UI Argues to Have Lawsuit from Former Football Players Dismissed

IOWA CITY, Iowa - The University of Iowa is asking a judge to dismiss a federal lawsuit from 13 former football players accusing coaches of discrimination and mistreatment.

The Gazette reports the school is arguing the former players sued too late and failed to connect bad behavior to race.

The university says the statute of limitations has expired because most of the players had left the school two years before the lawsuit.

The players now have until March 1st to respond to the university's claims.

Their lawsuit was originally filed in November and sought $20 million in damages. It also demanded the firing of Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz, assistant coach Brian Ferentz and athletic director Gary Barta.

The university refused to pay the money or fire the personnel, although separation agreements were reached with some coaches. The school also defended changes it made to improve conditions for Black players.

The former players then dropped their demand for damages, but left the lawsuit in place. They're represented by Tulsa based civil rights attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons.

The players named as plaintiffs in the case are Akrum Wadley, Reggie Spearman, Kevonte Martin-Manley, Aaron Mends, Marcel Joly, Maurice Fleming, Jonathan Parker, Brandon Simon, Terrence Harris, Andre Harris, Javon Foy, Darian Cooper and LaRon Taylor.

The lawsuit was filed after dozens of ex Iowa players spoke out on social media back in June about racial discrimination and mistreatment. Their activity came just as protests were taking place across the country over the death of George Floyd.

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