Morning Briefing: Bad weekend for Iowa

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

A big week in college football kicks off around the country as media days begin or, in some cases, continue. The Big Ten anchors the gab fest Thursday and Friday at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, and I'll be there to give you the goods. Every Big Ten school but Purdue begins preseason practice two weeks from today, so you can officially begin the countdown.

OK, onto the links.

Hope you had a better weekend than Iowa. Things started Saturday with a story in the Iowa City Press-Citizen, which last week obtained a copy of a letter sent by the mother of the alleged victim in a sexual assault case involving two former Hawkeyes players (Cedric Everson and Abe Satterfield). The letter stated that university officials, including athletic director Gary Barta and football coach Kirk Ferentz, encouraged the victim to keep the matter in-house. The alleged victim's mother sent the letter to university officials last November and said she received no response.

In a phone interview with the newspaper, the alleged victim's mother said: "University of Iowa's character was non-existent. It is disappointing to say the very least."

Iowa responded with a statement saying the victim and her family were "repeatedly informed" of their options and that the university "fully supported" their decision to file a criminal report. Either way, Gov. Chet Culver wants an explanation and so do members of the state board of regents, the Press-Citizen reports.

Things only got worse early Saturday, as incoming freshman defensive end Riley Reiff became the latest Hawkeyes player arrested. Reiff pleaded guilty to public intoxication and interference with official acts, both misdemeanors, after allegedly leading at least eight Iowa City police officers on a 20-minute foot chase. In a statement, Barta called Reiff's actions "disturbing."

Expect more on both stories, but to restate this obvious, this isn't what Iowa, Barta and especially Ferentz needed heading into a pivotal season.

Here's what's going on around the rest of the league:

  • It's safe to say Illinois coach Ron Zook won't be getting a Christmas basket from the Mendenhall family, Terry Bannon writes in the Chicago Tribune.

  • Beanie Wells wants to make sure a fellow Ohio State running back (Archie Griffin) remains the only two-time Heisman Trophy winner, Tim May writes in The Columbus Dispatch.

  • Penn State isn't telling recruits about a succession plan, said coach Joe Paterno before his College Hall of Fame enshrinement. Paterno admitted he has put university president Graham Spanier in a bind, Ron Musselman writes in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

  • Daryll Clark has taken the long road toward possibly becoming Penn State's starting quarterback, Eric Thomas writes in The (Carlisle, Pa.) Sentinel.

  • Wisconsin players are still stewing about a disappointing 2007 season, Jeff Potrykus writes in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

  • Purdue coach Joe Tiller reflects on retirement, heightened expectations and his final season on the sidelines, Austin Ward writes in the Jackson Hole Star-Tribune.

  • Desmond Tardy and the rest of Purdue's wide receivers are playing the no-respect card, Tom Kubat writes in The Lafayette (Ind.) Journal and Courier.

  • Does Indiana's next athletic director need direct ties to the school? The Indianapolis Star's Terry Hutchens takes a look, and has a list of potential candidates. Bet they'd love to land Louisville's Tom Jurich.