, but I darn sure don’t think I or anyone else on these message boards are better than him either.

    We should all grab a mirror and check our selves before we start being critical on anyone. Life is short and we all fall short of the Glory of God.


  27. Chad — I admire your passion. It’s one of the quickest things I leave to compromise anymore, unfortunately. I keep my beliefs inside, where I need them most.

    I haven’t gone to the Cyclone Fanatic boards for a very long time. I can’t comment on what goes on over there in any way, shape or form. But I’m going to guess that they roast the Hawkeyes any given chance. And that’s fine. That’s what makes it a rivalry. It goes the same way on Iowa boards when something Cyclone comes up, ie Jamie Pollard extension.

    I know it’s sooooo tempting, but don’t go there.

    I interviewed Nate Kaeding the other day. The DM Register guy asked if he read messageboards. Kaeding gave an emphatic no. He said it’d kill his self-esteem. Well, he was kidding. But you know, if you don’t go to ones that are going to spike your blood pressure, then they don’t exist.

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