Former Iowa Football Players Seek $20 Million, Firing of Ferentz

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Eight former University of Iowa football players are demanding $20 million and the firing of coaches in a letter accusing the program of racial discrimination.

The former players, including Akrum Wadley and Kevonte Martin-Manley, are calling for the firings of head football coach Kirk Ferentz, offensive line coach Brian Ferentz and athletic director Gary Barta.

Their 21-page letter says they're prepared to file a lawsuit if their demands aren't met by today (Monday, October 19)

UI president Bruce Harreld said Sunday the university "rejects the demands for money and personnel changes."

Back in June, assistant coach Chris Doyle left the Iowa football program over accusations of racial bias.

The letter from the eight former players claims head coach Bruce Ferentz had knowledge of racism within the program, and that his son, assistant coach Brian Ferentz, discriminated and harassed African-American football athletes daily.

The letter says coaches made comments to the athletes such as “only a (expletive) Black player would do it like that,” “this (n-word), this (n-word), this (n-word),” and “go back to the ghetto.”

The players want $10 million for themselves and $10 million to establish a fund for other players accusing the football program of discrimination.

The Sunday letter from Harreld say, "We have a path forward that includes ideas and recommendations from many current and former students aimed at making the University of Iowa a more inclusive and better place to learn, grow and compete as an athlete. However, the university rejects the demands for money and personnel changes.”

The former players are represented by Tulsa civil rights attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons.

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