Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz has taken some significant heat for his role in fostering a culture of uneven treatment in the Hawkeyes football program.
But Ferentz has been working hard to make up for the apparent blind spots that have been uncovered. Yesterday he posted an official statement acknowledging the problem and pledging to be proactive in solving the problem.
Today, Ferentz penned an open letter, doubling down on his pledge to change the culture to a more welcoming one. He stated that the responsibility falls on him to make the Iowa football program better.
“I am responsible, period,” Ferentz said. “As the head coach, I am responsible for all facets of the program. I take pride in having an NFL-style professional program which means position coaches have a lot of autonomy when it comes to curriculum and coaching style. The former players’ experiences underscore the need for me to be more involved with every aspect of the program, so coaches and staff are carrying out their responsibilities in a manner consistent with my expectations. While there may always be blind spots for any leader, I must be more vigilant in identifying them.”
— Hawkeye Football (@HawkeyeFootball) July 30, 2020
The controversy began in June, when a former Iowa player revealed that longtime Iowa strength coach Chris Doyle made racially-tinged and bullying comments directed him.
Doyle and Iowa parted ways in the aftermath, but Kirk Ferentz didn’t come out smelling like roses.
An independent investigation ensued and found the aforementioned culture of uneven treatment.
Ferentz has been talking a big game for weeks now. But it will take action, not words, to restore his reputation – and that of the Iowa football program.