Updated 11:35 p.m. — It’s no April fools: another running back has left the Iowa program. This time it’s junior Andre Dawson. Dawson is the eighth running back to leave or be dismissed from the football program over the last three years.
Dawson, who previously played at Iowa Western Community College before becoming a Hawkeye, said on Monday night that he decided to leave football, not as a negative reflection on the program, but because he has other things he wants to focus on before graduating in December.
“[Leaving] has nothing to do with the program itself,” Dawson said. “It’s me trying to focus on helping my family out. I graduate in December, and I have a lot of stuff on my plate. I need to learn how to balance stuff better. It’s something I have been pondering for a long time. [The term] ‘the straw that broke camels back,’ — I never got the gist of that until I was sitting in meetings, and thought ‘my heart’s not in it.”‘
Dawson, who hasn’t accumulated any stats while on the team, said he talked to Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz throughout the week to help him reach his decision, and make sure there was no bad blood in regards to the departure.
“I figured if I was going to something this drastic, I would go to Coach Ferentz,” he said. “Today I went in and we talked about some things. It was a mutual agreement, we agreed to do what’s best for me. I’m not leaving on bad terms, it’s nothing to do with the team. It was my choice.”
Dawson, who said he enjoys acting and writing in his free time, said he looks forward to his time off from football, citing auditions in the future, and plans outside of the United States.
“I’m going to study abroad, become a regular student,” Dawson said. “It’s me just wanting to do something different. If you want to play football here at Iowa, you truly have to want to play football…I just don’t want to do football anymore.
“There comes a time when you know you’re done.”
This story was revised at 11:35 p.m. to remove an indirect quote.
—by Ben Ross