Twenty-four hours after he was placed on administrative leave following numerous former Hawkeyes coming forward to speak of the culture inside the Iowa football program, and particularly the Iowa strength program, Chris Doyle has released a statement of his own.
On the one hand, Doyle expresses contrition and regret in a general sense, saying, “I am receiving feedback myself. I can take it and won’t hide from it. It saddens me to hear the stories of their difficult experiences while in our program, in addition to the outpouring of stories we are hearing across this country…. I do not claim to be perfect. I have made mistakes, learned lessons and like every American citizen, can do better.”
On the other, Doyle says the stories are not true. “At no time have I ever crossed the line of unethical behavior or bias based upon race. I do not make racists (sic) comments and I don’t tolerate those people who do.”
Unlike other incidents that have come to light this week, Iowa’s is not centered around a single smoking gun allegation, rather than an accumulation of stories.
Iowa has retained a third-party to investigate the culture under Doyle, and Kirk Ferentz will have to decide whether the longest-tenured and highest-paid strength coach in college football can continue.
#Iowa's Kirk Ferentz, on Zoom call with reporters now: "I want to thank former players who have had the courage to speak out about their experiences in our program. I’m very very sorry about any hardships they endured." Says there's a difference b/t being demanding and demeaning.
— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) June 7, 2020
“We don’t want people to leave and not feel like this was a good experience,” Ferentz said Sunday. “I never want them to feel like they weren’t treated with the great respect that they deserve.”