Strength Coach Is Out, Accused of Belittling Black Players

Former Iowa athletes raised the allegations on social media
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 15, 2020 7:20 PM CDT
Strength Coach Is Out, Accused of Belittling Black Players
Chris Doyle walks on the field before an Iowa football game in 2018.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

(Newser) – The University of Iowa cut ties with a football team strength coach Chris Doyle on Monday, after former Hawkeyes accused him of mistreating and belittling African American players. A separation agreement will pay Chris Dolye more than $1.1 million, the AP reports. The university also said a Missouri law firm, Husch Blackwell, will conduct an independent review of allegations relating to racial disparities in the football program. Doyle earned $800,000 per year and was the highest-paid strength and conditioning coach in college football. "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," he said in a prepared statement. "I am confident that my record and character will be confirmed in the course of the independent review."

Doyle has denied any "unethical behavior or bias" based on race. Former Iowa offensive lineman James Daniels, now with the Chicago Bears, was the first to raise the issue of the Iowa staff’s treatment of players. "Black players have been treated unfairly for far too long," Daniels tweeted June 5. Dozens of former players followed with social media posts about their experiences, with many accusing Doyle of making racist remarks and belittling players. Doyle was placed on paid administrative leave June 6. Head coach Kirk Ferentz said Friday the coaching style of some of his assistants "at times was demeaning and created unnecessary frustration and anxiety. One byproduct of that is that some of our black athletes feeling they couldn't be themselves in our culture, and to that end we must be more inclusive and more aware." (NFL players made a video plea to the league about racial inequality.)

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