Hyde Plays, But Loses Some Stripes

By Marc Morehouse, Reporter

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By Grant Burkhardt

IOWA CITY, Iowa — A couple of things off the top, 1) this was hardly the crime of the century and 2) Micah Hyde’s weekend arrest does give pause to review some crime-and-punishment protocol with the Iowa football program.

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said Tuesday that Hyde, a senior cornerback, will start and play Saturday when the Hawkeyes (3-2, 1-0 Big Ten) travel to East Lansing, Mich., to face Michigan State (4-2, 1-1). Hyde has made 31 consecutive starts and will keep that streak going despite his arrest for public intoxication and interference with official acts last Saturday morning during Iowa’s idle weekend.

Ferentz announced that Hyde, who leads the Hawkeyes with five pass breakups, has lost his captaincy, for now, and also has been removed from the team’s leadership committee. Sophomore tight end Ray Hamilton (underage in a bar after 10 p.m. ticket) and offensive lineman Drew Clark (public intoxication) would, along with Hyde, face other non-specific discipline and that Ferentz would follow the UI Student-Athlete Code of Conduct.

“Selfishly, I’d give them all 8 [p.m.] curfews and tell them to have a glass of milk and some graham crackers and go to bed at 10 [p.m.], in a perfect world, but that, I think, would be selfish,” Ferentz said. “I think part of going to college is being part of the student body.

“I would suggest what happened to those three individuals this weekend isn’t unique to anybody in the student body, yet obviously they drew attention to themselves in a negative way, so that’s not acceptable and it wouldn’t be acceptable if they were non-participating athletes.”

Ferentz said curfew for Iowa football players will be adjusted in connection with last weekend’s incidents.

“My past inclination has been try to treat a team based on their maturity level and then kind of go from there, either with incentives or disincentives,” Ferentz said. “It’s a tricky balance. It’s just part of college life. It’s not unique to Iowa City.”

As part of his punishment, Hyde spoke to the media Tuesday. On Monday, Hyde pleaded guilty to the interference charge and not guilty to public intoxication.

He contended the incident could’ve been “easily” resolved and it “escalated to where it shouldn’t have.”

“It didn’t have to get that far, but it did and so I have to learn from it,” Hyde said. “As of right now, I know coach Ferentz knows the truth, I know he’s keeping it in house. As far as other people having their stories, I could care less. I know coach Ferentz knows and I know my teammates, coaches and family know.

“You see it on TV all the time, people getting in trouble and people want to speculate on what really happened. You have to look through the media and see what the problem really was.”

Hyde wouldn’t elaborate any further.

Under the UI code of conduct, this is a category II misconduct. The sanctions range from reprimand to “conditions to encourage personal rehabilitation” to suspension.

Iowa athletics director Gary Barta said Tuesday that proper protocol was followed in regard to Ferentz’s decision not to suspend.

“We went through that normal process and this is consistent with how Kirk has disciplined in the past,” Barta said. “Yes, I’m comfortable with it and it’s no different than the process we normally go through.”

A couple of other noteworthy protocols: If an athlete is arrested, there is a departmental policy that states the coach must let Barta know about it within 24 hours. ”You can imagine that with certain student-athletes or certain sports, 24 hours would be far too long,” Barta said.

Also, curfews are open-ended and up to the coach’s discretion, Barta said.

“The one thing we ask of all of our coaches is to make sure whatever your rules are, that they are communicated well with your student-athletes, so there aren’t any surprises,” Barta said. “As long as they do that, that they communicate with what the team rules are and they’re consistent, I do say they have to be consistent, and they don’t conflict with departmental or university policies, then yes, they do have that latitude.”

Ferentz and Barta made reference to the athletes’ past behavior playing into discipline. In all three players’ regard — the severity of the offenses, UI precedent, academics and past behavior in regard to the code of conduct — they had a “clean slate” and “no strikes” going into last weekend, Barta said.

“Micah might’ve jaywalked sometime during his 3 years here, 3 1/2 years, but I’m not aware of it,” Ferentz said. “We haven’t had a better guy come through here. He had a bad weekend, no question about that, and he feels terrible about it.”

Hyde was visibly fatigued Tuesday afternoon. He already was headed into an emotional weekend against Michigan State, where his brother, Marcus, played safety from 2007-10. And now this.

Think the captaincy is no big deal? The players and leadership group vote for it each week. Ferentz said he took Hyde’s name “off the ballot” this week with no long-term decision made.

Junior linebacker Christian Kirksey replaced Hyde this week. It’s a role he eagerly assumed.

“It’s time for me to take leadership, it’s time for me to step up as a defensive player,” Kirksey said. “It’s my junior year, I have to take that step.”

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