IOWA CITY, Iowa - An independent review of alleged racial inequality in the University of Iowa football program says the program's culture needs to change.
The report concludes that the program's culture perpetuated racial or cultural biases and failed to value diversity.
The report's authors recommend that the University work with Athletic Director Gary Barta and Head Coach Kirk Ferentz to improve the football program's culture, but does not call for a change in coaching or leadership.
The report summary states:
“In sum, the program’s rules perpetuated racial or cultural biases and diminished the value of cultural diversity …. We recommend that the University work with Athletic Director Barta and Head Coach Ferentz to create action steps aimed at improving the culture of the program, eliminating biases, encouraging student-athletes to report concerns of mistreatment, and amplifying the University’s policy statement against retaliation within the football program.”
Head Coach Kirk Ferentz released a statement late Tuesday morning after the report's release:
“This is an important time for me as a leader and for our program. This Review brings us face-to-face with allegations of uneven treatment, where our culture that mandated uniformity caused many Black players to fee there were unable to show up as their authentic selves.I want to apologize for the pain and frustration they felt at a time when I was trusted to help each of them become a better player, and a better person. There are several key take-aways that influence how we will advance the program, so every student-athlete has a healthy and positive team experience. This have been a moment of truth for me. The release of this independent review is not the end of the conversation, it is the beginning of the next chapter in our program’s history."
Both Ferentz and Athletic Director Gary Barta spoke at a news conference on Thursday afternoon.