External review does not recommend termination of Kirk Ferentz as Iowa head coach
Two months after Husch Blackwell started its investigation into the University of Iowa football program regarding racial disparities and bullying, the law firm has released its report and findings.
According to the report, Husch Blackwell interviewed 111 individuals during the investigation, including 45 current players, 29 former players and 36 current and former employees. The 28-page report was made available to the public on Thursday morning.
“The interviews revealed that the Iowa football program has historically adhered to a philosophy (the “Iowa Way”) that mandates uniformity and discourages individualism,” the report said. “Many Black players expressed difficulty adjusting to the program’s culture as a result, explaining that they were required to conform to a “mold” that appeared to be built around the stereotype of a clean-cut, White athlete from a midwestern background.”
Husch Blackwell did not recommend the removal or termination of Kirk Ferentz as the head coach of the program. The report also indicates that athletic director Gary Barta should not be ousted from his position, either.
“We recommend that the University work with Athletic Director Barta and Head Coach Ferentz to create action steps aimed at improving the culture of the program, eliminating biases, encouraging student-athletes to report concerns of mistreatment,” Husch Blackwell said in its conclusion. “Finally, both the Athletic Director and Head Coach Ferentz expressed their commitment to rebuild trust with players and foster an environment that embodies the Department’s values of diversity, equity and inclusion.”
“We recommend that the University work with Athletic Director Barta and Head Coach Ferentz to create action steps aimed at improving the culture of the program, eliminating biases, encouraging student-athletes to report concerns of mistreatment, and amplifying the University’s policy statement against retaliation within the football program.”
After the report was released, the University of Iowa announced that it will hold a press conference with Barta and Ferentz at 1 p.m. CT. You can read the 28-page report here.