Nearly seven weeks later, Husch Blackwell’s investigation into Iowa Hawkeye’s football program regarding racial bias and the culture of bullying was completed. The investigation interviewed 111 individuals, including 45 current and 29 former members of the football team and 36 current and former employees.
Following the investigation, Husch Blackwell passed on his findings to the University of Iowa. On Thursday morning, the University issued a 28-page report summarizing the details of the investigation. You can read the full 28-page report from click here.
“Interviews revealed that Iowa’s football program has historically adhered to a philosophy (the“ Iowa Way ”) that gives uniformity and discourages individualism,” Husch Blackwell wrote. “Many Black players expressed difficulty adapting to the culture of the program as a result, explaining that they were required to conform to a“ mold ”that seemed built around the stereotype of a clean and cut Bojta athlete from the south west. “
Following the investigation, Husch Blackwell does not recommend removing Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz or Athletic Director Gary Barta.
“We recommend that the University work with Athletic Director Barta and Head Coach Ferentz to create action steps aimed at improving the program’s culture, eliminate prejudices, encourage student-athletes to report concerns of ‘mistreatment,’ ”Husch Blackwell said in his conclusion. “Finally, both the Athletic Director and Head Coach Ferentz expressed their commitment to rebuilding trust with players and fostering an environment that embodies the Department’s values of diversity, equity and inclusion. . “
“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, eliminate prejudices, encourage student-athletes to report concerns. ill-treatment and increase the Statement on the University’s anti-retaliation policy within the football program. “
Husch Blackwell also described that while there were some outliers, in general, most of the players who played / played under Ferentz have positive things to say about him.
“While many players shared criticisms about the program in general or their personal experiences with certain coaches, many of the players commented positively on Head Coach Kirk Ferentz and his leadership of the program. “
On June 8, the Iowa players had an emotional meeting that was described as ‘intense’ and ‘impactful’. ‘After the meeting, several players took to Twitter to show support for their team members and said a significant change was coming for Iowa.
Husch Blackwell’s report found that the athletics department of the University of Iowa has begun to put significant changes in place and has already left an effect.
“Finally, the current players have been uniform in their belief that the environment in the football program has significantly improved since the beginning of this review – both in a general sense and through specific attempts to addressing or preventing racial inequalities. Players expressed the hope that these improvements will continue and result in sustained action to improve the program. “
This story will be updated.
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