Iowa sophomore running back Marcus Coker is suspended for the Insight Bowl due to disciplinary reasons, according to a release Tuesday.
The release said the issue “involves UI policies” and Coker is in violation of Iowa’s Student-Athlete Code of Conduct. Coker will not travel with the team to Arizona for the team’s Dec. 30 matchup against No. 19 Oklahoma in Tempe.
Coker finished his sophomore season as the Big Ten’s second-leading rusher at 115.33 yards per game. The Beltsvile, Md., native ran 280 times — the seventh-highest number in the country — for 1,384 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also caught 21 passes for 157 yards. He was named second-team All-Big Ten by league media and coaches.
Iowa’s likely No. 2 option — true freshman Mika’il McCall — remains suspended after being barred from the regular-season finale against Nebraska due to a violation of team rules.
Without McCall, the Hawkeyes are likely forced to turn to Jordan Canzeri and Jason White. Canzeri, another true freshman, totaled 56 rushing yards on nine carries this season, but hasn’t carried the ball since Oct. 22 against Indiana. White, a redshirt junior, has 12 yards on three carries.
With eight carries for 22 yards this season, true freshman Damon Bullock is another possibility. He primarily worked at receiver during pre-game warmups since the end of September.
This is the second-straight year in which Iowa’s starting running back will miss the team’s bowl game for disciplinary reasons. Adam Robinson was suspended for last year’s Insight Bowl due to a failure to “comply with team expectations and policies,” according to head coach Kirk Ferentz. Robinson was kicked off the team Jan. 3 after he was cited for possession of marijuana during an Iowa State Patrol traffic stop.
Coker — then a true freshman — filled in for Robinson against Missouri and set school bowl records with 33 carries for 219 yards and two touchdowns as Iowa won, 27-24.
— by Jordan Garretson