Former Iowa Football Players Kirk Ferentz And Gary Barta Fired

Former Iowa Football Players Want $20 Million And For Kirk Ferentz And Gary Barta To Be Fired Over The Alleged Mistreatment Of Black Players

Eight football players who used to play for the University of Iowa are demanding $20 million and the firing of athletic director Gary Barta, head coach Kirk Ferentz and assistant coach Brian Ferentz.

The eight players, who are all Black, include running back Akrum Wadley, wide receiver Kevonte Martin-Manley, defensive back Maurice Fleming, wide receiver Andre Harris, running back Marcel Joly, linebacker Aaron Mends, running back Jonathan Parker and linebacker Reggie Spearman. The players all sent a letter via their civil rights attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons on Oct. 5 to the university saying Barta and Ferentzes are responsible for “intentional racial discrimination” during their tenures, according to Chad Leistikow of the Des Moines Register, Bleacher Report’s Mike Chiari reports

Each player gave specific allegations about how Black players and personnel have been mistreated at the University of Iowa. Wadley mentioned how he had his meal-card privileges revoked at one point. The letter also includes the wants for a “Black male senior administrator position” to be added to the Iowa athletics, anti-racist training for athletics staff, as well as a board of advisers that includes Black players and tuition waivers for any Black athlete who did not graduate during Ferentz’s time as coach Bleacher Report reports.

University of Iowa general counsel Carroll Reasoner wrote back to the players saying that the school tried to satisfy some of the demands, but added, “We respectfully decline your monetary and personnel demands.” In his own statement, Ferentz wrote that he is “deeply committed” to helping everyone who joins the Iowa football program. “I am disappointed to receive this type of demand letter. Due to the threat of litigation, I am not able to address the specific comments made by our former players,” Ferentz said in his statement.

The move comes after the Iowa football program dropped its strength coach Chris Doyle in June after he worked with the team for 21 years. Like Barta and Ferentz, Doyle was accused of mistreating Black players by dozens of former Black players. Ferentz said back in June that he had a “blind spot” when it came to not seeing the mistreatment and neglect of Black players in the program. The men state in the letter that they are willing to pursue a lawsuit against the school if their demands are not met by Oct. 19.


Brian Ferentz Statement via Twitter
Brian Ferentz Statement via Twitter

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