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Iowa players voice unity amid racism allegations in program

Former players claim racism and mistreatment.

Posted: Jun 8, 2020 5:20 PM
Updated: Jun 8, 2020 7:18 PM

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Iowa players returned to campus Monday to prepare for voluntary workouts amid an uproar after former Hawkeyes alleged systemic racism and other mistreatment in the program, the team's strength coach was placed on administrative leave and coach Kirk Ferentz's leadership was called into question.

About two dozen current players took to social media to voice messages of unity, with several referencing the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the social unrest in the country. None complained directly about his treatment inside the Iowa program.

“I'm a human before an athlete, I'm black before anything,” redshirt freshman receiver Desmond Hutson tweeted. “There is an obvious problem and it's up to us to fix it.”

Redshirt freshman offensive lineman Noah Fenske, who is white, tweeted he's on a team of brave men who want positive change.

“I'll be honest many tears rolled down my face during an hour and a half meeting of raw emotion and pain that we as players have felt during our short or longer periods at Iowa,” Fenske wrote.

Ferentz, the nation's longest-tenured coach at one school at 22 years, indicated he was caught off guard when he read what ex-Hawkeyes offensive lineman James Daniels, now with the Chicago Bears, tweeted Friday.

“There are too many racial disparities in the Iowa football program. Black players have been treated unfairly for far too long,” Daniels wrote.

Dozens of former players followed with anecdotes about bullying, racist remarks and other mistreatment while they were at Iowa. Several African American former players brought up issues they attributed to Doyle.

Former Iowa linebacker Terrance Pryor said Doyle had told him he should take up rowing, then added, “Oh, wait, black people don't like boats in water, do they?” Former safety Diaunte Morrow alleged Doyle had told him he would send him “back to the ghetto.” Former defensive back Emmanuel Rugamba told of Doyle admonishing a black teammate and then asked him why he walked with swagger. “I'll put you back on the streets,” Doyle told the teammate, according to Rugamba.

Doyle, who earns $800,000 a year and is the highest paid strength coach in college football, was placed on paid leave Saturday night. He issued a statement Sunday denying any “unethical behavior or bias” based on race.

Black former players also said they were targeted for drug tests more often than their white teammates. The tests are supposed to be random.

“I feel the way we've done it has been equitable and fair,” Ferentz said.

Offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz, Kirk's son, also was alleged to have made insensitive comments. Brian Ferentz reports to athletic director Gary Barta because of the school's anti-nepotism policy, but Kirk Ferentz said he was confident he could deal with his son in a fair manner.

Jack Kallenberger, a white walk-on who quit the team, said assistant defensive coordinator Seth Wallace made fun of his learning disability in front of teammates and called him stupid. Wallace said he gave up football because he was “broken, beat down, bullied, unwanted and unloved.”

The university is conducting an investigation looking into the former players' complaints. No athletic department personnel are involved.

Ferentz said he would create an advisory committee to address concerns about the culture in the program. The committee will be chaired by Mike Daniels, a former Hawkeye, and include current and former players and members of the athletic department.

“I did ask multiple players if they feel like I'm part of the problem or if they feel like we can't move forward with me here,” Ferentz told reporters Sunday. “That's not what I've heard thus far. But my commitment is to us having a good program and having a healthy team and improving the environment.”

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 915942

Reported Deaths: 9606
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1786832038
Ramsey739711046
Dakota67683587
Anoka64112577
Washington40545359
Stearns33631279
St. Louis29591409
Scott25994186
Wright25957217
Olmsted22339130
Sherburne19000127
Carver1670669
Clay12104105
Blue Earth1147970
Rice11451138
Crow Wing11213123
Chisago995379
Kandiyohi9815108
Otter Tail9813127
Benton9033125
Beltrami816997
Goodhue811798
Douglas7875101
Itasca772299
Mower733449
McLeod713084
Winona710258
Isanti700783
Steele685731
Morrison672879
Becker628574
Polk603187
Freeborn561246
Carlton546974
Mille Lacs532479
Lyon528461
Nobles525054
Nicollet522460
Pine515043
Cass501253
Todd492843
Brown470759
Le Sueur459734
Meeker433458
Martin386544
Wabasha375510
Waseca374333
Dodge361112
Hubbard355249
Roseau316231
Fillmore305315
Wadena302940
Redwood281445
Houston272017
Renville268451
Faribault258233
Sibley252317
Pennington252130
Kanabec250136
Cottonwood230132
Aitkin222450
Chippewa220542
Pope207410
Watonwan198020
Yellow Medicine188023
Rock177729
Koochiching176725
Swift173123
Stevens167511
Jackson161016
Clearwater158020
Marshall153522
Murray151811
Pipestone149729
Lake132924
Lac qui Parle123025
Wilkin121116
Mahnomen106014
Norman10509
Grant101510
Big Stone9485
Lincoln8805
Kittson73223
Red Lake71410
Traverse6056
Unassigned545124
Lake of the Woods5265
Cook3071

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 525758

Reported Deaths: 7379
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk81677809
Linn32838430
Scott27126295
Black Hawk22334382
Woodbury20736263
Johnson20150108
Dubuque18996243
Pottawattamie16215214
Dallas15573115
Story1398059
Warren8637107
Cerro Gordo8141125
Clinton7928115
Webster7419124
Des Moines7153106
Marshall675494
Muscatine6717117
Wapello6546145
Jasper630591
Sioux622477
Lee5977106
Marion567697
Buena Vista503449
Plymouth493388
Henry427155
Benton414760
Jones413564
Bremer403873
Boone397042
Washington395464
Carroll373355
Mahaska372366
Crawford355647
Jackson324047
Dickinson317555
Buchanan312743
Delaware303255
Clay297636
Kossuth293477
Fayette290356
Hardin289253
Tama282878
Page276133
Wright270050
Cedar269527
Winneshiek267744
Hamilton262757
Floyd261049
Clayton252360
Poweshiek242043
Harrison240979
Madison237425
Butler237346
Cass235667
Iowa234336
Jefferson228544
Mills225330
Hancock222840
Winnebago222339
Cherokee217347
Appanoose210157
Lyon209842
Allamakee209456
Calhoun199519
Shelby199542
Union197141
Humboldt188231
Franklin188031
Grundy186137
Chickasaw184522
Mitchell184343
Emmet180146
Louisa178653
Sac175626
Guthrie169338
Clarke163629
Montgomery163146
Keokuk152639
Palo Alto152332
Howard150624
Monroe144340
Ida134141
Greene128818
Davis126825
Lucas126127
Monona124940
Worth12309
Pocahontas122125
Adair118239
Osceola105718
Decatur104813
Taylor100914
Fremont98913
Van Buren95922
Wayne86125
Ringgold78429
Audubon77617
Adams5869
Unassigned500
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