Iowa football notebook | head coach Kirk Ferentz discusses recent lawsuit settlement, Brian Ferentz’s performance objectives

In his first press conference of spring practice Wednesday, the Iowa head coach said he’s not concentrating on the past but rather focused on preparing for next fall.


Jerod Ringwald

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz speaks with reporters during Iowa football media day at Kinnick Stadium on Friday, Aug. 13, 2021.

Chris Werner, Assistant Sports Editor

After his team’s first spring practice of 2023, Iowa football head coach Kirk Ferentz met with the media for the first time since Feb. 1 on Wednesday. 

Since his last press conference, the university and state Board of Regents settled a lawsuit where former players Akrum Wadley, Jonathan Parker, Marcel Joly, Aaron Mends, Maurice Fleming, Reggie Spearman, Kevonte Martin-Manley, Darian Cooper, LaRon Taylor, Brandon Simon, Javon Foy, and Terrance Harris accused the Hawkeye football program of racially motivated discrimination and harassment on March 6.

Kirk Ferentz, offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz, linebackers coach Seth Wallace, former strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle, and athletic director Gary Barta were all dropped from the lawsuit days before the settlement.

The Iowa Athletics department was originally set to pay nearly $2.2 million of the $4.2 million settlement, but UI President Barb Wilson said on March 9 that the athletics department will pay the entire amount. 

RELATED: UI President Barbara Wilson says Iowa Athletics will pay full $4.2 million in racial discrimination lawsuit

I think that’s been resolved,” Kirk Ferentz said Wednesday. “Nothing more I can say about it. Our focus has been on what’s in front of us, and I think we’re in a really good spot right now. Our plan is to stay vigilant in every area of our program.”

After the settlement, Kirk Ferentz released a statement saying that he did not know the university and Regents planned to settle the lawsuit. 

“These discussions took place entirely without the knowledge or consent of the coaches who were named in the lawsuit,” he wrote on March 6. “In fact, the parties originally named disagree with the decision to settle, fully believing that the case would have been dismissed with prejudice before trial.

“For more than two years, our program has been unfairly and negatively impacted by these allegations. Members of the staff had their character and reputation tarnished by former members of our team who said things, then recanted many statements when questioned under oath.”

Wednesday, Kirk Ferentz doubled down on his previous statement. 

That’s my opinion,” Kirk Ferentz said. “I was very involved in it. Worked closely with the legal experts on the thing. That’s my opinion. That’s why I stated it. It’s been resolved. There’s not much more I can say. It really doesn’t matter what I think. The matter’s resolved and we’re moving forward.”

Kirk Ferentz comments on Brian Ferentz’s performance objectives

Wednesday also marked Kirk Ferentz’s first press conference since Iowa athletics announced Brian Ferentz signed an amended contract on Feb. 6.

The new contract includes a pay cut and two Designated Performance Objectives for 2023 — 25 points per game and seven wins — among other amendments.

RELATED: Iowa Athletics amends contract of Hawkeye football offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz

Kirk Ferentz took much of the same tone to his son’s new contract that he did when talking about the settlement.

“That was really between Gary and Brian, that arrangement,” Kirk Ferentz said Wednesday. “Gary supervises Brian for obvious reasons. That’s really the same thing. It’s in the books. We’re moving forward. That is not something we’re thinking about. We’re thinking about our whole football team having a great season.”