For the second time in as many weeks, coach Kirk Ferentz has suspended an Iowa football player for the Hawkeyes’ season opener following an arrest on alcohol-related charges.
Ferentz announced Tuesday that starting sophomore offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs has been suspended for the Sept. 1 opener against Northern Illinois after being charged early Sunday by Iowa City police with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.
The announcement came eight days after Ferentz announced that Brady Reiff, a junior defensive tackle, would also miss the first game of the season following his arrest on public intoxication charges.
“My philosophy and practice is consistent, and that is to hold players accountable, no matter their position on the depth chart,’’ Ferentz said in a statement. “However, I hold senior members of the team to a higher standard because they know and understand the expectations.’’
Ferentz called the recent arrests as the Hawkeyes work toward the start of fall camp on Friday “disappointing.’’
He said the penalty Wirfs was given is consistent with team policy.
“As a veteran football coach and parent, I understand firsthand the personal pain and public humiliation that comes with making such decisions,’’ Ferentz said. “While these players are college students first, they are held to a much higher standard because of the privilege and responsibility that comes with being a member of the Iowa football program.’’
Ferentz said he views these types of situations as defining moments for all student-athletes.
“It is my responsibility to hold our players accountable and help them learn and succeed,’’ Ferentz said. “My goal is to develop a winning culture that translates into championship seasons and players who are successful in life.’’
Wirfs was arrested early Sunday morning by Iowa City police, who pulled over a scooter being driven by the 6-foot-5, 320-pound offensive tackle and carrying two passengers.
The traffic stop occurred near 606 South Riverside Drive, just north of its intersection with Benton Street.
According to police reports, the 19-year-old Wirfs recorded a blood-alcohol content of .129 and was wearing a bar wristband when his scooter was stopped at 1:43 a.m.
A starter in Iowa’s final eight games last season and the first true freshman to start at an offensive tackle position during Ferentz’s first 19 seasons at Iowa, Wirfs was booked into the Johnson County Jail at 3:37 a.m. and was released at 10 a.m.
Reiff was charged on July 21 after the defensive tackle reportedly mistook a police car for an Uber vehicle and attempted to climb in shortly after 2 a.m.