Dienhart: Suspension further clouds Iowa RB situation

The running back hex at Iowa continues. De’Andre Johnson had a legal run in with law for a second time in three days after he failed to pull over after speeding on Saturday. Two days earlier, Johnson was cited for suspicion of disorderly house. Kirk Ferentz subsequently suspended Johnson.

“I was very disappointed to learn of the situation involving De’Andre Johnson Saturday evening,” Ferentz said in a release. “As a result, De’Andre has been suspended immediately from all team activities.”

[AP: Johnson suspended after two police run-ins]

[BTN.com: Watch Ferentz address media at Big Ten Media Days]

The sophomore ran 18 times for 79 yards in 2011 and figured to play a big role for Iowa this fall.

That leaves sophomore Damon Bullock as the last healthy back who has a carry in a league game. Incoming freshmen Greg Garmon and Barkley Hill figure to play big roles, but Garmon was arrested and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia in his hometown of Erie, Pa. The school said last week that it is considered “strike one” in Iowa’s student-athlete code of conduct. A first strike doesn’t call for a suspension from competition.

After last season, Iowa also saw star Marcus Coker and promising Mikail McCall transfer, hampering depth even more.

Now, Iowa’s running back situation is at a critical level.

BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is on Twitter and Facebook, all of his work is at btn.com/tomdienhart, and you can subscribe to it all via his RSS feed. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below.

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