The University of Iowa released a statement announcing a “separation agreement” with longtime strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle amid allegations of racial disparities, specifically in the weight room and by Doyle.
Chris Doyle, who has been the strength and conditioning coach for the entirety of the Kirk Ferentz era, released this statement:
“Iowa City has been home to our family for 21 years, I am grateful Iowa football provided an opportunity to work with incredible players, coaches, and support staff. I have worked diligently to make a positive impact on the lives of student-athletes, support them as they speak out, and look forward to continued growth. I am confident that my record and character will be confirmed in the course of the independent review. The University and I have reached an agreement and it is time to move on from Iowa football. My family and I are looking forward to the next chapter.”
An expected (and awaited) ending to the Chris Doyle-Iowa Football relationship after multiple players spoke out of racial disparities in the Iowa program and more specifically potentially racially charged comments and actions made by Doyle during his time at the University of Iowa.
Doyle’s son, Dillon, had already announced his decision to enter the transfer portal late last week and that he would be no longer be carrying out his dream of playing football at the University of Iowa.
The separation agreement includes a buy-out of just over 1.1 million dollars and 15 months of benefits for Doyle with the trade-off for no legal action against the University from Doyle.
Gary Barta hosted a press conference earlier today at Carver Hawkeye-Arena. A press conference that, unfortunately, didn’t provide much clarity although Barta did get emotional on a few different occasions when discussing racism in his career as a student-athlete and during his time at the University of Iowa.
Barta commented on changes being made in regards to African American athletes graduating at a lower rate in the entirety of the athletic program, dating back to 2018. Barta understood that these changes either weren’t doing enough or at the very least, wasn’t happening fast enough, stating “Clearly, there is still work to be done.”‘
Barta also announced that Husch Blackwell was to conduct the review of the racial allegations. Barta had made it clear that Husch Blackwell, a law firm in Kansas City, will be independent of athletics at all and would report to the UIowa president. Barta also acknowledged that this process “would take weeks, not months.”
Also notable from Barta’s June 15th press conference was his endorsement of current head coach Kirk Ferentz. Barta stated, “I do remain confident Kirk Ferentz can lead this team moving forward.”
Although both Kirk’s presser on Friday and Barta’s press conference Monday afternoon have been thin on actual details of the situation because of the ongoing investigation. It is clear that the University of Iowa is changing for the better. Barta cited similar things as Kirk, “conversations are being had”, “actions are being made” but again with little to no detail regarding what is the second step in this trying situation.
Iowa isn’t the only university guilty of racial disparity (that doesn’t make it acceptable), as we have seen today with Oklahoma State players speaking out against their head coach. Iowa has a chance to start the movement toward racial equality in college football, I just hope Kirk and company are willing and able to lead this charge.