Hawkeye offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz asks judge to drop claims of racism against him

cigaretteman

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Hawkeye offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz — among several defendants facing accusations of racial discrimination in a lawsuit filed by former players — wants a judge to rule in his favor and essentially drop the case against him, calling the claims “meritless, unsupported, and contrary to law.”


Addressing each of the seven former players named as plaintiffs in the federal suit filed in October 2020, Ferentz disputes and discredits their accusations — pointing specifically to deposition testimony he said contradicts earlier statements made in a sworn interrogation.


“B. Ferentz has had annual employment reviews by Athletic Director Gary Barta since 2012, and no complaint about any racial discrimination, harassment, slur, name, or epithet has been made against him at any time as a player or coach before June 2020,” according to Ferentz’ Thursday motion for summary judgment.


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The lawsuit — now ongoing for nearly two years — grew out of allegations made on social media in the summer of 2020 about years of racism in the Hawkeye football program. The suit has prompted contentious exchanges between the players and Hawkeye personnel, including accusations of harassment and delay tactics.


A judge in June ordered UI to release all materials the players asked for from an independent and external review by Husch Blackwell — including reports on head coach Kirk Ferentz, his son Brian Ferentz, and assistant coaches Seth Wallace and Chris Doyle.


But Brian Ferentz this week in his motion for summary judgment went player by player, disputing allegations against him and asking for their dismissal.


Darian Cooper — a defensive lineman who graduated in May 2016, which Ferentz notes is more than four years before the lawsuit — “admitted in his deposition that B. Ferentz did not mock, make fun of, or ridicule Cooper at any time regarding his hair, jewelry, tattoos, clothing, diction, or the way he walked,” Ferentz noted in his motion, referencing accusations in the lawsuit.


“Cooper admitted in his deposition that B. Ferentz did not use any racial slur, name, or epithet towards him at any time,” according to the motion, an assertion Ferentz made related to many of the players in the suit.


Ferentz argued that although Cooper is suing him for $8 million for loss of a professional football career, endorsements and sponsorships, and for “exacerbating his knee injuries,” he argues, “B. Ferentz had nothing to do with Cooper’s knees or injuries.”


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“Coach Brian Ferentz did nothing to affect Cooper’s scholarship to play football at Iowa, complete his opportunity to get an education, cause him any knee injury, or impede his recovery from his injuries,” according to the motion.


Aaron Mends, who played defensive linebacker for UI from 2014 to 2018, also admitted Ferentz didn’t mock or make fun of him for his hair, jewelry, clothing, or diction, according to the motion.


“Mends met with Liz Tovar and John Bruno of the university administration in 2018 about ‘what was going on at Iowa,’ but he admits he does not recall saying anything about B. Ferentz to them,” according to the motion.


Mends tore his ACL during a spring practice in 2018 and didn’t play or practice that fall, graduating in December 2018. Addressing accusations Ferentz’ discrimination impacted Mends’ career, his motion argued, “B. Ferentz has an opinion that Mends was not likely to play in 2018 because he would be recovering from a serious injury.


“He would not likely play in games in 2019 because Iowa had better players than Mends to fill linebacker positions, but defendant did not communicate his opinion to Mends at any time or participate in decisions about Mends’ playing time or prospects.”


Ferentz in the motion referenced Mends’ preference for another offensive coordinator, but notes, “Ferentz did not racially discriminate against Mends by seeking the promotion.”


As for Mends’ playing time, Ferentz said any lack was due to defensive coaches evaluating other Hawkeyes as “more skilled players, better athletes, and displaying better football judgment than Mends, including two starters at Iowa (Josey Jewell and Ben Niemann) who have played in the NFL for about five years.”


He also noted Mends once overslept, losing playing time he never regained. In 2020, Mends returned to Iowa City to train for the NFL but had no contract at that time.


“Because Mends left the university in January 2019, he was considered ineligible to use the Iowa training facilities when he requested in 2020,” according to Ferentz.


Mends specifically sued Ferentz for up to $300,000 annually for loss of coaching career because “B. Ferentz allegedly gave prospective employers and schools an inaccurate impression of Mends.”


But, Ferentz argued, “Aaron Mends has never applied to be a coach.”


“B. Ferentz has never been contacted by any coach, team, school, or program about Mends,” according to the motion. “Mends’ sworn statements that Coach Brian Ferentz prevented or affected his coaching opportunities are untrue.”


Brandon Simon, a defensive lineman from 2015 to 2018, had “very little to do with” Ferentz, according to the motion. Ferentz accused him in the motion of contradicting his earlier testimony in a deposition, and Ferentz removed himself from allegations racial discrimination affected his playing time.


“Simon’s complaint that he did not make the travel list, dress for all home games, or play, and the coaching staff made such decisions to punish him because of his race has nothing to do with B. Ferentz,” according to the motion.


Ferentz, in the motion, voiced his opinion Simon didn’t play, travel to away games, or dress for all home games because the team had “more skilled defensive line players than plaintiff Simon.”


“Simon did not make the two deep roster due to effort, attitude, size, and football skills, although that decision was made by other coaches,” according to the motion.


In his motion, Ferentz also discussed Simon’s academic performance and complaints about the “frequency and unreasonableness of drug testing at Iowa.”


Ferentz — in addressing Simon’s accusations — responded to allegations he encouraged running backs in a meeting to hit Simon in practice.


“B. Ferentz never asked players to hurt another white or Black player,” according to the motion. “B. Ferentz does not recall any hits on Brandon Simon or Reggie Spearman at his request that caused either of them any injury.”


Jonathan Parker was a kick returner, running back, and wide receiver from 2013 to 2016 — graduating in December 2016.


To accusations Parker lost playing time due to discriminatory practices, Ferentz in his motion pointed to Parker’s poor performance on one play in the 2014 TaxSlayer Bowl.


“Parker’s mistake may have affected his opportunities to play subsequently, including that he did not play in 2015 and only played two plays during games in 2016,” according to the motion. “The Bleacher Report described it as, ‘This might go down as the biggest brain fart from the college football season.’”


Responding to allegations an academic counselor discouraged him from pre-dental curriculum in 2013, Ferentz in his lawsuit said he’s not liable for lost earnings.


“B. Ferentz had nothing to do with any delay of his becoming a dentist.”


Ferentz, again, argued Parker wasn’t good enough to “earn much of any playing time at Iowa,” and his lack thereof wasn’t due to racism.


He also discussed a “secret tape recording” Parker made during a meeting with head coach Kirk Ferentz — after Parker said he was kicked out of practice for a back-and-forth with Brian Ferentz.


The two sides disagreed on what happened and who said what, and Parker in his motion said the secret recording and videotape support his side.


“The secret tape recording by Parker does not contain the word ‘race’ or ‘racial discrimination,’ or any reference to race, or racial slur, or racial epithet,“ according to the motion.


“In a football practice drill that contained over 50 players and 10 coaches and assistants, the alleged use of a racial slur, name or epithet without some mention, report, leak to the press, text, or email of it by anyone for three and one-half years is consistent with B. Ferentz’s testimony that it did not happen.’”

 

mnole03

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Is he using the Alex Jones argument that no reasonable person could take him seriously?
 

lucas80

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Regarding the accusations of Jonathan Parker, the defense submits Exhibit A and further rests.

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To be fair, that's on his teammates for not jumping on the ball. He was busy tiptoeing out of bounds. Personally, I wouldn't want a guy that dumb as my dentist.
 
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lucas80

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Forward lateral. It's difficult to imagine, but that game could have been worse.
I believe Tennessee got tired of beating us in such an embarrassing fashion and eased off. It's too bad Stanford wasn't that courteous.
 

mthawkeyes

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Did we keep that ball? I was still drinking heavily from 2015 B1G title game. My memory was we got flagged and Tennessee kept the ball anyway.
It's an incomplete forward pass, so the play is dead when the ball hits the ground. So it would have been Iowa's ball, penalized half the distance to the goalline.
 

RushProbst

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Iowa returner Jonathan Parker received the kickoff in a manner where he was falling out of bounds inside the five-yard line. In an attempt not to be stuck with such poor field position, he tried to throw the ball forward to teammates. The ball was recovered by Tennessee, but Parker was ruled to have been out of bounds before the forward lateral. Upon further review, they flagged Iowa for an illegal forward pass, but the Hawkeyes retained possession.
 
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JupiterHawk

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Here is the Parker allegation - pretty f'ing thin"

The new complaint alleges that Ferentz knew about a therapy session that Parker believed to be confidential. In that session, the lawsuit stated, Parker shared "his concerns over race discrimination within the program" with a therapist. The complaint further suggests Ferentz became aware of that information and ultimately retaliated by issuing four hours of community service to Parker.

In its Friday response, the defense team attached word-for-word details of a December 2016 meeting between Ferentz and Parker — one that Parker recorded in Ferentz's office and was played during Parker's March 29 deposition — that it said showed Ferentz administered the four hours of community service over a practice incident involving Brian Ferentz in preparation for the Jan. 2, 2017, Outback Bowl.

In that back-and-forth (as transcribed by the court reporter), Parker admitted that he was performing a kick-return drill incorrectly, which drew criticism from Brian Ferentz, who was the team’s offensive line coach at the time. Parker said he then tossed the football toward Ferentz and told him to do the drill instead. At that point, Parker said on the recording, Brian Ferentz became “disrespectful again and started saying 'f--- me' and ‘you know who I am’ and things like that.”

Kirk Ferentz did apologize in the recording for not having a special-teams coach involved in the drill, then later questioned whether Parker had “both feet in the circle” in the program. In handing out the punishment, Ferentz told Parker, “I understand you’re frustrated, but you can’t flip the ball to (Brian Ferentz) and say, ‘Here, you do it.’ … Again, I’ve never had that (happen) in how long I’ve coached. It’s been a while. Never had that. That’s going to cost you four hours of community service.”

According to the lawsuit, “the Iowa coaching staff made Jonathan feel unimportant, which scared Jonathan. After transferring to a new institution that did not treat African-American players like second-class citizens, Jonathan started loving football again and his anxiety improved."
 

Cougar63

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Here is the Parker allegation - pretty f'ing thin"

The new complaint alleges that Ferentz knew about a therapy session that Parker believed to be confidential. In that session, the lawsuit stated, Parker shared "his concerns over race discrimination within the program" with a therapist. The complaint further suggests Ferentz became aware of that information and ultimately retaliated by issuing four hours of community service to Parker.

In its Friday response, the defense team attached word-for-word details of a December 2016 meeting between Ferentz and Parker — one that Parker recorded in Ferentz's office and was played during Parker's March 29 deposition — that it said showed Ferentz administered the four hours of community service over a practice incident involving Brian Ferentz in preparation for the Jan. 2, 2017, Outback Bowl.

In that back-and-forth (as transcribed by the court reporter), Parker admitted that he was performing a kick-return drill incorrectly, which drew criticism from Brian Ferentz, who was the team’s offensive line coach at the time. Parker said he then tossed the football toward Ferentz and told him to do the drill instead. At that point, Parker said on the recording, Brian Ferentz became “disrespectful again and started saying 'f--- me' and ‘you know who I am’ and things like that.”

Kirk Ferentz did apologize in the recording for not having a special-teams coach involved in the drill, then later questioned whether Parker had “both feet in the circle” in the program. In handing out the punishment, Ferentz told Parker, “I understand you’re frustrated, but you can’t flip the ball to (Brian Ferentz) and say, ‘Here, you do it.’ … Again, I’ve never had that (happen) in how long I’ve coached. It’s been a while. Never had that. That’s going to cost you four hours of community service.”

According to the lawsuit, “the Iowa coaching staff made Jonathan feel unimportant, which scared Jonathan. After transferring to a new institution that did not treat African-American players like second-class citizens, Jonathan started loving football again and his anxiety improved."
Unfounded claims like this make it more difficult for people on the right to believe legitimate claims in the future. This sucks, man.
 

WARHAWK

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Parker was the one who also talked about how we forced him to eat rare steak. Oh my god the horror of having to eat steak. Like someone said, I wouldn't want him to be my dentist.
 
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Colonoscopy

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Ehhhh. Don't believe him. Still has a nazi haircut.

Also... this whole lawsuit = trying to capitalize on sympathy generated via "racial reckoning" a couple years back.
 

Kelsers

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To be fair, that's on his teammates for not jumping on the ball. He was busy tiptoeing out of bounds. Personally, I wouldn't want a guy that dumb as my dentist.
No, to be fair he should have hung on to the ball.
 

Tenacious E

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Here is the Parker allegation - pretty f'ing thin"

The new complaint alleges that Ferentz knew about a therapy session that Parker believed to be confidential. In that session, the lawsuit stated, Parker shared "his concerns over race discrimination within the program" with a therapist. The complaint further suggests Ferentz became aware of that information and ultimately retaliated by issuing four hours of community service to Parker.

In its Friday response, the defense team attached word-for-word details of a December 2016 meeting between Ferentz and Parker — one that Parker recorded in Ferentz's office and was played during Parker's March 29 deposition — that it said showed Ferentz administered the four hours of community service over a practice incident involving Brian Ferentz in preparation for the Jan. 2, 2017, Outback Bowl.

In that back-and-forth (as transcribed by the court reporter), Parker admitted that he was performing a kick-return drill incorrectly, which drew criticism from Brian Ferentz, who was the team’s offensive line coach at the time. Parker said he then tossed the football toward Ferentz and told him to do the drill instead. At that point, Parker said on the recording, Brian Ferentz became “disrespectful again and started saying 'f--- me' and ‘you know who I am’ and things like that.”

Kirk Ferentz did apologize in the recording for not having a special-teams coach involved in the drill, then later questioned whether Parker had “both feet in the circle” in the program. In handing out the punishment, Ferentz told Parker, “I understand you’re frustrated, but you can’t flip the ball to (Brian Ferentz) and say, ‘Here, you do it.’ … Again, I’ve never had that (happen) in how long I’ve coached. It’s been a while. Never had that. That’s going to cost you four hours of community service.”

According to the lawsuit, “the Iowa coaching staff made Jonathan feel unimportant, which scared Jonathan. After transferring to a new institution that did not treat African-American players like second-class citizens, Jonathan started loving football again and his anxiety improved."
Sounds like a little bitch. I don’t see anything race-related in that incident at all.
 

NorthernHawkeye

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Iowa returner Jonathan Parker received the kickoff in a manner where he was falling out of bounds inside the five-yard line. In an attempt not to be stuck with such poor field position, he tried to throw the ball forward to teammates. The ball was recovered by Tennessee, but Parker was ruled to have been out of bounds before the forward lateral. Upon further review, they flagged Iowa for an illegal forward pass, but the Hawkeyes retained possession.

If he was out of bounds before the forward lateral, how was he penalized for an illegal forward pass?
 

23 so far

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Unfounded claims like this make it more difficult for people on the right to believe legitimate claims in the future. This sucks, man.
LOL! Are "people on the right" part of blatantly racist Teacher's Unions now?

So I guess the theme here is when Dem's are openly and admittedly racist, then it's not really racism, cause they admit it. Libby Logic front and center. And you wonder why sane people think you're all hypocrite's, frauds and morons. LOL!
 

Kenneth Griffin

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LOL! Are "people on the right" part of blatantly racist Teacher's Unions now?

So I guess the theme here is when Dem's are openly and admittedly racist, then it's not really racism, cause they admit it. Libby Logic front and center. And you wonder why sane people think you're all hypocrite's, frauds and morons. LOL!

someone started drinking early today!
 

Cougar63

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Oct 4, 2004
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LOL! Are "people on the right" part of blatantly racist Teacher's Unions now?

So I guess the theme here is when Dem's are openly and admittedly racist, then it's not really racism, cause they admit it. Libby Logic front and center. And you wonder why sane people think you're all hypocrite's, frauds and morons. LOL!
What are you on?
 
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