Former Iowa football players to move forward with lawsuit, drop settlement offer
Discussions regarding a settlement of a lawsuit against the University of Iowa over alleged racial discrimination filed by eight former Iowa football players, have ended.
The players intend to move forward with the lawsuit, which alleges racial discrimination and mistreatment during their time at Iowa, according to a letter obtained by the Des Moines Register.
The university’s general counsel was informed of the plans Tuesday morning via email.
The letter said, “Since our settlement efforts are stalled, this letter serves as formal notice we are withdrawing our prior demand, including the $20 million monetary portion, and moving forward with filing our lawsuit.”
In an Oct. 5 letter sent to the university on behalf of eight former players, Tulsa-based civil rights attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons demanded $20 million in compensation and for the firings of athletics director Gary Barta, head football coach Kirk Ferentz and offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz. In addition, other structural changes aimed at prioritizing improved treatment of Black players were demanded.
The players bringing the lawsuit forward are Maurice Fleming, Andre Harris, Marcel Joly, Kevonte Martin-Manley, Aaron Mends, Jonathan Parker, Reggie Spearman and Akrum Wadley.
Current and former players have defended Ferentz in recent weeks.
Iowa plays Minnesota on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. ET.