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Ex-Iowa RB Akrum Wadley says playing for Hawkeyes ‘was a living nightmare,’ wishes he had ‘never played for the Iowa Hawkeyes’

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An offseason of being on the wrong side of the headlines continues for Iowa football.

Amidst allegations that he directly contributed to “racial disparities in the Iowa football program,” Chris Doyle and Iowa parted ways earlier this month.  Monday, former Iowa running back Akrum Wadley added to the negativity surrounding the football program with a lengthy statement that made the rounds on Facebook.

In the social-media missive, Wadley, who played for the Hawkeyes from 2014-17, described his time as an Iowa football player as “a living nightmare.” He went on to state that “I wish I never played for the Iowa Hawkeyes.”

Wadley also accused offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz, the son of head coach Kirk Ferentz, of directing racially-charged remarks at him.

During the winter, the Iowa coaches handed out black wool NIKE hats to all the players. When we finished practice while leaving the field I liked to put my hat on immediately because it was cold and when sweating I didn’t want to get sick. One time when I was jogging to the facility, Coach Brian Ferentz says, ‘Hey Akrum, are you going to rob a gas station?’ I was so upset, but ignored him and kept going. This happened a couple more times in the same situation. The only difference is he said, ‘Akrum are you going to rob a liquor store?’ Those other times I just looked back at him and shook my head because I knew responding to him would result in some type of unfair punishment.

Wadley further claimed that Kirk Ferentz threatened to take away his meal card, alleging that he was forced to call his mother in New Jersey to order Dominos Pizza after the card was declined.  He also alleged that he “would have to go to a fan’s house earlier at night to eat.” Additionally, Wadley claimed he started drinking in college to help cope with the issues.

“My time at Iowa has done things to me that I am not going to discuss because knowing how these people treated me and other black athletes. I am done giving them power over me,” Wadley wrote. “My hope is my story and those of my teammates save others from the experiences, truths and mistake of playing under and for a coaching staff at Iowa that did and said nothing to stop the bullying and racism from happening to us under Chris Doyle, Brian Ferentz and Kirk Ferentz.”

As of yet, no one connected to the Iowa football program has publicly responded to Wadley’s allegations.

Iowa ditches embattled strength coach Chris Doyle, who is accused of contributing to ‘racial disparities in the football program’

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One longtime member of the Iowa football program is now officially a former member.

Sunday, Iowa announced that athletic director Gary Barta would conduct a press conference Monday at 2 p.m. ET.  While the subject matter wasn’t divulged, we now know what it’ll be as Iowa announced late this morning that it has reached a separation agreement with football strength coach Chris Doyle.  The separation is effective immediately.

June 6, Iowa announced that Doyle had been placed on administrative leave.  Additionally, the school stated, 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.”

“There are too many racial disparities in the Iowa football program,” former starting offensive lineman James Daniels wrote in a tweet. “Black players have been treated unfairly for far too long.”

In addition to the separation agreement, the school’s release also stated that the University of Iowa Office of General Counsel has engaged the Kansas City law firm of Husch Blackwell to conduct an independent review of issues and allegations relating to racial disparities within the football program.

“We wish Chris the best moving forward in his career,” Barta said in a portion of a statement. Interestingly, no statement from head coach Kirk Ferentz was included.

Doyle has been the strength coach at Iowa since 1999. Last year, he was the highest-paid at his position in the country.

According to the school’s separation agreement, Doyle will be paid 15 months worth of base salary.  He will be paid $556,249.50 in two lump-sum payments, the first on Aug. 1, 2020, and the second on Jan. 1, 2021.  The university will also pay Doyle’s health and dental benefits for the next 15 months as well.

“Iowa City has been home to our family for 21 years,” Doyle, who has vehemently denied the allegations, said in his statement. “I am grateful Iowa football provided an opportunity to work with incredible players, coaches, and support staff. I have worked diligently to make a positive impact on the lives of student-athletes, support them as they speak out, and look forward to continued growth. I am confident that my record and character will be confirmed in the course of the independent review. The University and I have reached an agreement and it is time to move on from Iowa football. My family and I are looking forward to the next chapter.”

Doyle’s son, a linebacker on the Iowa football team, announced last week that he is transferring from the Hawkeyes.

Iowa places longtime strength coach Chris Doyle on administrative leave after allegations from former Hawkeyes flood social media

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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.”

“There are too many racial disparities in the Iowa football program,” former starting offensive lineman James Daniels wrote in a tweet. “Black players have been treated unfairly for far too long.”

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.”

Doyle has been the strength coach at Iowa since 1999. Last year, he was the highest-paid at his position in the country.