IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Iowa's season began with lofty expectations and hopes of another trip to a BCS bowl game.
Instead, the Hawkeyes skidded at the end of the season and now, with a trip to a lesser bowl coming up in a couple of weeks, the program is mired in scrutiny after a star receiver was arrested on drug charges.
Iowa athletic director Gary Barta said Tuesday that the school is reviewing its drug testing policies in the wake of Derrell Johnson-Koulianos's arrest and suspension last week on charges including possession of controlled substances, including cocaine and marijuana.
With eyes on the Hawkeyes, Iowa's address damage control. Read More >>
Barta said at a hastily called news conference that athletic department officials found some "flaws and inconsistencies" in the policies -- and that some athletes have likely beaten tests in the past.
"We did find pretty strong evidence that there a couple ways that our student-athletes probably have and most likely have, at some point, gotten around the test," Barta said. "It's almost become a cottage industry around the country; 'How do you beat a test?' And it's something that we have to be constantly on top of."
Barta and coach Kirk Ferentz are confident that Johnson-Koulianos will be the only player suspended for the Insight Bowl on Dec. 28 against Missouri for a drug-related issue, but the arrest prompted officials to double-check the testing protocols and procedures.
In addition to on-campus testing by the NCAA and the Big Ten, the school spends roughly $70,000 a year on its own year-round drug-testing program, which isn't mandated by the NCAA.
Barta said the school's program, which began in 1988, is meant to educate and be a deterrent against drug use.
Ferentz emphasized that the program has been more diligent about drug testing this season than in any of his 12 seasons as head coach in part because of the high expectations placed on his team. Barta indicated that revamped protocols still could be on the way.
"It's pretty likely that someone, and I don't know if it's one, I don't know if it's 21, but someone has gotten around this process. And if it's one then it makes you doubt all testing," Barta said. "We had to make sure that ... everything was tightened down."
On Monday night, the school said running back Adam Robinson had been suspended for the Insight Bowl for failing to comply with team policies and oft-injured running back Jewel Hampton planned to transfer.
Ferentz explained Tuesday that Hampton's departure was a "mutual decision" and that he expects Robinson will rejoin the team in January.
The Hawkeyes opened the season ranked in the top 10, and a 37-6 blowout of Michigan State in late October kept them in the hunt for the Big Ten title. But Iowa lost its last three games and landed in the lower-tier Insight Bowl against Missouri.
What was most puzzling about the late-season collapse was that the Hawkeyes returned many of the same players who helped lead them to an 11-2 record and a win in the Orange Bowl last season.
"When you win 11 games, everything's fine. When you win seven, it's a whole different level of scrutiny," Ferentz said. "That comes with the territory."