Iowa has released their conclusion of the investigation into the football program, which was sparked by a number of black players taking to social media to speak out about mistreatment.
The report details racial biases found in a number of areas within the program.
A total of 111 individuals, including 45 current and 29 former members of the football team and 36 current and former employees were interviewed as a part of the review, and “several clear themes” were discovered. Those interviews revealed a feeling that “The Iowa Way” that encouraged uniformity and discouraged individuality left black members of the team feeling that the image that Iowa wanted to portray was that of a “clean-cut, white athlete from a midwestern background.”
In their conclusion section, the report shared:
In sum, the program’s rules perpetuated racial or cultural biases and diminished the value of cultural diversity. The program over-monitored players to the point that they experienced heightened anxiety and maintained a culture that allowed a small group of coaches to demean players. We have separately provided four personnel reports to the University summarizing allegations of mistreatment made against current and former employees so that they may be addressed, as appropriate, pursuant to the institution’s personnel policies and procedures.
Importantly, current players and coaches were uniform in their view that the program has implemented immediate and positive changes since the inception of this review. Players are cautiously optimistic that the coaching staff is listening to their concerns and having genuine conversations with them around difficult and complicated issues. Finally, both the Athletic Director and Head Coach Ferentz expressed their commitment to rebuild trust with players and 26 foster an environment that embodies the Department’s values of diversity, equity and inclusion.
We recommend that the University work with Athletic Director Barta and Head Coach Ferentz to create action steps aimed at improving the culture of the program, eliminating biases, encouraging student-athletes to report concerns of mistreatment, and amplifying the University’s policy statement against retaliation within the football program.
The investigation led to the dismissal of longtime Hawkeyes strength coach Chris Doyle back on June 15th, and a public pledge from Kirk Ferentz to be more conscious of racial disparities within the Iowa program.
After publication of the report, Ferentz put out this statement.
Ferentz will hold a press conference at 1 p.m. CT.
Here is a link to the full report.