As you're no doubt aware, Brandon Wegher is not practicing with the Hawkeyes at this point, and though his status hasn't been publicly addressed by Kirk Ferentz, with every missed practice it seems increasingly unlikely that Wegher will suit up for Iowa in 2010.
Additionally, we've heard certain rumors that are rather unsettling about Wegher's behavior (but not in the realm of illegality or substance abuse), and our readers probably have as well. But instead of assuming the worst, let's go a different direction, and reiterate a few things that nobody is disputing:
1) Brandon Wegher is academically eligible to play this football season. He said so himself at the Iowa Media Day, none of the credible rumors we've heard suggest otherwise, and if he were academically ineligible, it certainly would have come out before now.
2) Brandon Wegher is still in Iowa City and healthy. There's some uncertainty about the level of contact Wegher has with his teammates, but look: nobody's filing a missing person report. Whether Wegher wants to contact the football team is another question entirely, but it's not like something awful has happened.
3) That all said, Brandon Wegher has not practiced with Iowa for four straight days. If he ends up leaving the Iowa program--and let's hope he doesn't--it would be silly to assume Kirk Ferentz and company didn't want him around in the first place. After all, the list of current Iowa players who could blow off 4 days of 2-a-days and not be swiftly dismissed by Ferentz is small, and Wegher has clearly demonstrated his presence on said list.
But we don't know if Wegher's on the 5-day no-show list, or the 6-day, or the 7-day. There is a limit, especially with a coach like Kirk Ferentz, and as long as Wegher's absence is voluntary (which, by all indications, is the case), he's in danger of testing that limit, with predictably dire consequences.
It's really too bad, because Wegher seemed to have as much of an advantage as anybody to be Iowa's #1 back for the upcoming season. Jewel Hampton's knee probably won't be truly 100% until the 2011 season, and there aren't many non-racists who would argue that Adam Robinson is more physically talented than Wegher.
But--and this is going to sound more smug than we mean it to be--that's just detached rationality, which everyone's happy to apply to strangers much more readily than to themselves. If something's up in Wegher's personal life--whether it be that juicy rumor you heard from a vague acquaintance or something else entirely--then he's not going to be as likely to say "but I have 125 carries waiting for me this season, so football comes first okay goodbye everybody." That's just not how 20-year-olds work, y'know?
But we digress, and at a detriment to the main point: whatever Wegher's trying to accomplish right now, if football--at Iowa or otherwise--is even remotely involved, he has got to return to practice immediately. And if he doesn't, well, lord only knows where that career goes.