USATSI

Iowa has come to a "separation agreement" with strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle following allegations that the long-time member of Kirk Ferentz's staff mistreated African American players. Doyle was suspended earlier this month after multiple former players voiced their concerns on Twitter.

Doyle, who has been the strength and conditioning coach for Iowa's football program since 1999, released a statement via the Iowa athletic department on Monday after their parting of ways was announced by the school.

"Iowa City has been home to our family for 21 years," he said. "I am grateful Iowa football provided an opportunity to work with incredible players, coaches, and support staff. I have worked diligently to make a positive impact on the lives of student-athletes, support them as they speak out, and look forward to continued growth. I am confident that my record and character will be confirmed in the course of the independent review. The University and I have reached an agreement and it is time to move on from Iowa football. My family and I are looking forward to the next chapter."

The questions surrounding Doyle surfaced when former Hawkeyes offensive lineman James Daniels tweeted his thoughts on the program on June 7. "There are too many racial disparities in the Iowa football program. Black players have been treated unfairly for far too long," he said.

Multiple former players followed suit in echoing Daniels' sentiments, including defensive back Amani Hooker. "I remember whenever walking into the facility it would be difficult for black players to walk around the facility and be themselves," he wrote. "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."

Marcel Joly, a running back who played for the Hawkeyes from 2014-17, further detailed what he called the 'Iowa culture.'

Athletic director Gary Barta held a press conference on Monday and had a message for all current and former players.

"One thing that I wanted to do , and it's important to me, is to say I'm sorry ... to former athletes, coaches, staff, current student athletes -- anybody who's had a negative experience with Iowa football," he said. "When I say 'negative,' if you felt mistreated, misled, discriminated against, whatever the case. I truly am sorry. We want everybody who participates in our program to have a great experience academically, athletically and socially."

Coach Kirk Ferentz released a video on June 6 regarding the situation.

"There's been a call for a cultural shift in our program," he said. "I'm creating an advisory committee, chaired by a former player, and comprised of current and former players, as well as departmental staff. This will be a diverse group that will be able to share without judgment so that we can all examine where we are at today, and how we can have a better environment tomorrow."

Iowa announced last week that the leadership group consists of 21 players to assist in formulating policies and being involved in team decision-making.

"This group was assembled beginning with our Hawkeye Championship Captains who have shown great initiative and leadership since the start of 2020, as have all of our players," said Ferentz. "The initial Leadership Group was voted on one month ago. Due to discussions and dialogue with our players, and in particular the Hawkeye Championship Captains, we felt it best to reset the model and elect new leadership to assist in formulating team policies and involvement in team decision-making throughout the year. We wanted to empower our current student-athletes to provide feedback for those who would work to be productive toward the goals of the group. That list closely matched what we put together as a staff."

The University of Iowa has retained Kansas City-based law firm Husch Blackwell to conduct an independent review of allegations relating to racial disparities within the football program.