Skip to main content

A group of former Iowa players want Kirk Ferentz fired

A group of eight Black former Iowa football players are seeking the firings of AD Gary Barta, head coach Kirk Ferentz and offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz plus $20 million in damages for discrimination and emotional harm they say they experienced during their time as Hawkeyes.

According to the Des Moines Register, the group notified Iowa athletics of their demands on Oct. 5, with a deadline for Monday. Iowa responded saying the group's concerns were addressed in the law firm Husch Blackwell's investigation this summer, adding, "We respectfully decline your monetary and personnel demands.”

The group is headlined by Akrum Wadley and Kevonte Martin-Manley, both recent players who stand as two of the best Hawkeyes in school history. Martin-Manley is Iowa's all-time leading receiver, and Wadley is one rushing touchdown short of Iowa's record.

The group says it is entitled to the trio's jobs and $20 million “to ensure they are rightfully compensated for their emotional, mental and bodily damages and that Iowa is appropriately held accountable for its unlawful, discriminatory conduct.”

Damages and firing do not represent all of the group's demands. From the paper:

The group is represented by Tulsa civil rights attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons and has additional demands, including attorney’s fees; the creation of a permanent Black male senior administrator position in Iowa athletics; mandatory anti-racist training for athletics staff; the establishment of a board of advisers including Black players and anti-racist professionals to oversee the football program; and tuition waivers for any Black athlete who did not graduate with a degree during Kirk Ferentz’s 22-year tenure. 

Many of the players were vocal in their criticisms of the program following the allegations of racial mistreatment that bubbled over this summer, which Ferentz acknowledged at the time.

The allegations triggered Husch Blackwell's investigation and the dismissal of longtime strength coach Chris Doyle.

The Hawkeyes are set to open their season this Saturday at Purdue.

Read the full report here.


And now a defensive back from Tampa, FL has de-committed, adding the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter at the end of his announcement.

Tuesday AM update> In response to the resurgent uproar aimed at Kirk Ferentz and staff, a former player has spoken up to defend the staff. Former Hawkeye and NFL linebacker Ed Miles, a high school coach now, shared the following: