Almost seven weeks later, Husch Blackwell’s investigation into the Iowa Hawkeye football program regarding racial prejudice and a culture of bullying is over. The survey interviewed 111 people, including 45 current and 29 former football team members and 36 current and former employees.
After the investigation, Husch Blackwell forwarded his findings to the University of Iowa. On Thursday morning, the University released a 28-page report summarizing the details of the investigation. You can read the full 28-page report in click here.
“The interviews revealed that the Iowa football program has always adhered to a philosophy (the ‘Iowa Way’) that enforces uniformity and discourages individualism,” wrote Husch Blackwell. “Many black players expressed difficulty adjusting to the culture of the program as a result, explaining that they were required to conform to a ‘mold’ that seemed to be built around the stereotype of a net white athlete from ‘a midwestern midwestern.’
As a result of the investigation, Husch Blackwell doesn’t recommend removing Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz or athletic director Gary Barta.
“We recommend that the University work with Sports Director Barta and Head Coach Ferentz to create measures to improve the culture of the program, eliminate prejudice, encourage student-athletes to report abuse issues,” Husch Blackwell said in his conclusion. ” Finally, Sporting Director and Head Coach Ferentz expressed their commitment to rebuild trust with players and foster an environment that embodies the department’s values of diversity, equity and inclusion. ”
“We recommend that the University work with Sports Director Barta and Head Coach Ferentz to create measures to improve the culture of the program, eliminate stigma, encourage student-athletes to report abuse issues and amplify the University policy statement against reprisals in connection with the football program. ”
Husch Blackwell also described that while there are any outliers, in general most players who have played / played under Ferentz have positive things to say about him.
« While many players shared criticism of the program in general or their personal experiences with certain coaches, most players commented positively on head coach Kirk Ferentz and his leadership of the program. ”
On June 8, the Iowa players held an emotional meeting that was described as “intense” and “impactful”. After the meeting, many players took to Twitter to show their support for their teammates and said a big change is coming in Iowa.
Husch Blackwell’s report revealed that the University of Iowa’s athletic department has started implementing significant changes and that is already having an effect.
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