What Kirk Ferentz, Gary Barta said during Iowa's press conference following investigation
On the same day that the findings of an independent investigation into Iowa’s football program were released, athletic director Gary Barta and head coach Kirk Ferentz met with the media to discuss the conclusions.
Husch Blackwell started its investigation into the University of Iowa football program regarding racial disparities and bullying nearly two months ago, after former players came forward about mistreatment and unpleasant experiences within the program. The law firm met with 111 individuals, which included current and former players as well as current and former staff members.
The report did conclude that there were racial disparities within the program but did not recommend the removal of Ferentz as head coach or Barta as athletic director. On Thursday at 1 p.m. CT, the two met with the media. Below are some of the key quotes from both individuals.
Gary Barta — Iowa Athletic Director
- “I am grateful for every current student-athlete and every former student-athlete who came forward.”
- “Clearly, there’s a disconnect with the vision that Kirk [Ferentz] has for ‘The Iowa Way’ and the way it was being experienced by some of our student athletes and especially our Black student-athletes.”
- “Kirk, first and foremost, is responsible for the Iowa football culture. . . . He’s fully accepting of that responsibility, and he’s worked hard in recent weeks to help us begin the process to improve the culture.”
- “I take a lot of comfort in the fact that the report, after interviews with former student-athletes and current student-athletes, confirms that they share that confidence in Kirk’s ability to move forward and lead this program.”
- “There are no personnel changes planned.”
- “It’s not a done situation but I feel confident that we don’t have any [further] changes in employment.”
Kirk Ferentz — Iowa Head Coach
- “I’m thankful that they shared their experiences with me, and (I) spoke to many of them about some of the changes that we have made in the past year.”
- “The former players’ experiences show me a need to be more involved.”
- “Before June 4, I would have said we have a healthy program. Stories I’ve heard in the days and weeks following have changed that. In the last few weeks I’ve learned our culture is not as strong as we thought.”
- On former RB Akrum Wadley’s comments about withholding a meal card: “Some of the things were just flat-out not true. We have never held back a [meal] card.”
- On June 6 meeting with players: “We told them to take the gloves off.”
- The message he received from former DT Mike Daniels: “If we [the coaching staff] are a little more reasonable, more open minded with things, we’ll derive even better benefits.”
- “This is an opportunity for our entire staff to learn.”
- “I was saddened and disappointed to hear that our current and former black players feel like they weren’t treated the same as white players.
- “This can’t be yesterday’s news. We need to keep dialogue going.”