University of Iowa running back De’Andre Johnson had a legal run in for a second time in three days after police say he failed to pull over after speeding on Saturday.
According to a complaint from University Heights Police, Johnson, 20, pulled out of his driveway at 1311 W. Benton St. on his motorcycle and accelerated rapidly. Police said Johnson was going 60 miles per hour in a 25 mile per hour zone. When an officer turned on his sirens to pull Johnson over, the complaint said Johnson continued to drive before pulling into a driveway at 1018 W. Benton St. behind another vehicle in the grass. He was charged with speeding and eluding.
The complaint said Johnson told the officer that his friend “Jake” lived at the address but police say the friend was never located.
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz announced in a statement Sunday afternoon that Johnson would be suspended immediately from all team activities.
“I was very disappointed to learn of the situation involving De’Andre Johnson Saturday evening,” Ferentz said. “As a result, De’Andre has been suspended immediately from all team activities.”
Johnson’s arrest comes just two days after he was cited on suspicion of disorderly house on July 26 after Iowa City police were called out to reports of a loud party at his home. In that alleged incident, police said they found roughly 50 people in Johnson’s yard and surrounding sidewalk. The complaint said the crowd dispersed when officers arrived just before 11:30 p.m.
The complaint said an officer found empty plastic cups and alcoholic beverage containers throughout the yard, and that the party could be heard from the street and other nearby properties. When police tried to make contact with the host of the party, complaints said no one would answer the door, though people inside said the police were at the residence.
Complaints said police eventually found Johnson sitting in the back yard, where they cited him for keeping a disorderly house.
The timing with Johnson’s legal troubles is critical. Iowa players finished summer conditioning on Thursday and are off until fall camp opens Friday.
Ferentz learned about the disorderly house citation at Big Ten media days on Friday.
“Firstly, I’d like to learn the facts,” he said. “A disorderly house, that’s not going to rock the Richter scale, but there will be consequences. He didn’t sneeze too, did he? Certainly, I don’t condone that [the disorderly house charge].”
Johnson, a UI sophomore from Florida who redshirted in 2010, saw action last fall in four games. The running back had 18 rushing attempts for 79 yards.
Ferentz has said Iowa will use every available running back on the roster. With Johnson, who’s never had solid footing on the depth chart, possibly in limbo, Iowa is further stressed. Sophomore Damon Bullock is the last healthy running back on the roster with a carry in the Big Ten. He was listed No. 1 in the preseason depth chart. Ferentz has said his skill set is geared more toward the passing game.
Iowa also has incoming freshmen Greg Garmon and Barkley Hill. Garmon was arrested and eventually charged with possession of drug paraphernalia in his hometown of Erie, Pa. Ferentz and Iowa athletics director Gary Barta said last week that it is considered strike one in Iowa’s student-athlete code of conduct. A first strike doesn’t call for a suspension from competition.
Hill, a 6-foot, 215-pounder, rushed for 6,127 yards and 89 TDs at Cedar Falls High School. He’s been in Iowa City since June working through Iowa’s summer conditioning program. Also, junior walk-on Andre Dawson, a former Cedar Rapids Washington prep, could factor. He rushed for 4,885 yards and 64 TDs in his career at Washington. Dawson committed to UNI coming out of high school, but then transferred to Iowa Western Community College, where he rushed for 263 yards on 45 carries.
Penn State signee Akeel Lynch, a player Iowa recruited heavily before he signed with PSU in February, also could be in play, but there’s no definitive word. Also, fullback Brad Rogers has some experience at running back.
(Gazette reporter Hayley Bruce contributed to this report.)
KCJJ, an Iowa City radio station, first posted this at 7:30 a.m. or thereabouts. The station hits the ground running on Sunday mornings.