Derrick Mitchell Jr. reinstated to Iowa football program

Chad Leistikow
Iowa running back Derrick Mitchell, Jr., runs the ball during the Iowa Hawkeyes football practice at Kinnick Stadium last month. Mitchell has been reinstated to the Iowa football program after a suspension was announced on Monday.

IOWA CITY, Ia. – Kirk Ferentz has reinstated Derrick Mitchell Jr. to the Iowa football program after a productive conversation regarding the sophomore running back's recent student code of conduct violation.

Mitchell returned to practice Tuesday morning. The university sent a news release at 6 p.m. Monday announcing Mitchell's suspension, emphasizing that it wasn't a legal issue.

"There was a buzz out there," Ferentz explained Tuesday during his weekly news conference. "And I just wanted to acknowledge the fact that we did suspend him."

But the parties spoke Monday night, and Ferentz was comfortable enough with Mitchell's side of the story to bring the talented playmaker back into the fold.

"We'll certainly comply with what the university decides," Ferentz said. "I wouldn't have brought him back if I wasn't confident that there was nothing really much beyond what we're talking about."

Jordan Canzeri becomes Iowa's unlikely run-game rock

Mitchell, a 6-foot-1, 212-pound converted wide receiver, entered the season as the No. 3 running back behind LeShun Daniels Jr. and Jordan Canzeri, but he hasn't played. He was injured for the Illinois State opener, then was sent back to Iowa City on Friday night on the eve of Iowa's 31-17 victory at Iowa State. Ferentz explained that an issue involving Mitchell was brought to his attention Friday afternoon.

"It's unfortunate timing, and I think our players understand that," Ferentz said of sending Mitchell home. "We were over there for one reason, to play our best football game. Anything that's going to take away from that … it's not really a time for inquisition or discussion."