Kirk Speaks, Doyle Tweets
Yesterday, Kirk Ferentz held a video conference to further address the allegations of racial discrimination within the Iowa Football program. He said some nice things but the main takeaways were that:
Chris Doyle is on paid administrative leave pending an independent review. It is unclear who is conducting this review.
Brian Ferentz, also alleged to have participated in said discrimination, is not on administrative leave, Kirk’s justification being: “Regarding Brian, the things that I’ve heard about or read about I was aware of and I’ve had discussions with people involved in that. I think there are two different levels there and that’s how it stands right now.”
The advisory committee which is being formed to address these issues is being chaired by former defensive tackle Mike Daniels.
“I did ask multiple players if they feel like I’m part of the problem or if we can’t move forward with me here,” Ferentz said. “That’s not what I’ve heard thus far. My commitment is to us having a good program and a healthy team.” (I’m not sure what he’d expect them to say?)
- Ultimately, he takes full responsibility.
Elder statesman says the appropriate things, says he’s going to address it, takes responsibility and accountability, etc. That’s what we’d expect here.
And then there’s Chris Doyle.
Approximately 5 minutes before Ferentz’s video conference began with the media, Chris Doyle released this statement on his Twitter account:
To summarize: None of this happened so those countless ex-players are lying, I’m not racist and I’m not sorry.
You’d think he’d have enough common sense not to stand on a chair and start taking positions and putting himself on the record when he’s being investigated by his employer. You’d also think he’d had enough respect for Kirk Ferentz to keep a low profile while this process plays out. Apparently, Doyle has other plans and wants this attention.
Maybe because he wants Ferentz to fire him for legal reasons?
This story, rightfully so, has gone national. Unfortunately, that gives people like CBS Sports’s Dennis Dodd the opportunity to weigh in. If you haven’t been around the past 15 years, Dodd has an issue with Kirk Ferentz. He thinks he’s overpaid, overrated and is resentful that Iowa fans routinely put him on blast on social media. In 2011, during the rhabdomyolysis crisis (Now known as Chris Doyle Crisis Part One), Dodd wrote one of the worst articles I’ve ever seen, titled Mass Transfers Could be Next Stain for Ferentz, Iowa. There was no evidence to suggest anyone was going to transfer from Iowa but sure enough, he wrote the article anyway. (Ultimately, I believe only one person transferred)
Now, he’s back with an article titled Despite 22 years leading Iowa, Kirk Ferentz claims ignorance of player mistreatment within program. I’m not going to link to it because it includes a joke about punting and insinuates that Kirk Ferentz’s job is in jeopardy. Just know that some things never change.
Saturday night, following the explosion of Tweets accusing Doyle, among others, of racial discrimination, Kinnick Stadium was vandalized:
The scene at Kinnick Stadium as the protest has moved along— Mike OBrien (@mobrientv) June 7, 2020
Tagging all along the outside brick wall as well as on the Nile Kinnick statue pic.twitter.com/Hkwttw3oTq
This is bad and for anyone supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, it’s unclear of how spray-painting Nile Kinnick’s statue does any good. Alternatively, if you’re not asking how we got to a point where people are vandalizing Nile Kinnick’s statue, maybe that’s a question to ask. I’d personally ask WHO’s Keith Murphy why he didn’t take the time to amplify any of the concerns of black ex-Hawkeyes on Saturday, but who took the time to grieve about Kinnick Stadium being vandalized.
Some people can’t help but tell on themselves.
Twitter Ban Lifted…And Now It’s Worse
One of the unexpected outcomes of these revelations has been Iowa announcing that they’re lifting their Twitter ban for players. For example, Tyrone Tracey tweeted on Saturday night:
New Wave is coming Give Love to get Love— TYRONE TRACY JR (@TyroneTracy) June 7, 2020
You’re either saying “hey that’s good it’s a stupid rule” or “man now players are going to get themselves into trouble” and both sides have fair points to make. Regardless, I hope everyone would acknowledge that social media is how young adults communicate and that for better or worse, prohibiting them from using it inhibits their ability to express themselves.
We thought this was good news. And then we saw this:
From @ScottDochterman's story below: Iowa players are allowed one pre-approved Tweet per month. During this unprecedented time of player activism on issues of race, this is a really bad look for Ferentz and that program. https://t.co/cTVASQAQec— Lindsay Jones (@bylindsayhjones) June 8, 2020
Somehow, the lift of the Twitter ban is now worse than the ban itself. Not good, Kirk!
UPDATE [12:37 PM]: Apparently what's written above was the original agreement but now players are able to use Twitter as much as they feel is appropriate. See below:
Per Iowa regarding Twitter use and players: "While that was the original agreement last week, players are currently on twitter and do not have restrictions."https://t.co/6SnY6BwRRm— Scott Dochterman (@ScottDochterman) June 8, 2020
Iowa certainly isn’t the only place where there are allegations of this kind. Across college football, players are standing up against injustice across the country and in their own programs.
NCAA President Mark Emmert told Congress that the NCAA could be looking at a shortened season, with the regular season starting around Labor Day and ending by Thanksgiving. That includes conference championships. If that’s the case, what of bowls and the Playoff?
Joe Lunardi has Iowa at #3 in his latest Bracketology, taking on Winthrop in Minneapolis. The winner of that would then take on the winner of #6 Houston vs. #11 Marquette/#11 Clemson. He’s got Virginia as the #1 seed in the Midwest.
Remember that federal investigation into corruption in college basketball? Oklahoma State received a one year postseason ban related to it and buddy, let me tell you what’s even more problematic: Oklahoma State was only facing one Level 1 NCAA violation; Kansas is facing five. Of course, that’s expecting the NCAA to dole out equal justice because as a wise man once said: “The NCAA was so mad at Kentucky they gave Cleveland State two more years of probation.”