Jun 8, 2020
Iowa Strength Coach Disputes Claims of Racist Rhetoric with Former Players

A longtime University of Iowa strength and conditioning coach, Chris Doyle, issued a statement over the weekend denying claims from multiple former football players that he committed in biased behavior against black players.

The statement, released on his Twitter page, was curated by ESPN, which outlined the on-going issue with the Hawkeyes program.

“I have been asked to remain silent, but that is impossible for me to do. There have been statements made about my behavior that are not true,” Doyle’s statement read in part. “I do not claim to be perfect. I have made mistakes, learned lessons and like every American citizen, can do better. At no time have I ever crossed the line of unethical behavior or bias based upon race. I do not make racists comments and I don’t tolerate people who do.

Photo: Brad Covington / Creative Commons

“I am confident that a complete review of the body of work over 21 years will speak for itself and I am trusting the process to respect the rights and experiences of all parties involved. There are countless men of character who are better fathers, husbands, activists, leaders and contributors to society due to their experience at Iowa Football. The record will show this.”

Hawkeyes head football coach, Kirk Ferentz, stated on Saturday that Doyle had been placed on administrative leave, pending an independent review, according to ESPN. The article went on to add that Doyle has been at the top of Iowa’s strength and conditioning program since 1999 and is the nation’s highest-paid strength goal, earning $800,000 annually.

Multiple former players — former defensive back Diauntae Morrow, James Daniels, Terrence Pryor, and Emmanuel Rugamba — shared experiences on social media that accused Doyle of partaking in racist rhetoric.

“Doyle made a comment about sending back to the GHETTO. I called him out on it in front of the entire team. I was suspended, [Ferentz] told me I was out of line and needed to apologize for standing up for myself,” Morrow tweeted.

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“There are too many racial disparities in the Iowa football program. Black players have been treated unfairly for far too long,” Daniels tweeted.

In the ESPN article, Pryor said black athletes had to deal with “many racist incidents” during his time there, including an incident with Doyle in which he alleges the strength coach told him, “Maybe you should take up rowing or something you know? Oh wait, Black people don’t like boats in water, do they?”

To read the full story from ESPN on Doyle disputing claims from former players, click here

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