Well, it’s a good news/bad news kind of Monday. The good news, last week was a shortened work week, making the weekend that much sweeter. The bad news, this week is going to seem extra long as we get back into the swing of things.
The sporting world was a similar case last week. On the Hawkeye front, it was mostly good news. For everyone else? Not so much. Several former Hawkeyes had themselves great weeks.
Former CB Greg Mabin signed with the Buffalo Bills.
He’ll team up with fellow Hawkeye Micah Hyde, who signed a 5-year, $30M deal with the Bills this offseason following 4 years with the Green Bay Packers. We’ve still got some time until roster cuts occur, but Mabin finding a new home after being released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was nice to see.
Speaking of signing, former Iowa LB Christian Kirksey signed a new contract with the Cleveland Browns last week.
According to Ian Rapoport, it’s a 4-year deal worth $38M with $20M guaranteed. That’s good enough to make Kirksey the 5th highest paid ILB in the NFL. He’s has had a hell of a start to his career. According to Pro Football Focus, Kirksey led all linebackers in the NFL with 63 defensive stops.
Browns LB Christian Kirksey led the league's LBs with his 63 defensive stops last season, more than his previous two seasons combined. pic.twitter.com/J5zFnA8P7q— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) May 29, 2017
Pay that man his money.gif.
While we’re talking Pro Football Focus and their thoughts on former Hawkeyes, this seems appropriate:
Believe it or not- Ravens G Marshal Yanda has allowed just 5 sacks since 2012.— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) June 2, 2017
That's just 1 sack allowed per 697 snaps in pass protection. pic.twitter.com/HPEcxdrj8x
Yanda is staking his claim as one of the top NFL careers for a former Hawkeye. It’s still amazing to me the path he had to take to make it to the NFL. Yet another great example of Iowa taking an unheralded kid and turning him into a successful professional athlete and a very wealthy man.
The good news keeps coming for ex-Hawkeyes as former OT and number 3 overall pick in the NFL Draft Robert Gallery is on the ballot for the 2018 College Football Hall of Fame.
And in the final check-in on former Iowa Football guys, our very own @JP Scott broke the news last week that former Jim Thorpe Award winner and Hawkeye great Desmond King will be dropping the first in a line of children’s books co-authored by his mom later this summer.
What an amazing day! Working with LA Charger's Safety, Desmond King on his debut children's book! Coming this summer! pic.twitter.com/7adYgLtFgk— Tyrus Kendrix (@TyrusKendrix) May 31, 2017
We’ll of course keep you in the loop as the book becomes available for purchase and as the next book in the line drops. It’s a cool chapter in the Desmond King story and yet another example of a Hawkeye making some money.
The final bit of Iowa Football news to drop last week was the release of four start times for next season.
Iowa has kickoff times for four games. pic.twitter.com/AU54zfN4EM— Marc Morehouse (@marcmorehouse) May 31, 2017
You’ll notice no night games listed thus far, but a pair of afternoon starts. The curious one for me is the Black Friday matchup with Nebraska. Not only is it at 3pm (rather than 2:30), but it’s on FS1. I think that may be a trend we see going forward.
On the baseball front, it was a pretty good week for the Hawkeyes. For starters, 1B Jake Adams’ historic season continued to get recognized as he was named second-team All-American by College Sports Madness.
In case you’ve been living under a baseball rock, Adams has hit the cover off the ball all season long. After earning the recognition, the Hawkeye slugger cemented his place in the history books by launching his 28th home run of the season over the weekend. The bomb made him the Big Ten’s all-time record holder for home runs in a season (he already held that honor for the school record), and put him in sole possession of the nation’s lead.
But Adams wasn’t done. Last night as the Hawkeyes took on Houston in an elimination game, he launched a baseball into orbit to tie the game up in what was a back and forth battle.
Not shown here is the ball sailing over the trees beyond the outfield wall. It was a monster shot, as you can see from Adams’ reaction the second he hit it. And I love the bat toss here. It’s college, this team has fun, and this kid is a record-breaker. Jake Adams, get down with your bad self.
As far as the team overall, it was a good and bad weekend. This group wasn’t expected to get to the tournament. You’ll recall we are only discussing them today because they ran the table (with one hickup in there) in the Big Ten Tournament to become Big Ten Tournament Champions. Once they got here, there was talk of a hot hand, but not a lot of high expectations.
But that didn’t stop the Hawkeyes from stunning the #1 seeded Cougars (and some pretty biased announcers) 6-3 on Houston’s home field. That sent Houston to the loser’s bracket where it eliminated the Baylor Bears.
Iowa, meanwhile, lost a squeaker to Texas A&M (or as their jerseys claim, the Texas Aggies... OK) on Saturday 3-2. The difference was one pitching mistake that resulted in a 3-run homer for the Aggies. This is the game where Adams got it going with his 28th of the year. It was a tough one and the loss set the table for a rematch with Houston yesterday.
As I said, it was a back-and-forth game. Iowa fell behind 1-0 in the 3rd, but a big 5th inning led put the Hawkeyes back up 3-1. It could have been better as Adams left the bases loaded to end the inning. Houston came roaring back to claim a 4-3 lead in the top half of the 6th, only to see Iowa drive home the equalizer in the bottom half of the inning. The teams exchanged runs in the 8th, including that Jake Adams bomb, to head to the 9th inning knotted at 5 each.
Unfortunately, the Cougar bats weren’t done as they used a home run, base hit and a double to add a pair of runs in the 9th. This time Iowa couldn’t answer and the Hawkeyes season comes to an end. You can catch the full recap here.
Iowa finishes 39-22 with their second NCAA Regional appearance in three years. It’s been a ton of fun following this team late in the season. I hope the building enthusiasm for Rick Heller’s squad continues into next year. I, for one, will be making a few trips to Duane Banks Field next season.
Heck of a year, Hawkeyes. It was fun to watch. Let’s keep it rolling into next year.
And now for the bad news. Don’t worry, this isn’t really Iowa-centric in its bad-ness. Things just got a little weird in the sporting world last week and it’s not a good look for a lot of our brethren. For starters, former Iowa football assistant and current Kansas State coach Bill Snyder has found himself in some hot water for his stance on transfers. Apparently Snyder was attempting to block wide receiver Corey Sutton from transferring to just about anywhere.
Earlier this month, Sutton presented Snyder with a list of 35 schools he was interested in, including FCS and D-II schools. Every single one was denied. Snyder seems to claim he was denying the request because he doesn’t want all his backup players to request a transfer for playing time. Then he went on to mention the kid had failed drug tests. And then back to how he would’ve been a starter if he was good enough.
Not a good look.
And then, a name that should be familiar brought this story home for the Hawkeyes.
TAYLOR: At Iowa, Kirk Ferentz was similar. Occasionally, he would let them out if there were certain circumstances.— Soren Petro (@SorenPetro) June 2, 2017
That’s current Kansas State athletic director and former Iowa deputy athletic director Gene Taylor indicating our very own Kirk Ferentz has done this in the past. I can’t recall ever hearing of such a story out of Iowa City. To my knowledge, the Iowa staff has always allowed guys who want to transfer to do so pretty much without restriction, aside from going to opponents the Hawkeyes will face during the player’s tenure. One great example is former QB Jake Rudock, who ended up at Michigan under Jim Harbaugh as he looked to bridge the gap to his first recruited QB taking the reigns. Transfers within a conference are pretty rare, but KF allowed it given Iowa wasn’t playing Michigan that season.
Again, not a good look for Bill Snyder or Kansas State here.
Speaking of not a good look, the Minnesota ticket office is apparently under FBI investigation for fraud.
Yikes. According to Landof10, the university uncovered the potential fraud and has now turned over the investigation to the FBI. This comes on the heels of Minnesota firing their director of ticket operations back in February.
And on an even more serious note, three former Penn State officials were sentenced to jail time last week in connection to the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
3 former Penn State officials get jail time for failing to report sexual predator Jerry Sandusky to authorities https://t.co/3RfxcaALua— AP Eastern U.S. (@APEastRegion) June 2, 2017
According to the AP report, former university president Graham Spanier received a 4-12 month sentence. He’ll spend the first two months in jail and the rest under house arrest after being convicted of child endangerment. Former athletic director Tim Curley received a 7-23 month sentence. Similar to Spanier, he’ll serve the first three months in jail with the remainder on house arrest. And former vice president Gary Schultz was given a 6-23 month sentence, with only two months in jail. Curley and Schultz also pleaded guilty to child endangerment.
On a lighter note, our friends at Iowa State got some bad news last week when we learned UNI will be joining Big 12.
In wrestling. Sure would be a shame if UNI were to beat Iowa State or win a championship before them...
And now, for 5 good seconds of soccer (credit to The Dan Patrick Show for the reference).
Ridiculous. Also, they lost 4-1 to Real Madrid in the Champions League Final. That’s soccer.
In other news, Mr. Met had a bad day:
And finally, like we needed any further proof that Wisconsin is drunk...
Happy Monday everyone! Summer is upon us. It’s going to be slow, but we’ll get through this, even if it takes random goodness to do so (go vote in the Iowa City Eat-A-Palooza!). Go Hawks!