Iowa is the latest football program caught up in the maelstrom of needed, necessary change.
Saturday, Iowa announced that longtime strength & conditioning coach Chris Doyle has been placed on administrative leave. Additionally, an independent review will be conducted into allegations that Doyle directly contributed to “racial disparities in the Iowa football program.”
The development came after former Hawkeye football players took to social media en masse in the past couple of days to accuse Doyle of creating a hostile environment. Specifically, as it pertained to black Iowa football players. One former player spoke of Doyle mocking black football players that “made you walk around the football facility on eggshells … and caused anxiety that could be unbearable at times with your dreams and career on the line.”
In a video statement, Kirk Ferentz described the past 24 or so hours as “a defining moment” for his program.
“I appreciate the former players’ candor and have been reaching out to many of them individually to hear more about their experiences in our program,” the longtime coach stated. “I am planning on talking to all of them in the coming days. This is a process that will take some time, but change begins by listening first.
“Many of the discussions have centered around our Strength and Conditioning program and Coach Chris Doyle. I have spoken with him about the allegations posted on social media. They are troubling and have created a lasting impact on those players. Therefore, Coach Doyle has been placed on administrative leave immediately while there is an independent review. He and I agree that all parties will have their voices heard and then a decision about how to move forward will be made.”
This is a defining moment for the Iowa Hawkeye Football program: pic.twitter.com/ckEH39QVki
— Hawkeye Football (@HawkeyeFootball) June 6, 2020
Doyle has been the strength coach at Iowa since 1999. Last year, he was the highest-paid at his position in the country.