Terrible news from Iowa City yesterday, as Kirk Ferentz looks to tighten the ship as the Wisconsin game approaches. His first order of business: curfews.
Ferentz wouldn't reveal the specifics Tuesday, but several players said they can no longer be downtown past 10 p.m. and must be in for the night by midnight. The changes come in the wake of redshirt freshman Lance Tillison's arrest early Sunday morning on drunken driving charges.
Ferentz said the team used to have a six-night curfew. But game nights were added to the list after Tillison's arrest following Saturday's 15-13 loss at Iowa State.
In related news, Iowa football players are going to be bombed out of their gourds at 9:55 p.m. on Saturdays. Plan accordingly.
This does create an interesting situation. Kirk's youngest son, James Ferentz, is a verbal commit for the 2008 class. One would safely assume that his commitment is as solid as they come, but consider this: In regards to the curfew, Kirk said James "would be upset about this curfew, to put it in perspective."
Therefore, when James graduates from high school and moves out, he'll actually have less autonomy as a student-athlete at Iowa than he's got as a Ferentz family member right now.
Then there's the issue of dealing with the press. Ferentz had previously blocked true freshmen from talking to the media, in what seemed like an effort to insulate then-freshman Dominique Douglas from the media. It now appears that the opposite may well have been the case, but that's an issue for another day.
Now comes word that our second-favorite quote machine, lineman Julian Vandervelde, will be silenced as well. Ferentz announced that redshirt freshmen were now off-limits as well. While we whole-heartedly understand the need to keep players away from the horrifying visage of Pat Harty as long as possible, there are two very disappointing results. First, we can no longer hear from Vandervelde about his legendary prowess in devouring cheese-fries, or his hatred of Iowa State as "an entity". Even more depressing, it seems as if The Entertainer's redshirt denial will itself be denied, so we're at least two seasons away from any more gold nuggets of bravado from his camp.
This is all very troubling. First a seven-day curfew, now restriction of the press? Put it this way: When Ferentz starts making the football players wear "pieces of flair"... don't act surprised.