Posted by Adam Jacobi
The Iowa Hawkeyes announced on Tuesday that Marcus Coker, the sophomore tailback who led the team with 1384 rushing yards and 15 yards and was named second team All-Big Ten in 2011, had been released from his scholarship and would transfer. Coker had been suspended days before the team's Insight Bowl appearance against Oklahoma, which the Sooners won 31-14.
Iowa's announcement said that Coker had originally been suspended after violating the Student Athlete Code of Conduct, and on Tuesday, Iowa athletic director Gary Barta again declined to provide any more specifics. But an open records request by the Iowa City Press-Citizen revealed a sexual assault investigation against Coker dating from an October 28 incident at his residence.
According to that report, a woman reported to police that she was the victim of an assault at Coker’s residence, 618 Iowa Ave. The alleged assault took place sometime between 1:15-1:30 p.m. on Oct. 28.
The circumstances surrounding the assault are not detailed in the report, but it does note that the responding officer was dispatched to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for a sexual assault.
Iowa City Police Lt. Doug Hart said Coker was investigated for assault. However, after conferring with the Johnson County Attorney’s Office, prosecution was not pursued. Hart said the alleged victim also did not want to prosecute.
Nobody involved in the situation has indicated whether the investigation against Coker was what affected his status with the team, though the police department did say that the situation had been relayed to the Iowa athletic department, as per usual procedure.
According to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Coker left this message on his Facebook page last week: "Everything happens for a reason..cant tell people i did something when i didnt. So hints y i never answered those questions. Anyway thanks everyone for the support especially hawknation and fam. Go hawks..hawk for life."
Freshman running back Mika'il McCall also left the Iowa program last week, so Coker's departure makes it a remarkable 12 straight running backs who have left Iowa before their senior seasons. Damian Sims, who signed with Iowa in 2004, was the last scholarship RB recruit to play four full seasons with the Hawkeyes.
Kirk Ferentz is unavailable for comment, according to the university.
For more breaking news on this situation and the rest of the Iowa Hawkeyes, read the CBSSports.com Iowa RapidReports by Brendan Stiles.
Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. View a preview. Like us? Tell our Facebook page.