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Report: Parts of lawsuit against Iowa for alleged mistreatment in football program will move forward

A lawsuit filed by a group of former Iowa football players alleging mistreatment within the program will be permitted to move forward, according to a report from ESPN. Some of the allegations have been thrown out, though.

The federal lawsuit, which accuses former staff members of mistreating Black football players, stemmed from former players speaking out against “racial disparities” within the program during the summer months of 2020. Several former players took to social media to discuss their experiences while playing for the Hawkeyes.

According to ESPN, offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz and former strength coordinator Chris Doyle are still the focal points of the lawsuit. Ferentz remains in his role at Iowa but Doyle and the university mutually agreed to part ways before the start of the 2020 season.

From ESPN:

Former players Aaron Mends, Brandon Simon, Javon Foy, Akrum Wadley, Marcel Joly, Jonathan Parker and Darian Cooper will be allowed to pursue claims of intentional discrimination by Brian Ferentz and Doyle.

Foy, Mends and Simon also can proceed with an allegation of the program having a racially hostile environment.

The judge threw out an allegation that Mends was retaliated against for complaining about or supporting teammates’ claims of racially discriminatory conduct.

Also dismissed were allegations that Iowa created and maintained a systemic pattern and practice of unlawful race discrimination, that Kirk Ferentz failed to train and supervise his staff, and a claim of breach of contract between the players and the Ferentzes and Doyle.

ESPN also reported that athletic director Gary Barta and current strength coach Raimond Braithwaite were released as defendants in the lawsuit.

Dustin Schutte
Dustin grew up in the heart of Big Ten country and has been in sports media since 2010. He has been covering Big Ten football since 2014. You can follow him on Twitter: @SchutteCFB Follow on Twitter.

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