Iowa Coach Chris Doyle Refuses Allegations of Negative Experiences by Former Players

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Iowa has placed strength and fitness coach Chris Doyle on administrative leave Saturday pending an independent investigation after several former players have voiced their negative experiences with other black players in the Hawkeyes program over the years. Doyle released a statement on Sunday vehemently denying the allegations.

In the statement, Doyle said he is proud of the former players for speaking, and that after giving feedback to players during his 21 years in the program, he is now receiving feedback himself and that he chooses not to hide. He then closed his statement by publishing his denial.

“I have been asked to remain silent, but that is impossible for me to do,” says Doyle on Twitter. “There have been statements about my behavior that are not true. I don’t pretend to be perfect. I made mistakes, learned lessons, and like any American citizen, I can do better. At no time have I ever crossed the line of race-based behavior or bias ethics. I do not make comments and I do not tolerate people who do. ”

Doyle said he believed the independent review of his stay in Iowa would prove this to be true.

The statements to which Doyle refers first appeared from former Iowa offensive lineman James Daniels. Daniels, now a member of the Chicago Bears, was joined by several other former players sharing similar stories, many of whom focused on situations involving Doyle.

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

Daniels’ feelings were shared by other former Hawkeyes, including Amani Hooker, who now plays for the Tennessee Titans.

“I remember that every time he entered the establishment it would be difficult for black players to move around the establishment and be themselves”, Hooker said. “As if the way you grew up was wrong or not acceptable and you would be judged by that and that it would have an impact on playing time.”

Another former player, Marcel Joly, tweeted about how the coaches told him he had so many tattoos “it wasn’t” Iowa culture “or” Iowa way “. ”

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz initially issued a statement on Friday saying he was “saddened” to hear the players’ comments, but was “thankful” that they shared them. On Saturday, Ferentz announced the decision to place Doyle on administrative leave, calling it “a defining moment for the Iowa program.” He also announced the creation of a new advisory committee to be chaired by a former Iowa player.

” I spoke with [coach Doyle] on the allegations published on social networks, “said Ferentz in the video. They are troubling and have made a lasting impact on these players. As a result, Coach Doyle was immediately placed on administrative review, while an independent review may take place. He and I agree that all parties must have their voices heard, and then a decision on how we move forward will take place.

“There has been a call for a cultural change in our program. I create an advisory committee, chaired by a former player, and composed of current and former players, as well as staff from the department. It will be a diverse group that will be able to share without judgment so that we can all examine where we are today and how we can have a better environment tomorrow. ”

Doyle was the strength and conditioning coach at Iowa for the entire term of Ferentz, starting in 1999.

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