Judge delays depositions for Ferentzes in racial bias case

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A federal judge ruled that Iowa’s chief football coach, Kirk Ferrantz, and offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz would not have to spend the team’s goodbye week answering questions from lawyers for black former players, who say they faced discrimination. .

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US Magistrate Judge Helen Adams on Thursday moved a motion to quash a motion asking the hockey coach and his son to appear for statements on October 19 and 20. He said deposits could be delayed until the end of the football season in January. , as requested by Ferrantz and lawyers for the university.

Ruling No. 3 Iowa prepares to host No. 4 Penn State at Kinick Stadium in a 5-0 team matchup on Saturday.

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Lawyers for seven former players sought to take statements as they advance racial discrimination claims against the varsity, Brian Ferrantz, and the team’s former strength and conditioning coach, Chris Doyle. The players’ trial is set for trial in March 2023.

Former players allege they were humiliated with racial slurs, forced to abandon black hairstyles, fashion, and culture to fit the “Iowa Way” promoted by Kirk Ferrantz, which compared white players. was held to varying standards and retaliated so to speak.

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Dozens of former players said on social media that the university agreed to pay Doyle $1.1 million in June 2020 as part of a resignation agreement he had threatened and discriminated against. Doyle has denied the allegations.

An investigation by an outside law firm later found that the program’s rules “perpetuated racial and cultural prejudices and undermined the value of cultural diversity,” and allowed coaches to humiliate players without consequence. Kirk Ferentz made several changes in response that players have welcomed.

Kirk Ferrantz argued in a courtroom this week that appearing for a statement in Des Moines or Zoom that could run for several hours on October 20 would be “extremely cumbersome”, given that goodbye week is full of activities.

He said the absence of the head coach and offensive coordinator during practice would be “a tremendous disruption” as Iowa prepares to play in Wisconsin on October 30. He said he would not have enough time to review the records and discuss the matter with the lawyers. Giving his testimony.

“I believe I will lose at least three days attending my duties of head coach, if I need to prepare on one day, my statement is taken on another, and on the third The day I participate in the statement of Brian Ferrantz. The day I understand I am entitled to participate as a representative,” he wrote.

Brian Ferentz filed a similar statement in court.

Lawyers for former players had offered Zoom to take Kirk Ferentz’s statement and defer Brian Ferentz as a settlement, but university lawyers declined the offer.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs argued that they have the right to pursue their claims expeditiously and that “there is no privilege that protects football coaches from being ousted during football season.”

“Football coaches are not the only litigants whose jobs require considerable time and energy to be spent, and their jobs are no more important than doctors, CEOs, police chiefs, and directors of government agencies who are required to testify at civic functions. Called on a daily basis,” he wrote.

Adams ruled that the summons issued last month did not give Ferrantz “reasonable time to prepare”, given his busy schedule and the widespread claims made by players. He said that delaying the statement for two or three months will not harm anyone.

The judge also found that Ferrantez would be subjected to “substantial hardship” during the football season. She noted that Zoom’s submission would also require substantial preparation time and that her personal lawyer was unavailable on those dates.

A separate federal judge previously dismissed Kirk Ferrantz as the defendant and narrowed the scope of the case.

Former players Aaron Mendes, Brandon Simon, Jevon Foy, Akram Wadley, Marcel Jolie, Jonathan Parker and Darien Cooper are pursuing discrimination claims against Brian Ferentz and Doyle. Foy, Mendes and Simon are also claiming that the program had a racially hostile environment.

Credit: www.independent.co.uk / Iowa

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