Sure, they’d tangled in the past, especially when Ferentz kicked Johnson-Koulianos off the team in 2010 following a drug arrest. But the two hadn’t had contact since the receiver entered the NFL draft in 2011, and nothing new had come to the surface.
Now, it makes sense: a book deal.
Johnson-Koulianos reportedly is shopping a tell-all about Ferentz that could tarnish a 15-year career.
Why now, you ask? Is this just about a scorned player who can’t get over feeling slighted?
After all, he told Sean Keeler of the Des Moines Register that Ferentz was an "amazing man":
It was weird, because we had this perception (out there) that we hated each other and were enemies. I never wanted to do anything more than make that man happy. I wanted to be a coach’s player … whether you believe it or not, every coach has a group of guys that he loves and he favors. And unfortunately, I wasn’t in that group.
So clearly, Johnson-Koulianos won’t be directing his players (yes, he's a high school football coach) to the University of Iowa as long as Ferentz is there.
Some have speculated that the book threats are all about an alleged "black-balling" DJK received from Ferentz and the coaching staff at Iowa when the receiver went through the NFL Draft in the spring of 2011. On Tuesday, Johnson-Koulianos attempted to shoot down those thoughts:
What this is more likely and simply is hype and a trial balloon for a book deal. Judging by the response on Twitter and in the media, there’s plenty of interest.
But in taking on Ferentz’s character—by all accounts a solid coach and person—it’ll be Johnson-Koulianos’ reputation on the line. If the book fails to deliver—even if it does—the questions will surround DJK.
Why ruin someone’s reputation and at what cost?
Ironically, Johnson-Koulianos could do more damage to his own character than the man he is allegedly trying to hurt.
*Andy Coppens is Bleacher Report's lead writer for the Big Ten. You can follow him on Twitter: @ andycoppens.