In what might be the first bit of good news for Iowa since the rhabdomyolysis story broke, a statement released by Kirk Ferentz announced this afternoon that five of the 13 hospitalized Hawkeyes will be going home from the University of Iowa Hospital today. Ferentz's statement continues:
"I have been communicating with each student-athlete and their parents, or guardians, since learning they were admitted into the hospital. Members of the football staff have also been communicating daily with this group. This communication will continue until each student-athlete is able to resume their academic and athletic commitments.
"As the parent of both a current and former member of the team, the health and well-being of each student-athlete in our football program is paramount. "I will work with all of the individuals and groups that contribute to the welfare of our student-athletes to understand what led to this occurrence in order to make certain it does not happen again."
Ferentz no doubt must make good on that last promise to retain any good will amongst the Hawkeye parents, who have reportedly been less than charitable with regards to Ferentz's absence during the incident and Wednesday press conference. It won't help the atmosphere of confusion and potential distrust that it was also announced today that the hospital will be investigating the potential "accessing" of the player's private health records by individuals without proper medical clearance.
Despite those issues and the whole of the ugly black eye Iowa will sport after this incident, the release of the five players and the expected return to good health of the other eight indicate that the media storm may be beginning to clear. Barring legal action on the part of any of the players or families, the worst appears to be over for Ferentz and the Hawkeyes.