Iowa suspends Marcus Coker for bowl

Updated: December 21, 2011, 12:26 PM ET
By Brian Bennett | ESPN.com

Iowa has suspended leading rusher Marcus Coker for the Insight Bowl for undisclosed disciplinary reasons.

The school said the issue involves a violation of the Hawkeyes' student-athlete code of conduct. Coker will not travel with the team to Arizona to face Oklahoma on Dec. 30.

"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 sophomore ranks second in the Big Ten in rushing, with 1,384 yards and 15 touchdowns on 281 carries. Coker was also the offensive MVP of the 2010 Insight Bowl, rushing 33 times for 219 yards and two touchdowns in Iowa's 27-24 win over Missouri.

Coker started last year's bowl game because leading rusher Adam Robinson was suspended for violating team policies. Robinson, who was arrested on marijuana charges, was eventually dismissed from the program.

Freshman running back Mika'il McCall, who missed most of the season with an ankle injury, would figure to get the nod against the Sooners. But he was suspended for the regular-season finale against Nebraska, and Iowa spokesman Steve Roe said Tuesday that McCall remains on suspension.

Coach Kirk Ferentz also announced Tuesday that defensive line coach Rick Kaczenski left the program to pursue another coaching job.

Kaczenski, who played offensive line at Notre Dame, has been coaching at Iowa since 2005. He became the defensive line coach in 2007 after two seasons as a graduate assistant.

Iowa's defensive line was among the nation's best during Kaczenski's tenure. The Hawkeyes featured players such as Mitch King, Adrian Clayborn, Christian Ballard and Karl Klug and finished in the top-10 nationally in scoring defense from 2008-10.

Kaczenski is the second defensive coach Iowa has lost in the last few weeks.

Seventy-year-old coordinator Norm Parker recently announced he'll retire after the Insight Bowl.

Brian Bennett covers Big Ten football for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.