UPDATED: Even though Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz suspended starting running back Adam Robinson for the Insight Bowl, Ferentz expected Robinson to eventually earn back his spot with the Hawkeyes.
Getting arrested on a marijuana charge wasn’t exactly what Ferentz had in mind.
Robinson, 21, was charged with possession of marijuana Monday night in his hometown of Des Moines, putting his career at Iowa in jeopardy.
The Iowa State Patrol said Robinson was a passenger in a vehicle pulled over for not having front plates. Police said a trooper detected a marijuana odor from the vehicle, then found marijuana after a search.
Robinson was released with a promise to appear in court Jan. 5. A message left at his family’s home in Des Moines wasn’t immediately returned.
The driver, Ermin Zornic, was charged with possession with intent to deliver marijuana.
Robinson was one of three talented sophomore running backs the Hawkeyes brought to fall camp, and he quickly emerged as Iowa’s starter after Brandon Wegher left for personal reasons and Jewel Hampton blew out his knee.
Robinson rushed for a team-high 941 yards and 10 touchdowns despite missing two games because of concussions. But he didn’t start the first quarter of a 20-17 loss to Ohio State on Nov. 20 because of what Ferentz dubbed “academic indigestion.” He was left off the roster for Tuesday night’s Insight Bowl against Missouri (10-2) for failing to comply with team expectations and policies.
A message left for Iowa spokesman Phil Haddy also wasn’t immediately returned.
Robinson’s arrest is the latest headache for Ferentz and the Hawkeyes, who’ve endured a miserable month on and off the field.
Iowa (7-5) saw its Big Ten title and Rose Bowl hopes disintegrate with a three-game losing streak to end the year, capped by a defeat at woeful Minnesota. Standout wide receiver Derrell Johnson-Koulianos was arrested on drug charges and booted off the team earlier this month, and the promising Hampton decided to transfer in what Ferentz said was a mutual decision.
With Robinson’s future in doubt, freshman Marcus Coker appears in line to take over as Iowa’s featured back in 2011.
Coker, who was set to start in the Insight Bowl, rushed for 403 yards on 5 yards per carry in limited duty.
Freshmen De’Andre Johnson and Brad Rogers will also be in the mix for playing time next fall.