It's the only Jevon Pugh image we can find
One month ago today, we discussed the tenuous status of Jevon Pugh, who may or may not be the lone returning scholarship running back in 2008. A quick recap of events to date:
- Oct. 14 -- An alleged sexual assault occurs at Hillcrest dormitory. Rumor and innuendo immediately implicate one to three football players.
- Oct. 18 -- Cedric Everson and Abe Satterfield are removed from the active roster. When asked for explanation, Kirk Ferentz says, "[Everson] is not in good standing." Neither player ever returns to active status. Jevon Pugh is active on October 18, and remains active through the remainder of the season.
- Nov. 5 -- The University of Iowa Police receive a formal complaint of a sexual assault on October 14. The athletic department confirms football players are being investigated. Records of the subsequent investigation have been kept mostly confidential.
- Dec. 12 -- Iowa receives the commitment of JUCO tailback Nate Guillory, who had previously committed to Kansas State. When asked why he changed his mind, Guillory indicates the coaching staff told him no scholarship running backs would be returning. This is confirmed by Mark Ingram, another running back recruit, who told Rivals, "all they have is two walk-ons coming back, so they need some players, and I could probably come here and play right away. They think I’m physically ready to play right now and maybe be a starter for four years."
- Dec. 17 -- The DMR implicates Everson, Satterfield, and Pugh.* On the same date, the athletic department announces Everson, Satterfield, and Dominique Douglas are gone. Pugh is not mentioned.
- Jan. 8 -- In his State of the Program press conference, Ferentz says one other player may be leaving the team. He does not specifically name Pugh. When asked about the tailback position, Ferentz says, "we're not deep there right now. It's certainly a position of interest for us in recruiting. So far, so good. Hopefully, we can close it down here in February." At this time, Pugh is still on the roster.
So that's where we stand. Jevon Pugh remains hung out to dry. Pugh has had his name dragged through the mud by the local media -- and has privately been written off by his own coaches -- for what looks more and more like being around the wrong people at the wrong place and wrong time. Contrary to all implications from inside and outside the program, he has not been suspended. He has not been kicked off the team. He has not transferred.
We have said before that Everson and Satterfield can drop dead. But if this investigation shows Pugh did nothing, he deserves a spot on this team and an apology from every newspaper and every coach who has besmirched his reputation over the past three months.
* -- For your information, per se defamation is the publication of false statements which attack a person's integrity or expose the person to public hatred, contempt, or ridicule. Iowa law recognizes "defamation by implication," where the defamer makes a series of factually accurate statements in succession so that the person reading the statements would draw a defamatory conclusion. Pugh's case against the DMR for that article is probably tenuous at best, but it would all depend on the contents of the investigation. This message brought to you by the Law Offices of Bob Loblaw.