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Adam Robinson charged with marijuana possession in Des Moines

[ 40 ] December 28, 2010 |

BY GRANT SCHULTE AND ANDREW LOGUE

DES MOINES REGISTER STAFF WRITERS

Suspended Iowa running back and former Des Moines Lincoln standout Adam Robinson was cited Monday night for marijuana possession, a setback that throws into question his future with the Hawkeyes.

Robinson, 21, was released after a traffic stop south of Des Moines Street and East 4th in Des Moines, the Iowa State Patrol said in a statement.

Adam Robinson, left, and Derrell Johnson-Koulianos are pictured after Iowa's 24-3 win against Penn State on Sept. 25. Both players faced drug charges this month. (Matthew Holst/Press-Citizen photo)

An Iowa State Patrol trooper stopped the vehicle around 10:45 p.m. because of a missing front license plate, the state patrol said. Robinson was a passenger in the vehicle driven by Ermin Zornic, 20.

The deputy alleged there was a strong smell of marijuana and found the drug during a probable-cause search. Zornic, a former Des Moines Lincoln basketball player, was charged with possession with intent to deliver marijuana and operating while intoxicated, pending toxicology tests. He was taken to the Polk County Jail.

Robinson was released on his own recognizance and ordered to appear in Polk County District Court on Jan. 5. He has not yet entered a plea.

No one answered the door Tuesday at Robinson’s south-side Des Moines home. A business card was left at his door.

Iowa athletic director Gary Barta released the following statement: “(Football coach) Kirk (Ferentz) and I were made aware of Adam’s situation earlier this morning. Obviously, we are both extremely disappointed to hear the news. We don’t have all of the facts and will withhold any further comment until we return to Iowa City and learn all of the details.”

Earlier this month, Hawkeye athletic department officials announced that Robinson would miss the Insight Bowl after “failing to comply with team expectations and policies.”

Robinson emerged as Iowa’s leading rusher this season, with 941 yards and 10 touchdowns. He suffered two concussions, however, and did not play during a 27-24 regular season-ending loss to Minnesota.

“While Adam has been cleared medically, he will not be participating in the upcoming Insight Bowl game as a result of failing to comply with team expectations and policies,” Ferentz said Dec. 14. “Adam will have the option to rejoin the team when classes resume in January.”

Robinson is the second football player to face drug-related charges this month. Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, the program’s all-time receiving leader, was arrested Dec. 7 on numerous drug-related charges.

According to Iowa City criminal complaints, police found marijuana, cocaine and prescription drugs inside Johnson-Koulianos’ residence. Police said Johnson-Koulianos admitted to using the drugs and a urine test indicated a presence of drugs in his system. Johnson-Koulianos also allegedly had electronic media showing him in possession of drugs.

A week later, Iowa’s top athletic administrator conceded that some Hawkeye athletes likely have avoided detection of drug usage, but he defended the department’s program as proactive and effective.

Barta said officials realized “we have to tighten up” the system.

A recent review of Iowa’s student-athlete substance abuse testing protocol, which subjects about 700 Hawkeye athletes to at least one random drug test for street drugs and performance enhancement drugs annually, disclosed “flaws and inconsistencies,” Barta said.

He declined to provide details on what flaws were found or provide an estimate of how many athletes may have avoided detection.

“What I’m confident about, unfortunately we learned, there’s enough evidence in our protocol to say that we have to tighten up,” said Barta, adding: “It’s pretty likely that someone, and I don’t know if it’s one or if it’s 21, but someone has gotten around this process.

“If it’s only one, then it makes you doubt all testing.”

Robinson came to Iowa after rushing for 1,064 yards and 13 touchdowns as a senior at Lincoln.

In August 2007, Robinson was was charged with third-degree burglary and interference with official act, but a judge dismissed both charges, according to online court records.

He red-shirted in 2008, but earned a starting spot with the Hawkeyes as a freshman the following season, helping Iowa finish 11-2 with a 24-14 victory over Georgia Tech in the 2010 Orange Bowl.

Robinson’s suspension left freshman Marcus Coker as Iowa’s primary ball carrier.

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Andrew Logue: Andrew has been with the Des Moines Register for 19 years, covering everything from preps to Hawkeye and Cyclone sports, as well as the Drake Relays. View author profile.

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