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Iowa Strength Coach Chris Doyle Denies Making Racist Comments

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 7, 2020

IOWA CITY, IOWA- SEPTEMBER 10:  Strength and Conditioning coach Chris Doyle of the Iowa Hawkeyes before the match-up against  the Iowa State Cyclones on September 10, 2016 at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa.  (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)
Matthew Holst/Getty Images

Iowa strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle issued a statement after he was placed on administrative leave amid allegations he made racist remarks toward players.

"I have been asked to remain silent, but that is impossible for me to do," Doyle wrote Sunday. "There have been statements made about my behavior that are not true. 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 on upon race. I do not make racist comments and I don't tolerate people who do."

Chris Doyle @coach_Doyle

https://t.co/uNbKolrT8B

On Friday, Chicago Bears offensive lineman James Daniels alluded to "too many racial disparities in the Iowa football program," which led to former players recounting some of their experiences:

James Daniels @jamsdans

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

Amani Hooker @amanihooker37

@jamsdans I remember whenever walking into the facility it would be difficult for black players to walk around the facility and be themselves. As if the way you grew up was the wrong way or wasn’t acceptable & that you would be judge by that and it would impact playing time.

Emmanuel Rugamba @BooRadd_

@jamsdans https://t.co/Wn25Td7gpz

Cedric Boswell @cjboswell98

@jamsdans https://t.co/C6KCYhKitC

Akrum Wadley @akrum_wadley

@jamsdans I got so many stories I can talk about and experiences I had and other teammates but this was one of them. https://t.co/CfK3Ss1TcM

Terrance Pryor @Tpryor51

@jamsdans Time for the truth: https://t.co/aBeVbtfvc4

Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson responded to say that "Coach Doyle is the problem in that building," to which Daniels agreed:

James Daniels @jamsdans

I wouldn’t be in the league without Coach Doyle and BF. But Jaleel is right, change needs to start with those two. https://t.co/GrMeEF4VGK

Iowa uploaded a video from head coach Kirk Ferentz, who said he saw the various posts on social media and that Doyle would be placed on leave pending an independent review:

Hawkeye Football @HawkeyeFootball

This is a defining moment for the Iowa Hawkeye Football program: https://t.co/ckEH39QVki

Ferentz addressed the situation again Sunday.

"I want to thank former players who have had the courage to speak out about their experiences in our program," he said, per ESPN's Adam Rittenberg. "I'm very very sorry about any hardships they endured."

The Athletic's Nicole Auerbach shared more of Ferentz's comments: "Clearly there's not enough candid conversation or the players haven't felt safe enough to visit and give me feedback."

Doyle has served as the Hawkeyes' head strength and conditioning coach since 1999.

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