Iowa's Coker suspended for bowl after violation
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- For the second year in a row, Iowa has suspended its top running back for the Insight Bowl.
Hawkeyes sophomore star Marcus Coker has been suspended from the Dec. 30 Insight Bowl against Oklahoma after violating the university's student-athlete code of conduct.
The university announced the suspension Tuesday without providing further details.
Coker, a sophomore from Beltsville, Md., will not travel with the team to Tempe, Ariz., for the game between the Hawkeyes (7-5) and the 19th-ranked Sooners (9-3).
"It is unfortunate that Marcus Coker will not be with the team for our bowl game. During the next 10 days, we will focus and continue to prepare the players that are able to participate," Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said in a statement.
The suspension of Coker is a major blow for the Hawkeyes. Coker ran for 1,384 yards this season, the fourth-best total in school history, along with 15 touchdowns.
Coker's breakout game came in the 2010 Insight Bowl when he got the start for the suspended Adam Robinson. Coker set Iowa bowl records for rushing attempts (33) and rushing yards (219) in the 27-24 win over Missouri.
Robinson was subsequently booted from the team, and this season Coker was just about the only running back the Hawkeye used.
Coker carried the ball 281 times in 2011, while DeAndre Johnson ranked second with just 18 carries.
Freshman Mika'il McCall would figure to get the nod against the Sooners, but he was suspended for the regular-season finale against Nebraska.
Coach Kirk Ferentz has yet to say whether McCall will return for the bowl game.
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