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Harty blog: Looks like Micah Hyde will play Saturday

[ 0 ] October 8, 2012 |

The depth chart is out and Micah Hyde is in his usual spot as the Iowa football team’s starting right cornerback and punt returner.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that Hyde will play against Michigan State on Saturday, but it’s starting to look that way.

It’ll be interesting to hear Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz’s explanation should Hyde avoid a suspension under the circumstances.

Hyde was arrested for public intoxication and interference with official acts this past Saturday morning in Iowa City. He was part of a group that allegedly refused to leave the Old Capitol Brew Works near campus before ultimately fleeing from police.

Ferentz released a statement that said they would follow the protocol set by the UI student-athlete Code of Conduct as well as taking additional measures within the program.

Suspension from competition is one option Ferentz could take, but it’s not automatic. Ferentz could choose to let Hyde play while disciplining him in other ways such as performing community service.

Ferentz likely will be criticized for sending the wrong message and for being soft on discipline with a key player if he allows Hyde to compete just a week after being arrested.

A one-game suspension seems reasonable in this case, but trusting Ferentz to do the right thing also seems reasonable.

Whether you agree with his coaching philosophies, Ferentz is genuinely a good person who tries to do the right thing. He’s also helped to raise five children, so he’s used to enforcing discipline and making decisions about the consequences of behavior.

Ferentz is neither harsh nor soft when it comes to disciplining his players. A drunken driving offense always earns at least a one-game suspension in addition to all the behind-the-scenes punishment.

Ferentz has said before that he often would punish a veteran player more severely than a younger player because the older player should know better.

A player’s track record also factors into the discipline process.

So in Hyde’s case, being a senior could work against him. But on the other hand, his reputation was sparkling up until his momentary lapse of judgment this past Saturday morning.

My initial hunch was that Ferentz would suspend Hyde, 21, for the Michigan State game mostly because Hyde fled from the police and because Hyde is a senior.

The public intoxication charge is one thing, considering Hyde is of legal drinking age and it was also a bye week. I’m certainly not endorsing his behavior just because of the bye week, but it’s easier to understand.

What’s not easy to understand is why Hyde allowed it to escalate to where he fled from the police. Lots of people get charged with public intoxication in this town without making the police chase after them.

The fact that Hyde is not only a senior with 31 career starts, but also a member of the Iowa football team’s Leadership Group makes his behavior more surprising and more disappointing.

Being intoxicated, obviously, impaired Hyde’s judgment, but somebody in his position and with his reputation should’ve known better.

Hyde was among three Iowa players who had brushes with the police this past weekend. Offensive lineman Drew Clark was charged with public intoxication and sophomore tight end Ray Hamilton was cited for being in a liquor establishment past Iowa City’s 10 p.m. bar curfew for minors.

Clark likely will face some punishment, but a warning seems reasonable for Hamilton because what he’s accused of seems a little silly.





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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Pat Harty: Columnist Pat Harty has been covering the Iowa Hawkeyes for the Press-Citizen since 1991. Originally from Des Moines, he currently writes columns and covers Hawkeye men's basketball for Hawk Central. View author profile.

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