IOWA CITY — Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said the status of running back Jewel Hampton and defensive back Jordan Bernstine hasn’t changed.
The matter is being handled internally, Ferentz said Friday. When the two were arrested on public intoxication charges June 5, Ferentz issued a statement that said, “. . . I am in the process of gathering all the facts concerning the incident. Until I have all the facts, I’ll have no further comment and the incident will be handled internally.”
Hampton plead guilty to the public intoxication charge, according to Iowa court documents. Bernstine plead not guilty to the same charge, which was connected to the same incident at Vito’s on the Ped Mall, according to court documents.
Hampton faced a $195 fine. He was also issued a ticket for being in a bar illegally after 10 p.m. Iowa City’s new 21-only ordinance that went into effect at midnight June 1. That ticket carries a $735 fine.
According to the complaints, Hampton’s blood-alcohol level was .091 and Bernstine’s was .127.
For Ferentz, no news is good news. And he didn’t have any news of academic problems with any player on Friday.
“As far as I know,” he said when asked. “The key thing is what I know.”
The new Big Ten
This was the first time Ferentz has spoken publicly since Nebraska was added to the Big Ten in a whirlwind vote and news conference last week in Lincoln.
His first thought was is it over?
“I don’t know if any of know if we’re done and we’re going to settle in at 12,” he said. “I read the papers, like everyone else.
“All I know is this year it won’t matter, so I’m not too worried about it. We’ll get it figured out.”
Ferentz said he’d love to sit in on the meetings where they decide who goes where and what rivalries live and why.
“I don’t care if I have input, I just want to watch it,” Ferentz said. “Maybe it’ll be on C-SPAN like the health talks, although those weren’t on, were they?”
So, no, it’s not exactly at the top of Ferentz’s list.
Ferentz said wide receiver Paul Chaney Jr. is close to full recovery from a torn ACL suffered Oct. 10 last season against Michigan.
“He should be fine,” Ferentz said.
Ferentz fan of title game, kinda
When Nebraska was announced as the Big Ten’s 12th member, conference commissioner Jim Delany said he “presumed” a football title game will become reality in 2011. In the past, Ferentz has been a vocal adversary of a title game.
“It’s coming, so now I’m a fan,” he said. “I hope we’re in one someday, whenever it comes, it’s still at least a year away.”
Ferentz said he saw this coming. He and Mark Abbott, an athletics department assistant who takes care of scheduling contracts, had Iowa’s next five years mapped out. Nebraska likely will be on Iowa’s schedule in 2011.
So, rip it up.
“We were set for at least five years,” Ferentz said. “We were in better shape than ever, so that was a sure sign something was going to happen. After next year’s schedule, you can tear them all up.”
No contact with USC players
With USC headed toward two seasons of no bowls among other NCAA infractions, the school’s players have a degree of freedom to transfer to other schools.
Ferentz said his staff has had no contact with USC players looking to transfer.
Rotel and Barbasol
E-mailer Brian is a little jaded when it comes to the money-grab that is conference realignment. He’s come up with a way to tell it like it is.
Acknowledge the money and embrace the advertising, which, if you watch the Big Ten Network for any period of time, means Rotel cheese and Barbasol shaving cream.
Here’s a portion of Brian’s e-mail:
Assuming there is not a Big Ten North and South, or East and West; as it sounds based on the competitive balance thing – what will the division names be called?
I’ve heard Bo and Woody, Black and Blue, etc. My vote? Since this is all a big money grab anyway (I’m not at all jaded about expansion, can you tell?) I say let’s sell the naming rights for even more money. I think the early leaders would be to two strongest Big Ten Network advertisers: Rotel and Barbasol. Don’t know which division I would rather the Hawkeyes play in, but probably Barbasol since they are very patriotic, as is Ricky Stanzi (though it would be sad he’d never get to play in that division). Wisconsin would definitely need to be in the Rotel division though – you know since its cheese and all.