Report: Document indicates Iowa football made aware of 'racial bias' within program in 2019
An exclusive report from HawkeyeNation.com indicates that the Iowa football program was made aware of a “serious racial bias” well before this summer, when several former players took to social media to address concerns about the environment.
HawkeyeNation.com’s Rob Howe obtained a document that shows that Iowa was made aware of the racial bias within the football program in 2019, when former Hawkeye player James Daniels met with athletic Gary Barta to discuss some of the issues. That meeting was held in spring of 2019, a year before Daniels took to Twitter to describe “racial disparities” within the program.
Per the document from Howe’s report, head coach Kirk Ferentz was made aware that Black student-athletes at Iowa were:
- Expected to conform to white culture
- Subjected to verbal harassment
- Targeted for extra drug testing
- Misled about resources available to them during the recruiting process
- Subjected to inequitable discipline policies and double standards
- Misunderstood by both coaches and white players
- Unsupported in their academic pursuits
Also in the report, one student-athlete said that Black players were expected to conform to the “Iowa Mold.”
“The white student-athletes at Iowa are viewed as the standard that African-American student-athletes should strive to mold themselves after,” he said.
After several players spoke out about their experiences within the Iowa football program, Ferentz thanked them for bringing their concerns to light. Many of the negative experiences involved strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle. After two decades with the program, Doyle and Iowa parted ways, a decision that both Barta and Ferentz felt was necessary.
Ferentz and student-athletes Ivory Kelly-Martin, Keith Duncan and Kaevon Merriweather spoke with the media to address the concerns within the program in June.
“Anyone who leaves here with a bad experience or leaves without a degree is a failure on my part,” Ferentz said. “I feel like I let those players down by not creating that environment where they did feel comfortable.”