Not good news from Iowa City this morning, as Iowa will almost certainly be without the services of starting defensive end Broderick Binns for at least the first couple games. According to Dochtermann at the Gazette, Binns was popped early this morning for OWI:
According to the police complaint, Binns was driving a gold 2003 Dodge Durango and was pulled over for driving straight through a left turn lane near the intersection of Benton Street and Greenwood Drive and an equipment violation. Binns allegedly had watery eyes, smelled of alcohol and had impaired speech and balance. His preliminary breath test was .097, above Iowa’s .08 standard for drunken driving.
Binns won’t turn 21 for another two weeks but allegedly was wearing a wristband provided for over-21 patrons in downtown Iowa City, according to the police complaint. An Iowa City law went into effect June 1 that prohibits under-21 customers from Iowa City bars after 10 p.m.
Now look, driving drunk is never "okay." We're not going to condone Binns' actions, and he'll deserve every bit of punishment that befalls him on and off the field. But if one were to think up a hypothetical scenario in which the severity of the DUI was minimized (as DUIs go, anyway), this would be close to it. Binns was barely over the legal limit, not driving recklessly (if the left turn he went through on Benton is Orchard St., that lane gets driven through all. the. time.), and he was apparently about a block from home. We'd be shocked if Binns gets more than the minimum OWI penalty.
In fact, the more curious aspect of this arrest would be Binns' wristband. If the police charge him with violating the 21+ ordinance, Binns would be the second Iowa athlete to run afoul of that ordinance since it went into place last month. Jewel Hampton, as you'll recall, received a massive fine for it, and Binns may very well too.
Thus, it seems as if the ordinance has an unintended consequence: as long as football (and to a lesser extent, basketball) players are the only famous students in town, they're going to be the only group of students that bouncers will look the other way to let in. And thus, athletes will be disproportionately affected by this ordinance. Which isn't to say it's "anti-athlete," by any stretch--nobody's putting a gun to these kids' heads and pushing them into the bar--but no matter how famous these 20-and-under players are (and how few drinks they pay for, seeing as how this is Iowa City), they're betting $735 no cops'll check their ID every time they go downtown. Not a wise bet, that.
But uh, back to the lecture at hand. If Binns is suspended--and he certainly ought to be--his replacement at left DE is one Lebron Daniel. OMG LEBRON TO START AT IOWA OMG OMG. Okay, sorry.